A Discouraged Brownrider

Xanadu Weyr – Clearing


A wide clearing stretches from east to west, the ground packed hard although grass grows across most of it. Trees are strictly forbidden in this space, their danger to the constant draconic traffic reason enough to banish them to the forest that creates a this and sharp border to the north. Where the ground is less trampled, tiny flowers poke their delicate heads out from their shaded hiding places with upturned petals to wave to whoever may be looking.

The cliff looms imposingly on three sides, stretching upwards all the way up the side of the mountain where, high above, Xanadu's Star Stones and the ever present watchdragon sit on a lonely peak. Directly south is a massive tunnel, fully wide enough for even the largest dragon to fly down. Southeast are wide steps leading up to the Caverns and eastwards is the large entrance to the Infirmary. Somewhat north of the Infirmary is a human sized archway that has a frequent quantity of traffic — it leads to the Tavern. Southwest lies the low ledges currently belonging to Xanadu's queens while north and west a broad path cut by the side of the cliff leads to the Feeding Grounds and due north is the spacious trail that leads to the rest of the Weyr.

Rain, rain and more rain. Thea slogs through the mud and puddles with a determined stride and a disgruntled expression and she's muttering to herself as she goes. "Can't avoid 'em. Tried." Apparently talking to Seryth, who walks beside her with one wing outstretched over her. While the raindrops tick overhead, feet splash below. The gold is joyously taking it all in while rider? rider is less than pleased.

For once, even Faraeth looks miserable, his rocky head hangs low, one mud-brown wing extended over his very wet young rider. M'nol, for his own part, is trying to pick his way carefully around the worst of the mud, but that's hard to do when it seems like everything is mud. His shoulders are tense, his short hair drenched and matted to his head. His firelizards are nowhere to be seen, smart enough not to go out in weather like this, but M'nol actually needs to eat daily, so he's trying to make the trek to the kitchens for something… anything.

Thea is on a heading for the Infirmary entrance, her head is down to navigate the sloppy footing, so it's Seryth's rumbled greeting to Faraeth that causes the weyrwoman to look up. "Heya M'nol!" Pause to take in his soaked appearance. "You've… been out in the rain, heh?" Cheerful enough, the greeting in spite of her issues with the mud. She steps nearer. "I'm on my way to the Infirmary to see Phylicia." A worried crinkle forms on her brow. "Have you… seen her yet?"

M'nol doesn't so much perk up as half-raises his head as Thea speak, then shakes it slowly, "Hey Thea… no, I haven't" He sighs a little, scratching the back of his head. If it weren't for the damp Faraeth would probably be equally pale, "I'm… afraid… has… has she woken up yet?" The concern in his voice and eyes is clear enough as is the stress playing in the back of his mind.

Thea blinks in puzzlement at M'nol, "Haven't been out in the rain? How'd you get so wet then?" She's still walking towards him slowly, notes his pale complexion, adding, "You look tired or something." When he denies having seen Phylicia, she stops walking altogether, she's that surprised. Dismay colors her tone, "You… haven't been in to see her at all?" She's trying to digest this. Perhaps she's misunderstood? "She… almost -died- in that fire, M'nol. Did you know that?" She inhales, "If Tenebrous hadn't pulled her out of the flames…" She watches the boy closely, "They've been keeping her sedated, but A few days ago Master Fraille said they were going to wake her up, so I'm assuming she has."

M'nol's dejection is clear enough, Thea's words just drive it home more, but he starts with the easy answer, "Farry's wallow is flooded with the rain…" He sighs again, glancing towards the infirmary, "I know… I wish I'd been there, nothing against Tenebrous. It just seems like whenever I'm busiest on sweeps is when she gets hurt and I can't be there for her…" His eyes are tearing up a little, "It's not that I haven't /tried/… but something keeps coming up… emergencies like this keep search and rescue riders busy. I… I'd be there if I could… night and day… but I know she's safe and there are people out there who still aren't." He wipes at his eyes with one of his damp sleeves, then swipes at his hair again as if that would help, "Fraille will at least take good care of her… so will Tene… I… I think I may have a free day coming up… I was… I was going to bring her some books… I've… I peeked in the window the once…" His whole body is slumped, head down for all he's looking at Thea, even Faraeth moves his head around to nudge the boy gently… probably trying to encourage him.

"So…you've…been…swimming…in…Fareth's…wallow then?" Thea says slowly in a 'back awaaaay from the crazy' sort of tone, but her slight smile indicates she's teasing. She notes that dejection and shakes her head, hastening to comfort, "Hey now, I'm sure she doesn't expect you to be there every time something happens. If it's any comfort, though, D'had felt the same way when I feel down that ravine. Was all upset he wasn't there to pull me out." She steps further to close the gap, reaching a hand to pat his shoulder if he'll allow it. "Times are tough right now. You'll both pull through. Why don't you get your lunch and go sit by her while you eat?"

M'nol shakes his head, thankfully catching the half-joking, "Naw, he just didn't tell me it'd flooded overnight and I walked right into it." He sighs again, sighing quickly becoming part of his regular repertoire as it hadn't been since Phy was called back to the hall, he does nod, though, "It's hard knowing that I can't always be there." The hand on his shoulder elicits another nod and only half a sigh, "I should… seems like meals are the only time I have anymore… and even those I barely notice with everything else… I don't know if the fires or the flooding is worse. People are dying either way." He glances towards the infirmary, knowing full well that though his friends, at least, seem to have survived, many others never even made it to the infirmary.

Thea gives a shout of laughter at that, but quickly stifles it, addressing the brown, "Faraeth, you now have your very own private pool, no?" She withdraws her hand from the lad's shoulder, advising, "Just be there for her when you can be. It's a balance finding those minutes, but every one of them counts, trust me." She shakes her head, "There were no casualties, M'nol. Maybe you've had some bad dreams? But I know that the wings had a lot of work to do to make sure there weren't. You're just tired. This will all pass."

M'nol nods, half-chuckling and Faraeth gives a draconic wuffle, "He thinks it's fun." He nods, sighing again, "I'm trying… it's just…" he sighs, not bothering to continue the stream of excuses. His hand runs through his hair again, this time leaving it sticking up like a bird's plumage, "Maybe… I have had some nightmares about not getting to people in time…" He nods and sighs, scuffing his foot against the ground, "It was easier as just a miner, you know? Never thought I'd miss that."

Thea half-grins at the brown, once again addressing him, "Seryth loves the rain. Perhaps she'll find you and take you for a romp in it." Back to M'nol, she nods sympathetically, "It's been incredibly hectic these past couple of days. I didn't see D'had for two days during the fire. I don't think he slept for three days and when he does, he's-" She hesitates before adding, "I think he's having nightmares, too, but he won't admit it to me." She shakes her head then, "Really M'nol? Easier? I seem to recall a young scamp skipping out on duties and hieing off to banquets at Healer Hall… and then having a grouchy Satoris after his butt for doing so." She does her best not to snicker recounting that.

M'nol grins some, seeming to lighten for the first time, "Didn't say I was good at it… said it was easier." Still, yet /another/ sigh, "I think I'll be having nightmares for a while…." Faraeth gives a quiet grumble and he nods, "Only have another 15 minutes to eat before I need to get back to sweeps… I'll try to look in on Phy before I go… It was… well, good seeing you, I guess… just wish it weren't so wet…"

Thea laughs outright. "Easier to avoid Satoris and feast, yeah, but getting caught!" She mock-shudders, adding facetiously, "He terrifies me!" She nods then, allowing the brownrider his leave, "Hang in there M'nol. Maybe when all this calm down you and Phy can take a nice few days off and head somewhere sunny and warm." She resumes her trek to the Infirmary to see her best friend.

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