Not that kind of Runner

Xanadu Weyr - Observation Level

Dark blue seats form a semi-circle around the sands below, the lowest row separating from the sands themselves by merely a railing. The seats climb upwards, each row a bit higher then the previous, and they are broken up into sections by 3 sets of staircases. Lights are evenly spaced along the outer wall, lighting the seats and the sands easily, though they tend to be dimmed unless a major event is taking place. A large balcony looms overhead, darkening some of the seats, providing a place for observers of the draconic kind to watch without obstructing the view for others.

When one looks over the railing, the oddly hued sand below can be seen easily, the circle-shaped area of the sands spread out to the far walls, the sand itself a unique mixture of red and white grains.

Sitting up in the stands one evening after work and dinner, a skinny blonde girl with hacked-off blonde hair and pale skin watches the eggs and dragons on the sands. Every so often she nibbles a bite off of a hot custard pastry, but seems to be making every effort to savor the taste and make it last as long as possible. For once, she doesn't seem to appear completely unpleasant; just tired.

Kilaueth's eggs haven't been on the sands long, not even a sevenday yet, and already there are more candidates in the barracks; hopefuls for both her children and Seryth's. Some, however, are more hopeful than others. Arrangements have had to be made to shift duties around for Tecoah so that she can once more stand for a clutch at Xanadu Weyr. The petite Runner is taking a moment after chores and before bed to take another peek at the eggs, making her way up into the observation level to look down at the two clutches that currently occupy the sands. She's lost in thought, speculation about the future likely weighing heavily on her mind as she absently scritches the eyeridges of the blue firelizard that's draped bonelessly in her arms. She's so lost in thought that she doesn't realize that there's anyone else in the stands at the moment…

For once, it seems the visitor to the stands doesn't have any interest in disturbing Rylavi's peace. Unfortunately, however, Ryl's going to have to disturb hers. "Hey, I can't see through you, you know." Her voice is petulant and annoyed, but not very threatening. She's a fifteen turn old stick. What damage is she gonna do?

Tecoah blinks a couple of times at the unexpected interuption of the voice addressing her and looks up with a very startled expression on her face, "What?" Blink, blink, "Oh! Sorry." The Runner isn't much more than a stick, herself, having spent her whole life burning off any real fat before it could form. She blushes lightly and moves out of the way, taking a seat not too far from where the younger girl is located, "I didn't realize there was anyone else here right now." She offers a friendly little smile, "I'm Tecoah, Ru-" She cuts herself off, a sheepish expression crossing her face as her hand moves up to the new knot on her shoulder, "Well… Candidate now, I guess…" She looks out at the sands and gently settles the firelizard down beside her, once more contemplating the future.

"Yeah, that's the way I usually like to keep it." Rylavi's voice is low and sharp - not exactly the most friendly of tones. "Rylavi. Apprentice with the beastcrafters." It's a short introduction, but it'll do. For a little while, she lets the other girl sit in silence, but then her curiosity - as it always does - ends up getting the best of her. "You said you're a Candidate now. How come you weren't one before?"

"Well met, Rylavi." The Runner turned candidate's voice turns a little cool at the not quite friendly reception her attempt at politeness is received with. The silence suites Tecoah just fine while it lasts, but, like all good things, it must come to an end and does with the question. The thin girl is shot a sharp look and the petite young woman remains silent for another minute before she responds, "Because I was out on the traces and only came in for a rest the day Kilaueth clutched. I was asked if I'd like to stand then." She shrugs, "I figure it's a good experience, and I enjoyed it the last time I was asked, so…" She shrugs again, as though that's all the explination that need to be given.

"What d'you mean the 'traces'?" Rylavi's natural curiosity is slowly overcoming her learned distrust - and dislike - of most people. "And how come's you got asked the first time?" She takes another bite of her pastry and rubs her wrist against an itch on her nose. "You gotta pass a test or something?" They really taught her next to nothing about the dragons and their riders at home. She didn't need to know.

"Well, I'm a Runner. I deliver messages people that want to have something hand delivered to someone, but can't afford to have it delivered by a dragonrider." Tecoah shrugs, "My mother was a Runner and her parents were both Runners." She makes no mention of her father, though. She shrugs in responce to the question about why she was asked to stand and shakes her head, "No, I didn't have to pass any test… I just was asked. The riders both said something about their dragons liking me, or something, and wanting me to have the cance at a dragon of my own." There's another shrug, just a faint shift of her shoulders, "I don't know exactly how it works, but I know that all I did was talk to their riders for a little while, and they asked after a little while."

"Well yeah, but when you say traces, d'you mean they hook you up to carts like we do with the draft runners?" The idea seems to paint an amusing visual in Rylavi's head, because she smiles just a little. "That doesn't seem like it'd be a very fun job." A matter-of-fact point. "What color dragons did they have?"

Tecoah sighs and shakes her head in amusement, "No. The traces are the trails that are reserved just for Runners. And we're none of us like draft runners or riding runners or anything like that. I don't really care that much for riding runners. I'd rather run on my own two feet." A small, fond smile crosses her face, "I love it. There's nothing like the peace and quiet of the traces between holds. It's just you and the ground benieth your feet. Gives a person pleanty of time to think." Beat, "Or to not think at all if that's more your thing." Then comes the question about the dragons and the woman shrugs once again, "I don't rightly remember. I never saw the dragon this time and last time I stood was over to turns ago."

"Fair enough, I suppose," Rylavi admits about the dragons, but about the runners, she seems to bristle. Bright eyes the eerie hue of a feline's narrow suspiciously. "My family's made their living off runners for generations. What's wrong with 'em?" Sounding more like a defensive child than anything - and she knows it - she takes another bite of her pastry and munches on that thoughtfully for a while.

There's an indifferent shrug at the demand to know what's wrong with runners, "Nothing's wrong with them, I suppose. I'd just rather use my own two feet." Tecoah's gaze focuses on the eggs and their watching parents for a while, "My mother's family has made their living off of running for generations, though. As far back as anyone can remember, we've been runners." Beat, "Until Mum fell in love with my Da. He's a healer. He wanted me to be one as well, but I much prefer running to being cooped up indoors all day."

A small boy appears at the entrance, looking as if he's searching for something. Startled, Rylavi leaps to her feet and scrambles down to meet him without a word to Tecoah. The two of them speak in low voices for a moment and then tear off towards the stables at a full run.

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