Rubicon River Hold - Infirmary

This is the hold and hall's infirmary, along the back wall is a row of cots, used when ever needed. On the right wall is a large cabinet that contains the medical supplies used by the holds healer.

Predawn, the Infirmary should be a quiet place, empty of patient and attendant, save for the On Duty. This morning, however, it's got several individuals in it, most of them Apprentices, but several bearing the new braids of both junior and ranked Journeymen healers. They're assembled in a semi-circle around Tenebrous as he speaks, voice quiet and words measured. Of all things, he has his sturdy pants pulled down to just above his knee, and he's gesturing to what looks like a rope-burn that he's acquired on a startlingly sinewy thigh. Even as he speaks to them, he's treating his own wound, waving off attempts to help, and apparently uncaring about his lack of clothing. "Remember," he offers quietly. "You're not here to make them feel better. You're here to treat wounds. A smile is icing on the cake, and if you can get one in the process, you're the better for it. The body first. Then the mind." He absently tears off a bit of bandage and begins winding it around his thigh.

Thea steps into the infirmary quietly, pausing just inside the door, eyes sweeping the room before moving towards the On Duty's desk. Her first step simply never happens as she notes the group around Tenebrous. She's not really noticing clothing or lack thereof, no, it is the words, the tone of his voice that roots her there. She forgets to control her surprised expression at the confidence, the easy way he seems to be speaking. Not wanting to interrupt, she simply leans back against the door frame, lowers her head, concentrating on what is said, how it is said, rather than what is done.

"The body first, then the mind," comes the murmured reply from the masses, like a Mantra. Tenebrous smiles. "The Hall sends its compliments. Rubicon has reported the enjoyment of a level of service they're somewhat unused to." He stops his bandaging and gestures to the room at large. "That's you guys. 'Many a smael maketh a grate'", he axioms in old Common. "Pair up and report in to the Seniors." There are replies of consent as Tenebrous finishes the bandaging of his leg and begins pulling his pants back up. "Sir," one of the apprentices pipes up. "Will we be meeting here tomorrow morning?" "No," Tenebrous replies shortly. "Master Fraille has returned to the Hall to assist with Numbweed preparation and the Seniors just happened to be coming off of nightwatch by the shore. You got me as a fluke. Nothing more. Prep will go back to normal again in the morning."

The sound of questions being asked rouses Thea from her reverie. She lifts her head, waiting for the group to disperse, one hand tapping a folded sheet of paper against her wherhide-clad thigh idly. Her lips quirk at the phrase Tenebrous uses, but she is silent for now, simply biding her time until the rest go about their day's work; she's in no hurry.

Tenebrous finishes with his preparation, sliding that satchel over his shoulders and then glancing down at his recently fastened pants. A strip of their hide has been eaten away and patched with what appears to be simple canvas, in lieu of something more robust. "I liked these pants," he mutters, and then hops up from the exam bed.

Thea strides forward, nodding to passing healers as she heads for the On Duty's desk. Unsure who else to approach, she attempts to make eye contact with Tenebrous, quirks a brow and holds up that sheet. A silent question in her eyes. His beat-up trous receive a tiny head-shake, but no comment.

Tenebrous shakes his head a little when he finally spies Thea, though he does offer a genuine, if shy smile. He slips his arms into his jacket and pads over to where Thea stands. "New marching orders, ma'am?"

Thea's lips twitch, a sly gleam dances in the ice green of her eyes at that question. Her answer is perhaps obscure, "'Perfection is when there is no longer anything more to take away.'" She places that sheet on the desk, tapping it with one finger, "Rubicon's numbweed allotment is in the courtyard. They'll want to send a copy to Healer Hall." She slants a questioning look at him with a tiny grin and a slight browraise, "Squeezed Rubicon dry yet?"

Tenebrous grins. "Not quite yet, but the day's just started." He glances at the paper. "Nothing more to take away?" A little shadow of concern passes over his face. "Have I been posted here permanantly?"

Thea laughs at this, shaking her head and shrugging, "Not that I know of. But then, I sort of popped out of the Weyr before my workday day started there." She tilts her head towards the door, "Wanna go ask them yourself?" She reaches a finger towards the edge of his jacket, flicks it playfully, adding lightly, "You're already dressed to go up."

Tenebrous' response is instant and rock hard. "If they want me, they can come and get me." The smile returns almost instantly when you touch his jacket though. "I was dressed to go up several hours ago, down by the Dolphin Carts. It was a … long night."

Thea blinks at the tone in his voice, "Oh?" Concern flickers in her eyes, but for the moment she doesn't question it. "The Weyr will just have to limp along without you then." She's turned towards the door; his words give her pause and she peers over her shoulder, "Long night was it? You… didn't sleep then." Not a question, that. Her eyes sharpen on his face, assessingly and it's with a small headshake and a glance around before she merely says, "Seryth wants to take you up. If not back to Xanadu, then… around here will do." She pauses, "Can you-?" She leaves the question unfinished, for there are other ears present. She's assuming he'll understand.

Tenebrous waves a hand slightly. "They don't need me. Protocol dictates that they get a little speech in the morning, and the Seniors or masters usually give it. I've got the most seniority amongst the leftovers, so it fell to me, but I'm not important." A pause. "I snuck a few hours in." He looks around at the others, noting your unasked question, and then frowns a little. "Yeah," he answers quietly. "Of course." He glances down at that paper again. "Don't misunderstand me, I want to go back to Xanadu. Everything I know is there. I just…don't want to go back if they're going to tell me I need to stay up here and help for the next year."

Thea's expression clears and her mouth does a silent, Oh. She nods, "I see. Can't blame you there." She headtilts towards the door with another glance at the nearby healers and back to him. "Can put off asking them if you want. Won't change the news any, but…" She shrugs, then leans closer, eyes dancing and adds with a conspiratorial undertone, "Quick! Before they saddle you with some onerous task! Make a run for it!" She doesn't wait for him to reply as she grabs his arm and runs towards the door, towing him behind her if he doesn't pull away. Her snickering floats back in their wake. They'll just have to do without their star Journeyman for awhile. He's being kidnapped.

Kidnapped by hot chicks is cool. Everyone knows this. Tenebrous follows with a somewhat surprised look on his face, trying not to trip over himself in keeping up.

Rubicon River Hold – Courtyard

Behind the imposing ivory limestone pillars of the great gates, beyond the red wall with its ivory towers, the courtyard of Rubicon River hold has been laid out on a grand scale. Unavoidably the first thing to come into the eyes is the imposing structure that has been carved out of the ivory limestone bluff. Perfectly plumb for a length of no less than one hundred weaverlengths, stone has been removed and recycled into nearly hundred foot high fluted ionic columns that hold up a wide roof, topped in waves of terra cotta roofing tiles. Above this, bronze shutters cover latticed windows in case of poor weather or attack. Below your feet, the expertly set red stone of the sweeping expanse this area is comprised of has been bordered in a simple geometric path pattern in the ivory stone as an accent. The stones are worn smooth with use and age, giving rise to the notion that this is indeed a bustling place. To the north and south of this, similarly laid paths lead away from the striking facade, to the west and up the stairs, lay the great bronze doors of the of the Hold Proper.

Tenebrous can't help but laugh a little as the two of them flee towards the courtyard and the splendid presence of the gold Seryth. Once out of sight of the main doors, slows his pace, all but spinning Thea around to face him. His smile is warm and wide, and his hands come to rest up her upper arms, but no sooner than he adopts this posture than …whatever it was drops off. A bit of confusion ripples across his face, a look that says, 'Ok, now what…' but he simply smiles through it. "Thanks," he says instead, giving those arms a little squeeze. Then, as if the words are somehow foreign to him, he murmurs, "It's good to see you."

Thea is mid-laugh as she's spun around; a laugh that ends abruptly, swiftly replaced by surprise, then a faint wariness as she blinks at the varying expressions that cross his face. She steps back after he says thanks, "It's good to see you too?" It's only been… hours? But she doesn't say that. Instead, she turns to Seryth, who crouches on the stones. As she grips the flight straps, she turns a look over her shoulder has much concern for him in her eyes, "You'll ride behind me. So… you'll know where my hands are at all times that way." She's not waiting for awkward replies, rather braces a booted foot against the queen's side, she pull-walks her way up, throws a leg over and settles, tossing the strap back to him calling, "Just like you climb out there in the forest. I know you can do it."

Tenebrous watches Thea climb up, merely nodding to her when she offers instructions. Climbing is not something he has an issue with. But rather than follow her up at first, he moves around to Seryth's neck, patting it gently. "Good morning," he murmurs. "I didn't want you to feel left out." Then, smiling, he grabs the flight strap and practically runs up it, settling behind Thea somewhat awkwardly. "Where…do I hold on?"

Seryth croons, her neck curls 'round to watch Tenebrous' nimble ascent up with an amused rumble. "Hang on a second." Thea passes the safety straps around his waist, snapping him in, tugs to test, then buckles herself in. When she is sure they are secure, she reaches back for one of his wrists, guiding it forward and around her, "Here. See this bar?" In the thick, wide part of Seryth's shoulder harness there is a metal bar imbedded in the leather. She loops the flight strap around it, then rest both her hands on that bar. "So you can reach around and hang onto it and…" She turns finding his eyes, carefully reading what is there before finishing, "You can keep yours over mine if it helps with… you know…" She waits for his response, before drawing a breath, "Ready?" Seryth, still couched below them, doesn't move a muscle just yet.

Tenebrous snakes one hand around Thea's waist and rests it over the top of hers, but the other one doesn't exactly follow suit. Instead, it wraps around her body, simply gripping a bit of the flight harness itself. "Is…this ok? It's easier than trying to…make it work the other way." Not to mention more comfortable.

Thea simply nods, "I want you to be comfortable. You feel uneasy in any way I want you to grab that other hand, alright?" She's still watching his face with concern, "Seryth is going to stay in mind contact with you if that's alright." She turns then, facing forward. Below them Seryth shifts, the muscles in her hind quarters bunching. There's a ripple of back muscles felt below them as her huge wings lift. "Hang on!" It's said a breath before the queen springs aloft, her wings sweep down, up down… the air in the courtyard churns in a sudden vortex as the trio lift off into the pre-dawn sky. The ascent is slow due to the queen's size, not at all jerky but rather a smooth angle towards the coast where the sky is lit in pale anticipation of Rukbat's arrival, the horizon in a silvered dance of welcome. Above them the stars kiss the night goodbye and begin to fade off to sleep with the moons.


You are mounted upon Seryth's shoulders, feeling the powerful muscles across her back rippling beneath your legs. Under your hands her soft, warm hide shimmers - a pale sunrise curtained in golden mist; rain suspended in time and caught by Rukbat's dawnlight. A faint scent of jasmine reaches you from her oiled hide as wide wings lift, enclosing you in cloudy aureate light and trembling in anticipation of that first mighty downsweep that will carry you aloft.

Tenebrous smiles into the back of Thea's hair, calling, "I'd be grateful for the link…" He shifts a little, drawing just a little closer to Thea's back before Seryth launches into the sky. Almost immediately, the hand that's not holding onto the bar with Thea snakes around her waist, and he all but molds himself to her, face half-buried in her neck. "Ok…Ok, that's new," he stammers, voice very near to her ear. "I'm ok…" <Too many people talking…Fear, doubt, anxiety. Then that first rush of emotion associated with 'Who the Eff turned gravity off?!'…and then nothing, like some great creature holding its breath…>

Seryth's voice reaches out with the music of a brisk rainbeat, « This is home to me; I am free here. See my world.» There's a strong undercurrent of joy in her words, « I will fly you carefully, I have you. And when you are ready, my friend Siebith will show you how to fly-fall.»

Seryth's wings pump the air as she continues her climb, the wingsails creaking with each upbeat and snapping with each downbeat in that prelight of dawn, the still air allowing the sounds to echo off of the stone hold below them as they rise. Thea's hair is a creature alive as it whips behind her. She remains still, but murmurs to him words meant to reassure. Words likely caught by the wind created by their upward progress. She nods at him when he says he's ok, her voice holds a laugh in it, "Take a look out there. It's not really flying if you can't see a thing." Below them the pale stones of the hold gleam in pale reflection of the growing light, the landscape around it recedes into grey shadow, a flat, barren-looking place for now. Only the sky arching overhead has depth, only the sea has life as it shimmers in growing sliver, alight and awake before the land.

Tenebrous slowly moves his head away from Thea's shoulder to look out around him, and his eyes open wide. "It's like a model," he says to himself, not letting up on his grip one bit. At the mention of Fly-Falling, he glances back at Seryth, his mouth opening wordlessly. <Incredulity…and curiosity. Siebith?>

Seryth chuckles in a cascade of water down a rockface, «Siebith's is… » there is an indistinct picture of a dark-eyed, brown-haired man « mine's friend. He went into her prison.» Bubbling water flows, laughing over stones, « You will ride his one day. Siebith would like that. »

Thea turns her head back to grin at Tenebrous when he lifts his head. Her hair wraps around her face forcing her to peer between unruly stands, "Sort of yes." She waits a beat before adding, "Going up higher." Indeed as she speaks, Seryth's wings reach for the sky and she climbs steeply, but still smoothly until the hold is far below. The land beginning to show the contours as hills and mountaintops pick up the growing light. "Hang on." The warning comes just as the queen turns, first bit of Rukbat peeks over the horizon gilding her for a moment as she tilts on one wing in a gentle curve that takes them over the darkened land behind the hold - the tumbled wild mountain faces all suddenly lit in golden hues in stark contrast to the shadows behind them.

Tenebrous smiles a little, not having any idea who Siebith or Thea's friend is. "Maybe someday," he murmurs into his mind. As Seryth turns, he shifts his hands without thinking. The one arm around Thea's waist raises up to cover her other hand, the free arm taking its place around her hips. "It's like a map," he calls into Thea's ear. "God, I wonder what the forest back home looks like. I mean, I know what it looks like in my head, but…" He just shakes his head before leaning it against the back of hers.

Thea can't really turn her head with his against the back of hers like that, but she can call and hope the wind carries her voice back to him, "We can go see if you want?" She hesitates, then is silent, allowing Seryth to speak. Into the young man's mind, the queen breathes the frost of winter; all is still, frozen and black, « You are not afraid. We can *Between* there if it will not upset you?» Her presence is there to strengthen him, her reassurance is a warm current that flows in spit of the chill beyond winter in the image. While he decides, Seryth banks again her new course back towards Rubicon and the southern Sea to the north of it. She's in a long, shallow dive until they skim the craggy mountain peaks that pass below them in majestic salute to their passing. The sky pinkens to the east, throwing the roseate light to tint them with.

Tenebrous watches the sunrise with the two of them for a long while before relaxing even more and lifting his head away from the back of Thea's body. "Thank you," he murmurs into her ear. "The last five minutes have made a lot of things worth it…" <Acceptance and willingness to go further are clearly felt, along with a double-sided envy.>

Seryth suddenly disappears -=* BETWEEN *=-
Darkness and cold like you can't imagine. Nothing to see, feel or hear, except the beating of your heart.
Then, as suddenly as you entered the emptiness…


Xanadu Weyr - Lake Sky

Looking out across the Caspian Lake, this is indeed a prime location. A sheer cliff to the southwest meets the deep water of the lake and following that cliff north a little leads you to the main beach and docks. The air here tends to be a little cooler than inside the sheltered valley but the northeast aspect of the weyrs scattered over the cliff face makes up for it.

Below you, the water of the lake shimmers blue or grey, depending on the weather and one can usually see the fishing fleet of Xanadu out on the lake or traders ships are often visible on their way across.

Thea turns her head slightly to see him, sliding him a cautious look from the corner of her eye. "Welcome," she says simply through a hesitant smile. Below them the mountains flash past, the outline of the hold with the gilded sea behind it rushes towards them. Seryth warbles at the same time Thea cries a warning, "Hang on!" All light, sound, sensation - even that of breathing vanishes. They are in a void of - nothingness. There is no sensation of hanging onto or sitting astride anything. Any cries or screams fall on deaf ears. Throughout the brief emptiness Seryth croons in the young man's mind «I am here. I am here.» Three heartbeats later they are suddenly hanging in the air low over the Caspian Lake, lit to a pale gold in the early morning light with Xanadu's coastline rushing towards them. Seryth shifts, tilting to aim for the shadowy forests beyond.

When the world comes roaring back into reality, it comes with Tenebrous screaming, "Get him off of me!" His upper body flails around weakly for a few moments, his hands clawing at his throat before reality sets in, Seryth's voice whispering into his mind. His breath heaves into his chest, his eyes wild around the edges. Blood runs freely down several claw marks around his neck, and his hands are stained with it.

As they pop out of *Between* Thea raises both hands, clapping them to her ears in unthinking reflex at the screaming. She cries out, "Seryth!" At the same time her hands move, the queen's body below them rumbles, her croon of comfort physically felt. She swerves from her path, turning to skirt the populated area of the forest, her glide instead taking them to the wilder remote parts, the mass of green foliage racing below them. Thea ignores the path of flight, trusting Seryth with their direction, turning in her harness as far towards the back as the straps will allow, reaching for his hands if she can get them. She's speaking as calmly as her breathless shocked self can manage, "Tenebrous. Tenebrous! It's all right. It's all riiiiight." There's blood and those eyes and she just starts shaking, muttering under her breath, "What have I done? Fraille is gonna kill me." She's simply trying to catch his wild eyes, "Talk to me!"

Tenebrous gulps in air, eyes looking around wildly before they finally fix on Thea. "You?!" There's incredulity in those eyes, profound disbelief…shock. In his current state, he pays no attention to her movements right up until she touches his hands. When she does, his eyes jerk down to them. There's blood there, bits of flesh beneath his own nails, and his breathing quickens, growing closer and closer to hyperventilation. His face flushes red with blood.

Thea has no idea what to do for Tenebrous. "Seryth!" It's a cry of desperation with no thought of what she's asking for. Everything goes black once again as the queen takes them smartly *Between* Three heatbeats later they are once again out over the lake, further out this time and gliding just over the water's surface. The gold veers once more arrowing out away from the Weyr dips her muzzle, skimming the water's surface with it. There's a wave of cold water that sprays up over her back and drenches the pair of them. Thea has her back to it. But Tenebrous? He gets it full in the face like a slap. Thea's gripping his hands tightly in an attempt to keep him from raking himself again.

It was mentioned the night before that Tenebrous was most likely stronger than Thea. That becomes painfully obvious when the three of them pass Between again. Reality brings pain. The grip Tenebrous has on Thea's wrists is firm, crushing…not to harm, but simply to restrain. His mouth is opened in a mindless scream when the water hits, and his head rocks backwards, hands flailing away from Thea's wrists with the impact. After the brutal passing of the wave, Tenebrous' head lolls back forward, blood slowly running from his left nostril, and he flops over onto her, nerveless.

Thea's cry of pain is choked off by that wave and the release of her wrists. She catches sight of the blood, his senselessness and barely manages to catch the young man when he flops back onto her in a dazed, unthinking sort of way. Her arms steady him but she's simply too stunned to react with any clear direction. Seryth whistles her distress, flapping heavily towards the Weyr. "The… clearing Seryth. Bespeak the healer's dragons." Her voice shakes as she gives the command. Seryth swerves again, the lake shore approaches, flashes under them and within just a few more wingbeats she is backwinging into the clearing to a hastily-made and rather jarring touchdown, then crouches to allow the healers to help get to the pair. Thea just sits there, hanging onto Tenebrous wordlessly.

Wordlessly, the healers approach, experienced hands gently unharnessing both of them. One of them pulls Tenebrous down, his body flopping over. As they maneuver him onto a portable cot, one of them tilts him onto his side, and his body takes over. A small amount of water is expelled from his lungs and a small moan escapes his lips. Other than that, however, he makes no more sound, and they cart him away to the Infirmary. Several other healers stand ready, the highest ranking of them stepping up. "Weyrwoman? Can we assist you further? Is your dragon hurt?"

Thea simply lets her arms drop as the healers pull Tenebrous away. Her eyes follow their progress as they move him from Seryth's back, to the cot and on into the Infirmary. The question rouses her somewhat and she blinks, absorbing the question. "No." She finally answers to both questions. It is several long minutes later before she moves to dismount, sliding numbly without thought off of the queen's shoulder, a far cry from her usual dismount technique. Fortunately for her, there's a healer there to steady her as her feet hit the ground. The junior says not a word, just turns woodenly to follow wherever they took Tenebrous.

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