Be Right Back...

Xanadu Weyr - Firelizard Theater
There are many different things to look at here. In the northern part of this field lies a massive fort made out of wood. About 10 feet to the right of the fort, there are wooden sit-toys carved in the likeness of dragons and even painted as such. In the middle of the field are two sets of swings suspended from a wooden beam, held up by two wooden beams on either side. To the left of the swings is a 5 by 6 rectangular box filled not quite to the top with sand from Xanadu Weyr's Beach. To the right of the swings are monkey bars, completely crafted out of wood. In front of you are two seesaws, both made out of wood. Finally, to your near left are two benches underneath a large Lemosian Ironwood tree. You find yourself standing in the Courtyard of The Firelizard.

It's a mild day given the season, but still one to bundle up for regardless as the winds do carry a sharp nip to them and enough to chill any exposed skin if given enough time. The Weyr has been in a flurry of activity and no exception to this is the Weyrsecond. She was to have the day to spend with her girls, but Kiena has figured she could squeeze in a few more things before that appointed time. The result is that she still arrives to pick up the twins but is a touched harried from having to rush through everything. However she is smug that she pulled it all off and as she leads her two daughters to the playgrounds, she'll have Ujinath bespeak Kalsuoth, though the blue is a touch grumpy. He's tired, but since it'll make Kiena happy he'll do it. Grumble. « Kalsuoth? » he calls, once again forgoing much hedging around the bush. One moment he's not there, the next he is though at a "distance" in the brown's thoughts. « Mine has her daughters if yours is free and wishes to visit. She would not mind his company. » What're friends for, after all?

Mur'dah and Kalsuoth were just wrapping up a lesson with the Weyrlings when they got the call, and Kalsuoth mentally branch-hopped as close to Ujinath's mind as he could, peering curiously at the blue through piercing, beady eyes before he hops off again. « Yes! » he answers eagerly after consulting with Mur'dah. « We come! » It's not long before Mur'dah is walking the path to the playground, Kalsuoth approaching as close as he can given his bulk and the location of the playground in the forest.

Ujinath does not enjoy being so closely scrutinized and will shrink back when Kalsuoth gets too close for comfort mentally. That fence he's so fond of will hum just a little more heavier with an electric warning and loom all the higher. « Good. » He sounds pleased, but in the sense that he's done his job and can go back to dozing. Kiena is standing at the edge of the playground, arms crossed over her chest as she huddles a little more into her heavier flight jacket. The girls are also bundled up but are currently climbing one of the structures and Kiena turns to greet Mur'dah, smiling broadly and about to call out but is beaten to it by a chorus from her daughters all but shrieking his name. Cue a roll of the eyes and shrug, before she's stepping aside to allow Eliana and Ezsrisa to all but tackle the brownrider.

Mur'dah lifts a hand to wave to Kiena, until the twins cry his name and he's…set upon. Jumped by two females at once! Dream come true! Bending, he tries to scoop up one girl in each arm with an obligatory 'oooph, you're big!' as he gives them squeezes and spins them before setting them down again. "Rowdy," he greets to Kiena with a grin. "How're you?"

Both girls laugh and giggle when Mur'dah scoops them up and spins them, something that they're getting to big for now. Kiena won't leave Mur'dah to "suffer", coming over to pluck Eliana away while leaving Ezsrisa to cling to the brownrider. It'll take the Weyrsecond having to hush both the girls from babbling a constant stream of questions (how're you? is that your dragon? can you build snow forts? isn't snow awesome? ) to plague Mur'dah. At last she just banishes them both back to the structures and when the twins scamper off again to resume their play, Kiena heaves a sigh of relief. "Rowdy? They're crazed. Penned up too much lately. Never seen them so wired and antsy." she drawls, partly apologetic. "I'm fine, just been a busy day but I plan to unwind for the rest of it." She remembers their little talk! "What about you? How's the new rank treating ya?"

Mur'dah doesn't even try to answer all their questions. He just nods and makes encouraging sounds until they scamper back to play. Laughing, Mur'dah reaches over to clasp Kiena's shoulder in greeting. "They…seem crazed. Have they had candy or something?" he asks, laughing. "Good for you," he praises, winking at her. "Me? It's been alright. I miss Comet but I can do this for a little bit I think."

Kiena grins and clasps Mur'dah's shoulder in return, gripping firm and then releasing as she steps back and turns her head to watch the girls at play. "Faranth if I know, but I've been with them after they've had sugar and it's no where near this bad. They've been sick just a few days prior. Seasonal thing. Could be the culprit. Doubt their foster family let 'em out much." she murmurs with a smirk. There's hardly any evidence to prove that either child ever had so much of a sniffle the way they're behaving! His wink has her snorting and giving him a look, though her mouth curves into an amused way. "I'm learning," she drawls, only to chuckle dryly. "For a little bit? Is it already that dull?"

Mur'dah nods, "Maybe they're just…rowdy," he says, crossing his arms and grinning as he watches the girls, pleased with just a hint of 'awww' to his gaze. Then he shrugs. "It's not dull, just still not convinced it's for me. Time will tell, but…I miss Comet." There's another shrug. "So I might resign after this group, who knows."

Kiena snorts, "You already said that." she teases Mur'dah, giving him a swift and playful nudge to the shoulder. She then shakes her head, giving him a look before her blue eyes sweep to the structures where the girls are now trying to build something out of the snow at the base of one of them. "You're going to have to give it more time, yeah. Kind of like how I'm still adjusting to Weyrsecond. It just… I guess you'll find out if Assistant Weyrlingmaster does suit you. I'm pretty confident you'll be a good match. And when there aren't weyrlings to train up into fine example of riders you'll have your work in Comet to fall back on." Win, win?

Mur'dah nods, "Yeah, I'll give it at least until this group has graduated. Then I'll see. If V'dim even wants to keep me," he admits, shrugging again. "It'll come with time, one way or the other. And thanks. Yeah, we'll see." He's still not convinced.'
Kiena frowns as she regards him curiously for a moment or two in silence. "You make it seem as though you're doomed to start, Mur'dah." she remarks quietly, distracted when the girls start shrieking and laughing but they're only chasing each other with clumps of snow and the bluerider relaxes again. "How are the weyrlings doing, anyways?" she asks curiously enough and may get her answer before they're both rudely interrupted by a few deviously thrown snowballs. One nails Kiena right in the thigh and knee, while the other may either sail past harmlessly or hit Mur'dah. There's a tense moment when Kiena blinks at Eliana and Ezsrisa, both of which are frozen in obvious guilt with wry and impish grins that waver faintly. Too much? "Girls!" Kiena mock-yells and then promptly acts like a child herself by flinging snow back at them and sending them fleeing to cover.

Mur'dah considers her words for a moment, before he shrugs. "I don't know, it's alright, I'm just not all that into it. i'll give it time though and see." He's silenced, about to answer when they're being pelted by snowballs. Blinking, he darts a quick look to Kiena - are they in trouble? When the girls aren't, Mur'dah drops to his knees in the snow and starts making snowballs, setting them withing Kiena's grasp. He is a /machine/.

Kiena would have gone on to say that he may never know and be surprised how the position will grow on him, once he's given it a shot. Some would say 'pot calling the kettle black' on her opinion just then. Wasn't she just balking as much as he is? Conversation has passed however, as Kiena grins at him when he sets to making snowballs faster than she can throw them! Not that she's purposely aiming for her own daughters, but she'll make it exciting enough as the two girls go darting from cover to cover, their laughter on the wind. Ironically it is when one of Eliana's snowballs strikes Kiena's shoulder, snow splattering up against the side of her face and into her hair that something is jogged in the blue rider's memory. "Shards!" she curses under her breath, glancing up at the sky to note the position of the sun. It does little to improve her sudden change in mood. "Mur'dah, could you watch the girls for a moment? When are you due back at the Barracks? I've gone and muddled something. Need to just zip out quick to fix it before it grows any later… if it's not already too late." she rambles, looking a touch flustered.

Mur'dah pushes to his feet, hands lifting to try and ward off the snowballs the girls are throwing. When the game pauses and he looks over at Kiena, the brownrider blinks. "Later this evening," he says. "I suppose I could watch them, sure, want us to stay here or go back to your place?"

Kiena frowns heavily as she does a quick mental calculation and seems to relax considerably. "Oh, I'll be back long before then! Promise, Mur'dah. I'll be back in maybe half a candlemark at most!" she tells him, shortly before clasping his shoulder again and giving him a rather thankful look and smile. "Do as you see fit! If they've calmed down enough or want out of the cold and I'm still gone, you can bring them back to my weyr or to their foster parents." She'll remember to mention their names and ranks too and where to find them. Once she's certain then that Mur'dah is comfortable, she'll call to her girls and say she'll be 'right back' and to 'behave for Mur'dah'. Kiena hurries off swiftly then, almost at a jog as she's rushing to meet Ujinath in the clearing. She'll be gone barely a minute before Eliana and Ezsrisa are hovering about Mur'dah expectantly.

Mur'dah knows the foster parents, he helped her find them, but he patiently waits while she says it again, knowing it's making her feel better. Giving her arm a clasp and wishing her 'clear skies', he watches her go and then looks down at the girls. "So," he says with a grin, "you guys done out here? Want to go back to your mom's place and have some hot cider?"

The girls brighten considerably at the offer from Mur'dah, though it's Ezsrisa who answers as she tends to be the bolder one in most (read: all) situations. "Can we really have hot cider? I don't think she has some. So where are we gonna get it?" Is this going to be an adventure? Eliana looks conflicted, darting a look to where Kiena's rushed off too as if suspicious but being a 'good girl' and just tagging along. For now. "I'm cold." she mumbles, followed by a sniffle. That'll be a vote for 'yes let's go inside now'.

"I have some," Mur'dah says, offering each girl one of his hands. "Let's go to my weyr. You can see Kalsuoth too, okay?" The brown's mind reaches towards Ujinath's, checking in and trying to touch base.

The girls take one of Mur'dah's hands each, though they seem a touch reluctant to leave with the brownrider at first. Both of their eyes widen, with Ezsrisa being the first to speak again. "He wants us to see him?" she asks, a touched awed. They've only ever seen other rider's dragons at a distance and at most know Ujinath personally and Suldith. As for Kalsuoth's checking in, the brown will be reassured to feel a return "ping" from the blue and a sense of irritation and impatience. Yeah, yeah, they're fine! What's the worry? Kiena said they'd be back soon and the bluerider holds to her promises!

Mur'dah nods his head as he offers them a little swing for entertainment. If they go for it. "He does! He likes you both and really likes listening to you." He smiles, amused at Kalsuoth's relay of Ujinath's response. Fine, fine, he'll stop worrying. Leading them into his weyr, he lets them go to Kalsuoth who is now resting in his wallow, while he goes to stoke life back into the fire and put a kettle on for their cider.

Of course they'll go for it! They're four Turns old and easily entertained for a time. Both girls giggle when Mur'dah reassures them that Kalsuoth actually likes them and the brown will not be without a lot of attention. Eliana is quiet and gentle, choosing to respectfully stroke the brown's muzzle while Ezsrisa just brazenly asks every question she can think of. They're good girls though and will listen (to a degree) to Mur'dah as the minutes pass…

Mur'dah sets the cider on the fire to heat up and pulls out wooden mugs for the three of them, watching the girls interact with Kalsuoth with a grin. As the minutes pass though, he asks Kalsuoth to seek Ujinath again…

Eventually the girls will drift away from Kalsuoth, though it's no fault of the brown and they've certainly showered him with enough compliments and attention to carry him through for awhile. But they're four Turn old children and their attention wanders and so they roam over to where the fireplace is and plunk themselves down by the couch on the floor. "Is it time for cider?" Ezsrisa asks with just a hint of impatience in her tone. Eliana just stares forlornly at the fire and kettle.

As Kalsuoth seeks Ujinath immediately it's obvious something is wrong: he's met with dead silence. Yet it oddly does not have the 'sense' of finality, a total severance that would indicate that both the blue and Kiena have perished. No dragon's keen but neither is Ujinath 'there' and in a manner of speaking have vanished. Could it be that Kalsuoth just hasn't extended his 'reach' far enough? He could try. That would be the most logical assumption to start.

Mur'dah shakes his head. "Not quite yet. But in that tin there you'll find some crackers you girls are welcome to." Glancing at his lifemate, Kalsuoth rumbles softly and reaches further, casting his mind outwards, seeking for that hum, that fence and that forest.

Ezsrisa pouts and crosses her arms over her chest, but doesn't go into a fit of whining and tantrum. Yet. Eliana glances suspiciously at her sister though and she quietly rummages through the tin, munching on a few crackers before offering one to her reluctant sibling. Kalsuoth will not find a single flicker of that fence or forest and not a note of that familiar hum. All his casting is met with silence. Darkness and silence. A very unsettling feeling. Ujinath and Kiena are gone and unreachable. Out of range? Under a gag command by a powerful gold? Are they in danger? The only thing that is some comfort is that they cannot be dead — but who's to say the keening won't start any second? Will that dread trickle in to gnaw at the back of one's mind?

Mur'dah pulls the kettle off the fireplace and pours two half mugs for the girls, walking over to give them to them before he's walking to Kalsuoth, rubbing his dragon's muzzle. Yes, he's starting to get concerned. Not afraid yet, but concerned certainly. As Kalsuoth reaches further, he also begins to reach out to another - Seryth.

The girls brighten considerably when Mur'dah serves the cider and once it's cooled enough for their tastes both girls do not waste time in draining their mugs. The warmth of the drink and fire seem to do the trick in subduing their rowdiness, not that they were necessarily bouncing off the walls of Mur'dah's weyr. Ezsrisa is the first to fade, nodding off though it's clear she's struggling to keep her eyes open and from toppling sideways on the couch. Must. Stay. Awake! Eliana is outlasting her sister by bounds, though the girl gives a jaw cracking yawn before half-mumbling to Mur'dah. "Where's mother?" she asks curiously, not entirely concerned but smart enough to realize it's "been awhile". Kalsuoth will find nothing and his rider will have a pressing issue on his hands while Seryth is alerted and made aware.

Mur'dah turns, walking back to the girls and bending to scoop Ezsrisa into his arms, gentle if she allows him. "She'll be back soon," he murmurs. "Let's get you back to your foster parents though, okay? So Ezsrisa can sleep in a bed instead of on my couch."

Ezsrisa is half-asleep by the time Mur'dah scoops her up and is willing to just snuggle up against the brown rider's shoulder and doze. Eliana, however, eyes him with a 'I don't really trust you or believe you' look that is very eerily like her mother's distrustful scowl. "Mother said she was going to meet us and play with us. We're not supposed to go back to them tonight. She promised." Pout.

Mur'dah smiles gently at Eliana, crouching down with her sister snuggled against his shoulder. "I know, and I'm sorry. But she had to work," he says, all the reassurance in the world in his voice despite the hammering of his heart. Where /is/ she? "You know my mother is Thea, right? I know how it can be when your mom has to work instead of spending time with you. But I'm sure Kiena will make it up to you okay?"

Eliana continues to pout, feet swinging slightly against the edge of the couch but Mur'dah's reassurance sinks in. Especially when he mentions Thea's name. She knows who the Weyrwoman is! "She's really your mother?" she asks quietly, suddenly shy but a little more trusting. Reluctantly, that is. Fine. "Oookay…" she drawls out, disappointed but no longer threatening to pitch an outright fit of rebellion. Slipping off the couch, she'll reach up to take Mur'dah's hand if he has one free to spare for her. If not, she'll just tag along and stay close to his side.

Mur'dah shifts Ezsrisa so he has a hand free for Eliana, and he makes quick work towards the foster home. Telling the family only that Kiena was called out of the weyr to work, once the girls are safely in their foster familys' hands, he runs back to his weyr, yanking on his jacket. Then he and Kalsuoth march to the leadership offices to go try and get to the bottom of this. All the while, Kalsuoth continues to ping that darkness, ever seeking…

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