Making New Friends (Mathis is Searched!)

Fort Weyr - Lake Shore
This lake shares many features common to mountain lakes — a brilliant blue jewel nestled amongst the rocks. The waters are crystal clear, and the north shore slopes gently before abruptly falling away into the depths. This lake does have one significant differentiating feature, however. The south shore of the lake is a tumbled mass of rubble, rock and earth of an ancient rockslide smoothed only by the elements in the intervening years. This rubble, as well as the rather sheer east and west faces, makes for the north shore to be the only one easily accessible.
Springs arrival is noted by the disappearing lake ice. As it melts it breaks up into smaller icy bergs. These bob randomly throughout the choppy waters, slowly disappearing as the temperatures rise. They also frequently provide sport and entertainment for the bathing dragons. The emerging shoreline is inviting, though the water remains chilly for their human counterparts. As spring draws nearer to summer, the waters begin to feel quite invigorating with Rukbat's growing shine.

Spring in Fort Weyr means that the beauty once obfuscated by a thick layer of brilliantly white snow is once more revealed. Residents have shed their copious layers of clothing in favor of a lighter affair, making traversing the outdoors a much less harrowing adventure. Currently the avian's were singing cheerfully in hopes of attracting a mate, tiny green buds dot the trees in colorful adornment, and fish lazily drift beneath the thawed water of the lake. Rukbat does its best to lend it's light through patchy cloudy skies in order to try and add further warmth to the scene below, set pointedly high above to indicate that it was afternoon, plenty of reason to explain why there was a young boy crouched beside the lake quietly engaged in some solitary play, "How's the water, Zanada?" he asks the beautifully carved figurine of a swan, pushing it along the very edge of the water with the tip of his finger. Of course the wooden carving says nothing, tipping a little as it's tapped before righting and drifting along. There was a whole box of figures just like this one, lovingly set onto a square of felt to keep it from getting dirty. Each with its own cubby of sorts, to keep them from being damaged. A feline, a canine, a deer, a chicken, an ovine, a runner, a bovine; all as intricately detailed and lovingly carved as the next with just enough personal style to ensure that they did not appear as shrunken miniatures of the living breathing creatures they represented, but still with an accurate ratio of proportions. The boy sighs, "It was a long winter, wasn't it?"

SPRING! That means it's probably finally Autumn in Xanadu Weyr (HOOOORAAAY!) - so why is Xanadu's Senior Weyrwoman here, instead of home enjoying the cold weather? It's probably not anything official, because the queenrider is - as ever - sans her knot. What she is not missing is a crutch under one arm, or a blossoming of colors across her face that are fading, but still persistent in their damning picture of a woman abused. One foot is bandaged, one hand is bandaged, but she must be pretty okay if she is here now. Because she would have had to get on a dragon, and go between, and that means CLIMBING UP and CLIMBING DOWN and MAYBE RISALI IS JUST TOO STUBBORN FOR HER OWN GOOD. Wherever it is that she's going, it seems she has just enough time to slow down to see Mathis and his figurines - or perhaps that is Leirith. Because of course Leirith is here, taking a sabbatical from egg sitting, leaving Garouth to do all that EGG TURNING, GRUMP GLARING HARD WORK so that she can be here, on the beach, SHOVING HER NOSE WHERE IT DOESN'T BELONG. « I WILL SAVE YOU ZANADA. » Yep. Scoop. That maw opens, Leirith uses herself AS A SCOOP, and Risali is hobbling faster to catch up. « I HAVE SAVED YOUR FRIEND, FRIEND. » A tilt of that golden head, a burst of drums and bass in draconic, metaphysical laughter, and then she's lowering her head to the ground, maw still open, so Mathis can FISH THAT ISH OUTTA HER MOUTH IF HE WANTS. "I am so sorry," Risali is already saying as she sloooowly catches up.

Never having been to Xanadu, Mathis wouldn't have recognized Risali in a billion turns, even if he was old enough to understand that he really should keep track of who was in charge of where around Pern as a whole. All he sees as he lifts his hazel eyes upwards, is a strange battered woman hobbling around on crunches of all things. At least, he thinks she's a woman, she looked young and her size seemed to suggest to him that maybe she was closer to his age. It was hard to tell with any accuracy given the distance between them. The boy has hardly enough time to consider all the possibilities before a booming voice reverberates within his skull, sending a wave of nausea and him to his backside into sloppy muddy silt. "WHOA…what..?" Squish, and it soaks in with no time at all. Cold. Wet. Gross. Oh yeah, that'd chafe later. Wincing and bringing a hand to his head, he fights off this very new sensation of drums and bass rattling around in that which had been a quiet place, perhaps his youth lending him the ability to adapt quickly to this change in his situation and enable him to consider it. Consider, her. All of that mustard colored goldness straight up in his personal space, but his attention comes into stark focus upon Zanda. Mathis reaches for her without thinking, stopping a few seconds later to reflect upon those teeth, that tongue, and the smell. That there, was…unique…to say the least. Reeling a bit, the boy's jaw sets with newfound determinination, exhaling softly before his shoulders straighten, and he offers Leirith a gentle smile, "Um, hi…I'm just…going to…" Eyes darting up and down, carefully he plucks the wood carved swan from her resting place and immediately clutches her to his chest. With Zanda out of harm's way, wonderment replaces everything that existed before, his left hand extended forward to gingerly place the tips of his fingers onto the surface of the hide covering Leirith's snout. It's only for a moment, one that ends with Risali's apology, when Mathis's head snaps up and removes his hand entirely, "No, no. I'm sorry…!" The boy flappy-hands, scooting back through the mud to give both gold and rider plenty of space that didn't include himself in the equation. Squish. Splat. Icky noise. Ugh.

Leirith turns into those fingers, croons her agreement with the current situation and does not simply let Mathis stop touching her once Risali arrives to RUDELY distract Mathis from his very important task of PETTING. But Risali does pause where she is, watching Mathis' hands flop while he issues apologies and moves to give them space — space that Leirith simply won't let him yield. « I DO NOT RECALL SAYING THAT YOU COULD QUIT, MINION. » But it's good natured humor of the sunbright, effervescent kind, the kind that has Risali's lips twisting at the corners while grey eyes drop to those carefully laid out carvings on felt and the goldrider moves closer to them. Down into a squat she goes, leaning heavily on her crutch to maintain her balance as she takes them in without touching them, because touching things without permission is really rude. "You have nothing to be sorry for," finally comes, soft, just as one finger from her bandaged hand extends, poised to touch without any follow through, tracing the air just above one of those figurines. "Are all of these yours?"

Maybe, just maybe, Mathis's heart melts a little with the inturn of dragon head towards the lightness of his touch. Or it could have were it not beating faster than a runner could gallop, a phenomenon that continues at breakneck speed given that Leirith seeks to reclaim the space he'd offered up, well after that particular organ decided it wants to leap up and sit predominately in his throat. Swallowing down that bad boy, his eyes widen hugely, dropping back onto his elbows and trying to ignore the mud water that was sloshing around now seemingly everywhere. "I'm sorry!" he squeaks, voice betraying the precarious point in his life where it wanted to be high and low and everything in between. Ah, puberty, you were just around the corner ready to pounce weren't you? Much like the gold apparently. Fist still tightly clutching Zanda and held protectively above the muck, Mathis inches his way back up into a seated position, his other hand places back against Leirith's muzzle. Pat. Pat. In lower tones, he breathlessly asks, "What's a minion exactly?" There was some measure of apology there as well, as if he felt that he should be familiar with the term and yet somehow it'd escaped his education. Then of course, there's Risali, who upon closer inspection is revealed to be very much an adult with at least a decade on him easily. Also, what happened to her? Distracted, the boy takes precious time he doesn't have to check out every bump and bruise, nearly jumping out of his skin when she speaks to him directly. "I wasn't doing anything!" comes rushing out of him before he can stop it, instantly looking down and away, before slowly and cautiously edging his view to include the box of hand-carved wooden figurines. There's a new sort of tenseness that arrives to compound that which already exists as the goldrider claims the air above them, "Yes!" Mathis proclaims, finding that he moves without thought in a protective manner towards them, scooting on his backside using his legs if only to cease just a few sloppy inches later. Eyes dart once again, this time between woman and box. Then softer, unsure, "Th-they're my friends…" The second the words leave his lips there's no small indication in the boy's features of shame, apprehension quickly seeping in to cohabitate even as he creeps forward. After all, what would a grown up, a stranger, a goldrider think about his box full of hand-made friends? Pathetic? Crazy? Would she laugh? Upturn them and stomp them into bits? Oh no, not again. That had been absolutely horrible last time, "…I-I can make more…but…I really like these ones…" Creep. Creep. Creep. Didn't matter that he was practically smooshed up against Leirith's face, finding he was hugging her against him before too long, similarly to a surrogate security blanket with his own just out of reach.

What is a minion? One of Risali's brows raises as she shifts her weight a little more comfortably on that crutch, and then tilts her head to take in the boy instead of his figurines - so that protective movement doesn't escape her, and the Weyrwoman is already observing perhaps a little too closely when Mathis says that they're his friends. A beat, two, three, four, and Risali is offering a soft, "A minion is somebody who does the bidding of somebody else. So if I said, 'You, I demand that you take this pebble and toss it into the water,' and you did just that, it would make you my minion." But there's a long pause after that, an exhale as if Risali is attempting to find words amid so many thoughts and - "They look like good friends." One, two, three. "What's your name?" But Risali's tone is gentle, her movements unhurried, the weyrwoman remaining still as Mathis creeps closer as though she is speaking to a wounded animal ready to bolt at any interval - or bite, for being cornered.

This kid? Not that intimidating of a figure as Risali takes in how small, painfully thin, almost delicate he was. The sort that bullies painted a target on the second he came into sight, and given his demeanor, likely an occurrence in the past. Hazel eyes are reluctantly pulled up and off the box of figurines as the goldrider speaks, ceasing in his forward propulsion, the swan kept close to his chest. He listens attentively to the explanation following the question he'd meant for Leirith, and oddly enough it appears to soothe whatever fears might have been growing as she'd hovered over the box, "Th-that's a thing?" is asked in his very next breath of Risali, tawny brows compressed into the makings of a furrow, a nervous sort of laughter emerging soon after before slanting a glance queenways. Shortly there after, he's giving her the best one armed hug he could manage with his diminutive form. "You don't need to demands stuff," he softly murmurs, "Just ask. You seem like a really nice dragon." And it's decided, Leirith was a really nice dragon, stealing away some of the caution he was harboring in what passed for muscle on that scrawny body. That which remains, well, the boy's gaze returns to Risali and he nods once, leaning into her lifemate a bit. Meeker, quieter, "They are…" His friends were the best! But, he wasn't crazy, he knew how it looked that he carried around a box of 'friends' he'd made out of whatever scrap pieces of wood he could get his greedy little hands on. Eyes shifting off a moment, caressing his free hand along some point of the gold's jaw, they find the weyr woman again to offer up identification. "Mathis." That her body language eluded to kindness, definitely was helping to calm him further, no longer looking as he were about to squiggle free and make a break for it.

So Risali watches, nods her head around a gentle smile to confirm that yes, minions are a thing even as those grey eyes assess, her movements cautious, Leirith crooning as she turns her head into his hug and answers Mathis herself — less loud this time, more gentle, still amused and sunbright and bombastically joyful. « Asking permission is not nearly so badass. » Cue her laughter, as Risali nods to confirm she heard that name, as she whispers it back to him on very gentle tones. "Mathis." A beat. "Well met, Mathis. My name is Risali. I'm the Senior Weyrwoman of a place called Xanadu Weyr. And this…" A shift, as Risali's bad hand goes out to press in a gentle curl against Leirith's snout. "This is my lifemate. Her name is Leirith." It's odd for Risali to use her title in introduction, so there is probably a reason that she's using it now. "Leirith was just flown by a bronze named Garouth, and now Xanadu has six eggs sitting on their sands, waiting to find those people they will bond to forever once they hatch." A beat, a shift as Risali's gaze goes from Leirith to settle on Mathis. "Their best friends, the ones who will be with them forever. How old are you?"

And with that reply, wonderment returns, as if some part of the world unknown to him was suddenly revealed and slowly nods his head in affirmation. Minions. A real thing. This might have opened up an excited and curious barrage of questions were it not for the gentle intrusion of bomb-bright joy and laughter, infectious enough to draw a genuine giggle out of him, but soon Mathis was pressing his lips together because he'd just realized she'd used the word badass. That was the sort of language his foster mother abhorred, being good meant not using it, and Mathis was a good boy. At the sound of his name whispered, he looks back to Risali, paying close attention as she explained who she was and where she was from. At some point, his eyes widen and he looks all of the embarrassed. A weyrwoman, of course he knew that given that this gold was her lifemate, but senior weyrwoman? Certainly he was floundering before, but now he appeared absolutely flabbergasted. It takes him a fair amount of time to cobble together enough coherency to answer her inquiry, "Th-thirteen?" It may sound as if he was unsure because right then he wasn't, of anything. What was life even? Realizing that he may be holding Zanda a little too hard given that his hand was hurting, he sucks in a breath and stiffens, looking between rider and dragon before he wriggles a bit in the mud in order to finally breach the gap and return the swan to the box's only empty space. She would be far safer there than being snapped in two and that his hand was shaking as he retract it was merely coincidence surely. "I am so sorry ma'am…I-I didn't know who you were…" Mathis? Screwed. So totally boned. Dead meat. Master Arthis had warned him not to play with his friends where anyone important might see him. "I-I was just playing." And now she'd think he was nuts, report him to the craft, and he'd have to go back to Benden.

He wasn't playing? Those grey eyes blink, Risali's lips pull in what might be sympathy, and then lift in humor as Risali scrunches her nose. "I don't tell people who I am because I don't want them to be scared of me - or treat me different," Risali tells him. She leans back on that crutch, points to where her knot should sit and then finds Mathis' gaze again. "See? How are you supposed to know who I am if I don't want you to know?" And there's another gentle pat for Leirith's snout, the gold curious silent albeit fixated on Mathis. "And of course you were playing. Thirteen year old boys should play." And there's conviction in that, conviction that dissipates on an exhale as Risali's attention falls back to those figurines. One, two, three, four and - "Come back to Xanadu with me." Those grey eyes lift again, to hold Mathis' gaze. "Come stand for me and for Leirith, as one of our candidates. Let's see if we can't find you other friends to join you and yours on some adventures." And slowly the goldrider gains her unimpressive height, shifts to dig into one of her pockets and produce one of those white knots. She inspects it for a moment, rolls it in her fingers, and then extends it outwards. "We aren't as traditional as other weyrs, but our hearts are in the right place. It might be a little bit chaos at times but," a huff of laughter, a tilt of her head, another smile. "Everybody should get to have fun. Even Weyrwomen, and Weyrleaders, and thirteen year old boys on the beach." Wiggle wiggle. YOU KNOW YOU WANNA.

Mathis drops his eyes to what he can take in of the massive dragon head he was still rather wedged up against, brought on by either the momentary show of sympathy or her reasons for keeping who she was a secret. What does he think of it all? There is only a quiet nod to wager a guess by, hugging and stroking Leirith in the process, that and the way he seems to be lost in thought as if attempting to navigate the field of land mines that had just spouted at his feet. He'd never spoken to someone as important as a Senior Weyrwoman before, not even close, and now he was at a loss. Gaze lifted at the motion detected as Risali leans, he watches her point to where her knot clearly isn't and then back to her face. Lips pursed, the boy nods, a bit paler perhaps than he was before. He was watching what came out of his mouth now you see, not wanting to further embarrass the craft or the weyr for that matter, even if her assurances that playing was allowed almost demanded that he relax rather than keep himself all bound up. Self control, check. A second later, that goes right out the window. "W-w-what?" Mathis sputters for the invitation to Xanadu, blinking in a wild flutter of ashen lashes. "I can't just…I'm too…this is all so…" flows freely from him until Risali further explains and that shuts him up right quick. Blatantly, he stares at her as if he'd suddenly come to believe that she was the insane one here. "Candidate? M-me?" She was joking right? She was playing with him, pretend and all that, placating a child out of kindness. That HAD to be it. Then the goldrider rises and fishes out one of those white knots he'd seen more than a few times in his short life, maybe even envied from time to time, and he's back to staring. "I…wh…r-really? Really me?" Reaching out, hesitantly, the boy very carefully applies the tips of his thumb and finger to the offering and draws back until he held it in his hand and just then it didn't look like he knew what to do with himself as he begins to stare at it. Laugh? Cry? Hug someone? Eventually, he goes with d, all of the above. Overwhelmed by all the emotion, he laughs even as tears spring to his eyes, hugging Leirith with both of his arms as tightly as he could. "Yes, yes, yes…of course! Thank you!"

"Really," she offers softly, around another one of those quiet, gentle smiles - the one missing all her mischief. "You." And as he hugs Leirith, the gold booms ecstatic; it's more of her own laughter, her own delight at his acceptance, though she remains without words. It's feelings, that sense of warmth and home, that hint of something more just beyond reach as Risali shifts forward and then extends out the elbow of her non-crutch wielding arm for him to take. "Come on then. I will help you get your things, we will explain to whoever needs to know you're leaving, and we'll get you settled in at Xanadu Weyr." And whether or not he takes her arm, she goes with him - slow, but determined, engaging him in conversation with tales about Xanadu, and Garouth, and Leirith, and those eggs. ONWARD! TOWARDS THE FUTURE!

Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License