Players: Alshain, A'yon, Iopeian, K’teric, L’ott, Zakias (and others npc’d)
Location: Weyr Clearing
Scene: Final farewells and the long jump
This area is no more than a clearing where the forest pulls away from the cliff edge, thirty feet wide and continuing on to the north. Grass extends out from the forest until it fades away into the dusty dirt at the bottom of the cliff, with some smaller trees encroaching on the clear area. The new Weyr building curves out in a semi-circle from the cliff, made of gray stone, roofed with gray slate, and almost blending in with the cliff itself. Its lower two floors have eight large windows each, and the upper two floors have sixteen smaller windows each; all have metal shutters for Thread protection. The double doors leading inside are thick and plated with copper.
The cliff to the east rises to the height of the full-grown trees, although this far south, there are no caves large enough for dragons. Rope ladders hang down from the mouths of some of the larger caves, and one of the lowest openings has had the rock carved away to make a steep ramp up into it. The lake isn't visible through the western forest, and further south, the forest continues into the distance. Directly to the north the clearing continues; north and northwest, more forest.
Iopeian settles a final pack to Ayerpheth's straps. The queen is chomping at the bit to get going, rumbling impatiently. Ruleian, now a handsome five turn old, is running circles around Ayerpheth to burn off excess energy. And for once, Io's not calling him down. Her face is pale, save for two hectic spots of color in her cheeks. A deep breath, and she pulls out the star charts from the pack strapped to her back. "Anyone need a final check before we go?"
Despite rumors placing him at Telgar Weyr, perhaps as the next one to take over there, E'dast is in the thick of things. And his bronze is just as strapped up as the next. He comes forward to look at the charts, giving a thumbs up signal to his wing.
Dragon> To Sehkteth, Broidalth, and Kalavoth, Ayerpheth is impatient and it shows. << We have checked, we have packed, we know when we are going. Let's /go/ already. >>
A'yon and Linsora are standing just outside the weyrhold door's, while bronze Kalavoth sits nearby rumbling his own well wishes to those that who are preparing for the journey. Giving Linsora a small hug, he heads in the direction of Iopeian, as the Headwoman wraps a fur a bit tighter around her shoulders. "Well, Io.. guess this is it."
L'ott is one of a good number of individuals packing up and getting ready for the big take off. He hasn't said much to anyone about anything since the dinner the night before. Sehkteth's eyes whirl quickly in unsettled tones, his tail lashing behind him occasionally, violently beating at the ground. L'ott finishes pulling tight the strap that holds one a few travel packs and gently pats the bronze's neck. "It'll be fine, Sehk. Trust me." He looks towards Iopeian at her words before he shakes his head. Apparently, he's good to go.
Zakias is watching, having dragged one of B'net's chairs out of The Cave, mostly-empty wineskin next to his boot. His hands, however, are working feverishly as he scrawls something in one of his ubiquitous notebooks. He looks up from time to time, as if trying to catch as many details as possible.
Alshain looks like he's having second thoughts--or like he might be up to fourth or fifth ones by now. Still, he's here, which is something, and no one is forcing him to stay, which is something else. He has everything packed and ready to go, waiting to be loaded, while he loiters and for the most part people-watches, and studies the Weyr as if to fix it in his mind.
Dragon> To Sehkteth, Ayerpheth, and Broidalth, Kalavoth sends out his warmest thoughts in waves of dark mahogany with the hint of something smelling of sawdust. << Clear skies to you all! You will be missed, and... remembered. >>
Iopeian is so tense it shows, spine stiff, jaw clenched, and those insane spots of color on her cheeks. Ruleian hurdles into A'yon's knees, yelling, "Bye! Bye! I tole Aryora, but tell her again for me?!" Io's jaw unclenches for a moment enough to say, "Yeah, I think we're all packed and ready to go."
Linsora smiles fondly toward those nearby, giving quick final hugs to those who worked under her that are going on this grand adventure. "Don't worry, A'yon and I will be fine, you take care of your self understand?" Brushing a tear from the corner of her eye, she steps back inside the hall for a moment, obviously checking on the children, because she is visible a few minutes later, Linon wrapped in furs in her arms, while Ayrora stands at her feet, so very much resembling a miniture verson of her mother.
Broidalth, like Kalavoth, is there to see the others off. The small, dark bronze has wedged onto a narrow outcropping low on the cliff so he has a decent view of those assembled. Less conspicuous is his rider. K’teric lurks from the edge of the clearing, his arms folded tightly across his chest as he leans against the trunk of a tree. His expression is stony, save for his eyes which scan rapidly about the gathered travelers.
Dragon> To Broidalth, Ayerpheth's tone is gruff. << Keep your rider from being too terribly stupid, will you? >>
Zakias is not good with goodbye. Apparently he has said it to everyone he wished to say it to, or he's caught up in recording all the details, because he never leaves his chair. It is a minor miracle he hasn't spilled either wine or ink on the pages yet.
A'yon chuckles, capturing the boy, before bending down to give him a quick hug. "I will, see she's over there with her mother." Ayrora seeing her father with Ruleian, waves toward her friend happily. Standing, A'yon simply nods toward Io, voice gruff when he finally speaks. "Sounds good, I am sure that whatever else you need you can get it from the North when you arrive. Um, here, I made it a few sevendays ago. Its not much, but something to remember." Holding his hand out, he thrusts a small palm sized medallion towards her. One side showing a beautiful carving of what Connell first looked like when the settlers originally arrived, on the back was added to the scene all the changes that have been done.
Dragon> To Ayerpheth, Broidalth is typically dark, but there's an uncommon heat to the touch of his mind. Sulkiness. Yearning. << It is a difficult task. >> Longsuffering, but fond. << I know you will do well. You will show them, >> those in the future, << what a true queen is. >>
L'ott sighs quietly to himself before shaking his head. "I won't argue it." The man mutters under his breath before his gaze scans the clearing. Upon seeing A'yon and Linsora, the man tugs tightly at his jacket before walking towards them. When he's close enough for it to be spoken casually, he remarks. "Serini told me that you'd be taking care of the kid." He pauses to see if this is true or not.
Once Alshain's settled with the picture he has of Connell, and those remaining behind, he turns away deliberately to approach the bluerider from Connell he's already arranged a ride with. There's a little awkward conversation between them, but not much; neither seems much up for it, and loading the dragon is a welcome diversion from uncomfortable worries.
Ruleian is off like a shot, giving hugs to his two half sisters as well, declaring, "You'll both be good weyrwomen, I know!" Then he's manic and circling around Ayerpheth again. Io reaches out to take the medallion. "Thank you. It's beautiful. I will remember - everything." A long last look and then she turns away abruptly for a last few words with Ulana and Zelinci.
Dragon> To Broidalth, Ayerpheth grumbles. << She will not say goodbye. But it is not good to go away angry. She is afraid. But we will bring them through safely. >>
Much like Zakias, K’teric hasn’t moved from his tree. Yet, as the once and current Weyrleaders gather by Iopeian his gaze inevitably fixes on the group by the senior gold. His stony countenance is further broken as his teeth start worrying at the inside of his cheek. Breaking his eyes away, he looks down and starts grinding a toe into the dirt.
Dragon> To Ayerpheth, Broidalth warms further, dismissive of goodbyes and anger and instead thick with affection that harkens back to forgotten days. << You will guide them true, >> the bronze agrees confidently. << You shall always be our queen, and we always yours. That is what shall be remembered. >>
A'yon nods, softly saying "Farewell Io" before moving back toward Linsora. He gives her a quick kiss, then turns at L'ott's approach. "Aye, she spoke with us a few days ago, and we both agreed we would be honored to raise her child." Linsora agrees then excuses herself, taking the children back into the hold with the nannies. A'yon smiles as she leaves, turning back toward L'ott and holding out his hand. "You and I haven't always seen eye to eye, on many things, but I think I am more proud of you than any of the other bronzeriders that impressed here. Take care of them all won't you?"
Dragon> To Broidalth, Ayerpheth allows a flicker of amusement to filter past the nervousness and stress. << Of course you will always be my bronze. I /am/ better than the other queens. No other could be clever enough to start this weyr, or to lead this jump. >>
Iopeian moves to D'ac's side, exchanging a few quiet words with him. Watching the two together, some of the carefully leashed intensity goes out of Io's face. Instead the anxiety seems to strengthen to resolve, and she moves away to speak to E'dast and to B'net next.
Dragon> To Ayerpheth, Broidalth's inky cosmos is brightened by a rare supernova, sparkles of light skipping as adoring laughter. << No other. >>
L'ott nods at A'yon's words in regards to the..well, his daughter. His eyes dart away a little as the matter is confirmed, as though it made him uneasy in some way that he wasn't about to convey. At A'yon's offered hand, L'ott blinks, then looks up to A'yon. An eyebrow arches as he hesitates to take that offered hand. In the end, he shakes his head softly and smirks. "Don't be too proud of me, A'yon.. I'll always find ways around it." He stretches out his hand now, though as his palm slaps against A'yon's, there's a chunk of cord between it. An unused knot, and an explaination to come as he pulls his hand back. "I figured you're the best person to act as Weyrleader until the next gold rises." He glances around before looking back to A'yon and shrugging. "Not like there's many to take the spot anyway." He grins.
A'yon looks surprised as the knot passes between them at the handshake, but the twinkle is back in his eyes, and a chuckle emerges once he realizes just what it is, and the words that L'ott said. "You wouldn't be you if ya didn't L'ott. My thanks, I'll take care of your daughter, raise her right and tell her about the good parents she has, her mother /and/ her father, who went away to save the future." Clearing his throat, he nods once more to the younger bronzerider, "There's not that many ex-Weyrleaders around anyway is there?" Chuckling again, he re-attaches his former knot to his shoulder, just as Linsora exits the doorway. Eyes filling with tears the Headwoman walks out and takes her weyrmate's arm. "The children are fine, /all/ of them," as she looks knowingly toward L'ott. "Clear skies."
L'ott's eyes once more cast downwards towards A'yon's words, though after a moment he clears his throat and shakes his head to his own thoughts. His gaze upon A'yon carries a mischievious glint to it as he looks back to the man. "Don't delude her. Let her know her dad's one hell of a spitfire and proud of it." He looks to Linsora and nods quietly before he takes a step back. "Clear skies, A'yon, Linsora." He turns and moves towards Sehkteth.
Zakias stills his furious writing to note A'yon recieving his knot. He places the pen down, and stills himself to watch.
[Weather] The season is early winter; it is night and the stars can be seen between the clouds. Strong winds blow through the air. The sky is not completely overcast, but clouds cover over half the sky. Today's weather is cold, the temperature close to the freezing point; breath is visible and the air is nippy.
Iopeian doesn't say goodbye. Instead she mounts Ayerpheth, swinging Ruleian up before her. A last look around, catching D'ac's eye, and then she pumps her fist in the traditional signal to rise.
A'yon smiles as L'ott walks away, softly replying, "Oh don't worry, I will indeed." Turning toward his weyrmate, he reaches up to brush the tears from her cheeks, his own eyes starting to fill themselves. "No more tears, just safe journeys and well wishes for our friends, right?" Laughing, Linsora nods and wraps one arm around her 'mate's waist, and together they both turn toward the clearing. Slowly the front door to the weyrhall begins to fill up with people, those remaining behind who want to see everyone off.
L'ott is swift to mount up and buckle in for the flight. He looks once towards Iopeian, before his gaze strays to Serini. It lingers there for a long moment before he reaches up and pulls the riding goggles over his eyes to protect them. At the hand signal, Sehkteth roars in seeming excitement before he launches into the air.
K’teric is reluctant to lift his eyes, reluctant to face the sight of all those who have become familiar who will shortly be gone. But the sound of so many dragons preparing to take off is unavoidable. Subconsciously he pushes away from the tree, stepping away from the canopy so he can better see. His upturned face is twisted with a wash of emotion. Across the clearing on his sliver of ledge Broidalth flares his mottled wings, rearing up on hind legs and arching his neck.
The wind on the ground from so many dragons taking off all at once blows the pages of Zak's book. He presses his hands down on each side to keep them from pulling out from the binding, knocking his ink onto the ground.
Iopeian is the last, as she was the first, leaving the ground only after the rest of her crew is in the air. As Ayerpheth launches, she gives a wave to those remaining on the ground, shouting, "Clear Skies!" It is an almost defiant shout, and Ayerpheth roars her approval, winging up to take her position at the head of the group. There is a long pause, as the queen checks final between coordinates for the first stage of the jump, some 75 turns into the future, to Red Butte. Then, as Iopeian gives the hand signal, the jump begins, with E'dast's wing going first - surprisingly a split second before Ayerpheth.
Dragon> To Kalavoth, Sehkteth, and Ayerpheth, Broidalth's wintry chill soars to his journeying compatriots, encouraging and wistful. << May Thread flee from your flame. >>
Sehkteth hover high above Connell by the end of it, his yellowed eyes sweeping over his home while he and his riders wait for the next signal to come from Iopeian. L'ott's hands tighten on the dragon's riding straps as his gaze shifts from the land below, to a green dragon that takes her place not too far beneath them. With a soft, choked breath, he murmers a goodbye. At Iopeian's command, the image within L'ott's mind settles firmly into Sehkteth's, and the pair blink Between.
Too late, K’teric finds himself running into the clearing; running towards the spot so recently occupied by Ayerpheth. He stares into the sky as the dragons of Connell climb into the air. Slowly coming to a resigned halt, his arms hang limply at his sides. “Rise the dragonmen on Pern.” The lines of the ballad come softly to his lips as the travelers make their daring leap. “Aloft, on wing, seen, then. . .” Even the whisper dies, leaving the elder bronzerider standing alone.
Zakias watches the dragons as they rise higher and higher into the sky, and maybe his eyes a little shiny and wet. And maybe he does wipe his nose against his sleeve and the butt of his palm against his eyes. A big gulping breath of air, and then he shakes it off. His hand reaches down for the glass bottle of ink that fell, and he pours what remains inside into the earth with a shake for the last few drops.
A'yon lowers his hand, turning to nod at Zakias upon his seat, K'teric, Ulana, Zelinci, and the others who have remained behind. Slowly those around him begin drifting back inside, but A'yon remains standing there silent at the doors to the hall. Linsora gives her weyrmate a quick squeeze and heads in, with a hushed, "don't be long." Shaking his head, he glances once again to those remaining, then back to the now empty skies above, nods silently one last time. Kalavoth stretches down crooning softly, his lifemate reaching up to give him a pat on the muzzle, "Goodbye my friends, clear skies." Wiping a tear from his eyes, he turns and the new acting Weyrleader of Connell leaves the clearing for the hold at last.
A fleck of red in a cold night sky,
A drop of blood to guide them by,
Turn away, Turn away, Turn, be gone,
A Red Star beckons the travelers on.
In the evening of day 9 of month 6, Turn 202 in the 4th Interval, the combined wings of Connell Weyr took to the skies. Led by Iopeian and L'ott, the group of the majority of the Connell riders jumped forward some 240+ turns to the future, to combat thread in the Fourth pass. They left behind A'yon as acting weyrleader, and Zelinci and Ulana as the potential Weyrwomen.
Those left behind could not know the results of the jump. They could not hear the anguished keening some 75 turns in the future, at isolated Red Butte. E'dast and his entire wing were lost, having mistimed the jump, leaving just half a second before Ayerpheth. To make matters worse (or some might say better!), Weyrleader L'ott and his bronze Sehkteth also failed to emerge from between. Shaken, the Connellites rest for only a short time before making the final jump to their future.
On the evening of the 15th day of the 6th month, scarcely a week after many Connellites made that fateful jump to the future to fight Thread in glorious battle, a lone bronze appeared high above Connell Weyr. It didn't take long for the dragons on watch to recognize the beast or its rider as Sehkteth winged down to the clearing. The explaination for L'ott's unexpected presence took even less time. The ex-Weyrleader's jump to the future was little more then a farse, an act carried on to help keep up moral. What would those taking that risky jump to the future think, after all, if the man who introduced the idea to them in the first had changed his mind the night before? Whatever heated arguments might arise from their return, the only sure thing is that L'ott and Sehkteth are here to stay.