Sneaky Children

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.
With the Kitchens quite out of commission, the majority of the cooking has been relocated to the main Clearing. Large firepits have been marked out, far away from the trees, with large stones, where fires burn near constantly, large pots and spits to feed the Weyr suspended overhead. Near one of the spits, a large frame is sitting, looking rather innocent in its current state.

Keziah is by herself at the moment, this is no sort of morning for Mirai to be out in. With the cool damp air and all the mist everywhere. It's a neat morning and Keziah certainly enjoys them, how the sounds change and people and things become nothing more then shadows through the swirling mist. She seems to be doing nothing more than wandering around the clearing, pausing every now and again to watch something, or maybe she's just looking.

Ysa was out and about. It was a shock, considering just how big she is now and the fact that she always looked sick. That morning was no exception, though she didn't look that awful. "Lyram can play with ya later, love," she says softly to her lifemate, who had been lounging in the clearing as she waited for her lifemate. The goldrider dropped her son off a short while ago in the caverns and was now bringing work with her. Daycare was a great thing… She takes a deep breath as soon as she gets to the gold's side. Giving the area a quick glance, her attention is quickly drawn towards Keziah. Curious, the woman heads over— waddles over, more like it, though trying to keep quiet.

Keziah is in her own little world, or maybe it's just that's she's concentrating on something, for in fact, she seems to tip her head a little to one side every now and then and then taking off in a new direction. She doesn't notice Ysa at the moment, and her firelizards are all off doing there own thing since they've been well fed.

Waddle, waddle… Ysa is trying to intersect the girl, and failing. Ellamariseth cannot quite manage to be stealthy like her overly pregnant rider, but she does take a few steps and is immediately at her side. She also keeps quiet, glancing down to the much younger woman curiously. When Ysa deems she is close enough, though her lifemate probably gave her away, she stops and places a hand to her side to pinch it. "What's new, Kez?"

Keziah jumps a little and lets out a yelp and somewhere close by there's a sudden scurrying away and a bit of a yowl. Keziah turns around and then smiles at Ysa "You scared the living daylights out of me." she states and then sighs "Dang it, now where did she get off too?" she shakes her head and then smiles "Well, I was just given a fluffy white kitten, she's as deaf as a post and she got lose from the stables and I've been tracking her here. What about you?"

Ysa jumps herself at the girl's reaction, though her eyes were glancing around her at the odd yowl sound. Turning back to Keziah, she chuckles lightly and grins at her. "Ya might want to keep your eyes open all 'round ya. Ya never know, right?" She winks and then frowns at the mention of a kitten, glancing around again. "Really? That's… that's a shame for the cat." She rubs at the small of her back as her green eyes scan the ground and then looks up to Ella. "We were jus' taking some paperwork home, 'fore Niva thinks I'm not doing anything here." She waves the stack of papers in her hand and sighs. "Don't ya have some food to lure it out?"

Keziah hehs a little "Yeah, but she did just eat. She's playing, she waits till I'm vlose by and then scurries off a little further." she shakes her head "She thinks it's a game I'm sure." a glance towards the work. "Well I suppose it's better than doing nothing." she notes and then hmms a little "Well, I've watched around a bit, but there doesn't seem to be too much more. I mean, I've seen some kids, but then they're gone before I've realized they're there. To stealthy, I'm almost wondering if he's teaching them to steal or something."

"A deaf cat… playing." Ysa purses her lips at that thought, glancing towards the ground. "It isn't really the kind of weather to go 'round playing and running 'round. Maybe it'll come back to the stables later?" Because this goldrider wouldn't waste any time. Ellamariseth drops her head down to the ground and starts whuffling around curiously, whirling eyes looking in all directions. Ysa turns her green eyes back on Keziah, brows raised. "Kefai?" Even saying the name as a question, she still growls it out. Her hand pinches her side a bit more and she winces. "I thought I saw one of 'em from the caves, too, but that… was a bit ago." She frowns thoughtfully. "Have ya heard any gossip 'bout things missing?"

Keziah shakes her head a little "Not really, nothing personal, but well sometimes I wonder about the stores stuff, things that are atributed to vermin or perhaps things not written down. I mean think about it, if it's done over turns, a little bit wouldn't really go missing. Would it?" she asks. Yes, she thinks about things way too much sometimes. "But I dunno, if she'll make it back to the stables or not, just got her this morning, and so she may not remember."

Every word makes Ysa frown deeper until she was nodding. "Doesn't help that the sharding Weyrwoman doesn't believe anything we say." She grunts and tries to lean down enough to put the papers on the ground, probably damp and not a smart idea… but she just ends up dropping them in the end and taking a few steps back to find Ellamariseth to lean against. "It makes sense. An' they probably get it from all the Holds, too, cause how else do they get food?" She winces again and sighs, rubbing at her side. "I'll look into it when I can." The kitten, however, was a current problem, and the goldrider simply waves to her lifemate. "Ella can catch it for ya. She promises not to bite too hard."

Keziah blinks as she looks at the gold "Bite?" Eep. "Umm, if ah she ah thinks she can without scarying the little thing." she murmurs, but then she hasn't ever heard of a dragon eating kittens, so maybe it's okay. She then nods alittle "I mean, if they really had a place where they were farming, or even raising cattle, I think it'd be noticed by now. And herders, well it's expected sometimes to lose some of a herd or flock to wherries or mishap, so one or two missing isn't cause for concern, and if it's spread out." she frowns alittle.

Ellamariseth rumbles warmly to Keziah, dropping her maw in a dragon grin. No worries. Too fuzzy to be good, anyway… She sticks her nose down in the direction they heard the yelp, searching around. Probably ending up scaring the thing. "Maybe she will scare the thing silly back to the stables?" Ysa chuckles again at the idea, but it doesn't last long. She fists her hand at her side, shaking her head furiously. "It makes sense that they're bound to be responsible for a lot of it. They went far to take us, afterall. Jus'… Kez, jus' don't worry 'bout it. We'll be ready when they show themselves again, whether Niva beleives or not."

Keziah gives a little a nod as she watches the gold and then gives a yelp as the kitten runs straight for her and up a leg and back and then is on the shoulders, hair all fluffed up with a little his. "Ow! Easy with the claws!" Of course it does no good, yelling at a deaf cat never does." Still wincing a little "But what if he has plans of over-running some small hold? I mean I know he wouldn't ve able to teh Weyr, the dragons wouldn't let that happen. But that area's gotta be cramped, though I dunno how far into the ground it went.

Ellamariseth swings her head about in surprise as the little white streak moves away from her. But she wanted to play! She snorts in the direction of the kitten, but doesn't follow to further frighten the thing. Ysa laughs, though it's abruptly halted as she holds her side again. "Little brat," she mumbles and then nods seriously back to Keziah. "It makes sense that that is their plan, eventually. We'll just have to make it clear to the other riders and maybe tell the Weyrleader next to keep his eyes and ears and mind open. We'll want to catch 'em as soon as possible. They wouldn't want to mess with a whole wing of dragons from the Weyr."

Keziah is just quiet a moment and nods "Might work, but, maybe if we tell the Weyrwoman about the possible thefts, she might listen more? I mean, the holds are part of the Weyrs area, she'd have to check it out. Wouldn't she?" she asks and then sighs "I mean it seems likely then Thread coming back, but so many of those holders could possibly believe it."

With one hand on her big belly, the other one goes to her temple. "Shells, Keziah, ya think of everything. But it isn't going to be easy convincing Niva. That's why I dragged /ya/ 'long with me, and look what good it did. She'll not care when the rest of Pern have their stock and supplies missing from time to time." They got dismissed back to work while the Weyrwoman had other duties to do. She pats the big gold on the talon, who shoves her forearm out as a seat for her lifemate. Ysa flops down and even pats the space next to her for the other girl. "Thread isn't going to come back."

Keziah nods "Well, I know that, you know that. But well you've got those ones in the out of way areas that'll believe that the sun will come up in the west some morning." she notes as she sits down next to Ysa "Are you doing okay?" asks as it downs on her she's been holding her side and her stomach a lot "It's too early for labor, isn't it?"

"It's true… jus' look at the sharding group that Kefai had rounded up." Ysa runs a hand through her hair a few times before grunting. "It is way too early. Jus' Ram's brat is really active this time around. He kicks and kicks that I think he's trying to crawl his way out, but I think 'm scared of seeing how he'd be /out/ of this stomach." She frowns to her round belly before turning back to the younger girl. "At least there's some people that are aware of the situation."

Keziah frowns at Ysa's belly "Afraid?" she asks and then giggles "Maybe he'll be an active child and all over everywhere, hill and dale." she smiles "I think Mirai's gonna be active like that too. I mean she's constantly trying to go places, she's not walking very far yet, but far enough that she's moved onto another room." she shakes her head "And so talkative too. Though just simble things like Ba for ball and the like."

Ysa sighs dramatically and nods once. "That's what 'm worried 'bout. Lyram's active but… he's a good kid. I bet this one's gonna tear up our new weyr." And the goldrider was quite attached to their new accessories and furniture. She rubs at her side idly before dropping her hand. "How old is Mirai now? Feels like a long time since she jus' washed up on the beach. Since Ella clutched, right?" She glances up to the gold, who was looking around the clearing, distracted by other things. "They cry all day, an' then when they stop that they're jus' talking all day."

Keziah hmms a little "Well, it'll be alittle for he it's that stage." she notes and then smiles "She's twelve and half months now." she notes proudly. "She's a bright little thing, I can only wonder about her parents." she notes and then smiles "At least she's not blonde, then I'd might have to wonder of her mother let her go to get her away from him." she pauses a moment. "But, if her mother had dark hair, she's just as likely to as well, isn't she?" she frowns a little as she wonders about that. Wouldn't that be just horrible? "But yeah, about that time, though she was a few months older I guess."

"He'd be tearing out the place right after birth just to frustrate me further," Ysa says with a short glare to her belly. "But at least we'll just have our sleep disturbed by feeding and changing cycles." The thought was making the birth of her second child more and more exciting. Keziah's comment makes the goldrider pale just the slightest and then frown. "Shells, I never thought of that. It… it could be possible. Maybe she's trapped down there but sent off her kid? Or maybe she had the kid with someone else an' that crazy guy wouldn't allow it? Either way, she's at least got a much better future with ya."

Keziah gives a little. "She is doing better here, with kids that aren't possibly being taught to steal. She's got a wonderful extended family in many ways now." she notes and gives her head a shake "The feeding and changing, those were so hard those first days and all. I didn't think I'd ever get any sleep, and then she started sleeping through the night." she smiles blissfully.

Ysa laughs at the younger girl's look. "I remember the relief when Lyram finally didn't wake us up. Can't imagine doing it alone, either." She studies Keziah beside her for a long moment before giving her head a small shake. "You're so young, too." Was that jealousy in her voice? "Not your own brat, but 'm surprised ya took her in by yourself. But much better parent choice than whatever she could've had 'fore. A family that dumps her in the water, or a crazy father teaching 'em the straight path to prison."

Keziah hmms a little "Yes, but she was so cute, and well, Mother and Alimeade weren't much older when they had theres, and mother did come out to help." she says with a smile "She still comes out when she can find the time, usually during winter, her brother gives her a ride. He's a rider at Igen." she notes "But, she'd been abandoned once, I didn't want to be another one to abandon her. I mean I know she wouldn't remember and all, but I couldn't do it. But then, I couldn't let Nougat be abandoned either or eaten, not after having to pull him out is dam." she states "And now he's great for carts. Or packing"

Ysa listens quietly before shrugging both her shoulders. "You're right, she wouldn't've remembered. Ya wanted to take her in, and I won't complain. Ram might've thought he'd had the obligation if ya didn't." She smirks at the younger girl, just the slightest bit grateful. The goldrider wouldn't have allowed it anyway. "Nougat is…?" she trails off in question, her eyes first going towards the small kitten with the stable worker.

Keziah smiles "Mougats a caprine, he's a wether now. I had him gelded, so he'd put more weight on. Sides, if his mother couldn't handle birthing, I didn't want that traight to be based on to his daughter."

Ysa looks surprised at Nougat's species revelation. "A caprine? They pull carts?" Well, that was news to the goldrider. She didn't know much outside of runners and how to clean out a stall. "Why don't ya get yourself a big strong runner? But I s'pose that's the normal thing to do. Stop passing on the genes ya don't want, or something along those lines. I'll leave that to the breeders to worry 'bout."

Keziah laughs "Oh yes, he also packs well. But many a time I don't need a runner, just need a small cart, and it's good for giving rides to the children. Especially the ones that are frightened by a runners size." she notes.

Ysa tilts her chin upwads towards the gold dragon. "Well, most of the caverns' children might be scared of big runners, an' especially the Holder kids, but probably not the rider-bred ones. Lyram already climbs all over Ella an' Arin." She grins at the memory. Sitting there and relaxing at least put the goldrider in a better mood, especially as the baby wasn't kicking. "I guess a caprine doesn't take as much effort to care for like a runner. How's work in the stables been, anyway?"

Keziah hmms a little "I wouldn't say as much, just different. Each has their needs, the does need milking for one. Most runners aren't milk, though I have tried a type of alchohol made from mares milk." a pause "That was, interesting." she notes and then smiles "Stableworks not too bad, there's a lot to keep me busy, especially when the bales of hay and straw are brought in. But the day to day is good, I've some supervising of the hands and I've given a few lessons on ocassion."

The magic word, alcohol, makes Ysa perk up. "From… from a /runner's/ milk?" she asks, surprised again. She chuckles a bit before grinning. "I'll jus' have to take your word for it. I think I'll stick to my regular hard liquors." She leans back on her lifemate's forearm, using her hands to hold her weight up. "Doesn't sound bad at all. I was a hand for a little bit back in Fort's stables. Not too bad work, but don't miss it completely. Maybe I'll stop by someday, familiarize myself with the runners there 'gain."

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