Place: Connell Weyr’s Dining Hall
Players: Iopeian, Zakias, L’ott, K’teric, A’yon, Linsora, and Serini
Synopsis: Plans are made and goodbyes are given as the Settlers of Connell prepare for the jump to the Future, in this their last evening at the Weyr.
The large, semi-circular dining hall echoes with any footstep, flagged as it is in handsome gray slate tiles in a lighter shade than the gray stone walls. Currently it holds a ragtag assortment of tables and benches, but when full, the hall will seat about four hundred comfortably. The flat wall is towards the east, a wide pair of double doors in the middle leading to the kitchen. On either end of that wall, a staircase leads upwards to the second floor; along the curved wall to the south of the entrance, closed wooden doors have plaques on them; north of the entrance are the council room, records room, and the hallway leading to the infirmary.
Sacks and duffels are everywhere that there's a free space: belongings that will be transferred with the folks going on this (hairbrained) ride. There are no lavish decorations set up for this final dinner - no huge ceremony and celebration. There is an air of leashed impatience and excitement, curling around the weyrfolk - causing nervous laughter, anxious smiles, and thunderous expressions in many.
Zakias is still involved in packing, wrapping up the last of a few precious records in soft hide and excess cotton, before hammering a nail into the crate to seal it in tightly. It is a miracle he doesn't hammer his thumb as he shuffles back and forth, out of the way of other movers and those simply seeking dinner.
[Weather] The season is early winter; it is late evening and the stars are bright in the sky above. A few clouds drift across the otherwise clear sky. Today's weather is cold, the temperature close to the freezing point; breath is visible and the air is nippy. A light breeze scuffs through the air.
Iopeian comes out of her office, leaving the door open behind her. Glimpsed behind her, the place is stacked high with containers and sacks, a further reminder of the mad dash to the finish line, before the wings leave on the morrow. There's a feverish intensity in her sienna eyes, a brisk, nervous snap to her movements, and when she speaks, her voice is strained. "Evening, everyone."
L'ott just doesn't share in the impatience or excitement, though he is fidgety. His fingers tap on his crossed arms as he slowly wanders amidst the piles of gear and bags, his eyes trailing over said items with the air of inspection. In truth, he's lost in his own thoughts and not at all paying attention to the sacks that litter the dining hall. His gaze focuses briefly on Iopeian as he sees her exit her office, though it doesn't linger there long enough to offer any form of greeting or communication. He makes no attempt to approach the dinner tables.
"Linsora love, are you sure there isn't anything I can do to help?" A'yon walks out of the kitchens, a muffled response from the Headwoman and the bronzerider yells back, "Fine then, I'll just grab a table. Lets find us a place to sit shall we?" The later being directed toward his two children, Ayrora who's resting on one hip, and Linon who is in the crook of his other arm. Blue eyes dance around the hall, a nod is directed toward Iopeian and L'ott, he passes Zakias en route to the table and a "Zakias, good day," is directed the Harper's way. Finding a even semi-empty table is no small task, but he manages, sitting down with a sigh and plopping his daughter in the seat beside him. "Stay there dearheart, I'll just hold on to your brother."
Zakias edges over to the table, and sets his hammer down on the wood. He folds his hands in front of him to give the Weyrwoman his full attention, until A'yon passes. He nodes and murmurs a greeting back briefly.
K'teric has been hovering awhile, quiet and out of the way by a completed stack of crates pushed towards the wall to make way for more packing. He has a medium-sized bowl of broth set atop the stack, a quick dinner that's paired with a large lump of bread. He pauses in tearing off a bite sized chunk for dipping to look up reflexively at the sound of the Weyrwoman's voice. His eyes don't remain on Iopeian long, but rather sweep out to take account of the other prominent faces that have entered since he's been occupied with his meal.
Linsora emerges from the kitchens finally with a few things in her arms, mainly a few platters to set down for people to eat from. When she comes out and sets them down, which she quickly gets a bite and then arranges a few small plates for her family and herself before joining them. "Ahh, it is always good to sit down. Here you are Ayrora, and you Ary," She smiles as she sits down, offering the appropriate plates to the right people and smiles to the others.
Iopeian likewise only gives L'ott the briefest of glances, before turning to the hall at large. Her hands twist together before her, fingers rasping nervously over each other before they're stilled as she speaks. "I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone for their hard work. We've all pulled together to make this happen, and we couldn't be going forward without all your help. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. And clear skies for the morrow." She gives a thin, anxious smile to everyone in the dining hall.
K'teric's presence doesn't go unnoticed, and thus he is to be the unfortunate victim of a visit by L'ott. The bronzerider sighs as he slides into a chair direction across the table from K'teric. His lightly hued eyes study the very soon to be ex-weyrlingmaster. He looks back to Iopeian as she speaks and, despite himself, offers a small grin at her words. A soft shake of his head and the grin disappears. He has no helpful word to toss in and so the ever awesome Weyrleader remains silent to the masses. Instead, he looks to K'teric. "So, all set for your trip North?"
Zakias quirks a slight smile back, and then picks up his hammer to hit that nail one last time. He surveys it, and finding it satisfactory, places the hammer atop the crate and brushes his hands together. Then he steps over to Iopeian and says, "Io?"
A'yon beams broadly at his weyrmate, and arranges his sleeping son more comfortably in the crook of his arm as he begins to pick at his food. As Iopeian speaks, a strange expression passes over his features as he glances around at all the well known faces that are scattered around the hall. Turning to Linsora, he takes a sip from his mug, lowering his voice so that only she can hear, "Love, are /we/ really doing the right thing, staying I mean. The kids are old enough to go between, there is till time to change our minds, right?" Frowning he glances down at the babe in his arms, Linon opens his blue eyes and waves merrily at his father. One tiny hand clasps around his finger, and somberly A'yon glances back around the room. Holding up his mug, he echoes the Weyrwoman's words, "Clear skies!"
Iopeian twitches, almost jumping as Zakias addresses her. "Hm? Wha, oh, sorr, Zak." A ghost of a smile and she shifts a bit to draw down some more private words. "What is it?" Those restless fingers have begun twisting again, and she tries to hide them in the folds of her skirts.
K'teric takes brief note of the young Weyrleader's arrival across from him before gazing back to Iopeian as she speaks further. That anxious smile of hers has him dropping his gaze down to his bowl, dabbing the torn chunk of bread at the surface of the soup pensively. "More or less." There's a morose undercurrent to Kit's voice as he tilts his head sideways so he can look at L'ott. "Are you excited, now that it's so close?"
Linsora looks down as they had many of these discussions. "What is going to be there for me? I am Headwoman here, not there... I'll have to usurp someone who is there or start from the bottom again... I don't want to do that when I've been here. If we change our minds, we can go at a later time, can't we? I know it's dangerous, but still... you will remember, right?" She looks up slightly to him but starts to pick at her plate.
"Ah," Zakias says kind of quietly, feeling a bit awkward as he looks around the room quickly. "I wanted to say goodbye." That seems very final, and he clears his throat, then offers his hand to shake.
L'ott tilts his head slightly at that response. The fingers of one hand slowly drum on the table top before him as he leans forward to rest his elbows on it. "I would have thought you'd be happier, K'teric. You're going home, right? Or close enough." At the question, he thinks over it for a moment before looking around the hall. "No. Not really. Sehkteth is." He looks back to K'teric. "You know.. I spent turns trying to.." He pauses before shaking his head. "Nevermind." He smirks briefly. "Things've changed around here a lot. Even before news of the jump came out."
A'yon sits his mug down, turning back toward Linsora, "Aye love, I'll remember, I vow it. Sorry, just caught up in the moment I guess. This time tomorrow, many of our friends will be gone, turns away, forever." He offers her a small smile, before greeting some departing riders who walked up. A few pleasant words and a warm 'clear skies', the bronzerider turns back, "here love, take our son, I want to go and say a few words to some people."
Iopeian's lips twist, eyes filling and she ignores the hand. "You ass," she murmurs, instead pulling the harper close for a hug. "Be careful? And take care of yourself?"
An unexpected hug is nice, and Zakias squeezes her tightly for a moment, "Shouldn't I be the one saying that to you? There's nothing dangerous about my line of work."
K'teric makes a non-committal hmm in the back of his throat regarding the notion of happiness. The bread bite finishes its dunking while L'ott looks around the room, ready to be popped into Kit's mouth as he looks quizzically at the other bronzerider and the hanging statement. "It is quite different," he agrees after swallowing. There's another pause in which he rather visibly debates prying, eyes scanning over the Weyrleader's features. "What were you trying?"
Linsora nods as she takes Linon from A'yon and settle him on her lap and smiles at him, almost forcefully. "Of course, but at least this time I get to say good-bye... I didn't to my family when we came down here, minus a letter. Go talk, I'll be here..." She lets him go and looks to her daughter. "Ayrora, stay seated and eat. You can go play when your plate is empty."
Iopeian sniffs lightly and pulls away from Zakias enough not to make a scene. "I'm a rider going into Fall. Careful's my middle name." Another one of those tense, almost sick smiles. "You're staying to help Zelinci and Ulana settle in, right?"
"Zelinci's taking me back to Harper Hall tomorrow, after you leave." The question makes Zakias rub sole of his boot against the floor, but he doesn't break eye contact. "They can always come see me if they need me."
L'ott shakes his head. "Nothing. Family stuff." The man replies dryly, eyes glancing at the table briefly before looking back to K'teric. "Guess all of that'll be behind me soon enough. I'm the last person to look back, right?" In all of L'ott's cryptic words he never really explains himself or what he's talking about. The man is helpless when it comes to matters of his past. "Odd to think that everything changes tomorrow." He pushes up from the table. "And I was just getting used to how they were."
A'yon rises, laying a kiss atop his daughter's head, "Listen to your mother." He brushes a kiss upon Linsora's cheek, “I'll be back soon." Carefully he threads through the crowd, heading in the direction of Iopeian and Zakias, arriving just in time to hear the Harper's last comment. "Don't worry Io, Zakias is only a quick trip away, and don't forget I'll still be here to watch out for them." A smile is directed toward the Harper and the Weyrwoman, "I thought now would be as good a time as any to wish you well..." He pauses mid-sentence to clear his throat. "Think of us often back here in the past, won't you?"
Iopeian ohs softly at the Harper's words, which actually cause her to crack her knuckles. Then as A'yon arrives, she gives him that same bright, tense smile. "Course we will. I'm sure once we get there, there'll be tons of records telling us what happened - you two better make sure you keep them up," she mock-scolds them, shaking her finger at them, trying to lighten the mood.
Serini moves out of the Infirmary, alone and thin again. She moves slowly and finds a place to sit down.
Zakias offers a little huffed laugh, and then shrugs. He looks like he'd like to say more, but then says, "Well, no doubt Connell survives, so we must do /something/ right." He looks over at A'yon and raises an eyebrow.
K'teric just nods, accepting the lack of clarification easily. The rhetorical question even begins to bring a smile to the older man's face, an expression that deepens fondly as L'ott finishes. "Every tomorrow is an opportunity for change," he notes, perhaps rather obviously. "I'm sure you'll adapt just fine." His eyes turn from the standing Weyrleader, back to his bread as he tears off another chunk.
A'yon chuckles, and holds both hands up at the finger pointing. "Aye, that we will, right Zakias. Don't worry Io, I am sure there will be records. Who knows," he taps his temple, "I have been studying the jump point too, you might just see me one day in the future yet." He glances back over his shoulder toward his family, before grinning broadly at Iopeian. "I'll go on and say it now, so that I don't forget it tomorrow, but I wish you all the best Io, clear skies." His usual charming grin in place he holds out his hand toward the Weyrwoman.
Iopeian ignores the hand A'yon holds out as well, coming in to hug him tightly. "Take care of yourself. And your family. And Zelinci and Ulana. And Connell most of all." She sniffs. "I know you'll help hold the line, A'yon. We both had the same dream."
L'ott dips his head in aknowledgement of the truth of K'teric's statement. He grins openly as he offers, "As I probably won't get much of a chance to say it tomorrow.. It's been nice working with you, K'teric." He pauses for a moment before snickering. "To a point, at least." Considering most encounters between L'ott experienced tended to be those that clashed painfully. Its his forced, light-hearted way of saying goodbye. After it's given however, he turns and moves across the room, towards Serini.
As Iopeian says her goodbyes to A'yon, Zakias backs away and starts his goodbyes to other people he's made acquaintences with at Connell. Including as he makes his way over, L'ott and K'teric.
Serini blinks as L'ott comes toward her and she doesn't move from where she's at. She gives a small smile and doesn't say much at good byes but gives a nod here and there.
A'yon returns her hug, his own voice gruff after her words. "Aye, it was a wonderful dream, wasn't it Io? Mine has changed," he glances back toward Linsora and his children, "but keep it going will you?" He offers her a deep respectful bow, before moving away, heading back toward his family.
K'teric glances sideways, the edge of his smile curling into an amused smirk at the other man's farewell. "To a point, a pleasure," Kit returns with the ghost of a laugh in his voice as L'ott goes. He remains looking after the Weyrleader a minute, eyes taking in the greenrider that is the other man's destination. He tips a nod in her direction, his gaze then noting as Zakias moves towards their side of the room.
"K'teric," Zakias says and offers out his hand. "Which Weyr are you transferring to again?"
L'ott draws to a stop in front of Serini's table, his eyes studying her as she offers those short greetings/farewells to others. He reaches up a hand, gripping his shoulder and rubbing it tightly for the stiffness there in. For the ever absent and cold-hearted 'ex-lover' and father, he really didn't have much right to speak with her or try to make amends. And.. it doesn't seem as though he's going to try the latter. "You're leaving the kid here, right?" It comes out sounding more brusque then he'd intended it and he shifts slightly uncomfortably.
K'teric swipes his hand against his trousers to clear it of any bread crumbs before accepting Zakias's in a solid shake. "Telgar." He takes a moment to swallow the little bit of food still pocketed in his cheek. "Figured that it may be a more malleable climate, with T'lan gone. Do you have things all settled for... after?"
Serini's small smile she had for giving goodbyes and stuff fades as L'ott stumbles out his question. She can't look at him but answers. "I'm not a motherly type. And besides she needs a family. I've talked with Linsora and A'yon and they're taking her into their family. Besides. I don't want to have to make the jump with her." She rubs her hands together and looks around the room nervously.
Iopeian follows Zak with her eyes for a moment. As the harper stops to talk to Kit, her jaw clenches and she turns away to speak to E'dast, the two drawing together to talk about some last minute issues.
"Well, I'm going to Harper Hall in this time, myself. Alshain though, he's going, and I'm sure the records will be safe in his care for the jump." Zakias says, and then, "Telgar's a good choice. I hear E'dast's likely to win leadership soon."
A'yon collects a plate of sweets and returns with them to the table, setting it out of reach of Ayrora. "That's plate is not clean yet young lady, finish it." A'yon slides back into his seat and offers Linsora a sad smile, "thought it would be best to say goodbyes now. Still need to speak to L'ott, but he's busy at the moment." Head nods toward the greenrider and the Weyrleader.
L'ott gives a small, stiff nod to Serini. "A'yon.. Linsora.. they'll be good for her, I think. Better then me, at any rate." The man's gaze shifts downwards briefly before he looks back up to Serini. "See you tomorrow Seri." He turns and moves towards his office. Maybe, with all the goodbyes going on around him, and the knowledge of what tomorrow brought, it /was/ possible for L'ott to get all emotional.
Zakias continues talking to Kit about Telgar for a moment or two before making his way out.
Serini is about to say something when L'ott walks off. She doesn't stay sitting and stands wanting to follow, but stays by Linsora.