Nocturnal conversations

24th December 2003
Logged by Pyrene

Leaders Return TP
PREVIOUS: mending the break
NEXT: blue Zipheroth is sick


Living Caverns
The rough-hewn majesty of this cavern far outpaces any delight in the multitudes of curves that form its enclosure. The glabrous grey granite is shot through with translucent obsidian, lending subtly-veined sparkle to the walls and the foot-trodden smoothness of the floor that shows centuries-old placements of the scarred trestle tables; carven hollows give homes for the glow baskets and the coat-pegs that line the walls. No mosaics, no painting, no tiles: just a few well-done tapestries mark the pathway that lead to the kitchen to the north and the inner caverns to the west, and frame the nighthearth's stew and snacks, while a heavier strip of oiled canvas shields the unwary from the wind in the bowl.
L'vek and C'radoc are here.

L'vek is up early… or rather late. One or the other. But he's sitting at one of the trestle tables and staring at his plate with a tired gaze. His fork is held supsended midair with a bit of roast wherry on it, but he's just sitting and staring at it.

Sinead steps gently in from the Central Bowl.

Pyrene ventures into the Living Cavern, and grimaces slightly at the sight of Cloudburst riders. She'd hoped to get away from thinking about them for an hour or two. Nodding at the other late-night people, she crosses to the pot of stew, still being warmed on the hearth's dying embers.

Perhaps cheer shouldn't be seen in a man in C'radoc's situation. And yet, it's there - a wide smile on his face, a lively set to his shoulders. A bit too much effort seems to be put into it, despite the genuine glint of amusement in his eyes. He enters swiftly, slinking over towards the only friendly face he knows. Or at least, the only face he knows that isn't fifteen Turns older. "Ho, L'vek," he greets. "Watch out, lest the meat try to eat /you/." A charming smile is attempted towards his wingmate, before he glances towards the table. "Where /do/ they keep the ale nowadays? Strange customs," he mutters, mostly to himself, as his eyes search the caverns.

Sinead walks in, stretching as she goes. She offers a pleasent smile to those hardly known to her and a grin toward Py. "Morning Pyrene," is offered by the warmly clad guard as she goes straight for the klah. Klah, yum.

Lifting his eyes from the plate and the fork, L'vek blinks twice at his wingmate before he seems to recognize the man. "What? Oh… Morn to You and Yours, C'radoc." He realizes suddenly that he's still holding his fork up and swiftly puts it down. "The meat is good, and the ale surprisingly better than I remember. But then, I don't suppose roast wherry changes much over the years." His face stays rather bland, and not completely because C'radoc isn't is favorite wingmate. "I've already found the ale, I belive." He taps the tankard by his plate with one finger. "They keep it slightly over from where it used to be. Asked a drudge."

Pyrene waves the stew ladle at Sinead. "Morning, if that's what you call it. I've yet to take my four hours of sleep." She's heard you can survive on that, although on a couple of nights experimentation she's yet to be convinced. She doesn't look the proof of it either. The ladle dips down towards the soup, pauses, and then, somewhat against her will, Pyrene points it to an overhead cupboard. "It was moved there over twenty turns ago, after some brats got to the store in the lower cupboards." No comment on whose fault /that/ was.

"Ale's such a logical thing to place. Put it where riders can get it, and quickly. Strange things, it seems…," C'radoc mumrurs, before casting his eyes over towards Pyrene. "Weyrwoman," he greets, offering a bow and a smile, laugh lines around his eyes crinkling. "I thank you. I would quite likely get in the way of some poor drudge on my own! We just let the children learn the hard way about drinking, as I recall… Most effective punishment is headache the next morning." He slides over, cup in hand, before letting his gaze settle back onto his wingmate. "I hope that you and your own are well, L'vek." As well as anyone can be in the situation, at least.

Sinead chuckles slightly. "Than good evening," she offers, looking as though she'd already slept her four, but dressed in the same clothes she wore the previous day, when not on duty. Upon retrieving her klah Ead finds a place to sit, and, quite simply, listens. She's become good at listening in the past few turns, it can be useful, quiet as a rodent, but with ears as sharp as any felines.

L'vek follows C'radoc's gaze after the commet about the Ale. "Oh! Weyrwoman." He looks as if he's about to stand up, but doesn't because he has scooted his chair too far in. But he can't not reply to C'radoc, "Yes, but sometimes the headache doesn't deter them." L'vek points out. Then he shakes his head. "What? No… actually. Zipheroth is off color. He has been since the day after we got here, actually. He's starting to become even paler and he's getting… well, sniffly." L'vek shrugged. "I thought it was just because of the jump… but now, I don't know what to think."

"You obviously never had to clean up the vomit," Pyrene replies coolly, finally ladling out a bowl of stew. "The healers tore strips off us too, because of the potential danger. Small bodies don't do well with alcohol." She sniffs slightly. "And I think you'll find our cooks are excellent. We've always had very high standards for our meals." She stops at L'vek's comment on Zipheroth and focuses on her ladling instead.

"Perhaps the jump got to him rather hard." C'radoc shakes his head, a bit of worry creasing his brow. "My Umiheth was a little out of sorts… Not like such a jump would be most pleasant for them, really. Have you mentioned it to R'meld?" C'radoc asks. To keep dealing with it in the wing, perhaps, if nothing else. "I suppose I was a lucky lad in that I didn't have to clean after the children," C'radoc responds as his glance turns to Pyrene, taking a slight step back. Certainly not like the Weyrwoman of his time, this one. He slides forward, just a little, before shaking his head and taking a seat near L'vek, mug of ale in hand. He attempts to turn up the charm with a widened smile. "I look forward to trying the cookies, then. Sweets are something I've never quite grown out of." Sinead gets a quick look as his gaze travels the room - a friendlier female face, perhaps that would be an improvement over the cool tone of the Weyrwoman.

Sinead offers a pleasent nod towards C'radoc. Friendlier, yah, but she can still be mean, poor woman's gotta be, you know. She remains quiet, however, sipping at her klah as she does.

"No… he's… Well? I don't know. I mean. He's never acted like this before. He's not eaten either. Which is worrying me. Zip always eats after a long day." L'vek sighs slightly, pushing some of the food he'd been trying to eat around on the plate. "No. I've not mentioned it to R'meld yet. I didn't want to bother him, what with Adel and all." He glances up again at the two other women, and gives them both a wan smile. "I didn't properly greet either of you, I take it. I'm L'vek. Weyrwoman… Pyrene?" He questions, his curiosity something more to take his mind of a coughing dragon than anything. "And you are?" is directed at Sinead.

Pyrene sighs, and since she's talking to them anyway, moves over to the oldtime riders and sits down a few places from them. "He may have picked up a bug here. We had dragons and lizards going down sick recently." If they haven't heard about it yet, they will soon, so it may as well be her who says it.

"Understandably so, he's not in the best of minds… But who is?" C'radoc responds, speaking quietly to L'vek. "Bring it up to him. If he's any leader to us, he'll show the proper concern and care for one of his own." Perhaps a bit much said, from the gleam in C'ra's eyes, and he pushes on hastily. "He'd best know of it, if Zipheroth's not even eating… Never a good sign in a man, dragon or not, to not eat." His gaze goes over to Pyrene, voice sharp for a moment. "Bug?" He glances towards the door for a moment, to the direction of his own lifemate, before returning his stare to Pyrene with the smile firmly back in place. "I hope your dragons have recovered fully, that it did not hit too harshly." Politeness and a warm smile. It's a tact, and he'll try it til he must admit defeat.

Sinead turns her attention towards L'vek. "Guardswoman Sinead," she offers in a pleasent voice. "Well met," is given, with another sip of her klah, rendering the mug empty, and Ead shaking her head, laughter present in her eyes. With that she stands. "Sorry to cut my visit short, seem's I've forgotten some paperwork that is of the utmost importance and requires my immediate attention," she states, nodding. "I'll see you all about," she gives.
Sinead goes home.

A worried look crosses L'vek's face. No, not worried…. stricken. "A… a bug?" He finally manages to squeak out in voice much too high to be his own. "What do you mean a bug? Like… a sickness? Were those the symptoms." He completely passes over C'radoc's politikin', with only a cynical look in his direction and a short comment. "R'meld would show concern for about half a candlemark. Then he'd be concerned about his own dragon for the other half. Then he'd forget." He looks back at Pyrene, still worried. "Did all the dragonkind recover back to top shape? I wouldn't want Zip to miss fall. He'd hate that."

The tactic of tact always works well on Pyrene. "Oh, most of them handled it just fine. A handful of lizards died but we only lost three dragons. Two of them were old, and the third was indirect. Young rider, hadn't fully taken in how sick his dragon was and too stupidly proud not to fly thread." Her smile compresses into a frown at that memory, but she shrugs it off. "Accordingly, Zipheroth /will/ miss Fall if he's ill. It starts with them looking sluggish, as I recall. Talk to a healer. They should remember the details of /this/ plague without having to look it up."

"Still, it's his /duty/, after all." C'radoc shakes his head, letting a few grey-tinted strands of hair fall into his eyes. "I hope there's no imposition on your weyrhealers, Weyrwoman." Not like they particularly wanted to be stuck as they are. "I'm sure he'll be fine, L'vek. Zip'll be up and about in no time, eatin' enough and flying enough to make up for a sevenday or two lost." But his gaze still strays to the door. "I hope my Umiheth remains well… We're not as young as the rest of 'em," he confesses, offering a half-smile towards Pyrene. "Though certainly still at heart."

L'vek shakes his head. "Oh… no, I just meant that Fall drives him nuts. He'll want to be there to do it." Then L'vek nods thoughtfully at Pyrene. "I'll talk to a healer, then. I want Zipheroth to get better as soon as he can. He's not used to being sick." L'vek then nods at C'radoc's words, a small bit of sympathy eeking out for his fellow wingrider. A very small bit. "I suppose you're right. And I don't see any of the other dragons looking off. So we should be fine." And that's that.

Pyrene, ever a challenge, returns the half smile with a level regard. "Actually, it takes a couple of weeks for the disease to run its course," she informs them. "So you'll just have to wait it out." In one way, that's a good thing for her, since it means that Cloudburst won't try going anywhere while one of its members is sick.

"Best to keep our eye on 'em, even still. I'm a little surprised we hadn't heard of this 'bug' yet." C'radoc offers a faint smile to L'vek. "Well, he's still got plenty of Falls ahead of him, at least. Perhaps he'll just sleep through it, resting up and all." If there's one thing the bronzerider loves, though, it's a bit of a challenge. Assuming that he wins, of course. Pyrene's met with a spark flashing in his eyes. "A couple sevendays of rest for Zip, then. I hope it's not a hassle upon you, Weyrwoman, all of us around here… I understand the uncomfortable nature of the unwelcomed and disorderly chaos life throws out." Another soft smile.

L'vek nods slightly, a bit of appetite returning as he reached for his fork. "I hope you don't mind, Weyrwoman, I just have been up most of the night trying to make Zip feel better. Didn't get dinner last… night. Or yesterday. Or whenever it was." L'vek offers his own wan smile, but a genuine one. "Thank you for tellin' me. I might have gotten more worried." His glance slid sideways for a moment at C'radoc, before he rolled his eyes and started munching on his food.

"Well, a bit of warning would have been nice so we could take it into account for managing the winter tithes," Pyrene points out, a trifle unfairly. However, she defrosts enough to admit: "Another 23 dragons isn't that much extra. We'll cope. Particularly if L'vek isn't having his share." She gives said rider an admonishing look. "Which isn't helping Zipheroth any."

Cadgwith> Umiheth is quitely perched in the bowl, his wings drawn close and his craggy muzzle resting upon stone. A guarded pose, but perhaps not too unexpected for a time-lost dragon. His tail swishes slightly, a little dust rising, while his gaze is fixed upon the fant rays of the sun just barely peeking over into the Weyr.

Cadgwith> Cadgwith is also in a guarded pose, but mostly because it's cold out here. Her eyes whirl watching her breath whorl. Oh, yes. She doesn't like these late nights, but on the other hand, she wants her rider to eat rather than go to bed hungry which will keep both of them up. Rugged hide twitching, she sneaks a glance at Umiheth, wondering if he might share a warm flank.

C'radoc shoots a slight smirk at L'vek, before just shaking his head. "And it wouldn't cheer up Zip to have you fainting in the bowl of hunger." 'Agree with the Weyrwoman' is another potential plan, perhaps, though there does seem to be a tinge of concern for his wingmate even among the false grinning. "Rest and a bit of food would be good for the /both/ of you…," he mutters. "And if there's anything you request of us, Weyrwoman, do only ask. Since were are using your resources, few as we may be. It would be a pleasure to aid you in any way, for I must admit, I do /hate/ to be a burden upon anyone," C'radoc says, confession in his tone.

L'vek shrugs at the weyrwoman between bites, rather missing the point of Pyrene's comment. "Sorry, I am. But 'tis not my fault that Zip managed to catch your 'bug'." He sighs again, slowly chewing up a bit of tuber before speaking, "Well, at least we're under quarantine, right? Can't spread it again, yes?" He looks hopeful, trying to be positive when this new-age Weyrwoman and his wingmate were… well… locking horns. "And I'm eatin' I am." He is. Chewing his food slowly and carefully to make sure he doesn't choke either. But the concern is noted behind C'radoc's normally much-too-cheerful grin and L'vek smiles gratefully.

Cadgwith> Umiheth is still entranced with the morning rays, but the dragon's gaze does eventually stray to trace the paths of the faint light as they cast shadows into the mostly-dark bowl. Quickly it does pass upon Cadgwith… After all, for all the size of the bronzes, he wouldn't miss a gold. He cocks his head slightly, a bit of curiosity turning in his eyes as he relaxes his pose. Just slightly - he's still feels deeply that he's a stranger, after all. A soft bugle is offered in inquisitve greeting.

"Having twenty-two extra dragons in Fall is a nice compensation," Pyrene supposes, although she's uncertain of how well Adel will take to /not/ leading the Queen's wing. "But I'll let you know if we need anything else. Yes, we're under quarantine, although I think we're at greater risk from your plague. The dragon one was a bit of hysteria really." She'll opt to play it down, rather than admit that Cloudburst's stay is as much of an inconvenience for them as it is for present day High Reaches Weyr.

Cadgwith> Cadgwith has nothing against new bronzes in the Weyr, and since Ulrinath isn't about, she edges up to Umiheth and leans against him slightly. That's better. All she needs now is somebody against her other side, but this will do. Her eyes deepen to green, contented.

"We'll do as we can, then. Fighting Thread is at least one thing we can do, any time and place," C'radoc answers, a bit grimly, though his eyebrow does raise slightly. "Begging your pardon, Weyrwoman, but it seems we do have some risk on /both/ sides about all the plagues about." Waiting for his lifemate to potentially catch ill of another plague is not his idea of a pleasant situation, though certain possibilities of the time at least present some hopeful moments for his ambition.

Cadgwith> Umiheth hasn't been a favorite of Ulrinath, but the sudden contact with Cadgwith does get his attention, eyes whirling to a darker hue. He responds by relaxing a wing, and letting it droop more over the gold. A bit more warmth, hopefully. He's quite content with the warmth provide, a low rumble in his throat.

L'vek only stands and shakes his head. "Well, whether or not it caused hysteria then, Weyrwoman Ma'am, I don't want Zip to have a bad time of it. So I'll just be going back to get a bit of shut-eye before I have to wake up again tomorrow and tend him." He rubs at his heavy jaw. "Hopin' that R'meld will let me off of duties until Zip gets better." With a respectful nod at both of them, he heads for the door, heavy boots clunking on the stone.

"Well, it was you lot who made the decision to time between!" Pyrene snaps, too tired for diplomacy. "You're lucky you didn't join us at the time it rained fire instead of Thread! Have any of you thought to look at the records of what's happened since you disappeared?" Testily she nods to L'vek, but doesn't articulate a farewell.

C'radoc keeps a decent calm, even with the flash of anger in his eyes that he struggles to smother. He glances over at L'vek, offering a firm nod. "My best to your Zipheroth. Get some rest," he offers, before turning back to meet the Weyrwoman with his best attempt at an even stare. "We did what we had to do. Desperate, perhaps, but what we faced? It was harsh," he responds firmly. "We did what we thought was best for the Weyr. Maybe not the best decision, but then, not all of us had the most voice in it. If you have issue with the choice, it isn't me you should accuse, Weyrwoman. And as for records, no. But then, we've had a bit to worry about already, with this quarantine and all… Seems like we'll be here for awhile yet, or should we rush to now?" He softens. Slightly. "We didn't mean ill upon you, or to act so rashly, you know. Not all of us thought this was the best plan, but it was a plan. Something the Weyr needed."

Cadgwith> Cadgwith croons softly in response to the rumble, but it's more automatic than a deliberate response of gratitude to the other dragon. She settles into a doze, claws flexing blissfully as she starts becoming more aware of dreams than reality. Conscious or not, the relaxation of her pose now demonstrates appreciation for Umiheth's gesture.

Cadgwith> Umiheth is content with that, and a bit of sleepiness causes his eyes to half-lid as he gives another rumble, almost a purr, in response to her croon. If this is what the future can hold, then he's more than grateful for it. More than the attention Ulrinath would ever give him. His wing twitches, slightly, and he settles into his own half-slumber.

L'vek nods back at both of them, rather relieved that he's getting out just as the fireworks were starting. It was his personal policy not to get invovled with disputes with Goldriders. Shaking his head, he dissapears through the entrance, headed towards the weyr he'd taken up residence in.

"From what I heard, the Weyr didn't need its Weyrleaders and its entire wing disappearing. Do you know how worrying that was for us in the Holds?" she asks, somewhat caustically. "But alright. So it wasn't your idea." A bit of a cop-out excuse if she ever heard one, and she should know. She's used it herself often enough. She turns back to the dregs of her stew, now cold thanks to the distraction of table conversation.

"We didn't know if we /would/ have a wing to go back for much longer," C'radoc responds with a shrug, clutching his ale. "And Threadfall…" His voice is oddly quiet. "Pressure on the dragons to perform ten times their ability? Anyone knows that's asking for trouble." He just takes another sip, age showing slightly in his eyes as he glances back up at her. "Maybe it's different now, but we believe in obedience, in doing what you must do. If I were Weyrleader, I can't say I'd make the same choice that was made. I'm of your mind, Weyrwoman, about taking away leadership. It may look glorious to have the Weyrleader lead us to hope, but it's a damn fool thing. R'meld should have stayed. But I can't say I wouldn't have sent a few riders to some time. We needed hope. Surely you can understand that."

Pyrene hates appeals to understand another's point of view. So she stands and makes as little of it as possible. "Oh, I know, I know. But I'm going back to my Weyr for some sleep." She makes a face, realising that Cadge is asleep in the bowl and will need to be woken up. "Goodnight, rider."

C'radoc gives a quick look to the door, a quick glazed look in his eyes that vanishes as it comes. He settles back in to a cheerful smile. "I overstep myself, Weyrwoman, and I do apologize. But at least know, that seeing you makes me happy. At least we know that hope was there all along, we just couldn't see it. Seeing here thrive, seeing you… Eases my foolish heart a bit." He stands up, setting his mug down lightly upon the table. "I think I'll get some sleep, myself. May I walk you back to your weyr, Weyrwoman?"

Pyrene had been expecting a somewhat peevish response, so the sudden warmth from C'radoc raises her brows, and his last line lowers them suspiciously. "I'll ride Cadge, thanks," she replies, dryly. "I'm sure your own dragon's waiting for you, and it's cold out."

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