Of Eggs and Goldriders

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.

An unnatural twilight has cast a pall upon Xanadu the whole day long in the form of a grey gloom as rain patters down, the caverns have remained crowded with refugees and tempers beginning to flare with the prolonged strain of slowly rising waters in the meadow and coastal road. The observation level also has its influx, but the folks here are only allowed in at bedtime and that time has come. At this moment families with small children are making their way into the uppermost levels, quietly mindful of the brooding gold below on the sands while the lighting is turned down to just dim so people can see to get there. All are attempting to keep voices to whispers while spreading bedrolls, blankets, pillows and settling small children then slip into their own beds with weary patience for the displacement. The Weyrwoman is there, helping where she can, offering a word of encouragement there, soothing words and maybe a quick bedtime story or two for wriggly tots who aren't inclined to sleep. It isn't all that long before most are settled for the night and as a sort of uneasy quiet falls over the area. Thea makes her way to the light panel and turns it down further to near-darkness, then makes her way down the steps to peer over the lowest railing at the recumbent queen on the sands, assessing her mood.

Ur'con has been a quiet presence in the galleries the entire time…indeed, he's sitting on a small cot that's been thoughtfully brought in, set up right on the rail; when Thea passes by, he greets quietly, "Headed off to bed yourself, I hope, Weyrwoman?" Briana is not present, for the moment…though Darlth's made a wall of his huge, putty-pale bulk, so that he is a barrier between Sahazyth and her clutch and the many many prying eyes.

The Weyrwoman has acknowledged the bronzerider with a nod and weary sort of smile as she passed to the rail, but perhaps assuming he's heading for bed himself, says nothing at first. Her attempt to see Sahazyth foiled by the bronze's form, and the voice beside her sidetracks the effort further. Turning her head to send a wry grin Ur'con's way, Thea shakes it ruefully. "Hello Ur'con. Not to bed just yet. Too much to do." Breathing a long breath out, "How are you doing with all this-" a hand indicates the slumbereing forms up in the shadowed tiers. "That guest cottage…?" That had been offered to him when he won the flight left as the unfinished part.

Ur'con shrugs a bit, "They make Darlth nervous." He tosses a glance back at all the quiet forms. "And that only makes Sahazyth a bit more anxious." He's good natured about it! "It's a kind offer, but truly, this isn't any worse than my first weyr after I graduated. Or the Weyrling barracks, minus a bunch of gassy baby dragons." There's that easy smile again. "The other seven are doing just fine…I can have him move a bit if you want a look."

Hastily, "Nono. Don't disturb him, please. Though, if he's awake, please ask him if she's relaxed at the moment or no. I could have Seryth bespeak her, but I don't want her awakened if she's sleeping." Gassy baby dragons draws a sudden spurt of laughter from Thea, quickly muted with a swift glance back up to those refugees. With eyes still dancing, she sinks into one of the plush seats beside Ur'con's cot. "That's quite… a picture you draw there, Bronzerider." Her smirk fades into a somber expression though, on the thought of that underdeveloped egg in the Annex and her eyes drift out over the sands where the two dragons lie, looking not really at them but into the turns gone past. "I hope that isn't stressing her further like it did Seryth, to have her egg taken."

Ur'con cocks his head a bit, "Seryth's her dam, yes?" He admits, after the perhaps pointless question, "Sahazyth's taking it better than Briana, I think. Poor lass thinks everything that goes the slightest bit awry must somehow be her responsibility…we had a talk with the Dragonhealer last night, and she even showed me the images of the hatchling in the egg…she says that it's not abnormal for a queen to lay as many as twelve poorly eggs in a lifetime of laying. One in a young queen is really nothing to worry about." He seems to have taken the 'healer at her word…if Briana did or not is anyone's guess for now.

Out on the Sands, though, Darlth turns his big, blunt-wedge head, and then amiably, even willingly, shifts his position a bit…still keeping his bulk MOSTLY in the way…but now there's a line of sight from Ur'con (and thus Thea) directly towards the small clutch. They're neatly and precicely mounded in the sands, their softy colored shells peeking up just as they should.

Thea's smooth nod in the affirmative is halted with a slight jerk as the woman hears about her junior's anxiety, her gaze returns to the man beside her, eyes keen as he speaks. "How in Faranth's name would a slow-to-develop egg be her fault?" The question is rhetorical, voiced in fond exasperation and capped with a headshake. Tilting her head to focus on the rest of Ur'con's comments, she hmms, "And it isn't unusual for the first clutch to have a dud in it. Completely normal. Did she… seem at all reassured?" Movement down on the sands caught from the corner of her eye, she peers down, seemingly satisfied with her glimpse of the queen, but amused none-the-less that the bronze moved despite her concern. "Go to sleep, you," she mock-mother-hens gruffly at the great beast.

Darlth gives a decidedly intelligible response, though it's wordless, just a silken, cool-clay response of mindvoice against mind. He intendes to! A bit of shuffling, and he settles down on the hot sands as if they were a comfortable spa treatment! His rider chuckles, "He likes you, I think. Hard to say…mostly he likes eating and digging and sleeping." His dragon is a creature of simple pleasures. "At anyrate…I'm not sure, to be honest. She's so terribly young." And that's his opinion on the matter. "I can say with certainty that…mmm." He looks for a diplomatic way to put it…as he's obviously concerned about Briana in a paternal sort of way. "That she's incredibly concerned that she does everything /right/. The first time. I don't think she gives herself a lot of room for the inevitable mistakes any of us make." He snorts a bit, "For Faranth's sake, she was afraid she didn't do her flight correctly." Or the ah…aftermath thereof. "And then she was worried that she'd let Sahazyth blood too much, that the flight wasn't long enough, that she'd done something abnormal by clutching in silence, that the flight wasn't right because she's only got eight eggs, and now this." But it's more a gentle laundry list, a ticking off of symptoms. "I cannot imagine how anyone could be so insecure about doing things right with that beast out there backing her up!"

Out of respect for the sleeping folk back there, Thea's laugh is near silent at that revelation, and she gives the settling bronze a saucy wink, blowing him a kiss before dropping her hand to join the other, twining absent fingers in her lap. Her eyes lower to them as she listens to Ur'con speak, lips pursing now and then, what she hears about her junior seems to be no real surprise to her. Silent for a few moments, she seems to be weighing her words carefully before replying, "She does need to learn to rely on Sahazyth's strength more, perhaps with time and maturity she will." She pauses, then adds thoughtfully, "She came to Xanadu with some… issues and has had a rough time of it from some of the weyrfolk and her own weyrlingmates since she Impressed, which has only compounded her need to be… blameless." Her green-eyed gaze lifts to his, "Has she told you anything of her past?"

Ur'con nods to that, though he keeps his voice low, "Yes, of course. I know she's of renegade birthing and early raising…and I also know she's got relatives on dragons, and that she's spent as much time in weyrs as out of them. I asked her point blank…where were her loyalties, and she didn't surprise me a bit when she said a Weyr. So I don't give a wher's ass about where she came from…and her fellow weyrlings should've been ashamed of themselves. Even renegades are Pernese, and have the potential to Impress. That's hogwash." Ooh. He's quiet, but defensive of the young goldrider!

With a quiet intensity, Thea leans forward ever so slightly, "You may not care, I may not, but Briana can't seem to move past it. She's understandably taken their rejection quite hard and has the need to continually prove herself to everyone." Her snort of annoyance is for the very weyrlings who caused the goldrider's pain. Despite her attempt to keep it out, faint scorn ripples through her tone, "Indeed they should be ashamed! Well, they've made their choice; they no longer reside at this Weyr. Claimed the weather was too much, but…" Her voice trails off, but it's obvious she's skeptical as to the reasons the youngest additions to Xanadu have transferred. Settling back against the backrest behind her, she closes her eyes and lets out a long, weary breath, obviously disappointed in the response of those riders as well, "Kate. They never forget Kate taking her gold and disappearing into the wilderness to rejoin the renegades."

Ur'con frowns a bit, and then ahhhhs softly, as if he hadn't really…put that together before. "I suppose that would do it. Wasn't there another Xanadian queen that did that, before Kate, too?" But there's perhaps a hint of knowledge there. "Bad luck, all around." He shakes his head, "Well, the lass need only call. I can't abide narrow minded buffoons. Drives me up the wall and along the ceiling like a crawler."

Thea lifts an eyelid to peer at Ur'con with a bit of puzzlement. "Who, Siana? Not… like Kate. I mean, she didn't go to the renegades that I know of. Though we've had many weyrwomen transfer out over the turns." One hand lifts to rub at her eyes then execute a vague handwave dismissing errant goldriders before she drops it, opens them fully and sits up. "I should let you get some sleep. And I have to check in with the headwoman." She begins to rise, lips form a grateful smile as she notes, "Thanks to your report, I can forego stopping in at the Annex until tomorrow morning."

He smiles a bit, bemused. "No, not Siana…but it's all water under bridges now anyway." He sits back a bit, "Talk to Circelyn…she's the one assigned to tending the egg. I suspect she knows the best."

With a gentle snort, Thea murmurs, "Casiella's been around. Here and there, wandering Weyr to weyr, never settling down. Still. Nothing like the totally and mysteriously disappearing Kate. Kefai wreaked havoc in these parts. Some people fret that he'll return with a horde of illicit rogue-riders born of Luciath, swoop down upon us-" her fingers form 'monster' claws that grab at air as she finishes, "-and carry people off captive or something." Yes, she's smirking, making light of it, but underneath it is a faint disquiet. The fear, the unease of Xanadu's people weighs heavy on her obviously; even if she tries not to let it show, it does. "I will talk to Circelyn in the morning. Goodnight Ur'con. And thank you for being so good to Briana." Stifling a yawn, giving the older man a warm smile, she inclines her head and takes her leave.

Ur'con chuckles a bit, "Good night to you, dear. Don't work too hard…it's not worth it in the end. Get some rest. It'll all be there when you wake."

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