Who Did What? (Kilaueth Rises)

Xanadu Weyr - Caverns

A massive cavern in it's own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as are the walls where numerous tapestries hang to provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckled through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt, leveled carefully but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.
The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area, however, is the one near the Kitchens where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. Its plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr and equally plain that on such occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are appropriated from all the other areas.
A big fireplace is set into the wall near the Kitchens as well, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.

To say that Niva is in a mood today is most certainly the understatement of the turn, if not the decade, the Senior Weyrwoman currently stalking around the living caverns, a trail of minor destruction left in her path. From the looks of it, it seems that at least one mug has fallen victim, flung by the middle-aged woman at a daring young bronzerider from another Weyr, the young man now sporting a frightened look and a growing bruise on his forehead. Niva, has turned, and is now pacing instead, eyes darting to each person in the caverns in turn, eying them, daring them to approach.

Kilaueth, certainly, is as fiery a mood as her human counterpart, the large golden queen having settled herself in the Feeding Grounds with a deep rumble, encouraging the worthy bronzes of the Weyr to present themselves on this autumn evening. Eyes whirling with impatience and a deeper, more uncontrollable desire, ash-dappled wings spread, and then with another trumpet to signal the start, she's launching herself quickly at a herdbeast down the ways, downing it and dropping her muzzle to drain it of its blood, almost graceful after turns of playing this very part.

Jraireth has left his rider rather abruptly, more so that he's still got his flight harness on, as the young bronze leaps skywards, his broad pinions fluttering over unfamiliar territory before he drops, wings sweeping back to land with rather brusque aplomb atop a herdbeast. The creature bucks and squalls, but a downward stab of jaw and teeth put an end to the sound, the greedy slurp of noise that follows is Jraireth, sucking viciously at the flow of blood from a torn-out throat.

And all he wanted was a nice glass of juice. Now is about the time N'shen is wishing he were back on messenger duty, rather than tied to the Weyr by his duties to the Weyrlingmaster. Scuttling away from Niva, the boy ducks into a corner, making him as small as his lanky body allows while he curses fervently under his breath. "Don't you dare…" But - it's too late, and his contol over his bronze too imperfect to keep Taozyuth from joining the rest of the suitors in the feeding grounds. What a perfectly lovely day - not.

This was not the reason T'vas is here. He's left in the clearing to stare after the departing figure of the bronze dragon, jaw a-gape. And then he's dashing into the caverns, being sure to keep a wide berth from the pacing Weyrwoman. "Shards," he's muttering, "not what was supposed to happen." He glances back towards the entrance out into the clearing, hands wiping nervously at his pants' leg.

Isterreth arrives quietly, drawn as many are by the tension in the air and creeping closer and closer to the feeding pens to have a look at the cause. He creps slowly into the pens, doing his best to keep out of Kilaueth's direct line of sight, but always keeping one eye on the perpetrator of this particular disturbance. As she pounces he crouches, a low rumble beginning in his throat and temporarily rising in volume as he carefully takes down a beast and begins to fuel himself for the inevitable chase that will soon follow.

G'ene arrives in a swirl of grumpiness and alcohol. The way he marches into the caverns more suggests ownership than visiting, though his knot confirms the latter, and it takes little time for him to fish around inside his coat and produce a flask of something from which he takes a swig before glancing around. "Right then." The flask is tucked back inside his jacket, "Who's in charge around here."

Taozyuth is a big, bulky statue by the edge of the grounds, not a muscle twitching as he watches Kilaueth launch herself at the beasts. He waits a bit longer - allowing the other bronzes to spend themselves to catch their terrified meals, then uncoils and leaps over the paltry fence between him and the herd, reaching out with exquisite timing to swat at a fleeing wherry, bringing it down beneath one great paw. Locking his jaws around the futilely wriggling body, he begins to drain it, whirling eyes fixed on the gold's glowing form. Patient, is he.

A snarl, a hiss, a growl, and Kilaueth stares at the gathering males from over her kill, the tip of her tail lashing behind her before she's spreading her wings, another little hop taking her to a second beast, and then a third, and a forth, each one finished off with quiet precision. Only then, the drained carcasses tossed to the side, does the gold lift her head to regard the gathered group, a little hiss, and a snarl as she regards each bronze in turn, looking it seems for one more, before she's dismissing them all and launching herself skywards, dark golden wings filling as they carry her upwards, her shadow passing over the grounds before she's off, and daring them to join her.

The daring bronzerider seems to have given up his attempt, as it becomes clearly evident exactly what is causing Niva's foul mood, his own lifemate having settled in the feeding grounds to blood as well. Another mug is held, carefully balanced in Niva's hand as she turns to regard each of the riders in turn, the teens passed over with merely a glance, though her attention hovers on G'ene, eyes narrowing at his demeanor. Mug clunked heavily on the closest table as she takes note of who is strangely absent, before straightening up. "-Me-." She snaps at G'ene hurriedly.

Whoosh! That's the sound the young bronze's wings make as Jraireth flares them outwards, lofting slightly upwards to take out another panicked bovine, crushing this one beneath his talons before he laps eagerly at the blood, eyes whirling a maddened reddish-purple hue. A third is taken just as easily, although he almost stints himself in the process of pausing to decide upon a fourth. Thus, caught a little flat-footed, he's quite unprepared for the gold's precipitous skyward lunge. A snarled hiss breaths out of him — the roar that follows seeming to shatter the very air before he flings himself upwards, great wings beating in a valiant effort to gain altitude.

Isterrethcrouches low again as Kilaueth snarls, keeping a safe distance and assessing the situation carefully. As her mass slaughter continues he too fells another beast, draining it quickly, but making sure that he never loses sight of the target. Her eventual launch causes another resurgence in that rumble, a sudden roar accompanying his own flight as he attempts to blend into her shadow.

G'ene eyes Niva and seems almost disappointed in what he sees. "Cobblers." Disappointment apparently comes with a little disbelief, and a pressing need for alcohol. His next bellowed comment seems to be directed at the weyr at large, or perhaps he expects Niva to serve him. "What do I have to do to get a shaffing drink around here!"

Taozyuth ignores the drained wherry carcass, dispatching a young female herdbeast with equally sparing movements, hunching over it, wings rustling against his back as he stares after Kilaueth, noting each kill made, each movement engaged in. Once she finally launches herself into the air, he springs after, hind-legs snapping backwards as his wings open with an audible crack, long tail streaming behind as he labors to get his bulk into the air. Though the strain of lifting roly-poly form is great, once he's actually aloft, he has no trouble maintaining himself by dint of those wide, broad wings. With a soft chuff, he angles after the gold, seeking the enlightenment offered in her entwining embrace.

T'vas fidgets impatiently, dropping onto a nearby chair as if his legs — jiggling furiously in a nervous fashion — can hardly bear to hold up his weight. He slumps forwards, twining his hands through his hair, as a long sigh runs through him. "Oh shells, Quin," he mutters under his breath, looking up again in a worrisome glance at the caverns entrance again, "we weren't planning this." Feet shuffle across the floor, Tae leaning back in his chair to let out a long-held explosive breath. The Weyrwoman has passed him over … good, he's inclined to stay out of her sight as much as he can.

Corners are good things - and so are shadows for concealing little dusky boys who are virtually no better than weyrlings, for all the maturity of his bronze. N'shen snorts slightly - softly - at the interplay between Weyrwoman and bronzerider, before his attention is stolen away by Taozyuth's leap after Kilaueth. Surrending himself to his lifemate's serenity, he tucks his hands in his pockets and leans back into the embrace of the wall, green eyes flashing closed as he tunes out the other riders, focusing on not distracting his dragon.

Its easy for her attention to pass over T'vas and N'shen when G'ene is insisting on making such a scene as he is. Niva's lips purse then, the mug picked up in her hand again, rebalancing it carefully. Eyes briefly take note of the other gathered riders, judging T'vas and N'shen in turn in a different manner than she might have at any other point, G'ene's words snapping her gaze back to him. "Have a shardin' drink." She snaps, the mug unleashed in his general direction - though her aim is rather uncertain.

Soaring first over the trees of the Weyr, Kilaueth's oversize bulk remains low, until she's suddenly peeling off, climbing steeply into the fading sky, turning to the south, fleeing the pursuing males out and over Lake Caspian, headed for the Sea of Azov. Wing strokes are long, each one pushing her quickly onwards, energy given only to the flight, making no dips, no twists or turns, just flying long and straight, a croon urging the males onward even as she makes no move to look back.

Jraireth is perhaps grateful for the lack of aerobatics and fancy flying — given the late break he'd had, all his energy was just going to be focused on just catching up — and if Kiluaeth had added some stunt flying into the mix, it'd be all off for him. His wings, multi-hued bronze catch the air, the upsweep and downsweep of each beat a litany of just keeping the flight going, just keep moving forward. Across the water, his shadow falling across the ruffled waves and onwards, drawn along by her titillating croon.

G'ene lifts a hand to swat at the mug, this reaction not apparently to his liking. "Oh terrific." His hand slams down on a table "I'm done with this game. Let's play another. Let's play, eh, hopscotch or pin the tail on a donkey. You pick." The fact that this is drawing attention doesn't seem to bother him, in fact he more or less ignores everyone else in the room. "Or, tell you what, how about you just go back to pretending we're not here and let the grown ups talk."

A sudden burst of speed, a quick turn aided by his diminutive size, and Isterreth dodges round another bronze that had managed to get in the way. The long straight run is good for him, and he holds back a little of his speed, a little of his strength, instead concentrating on creeping ever so slowly closer, studying her tactics carefully and trying to predict her next move.

Taozyuth makes friends with air currents. No, really, he croons them and everything as he slips his bulk into the airstreams over the water, taking some of the strain of keeping his pudgy form aloft from those great, wide-spread wings. Peacefully, he sails onward in Kilaueth's wake, occasionally beating his wings to shift from slipstream to thermal to drift as he remains firmly in the midst of the various chasers, neither straining towards the front nor loitering in the rear. He could be on a Sunday flight, for all the attention he gives to actually snaring the queen - but for those whirling violet eyes, locked unerringly on golden tail, iron to her lodestone.

"Sharding — !" T'vas fairly jumps in his seat, flinching away from the furor directed at the older bronzerider, ducking for safety under the shelter of the table, just in case that thrown mug might fall awry and clunk into him instead. Sudden realization seems to hit him then, the bronzerider peeking out from under the table at wrathful weyrwoman. "Oh no. Oh no no no." His last goldflight here had resulted in the win for the young bronze. "I'm going to be stuck here with …" There's a sound, Te ducking back under the table. "ARGH!" He's out of sight, he can yell and make noise all he wants.

With the waves rising and falling beneath, Kilaueth finally seems to up the ante, dipping and banking to the left as she turns, slipping down towards the water that seems to grow blacker with each moment as Rukbat dips closer to the horizon. Only then does she dare risk a glance at the chasers, the group of them receiving a hiss of disdain before she's angling away from the water, climbing into the sky once more, hoping to put the distance between them with her fading strength.

Silence envelops N'shen - it's not that he can't hear the commotion, it's that he doesn't let it touch him, allowing himself to drift along with Taozyuth through the sky, fingers beating an idle tattoo within his pockets. He doesn't care what's going on around him - or maybe he's just that innured to Niva's temper, having, after all, lived here all his life.

Oh ho! So that's the nature of it then? Jraireth doesn't so much as bank left as he does blunder in that direction, the turn taken rather wide before he thunders across the darkening waters, streaking in a multi-hued flurry of brazen wings. Upwards he goes, striving for the heights and the sunset-streaked skies. She's tiring, he can sense it. Will she be caught, this immense golden flame that seems to stir molten desire in him. He reaches for her, strives for her — throwing his all into the desperate gamble of claiming the queen for his own.

The loud reaction from T'vas, hidden beneath the table or not, is enough to draw Niva's attention to the young bronzerider's former location, snapping a little. "Oh.. shut it." She snaps, before G'ene's reaction is causing a look of pure shock to appear on Niva's face, jaw dropping as she stands there, hurriedly closing the distance even as her lifemate attempts to widen it, hand hauling back as she aim's a slap at the bronzerider's face. Or his booze. Whichever.

T'vas has learned nothing of subtlety. How was he to know that such a reaction would garner him the very thing he didn't want — attention. "I …" His head appears briefly over the edge of the table. But then, he does exactly what the goldrider wants. He shuts it, disappear back under the furniture, daring to peek out and see what might end up happening.

Isterreth had not been able to predict the left turn, and all in one movement he tries to stop, turn, and speed off again resulting in another lour roar being torn from his throat and a sideways slide around the corner. Her sudden rising again helps him catch up to his original place in the pack, and he angles sharply upwards in an attempt to cut off any more attempts at fleeing. Another bronze gets a little too close and he has to dodge slightly, wings grazing but his determination not faltering.

G'ene just blinks as Niva slaps him. "Women! You can't say two words to 'em." As one hand lifts to rub his jaw the other fumbles about inside his coat again, searching out the alcohol that has otherwise failed to materialise. A swig is taken before he asks Niva, "We done?" He doesn't wait for an answer, just turns away from her to finally survey the rest of the room.

Taozyuth does not, unlike Kilauth, allow himself to fall - instead, he shifts his course, angling to the left as the gold banks, remaining on an otherwise even keel. What goes down must often come back up - so, cagily, he drifts above and behind, wings outspread to catch every current that passes beneath them, twitching ever so slightly to keep himself from sliding too far in any one direction. Ever patient, he gives no voice to frustration, nor challenge - not even when one of the other bronzes comes a bit too close, forcing him to adjust himself and tack briefly against the wind. His focus is on the golden glow of enlightenment taunting him from ahead - the prize for this flight of glory is all that matters to him.

Climbing high, aiming for the stars that are beginning to appear in the darkening sky, Kilaueth knows what it is she needs to do, what can be done to ensure the best clutch, and the best for the Weyr. A falter of her wings, and she slips her head under her wing just enough to judge, eyeing each of the males, dipping and slipping sideways away from them, determined to flee even as each stroke of her wings becomes more difficult, looking awkward as she tries to keep them nervously in sight.

Jraireth's ambitions aim high — for he too seeks a star. Nay, not those cold twinkling lights that are pinholes in the curtain of the sky, but a golden glow, brilliant hued within his sight. Height is needed, for the safety of the joining and in ensuring the strength of the clutch. He sweeps upwards, neck outstretched, wings laborious mightily as his breath begins to wheeze and roar within his lungs. Long, high and mighty has he flown, determined to swoop in, snatch Kiluaeth from the sky, and cradled her within the shelter of twined neck, tail and overlapped wings. Can he make it? Will he be in time to grab her neatly from the air.

Isterreth's throaty rumble finally reaches full volume and stays there as he uses his energy reserves to finally launch himself at Kilaueth. Perhaps intentionally he seems to aim for the air beyond her and it's not until he's almost level with her that he reaches out, seeking to snatch her out of the way from the side where he may not have been spotted just yet. Protective custody… well almost.

Taozyuth slices into a thermal, keen eyes catching and making note of her falter, even as his own wingstrokes begin to flag. Edging upwards, he continues to maintain a course above and behind, waiting patiently for - there. A moment of distraction, as she's gaguing her suitors, and the roly-poly bronze puts his natural bulk to good use, using his weight to grant him speed as he pulls in his wings just enough to trade superiority of position for a shallow dive-run. Neck and tail out-stretched, he angles to hit her from above, intent only on doing his best to entangle the queen until she has no choice but to be the yang to his yin.

Kilaueth's attention is held as the young Jraireth suddenly goes launching upwards, and then moving to swoop, dropping a shoulder to stay out of his path, dipping out of the way of Taozyuth's shallow dive, trumpting her distaste to the young bronzes, even as she swivles, as if looking once more for the familiar form of Nyunath, or even perhaps Inimeth. However, with her attention seeking what is not to be found, she's finding herself found by an entirely unknown force, the lava-tipped gold's progress suddenly halted, as she finds herself caught by the foreign bronze - suddenly caught in state of confusion.

Isterreth rolls, dragging Kilaueth with him as he twines around her, taking control of the operation and slowing their descent. For whatever reason it's only now he reaches out to her mentally, a soothing mindtouch trying to calm her and promising that she will be safe with him. He will protect her.

Taozyuth actually heaves a sigh as he shoots past Kilaueth, then, tugs his wings in the rest of the way, allowing himself to drop in a controlled dive towards the water. No sense in bothering with any more aerobatics - he'll swim back to Xanadu. Maybe by then, his rider'll be willing to talk to him again.

Swoosh! Up Jraireth goes, spiraling past the older queen, his upwards drive turned into a squawking hovered halt before the young bronze realizes he's mizzed the target. And alas, too late to plunge back into the fray for she's already entwined. A plaintive huff breaks from him, the bronze folding his wings, and diving towards the water below. Sploosh, into the depths, the coolness of the night-touched waters easing ardor and need. It's gonna be a long time before he gets back to Xanadu, that's for sure.

N'shen pushes away from the wall, disgust on his face - though whether he's disgusted at losing, or disgusted at the attempt is unclear. Whatever - he's out of here. Not home - no, for that may not be the safest place right now - but somewhere he can deal with the usual repricussions of such things.

Clatter. The table T'vas is hiding under tips forward suddenly, the young bronzerider shooting out from under it, and running pell-mell for the entrance of the caverns, hollering "Quin!" at the top of his lungs. He looks desperate, and in need of some reprieve.

"What the.." Niva starts as G'ene is turning away, looking about ready to snatch that flask of alcohol right out of his hand. Unfortunately for the Senior, but likely thankfully for G'ene, the flight is quickly progressing to its climax, the link with the gold quickly taking over, it seems that Niva's emotions are trapped behind those of her lifemate. As Kilaueth has been caught unawares by the man's bronze, and Niva is caught just as unawares, but at least she's not swinging.

G'ene pauses, flask mid-way to his mouth, turning to look at Niva again but this time with different eyes, this time clouded with the thoughts of his lifemate. As Isterreth snatches Kilaueth, so too does G'ene make a grab for Niva, crushing her to him for a rather strong, and slightly alcohol-tasting kiss. At least there is some sense left somewhere, possibly in the man who dares to touch G'ene on the shoulder to remind him of where they are. He doesn't let go of Niva, but finds enough of himself to look for a door and drag her in that direction. Someone accidentally crosses their path resulting in a growl of, "Oi. Hairy Mary. Shift, you're in m'way." But there is clearly only one thing on his mind. Office, cupboard, whatever privacy can be found, he seeks it.

Xanadu Weyr - Store Room
This large storeroom is lit with a series of electric lights, illuminating the smooth cut walls. Rows of shelving contain all sorts of items, while large trunks contain all sorts of clothing, and a mix-matched variety of furniture is stacked up in one corner.

Despite her earlier temper tantrum, it seems that Niva's mood has abruptly shifted with the influence of Kilaueth's actions. Certainly, she's not fighting as they make their way towards the closest door - the Store room - or even questioning the hurried departure of a young couple who had been lurking there in the shadows.

G'ene barely makes it into the store room before his mind wanders onto other more pleasant tasks. With age comes experience, and despite the alcohol that he had been drinking, and however much had been consumed before he even made it to the cavners, his bumping into the storage racks comes from distraction and not intoxication. In one corner of the stores is an old couch, tipped on its end, and it's there that the bumbling around eventually leads them, clothes left wherever they fall.

After almost thirty turns of Kilaueth rising, the concerns Niva has had of flights have long since disappeared, her gold serving as the ultimate beer goggles on those occasions that she takes to the skies. As the end up on the couch, there's no note of distraction in her movement, no hint of repulsion, though truly, no hint of recognizing the bronzerider who she is quite thoroughly entwined with upon that Store room sofa.

G'ene's mind is likewise fuzzy, perhaps a good thing for them both in the long run. Things reach their inevitable conclusion with a loud grunt, no cries of joy or names being called in passion just a grunt followed by a collapse. He makes no attempt to cuddle, to whisper sweet nothings as Isterreth does, in fact he seems more inclined to cimply roll over and fall asleep.

With things coming to a rather abrupt completion, things are slowly beginning to sort themselves out in the Weyrwoman's mind - as she at least doesn't have the benefit of alcohol for a second bit of fuzziness. Shifting to move away, she blinks a few times, before her eyes are widening, and its a string of unlady like expletives that are slipping forth as she hurriedly moves, falling off the sofa and onto the floor next to it.

G'ene is not entirely asleep, no matter how much he might wish to be. As Niva thumps onto the floor he pats his chest, looking for his flask to offer it over but finding it naturally missing. Lifting up on one elbow he peers down at her for a moment, brain still slightly fuzzy from the flight, before flopping back ontot he couch. "You'll freeze your arse off down there."

Niva's not long on the ground, already moving by the time he's speaking, hurriedly moving to gather up her scattered pieces of clothing, angry, jolting movements made as she's getting dressed, glaring over her shoulder at him. "And you can freeze yours off right there. Alone. Weyrleader." She snaps, rearranging her shirt as fingers fumble with the buttons. Must. Leave. And deal with it later.

G'ene is content to watch her dress, at first at least. But as she addresses him as Weyrleader he stares for a moment. "You're never happy unless you're making my life complicated, are ya." This time he sits up, hands bracing agaist knees as he gets to his feet. "Sit." His trousers at least are not too far away from the couch, socks still in place, so he is fairly quickly decently covered, though his gut does hang over slightly.

"You made your own life difficult." Niva snaps back at him, and then as he's gathering his own clothes, she's edging further and further towards the door, blatantly ignoring his simple statement. "Don't hurt yourself, Weyrleader. You have a Weyr to run." Hand on the door, and she's giving him one final look back. "I'm sure Hisolda can find somewhere for you to stay."

"I said Sit." G'ene's hand points to the couch, this time the word is an order and not a comment. Shirt is found and tugged on, carefully forced into his trousers to hold it in place while he looks for his shoes.

"No." Niva says simply again, this time her hand showing no more hesitation on the door knob, opening and quickly disappearing beyond, slamming it behind her with great purpose. She'll deal with -that- disaster later, but from the direction of her path, other things - including a long bath *shudder* - come first.

"Bloody women!" G'ene calls after Niva, the end of the sentence cut off by her slam of the door. "This is why weyrs and women don't mix. Too much bloody trouble." he keeps muttering as he dresses, then pauses, "And what the bloody shell is a Hisolda?!" Niva's long gone, not going to hear, but at least it makes him feel slightly better as he stalks out the door to go survey his new domain.

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