All For One And One For All


Ahnika.jpg Balkrith Jhath L'ron.jpg

Date: 11/11/10
Location: EW: Upper Bowl North
Synopsis: L'ron and Balkrith are joined for lunch by Ahnika and Jhath. Conversation between the weyrlings drifts from letters to home to destiny while the dragons talk about strategy in fighting Thread with turnips and conducting assessment, and each get a little reminder of the bond formed in weyrlinghood and the knowledge that they can all count on one another.
Rating: PG
Logger: Ahnika

While most head indoors during the lunch hour to escape some of the summer heat and enjoy the camaraderie provided by friends and family while sharing a meal together, the blue pair are rather to be found out in the northern bowl. L'ron, seated on an upturned bucket munches his way through an enormous herdbeast sandwich whilst Balkrith seems engrossed in the task of placing turnips in a circle spiralling inward toward himself from largest to smallest. "Errr…no, Bal. I don't think that's how it goes," amusement evident for the little blue's efforts at trying to figure out the best way to place turnip bearing dragons in the sky against Thread.

A thunderously imposing alto of a trumpeted greeting heralds the approach of another weyrling pair, this one Jhath and Ahnika. The greeting, of course, was sent from the now towering nearly half-a-turn-old green, and not her rider. Her rider greets the pair a little less boisterously, but just as pleased to see them nonetheless, “Hi L’ron, Balkrith,” she smiles. As all the dragonets are getting big now, Jhath doesn’t walk exactly side-by-side Ahni as she used to. She walks mostly to the side and behind her, so that essentially her big wedge-shaped head is kept abreast with her lifemate’s stride. Ahnika carries with her a little knapsack, presumably lunch, but considering the way Jhath’s hide glistens with a fresh oiling, and Ahni’s clothes have a fair bit of that oil on them, they probably just came from that oiling and not the kitchens. Jhath, for her part, regards the spiral pattern of turnips around Balkrith with mild interest, but she settles a short distance away with one of her front legs sticking out a little more than the others. Ahnika settles down onto the meatier section, closer to the shoulder, though isn’t lounging her full weight there. Still, there’s little doubt that there will be another smudge of oil on Ahni’s backside when she gets up. If the young woman cares at all, she doesn’t seem inclined to show it, “Mind if we join you?”

It's probably due to having shared barracks for the past six months with the green pair that has L'ron barely even flinching for the loud trumpeted greeting and rather simply turning his head in their direction, a smile in place, "Hi Ahnika, Jhath." Sandwich bearing hand lifting in a sort of wave. Balkrith however, his greeting is a little more jubilant with the blue sending a honking sound in return and then he turns a perplexed look over onto his rider. Brown eyes roll and then the blue weyrling points upward, "They drill above us every day, Bal," speaking aloud for Ahnika's sake as to quite what the dilemma appears to be, "Have you ever seen them doing that?" pointing back down to the spiral laid out on the ground. To which the blue gives a big of a huffy sound and stares determinedly at his bonded. A shake of head and a chuckle before L'ron turns to the green weyrling with a warm smile, "You never have to ask, Ahnika." Whether she may join them or not. "Bal here's decided that the turnip wing," don't ask, "will require its own unique formations, which…he's currently putting together." Aheh.

Now settled, smiling softly for L’ron’s saying she never has to ask, Ahnika takes out her sandwich and uses the knapsack itself as a sort of napkin to hold it by. She grins a little toward Balkrith and the turnips, “The Turnip Wing?” She does, apparently ask, but she doesn’t wait for an answer before saying, “I know someone who can sew up a good banner for it.” Oh yes, she does seem inclined to encourage it. Jhath even rumbles her approval, though she seems to be staring more intently at the turnips and the ‘formation’ than at Balkrith or L’ron. Ahnika, however, glances skyward a moment, as if trying to see if there are any drills going on right now, but the summer sun is too bright, so she looks away a moment later, back to L’ron. “How are things going for you two today? Other than, of course … ” she gestures vaguely at the turnips, and then is silenced by taking a bite of her sandwich.

Dragon> To Balkrith, Jhath sends across on a wave of warmth from her hearth fire, the taste of wine enjoyed between comrades, and a sweet scent of incense, « Interesting formation, Battle Brother. What is the mission objective? »

Grinning around a mouthful, L'ron has to forcefully push down the laughter that rises up at mention of a banner for fear of choking on his sandwich. Chewing and swallowing hastily, that humour lifts up as a deep chuckle instead, "Don't encourage him." Although it's clear to see that he appreciates Ahnika's suggestion as against the mockery he'd likely have gotten from someone else with less sensitivity and understanding. Balkrith turns his determined gaze off of his bonded and sets it rather to Jhath as she inspects his layout. Shifting his position on the upturned bucket, the blue weyrling goes quiet a while and then withdraws a folded sheet of paper from his pocket. It's crumpled status suggesting he's been carrying it around with him for a while now. Staring down at it he asks quietly, "Have you written your people yet? You know…about all this, the sandwich bearing hand sweeping out to encompass the whole bowl, including their lifemates. That his reply to her query on how he's doing.

Dragon> To Jhath, Balkrith is silent a moment and then his mental tones rise up on a dust cloud of concentration « This » his spiralling formation, « shall draw the Thread down into it » just like the mental image he projects of a dusty twister, « and those worthy of the Protection of the Turnip. » ranks of dragons wearing necklaces of turnips formed around the edges of said 'twister', « Shall render it no more. » scribbling in little yarny type squiggles to represent Thread that then spontaneously combust once drawn into the 'turnip twister' becoming nothing more than ash. Think garlic and vampires and you'll have exactly where the little blue's mind is going.

Ahnika smiles ruefully at L’ron’s first, but simply nods a little. She finishes chewing and swallowing down that bite before responding to the question, “Twice, yes.” She looks at her sandwich, brings it to her lips but pauses to say, “It’s busy here and they’re busy there, so, I really only write if there’s something significant to say. Yourself?” and then takes that bite and chews quietly. For Ahni, one can assume that the bar for ‘something significant’ is pretty high, and probably doesn’t include anything about runner thieves or injuries.

Dragon> To Balkrith, Jhath offers more mulled wine and the scent of her incense wafts about the chamber of her mind a little more thickly without being overbearing, « I like your thinking, Brother » she states earnestly, « How do you propose we avoid accidentally flaming each other in that kind of formation? » The question is evenly and genuinely put, not mockingly.

The last piece of his sandwich goes in his mouth and L'ron chews in silence, solemn brown eyes casting over to Ahnika with the idea of a smile in place and then drop back down to that folded sheet of paper, nodding in response to her having written twice to her people back where she came from. With a slight grimace, it gets set back into his pocket once again and rather than answer the question put to him, he asks another of her, a slightly perturbed expression in place, "How did they take the news…you know…of Jhath and all?"

Dragon> To Jhath, Balkrith savors the scents put forward by Jhath and has little else to offer in return other than an appreciative wisp of mouldy bread in return. Without hesitation he returns with a determined clang of pots, « There will be no need for flame, mi'lady. For the power of the turnip, will do the job for us. We simply need to surround it, draw it in. And make sure that none escapes. » Here he stops and thinks a little more, the soft sound of a dog panting in the background, « Enceth said that it could be that Thread is 'lergi…cal…allergic » grasping the word from his rider's mind.

Ahnika’s chewing slows down a little as she watches L’ron’s expression change, and then resumes and she swallows the bite. The redhead glances up at Jhath, or rather, the side of her head, while the green continues to stare intently at the formation of turnips. Looking back at L’ron, Ahni says with a little shrug, “Seren, my foster-mum, she said she was happy for me in a reply to my first letter, and,” Ahni looks skyward a moment as she tries to recall what the letter said, “that she wasn’t surprised. I haven’t gotten a response to my second one, though.” She pauses and then tilts her head a little to regard L’ron, making a little assumption, “Your people not taking the news well?” She asks it gently, but there’s a little bit of incredulity threaded throughout her tone. What could one possibly find objectionable to a family member Impressing? Or so she thinks.

Dragon> To Balkrith, Jhath turns up the flame of her spirited mind at the suggestion of there being no need for flame with his plan. It's not that she doesn't believe him as much as she just sort of clings to the notion of flaming for the mere fact that, well, flaming Thread is sooooo satisfying and fulfilling. Or the way she imagines it would be. She's never experienced it, but there is a sense that Jhath would miss it if she couldn't flame Thread anymore. So it is with a little uncertainty and extra heat that she responds with « Allergic. What does that do to Thread? How quickly does it dispatch it? Are we to fire turnips from our mouths at it? Like the flame from firestone? » Jhath is trying really hard to wrap her mind around this strategy, but simply doesn't know enough about Thread or turnips and how they mix/don't mix to understand it.

A smile forms with Ahnika relaying that her foster mother had taken the news well, and L'ron's attention fits briefly onto Balkrith who has taken to standing in the middle of his spiral of turnips, wings slightly outstretched and giving out a sort of threatening rumble as he demonstrates something to Jhath. The blue weyrling's head swings back to his green counterpart and the smile slips off sideways, "They…don't know yet." Dusting the last of the crumbs off of his lap, a hand lingers momentarily at the pocket where the folded sheet of paper is hidden from view, "Jaya … she helped me write this letter but…" he hasn't gotten up the courage to send it off yet. For whatever reason.

Dragon> To Jhath, Balkrith doesn't seem to have quite the fascination with flaming that Jhath does, but that might change once they actually get to that part of their weyrlinghood. Who knows? His mental tones shift and muddy as he makes reply, « We » he and Enceth all that time ago, « think it will just….disappear » Poof! Just like that. The blue swings his head in Jhath's direction is tone almost incredulous for the suggestion of shooting turnips from one's mouth. As such the sound of a dog panting in the background becomes that of one barking, « Oh no. We could never disrespect the turnip like that, mi'lady. No… » a mental picture gets offered up of dragons wearing turnips strung onto rope about their necks, « We wear them for protection. And the ones at the top of the formation, » firmly putting Jhath right up there at the top, « shall flame downward to keep Thread from escaping while the turnips do their work. » Because turnips have magical powers. Or something.

As L’ron looks at Balkrith, Ahni glances up at Jhath, or the side of Jhath’s head really, and resumes eating her sandwich. It’s only after L’ron starts speaking again that Ahni looks back at him, listening as she chews and swallows. “What are you afraid will happen when they get that letter?” she asks, practical, short and to the point, “What’s the worst case scenario?” She takes another bite of her sandwich. Despite her direct question, her expression isn’t without compassion at least, especially in those grey eyes.

Dragon> To Balkrith, Jhath offers amidst more incense, not seeming apologetic for disrespecting the turnip, but neither does she mock him, « Interesting theory, Brother. When will you commit the plan to a small scale test? I shall like to see it in action. It will help mine calculate the amount of firestone to use for those of us at the top. » Among other practical reasons for the test.

Having started his lunch meal before Ahnika had arrived, the blue weyrling is now finished with his. Shoulders lift and fall in a shrug, his expression wrinkling into an uncertain line, "I don't know, Ahnika. I think they'd be pleased. It's just that, I haven't written them since I left home." And therein lays his dilemma, a healthy helping of guilt. Wry the smile that filters out, "I should just man up and send it, huh?"

Dragon> To Jhath, Balkrith takes his time in pondering the query put forth to him by Jhath, just the sound of floors being scrubbed left to fill the otherwise silent space. « We need Thread to test this with, » another small bout of silence and then with the sound of a rug being beaten, he states decisively, « When we are able to fly and go and find some. » Thread that is.

Listening as she finishes off the last bite of her sandwich, Ahni’s attention remains on L’ron. A few moments after he finishes speaking, Ahnika passes up any feminist argument over the phrase used, recognizing the bigger issue being the letter being sent home and so she carefully says, “Well, that depends. Do you want them to know you’re doing okay and you have Balkrith? What they do or think doesn’t matter. Right now, you have Balkrith, and so if it’s anything like me and Jhath, I know that anything you do to make yourself feel better or feel worse is going to impact Balkrith, and in turn impact your training,” leave it to Ahni to find a practical spin for anything, “so if you think you’d worry less or sleep better at night or just … feel better about yourself for telling them, then yes, go ahead and send it, I say. Otherwise …” she shrugs a little and takes a sip of water from her skin.

Dragon> To Balkrith, Jhath rumbles approvingly, and the fire at her hearth warms that little bit more, the rich taste of wine is shared amidst the sacred, sweet scent of her incense « Indeed. Very good and cunning plan, my Battle Brother. I would suggest that we conduct a study in the meantime, since we are unable to see Thread first hand. We should talk to dragons who have seen it first hand, and see if they have seen it with turnips, or other things like them. »

Listening as Ahnika speaks, L'ron's eyes are fastened to the green weyrling and then slowly but surely a fond expression forms and he gets up off of his bucket seating and heads over to her. Halting just before the redhead his smile is warm, tone genuine as he hunkers down before her, "You'd make a good assistant weyrlingmaster one day." Slowly he withdraws the letter from his pocket and holds it out to her, "Would you…get someone to send it for me?" Something he could do himself but the chances are good he doesn't trust himself not to back out of doing so. Again. Whether or not she takes the folded sheet of paper, the blue weyrling's head tips to one side, concern mirrored in brown eyes, "Are you feeling better now?" Perhaps alluding to her having taken things lightly for the past few sevens.

Dragon> To Jhath, Balkrith cant' help but revel in that approval coming from the green, almost like a puppy dog being told he's a good boy. Happiness and gratitude exudes into the scent of fresh mud, « Thank you, mi'lady. » his little head bowing slightly. « You would assist in this study? Asking others of their experiences with the ancient enemy? » seeming quite taken aback and perhaps even a little overwhelmed that she should take up the banner of his cause.

Ahnika watches L’ron approach, not warily as she is certain he’d not doing anything to hurt her, but uncertain as, well, she almost wonders if he’s on his way to hug her or something. Just not sure. So when he hunkers down and pays that compliment, she smiles and blushes, not expecting it, and then chuckles softly, evolving it into a rueful grin, “I’ve … heard that a couple times, actually,” which leads her to furrow her brow a moment in a quizzical look, though the rueful grin remains. Jhath seems to stir herself out of her conversation and interest in the turnips with Balkrith to rumble deeply in approval to L’ron’s comment, even though Ahnika knows that if Jhath were to have to spend more time with the weyrlings versus time actively flaming Thread, she wouldn’t enjoy it as much. “Thanks,” Ahnika says to L’ron as Jhath goes back to looking at Balkrith and the turnips. She takes the letter from him and nods agreeably, smiling even, enjoying being able to do something for him. Being useful. “Oh certainly. I’d be glad to, L’ron.” Her mind is already spinning off to who she can talk to for him, which is why she distractedly blinks a few times back at him before answering with a sheepish smile, “Eh, yeah, I should be able to bring things back up to my usual work-out again soon. Yes, feeling better, thank you.” She smirks faintly, “I guess I was dumb to think I could keep it all unnoticed for so long, huh?”

Dragon> To Balkrith, Jhath responds with more warmth and camaraderie, even mild revelry in the form of a juicy porcine being put on the spit, and more mulled wine shared, « It would be a more advantageous use of our time and resources, Balkrith, so I think it is the more reasonable and sensible course of action. Better to do that and prepare for how these turnips might be useful in the fight against Thread than to go into the formation tactically unprepared. » And Ahnika probably thinks it's a good idea because it is something that will help keep Jhath occupied during those boring intervals in training like bathing and oiling. « Just know that these turnips may have their uses in fighting Thread, but we may have to adjust our strategy once we learn more about how Thread reacts to them. There may not be the need for a formation as the one you've suggested, but let us learn what we can before making that determination. Aye? »

He was probably unaware of the redhead's initial wariness and so his smile turns into a short chuckle to match Ahnika's, "You're good with people and explaining things to them without pushing them to see things your way." That his opinion of why she'd be good with helping to train up weyrlings. Swivelling on a heel in that hunkered down position to watch as Balkrith starts to gather his turnips up for a moment, L'ron's attention goes back to the green weyrling with a smile flickering into place again, "Thanks Ahnika. Maybe…if they read about Bal, they won't be so cross with me for leaving." A considering look flows over her, a strange note bleeding into his smile, "Nah, not dumb. Whatever it was, you must have had good reason for keeping it hidden. But…next time…tell me, yeah? Maybe I could have helped with duties and things." Shrugging slightly unsure of how he could have helped, but the offer is there nonetheless.

Dragon> To Jhath, Balkrith starting to gather the turnips together into a pile, stops and points a long look onto the green. And then he starts nosing them toward the upturned bucket, « It would also save unnecessary wastage of the Turnip. » for such a thing would be considered sacrilege to the little blue. « Perhaps you could lend thought to other formations that could be tried as well. » thus conceding to Jhath being the stronger of the two of them with regards to battle strategies. With a few turnips piled against the bucket, he turns and heads back for more, « I shall leave you with these, » rolling a few of his precious tuber roots toward the bigger green, « so that you may more fully assess the formations of the Turnip. »

Ahnika considers L’ron a long moment before speaking, “You’re a free-spirited kind of guy, L’ron. No one thing or one person can keep you tied down. Nor should they try to, really. It’d be like …” she searches a moment, and then gestures to Jhath, “It’d be like grounding Jhath during Threadfall.” A comment that causes Jhath to tense and straighten up a little where she is lying down and grumble with discontent at the mere thought. “Or denying Balkrith his turnips. Cruel. Too cruel.” Then she smiles, “I hope they aren’t cross with you either, but, well, they shouldn’t be in the first place, is what I’m saying. Xavier, my foster da, he used to say, ‘correct your mistakes if you make them, but don’t ever apologize for who you really are’, which I don’t think I got at the time as well as I get now.” One hand lifts to touch her chest, above and between her breasts, like around the top of her sternum. There’s no bandage there anymore as that was the lesser of her wounds and has healed well, but the gesture is made thoughtfully, distractedly, as if she’s making a connection. Then she reaches out and strokes Jhath’s side a little, soothing the green and her fretting over possibly being grounded one day, literally, even if she knows Ahni was just using it as an example. Then she lowers the hand from her chest to rest on her knee and smiles at the bluerider, “I thought about it,” earlier on, before going to the stables in fact, “but I guess I didn’t want to risk anyone else getting in my trouble, than already was. But you’re right. We’re a team. One for all and all for one, right?” She grins and winks, “Next time, I’ll ask for help. Thank you.” She tucks his letter into her pocket.

Dragon> To Balkrith, Jhath turns the meat on the spit, which sizzles with interest and mouth-watering anticipation under the careful licking of Jhath's hearth fire, logs pulsing with heat in similar rhythm to the wafting of incense and the pouring of more wine, « Agreed, » she says to the sensible notion of not wasting turnips, « I would be glad to help, Balkrith. I'm sure that together we can come up with a suitable plan to offer glory and victory to The Turnip as has not been seen in all ages. » An there is no sarcasm in Jhath's timbre. She is normally this melodramatic and archaic in rhetoric. To his gift bestowed, Jhath's front leg, the one that Ahni is not settled against, reaches out and sweeps them in a little closer, protectively.

L'ron's smile widens, sparking with his usual zest for life for the words so thoughtfully given by Ahnika, "You know, I think I like that." And he repeats the sentiment out loud, as if savouring each word upon his tongue, "Correct your mistakes if you make them, but don't ever apologize for who you really are." Brown eyes seek out his blue who gives a short whuff of agreement. "Your Da's a wise man." Specifically dropping the 'foster' out from in front of the parental term used. "I see where you get it from." Gentleness enters his open expression next when her hand moves to where once a bandage used to lie across her chest, his tone soft, "I have a feeling that…you should wear those proudly, Ahnika," assuming there to be scarring of some kind and not pressing to know the details of the circumstances that had lead to her injuries. That smile stays in place and a short chuckle filters out, "Trouble was my middle name until I met up with the Headwoman and got caught trying to lift marks off of Max." Grinning widely now where perhaps he shouldn't be. Nodding in emphatic agreement to her last as he stands, "All for one and one for all."

Dragon> To Jhath, Balkrith appears to mentally sidle closer to the enticing scents of meat turning on the spit and fresh wine being poured. He has nothing quite as noble to offer but makes attempt with the offerings of humble servitude given in the form of the muted background comings and goings of used platters being cleared away and clean ones brought forth. « You honour us with your allegiance, mi'lady. » Sincerely given, a little chuff of pleasure punctuating that for the manner in which she receives his precious treasures bestowed upon her.

Ahnika grins a bit at L’ron’s wider smile and liking the phrase. To her Da being a wise man, she hesitates and then nods, her smile fading a measure, “Xavier is, yes. As soon as we can fly and go *between* and they let us out of the weyr, we’re going back to the cothold so Jhath can meet them and they can meet her.” And Max, too, if he can get away, though that goes without saying more than likely. “Never met my father,” she clarifies soberly as she gets to her feet, as well and drywashes her hands on the knapsack turned napkin, then changes the subject past parenthood and scarring to grin a bit again at L’ron, “Jhath would call that destiny, you getting caught like you did,” and the green gives a deep rumble in agreement as Ahni nods over to Balkrith, “Everything and everyone to a purpose right?” Another dignified rumble from Jhath behind Ahni. Chuckling softly, Ahni says, “Thanks for the company. I need to make another trip to the Infirmary for a follow up. I’ll see you in training this afternoon.”

Dragon> To Balkrith, Jhath throws more sprigs of herbs and incense into the censer, responding simply in kind, « The honor is mine, Balkrith. » The glow of her hearth warming her mindvoice.

Moving over to the bucket and turnips piled up against it, L'ron starts to pack them into it. Pausing he turns and then straightens sending a solemn look over to Ahnika, "The one that shaped who you are today, is the one that is your father, Ahnika. The other was just…" shrugging slightly as he tries to find a way of explaining, "a means to an end." He's probably said it all wrong but the sentiment is well intentioned. Turning back to his task once again, the last few turnips are scooped up and reaching for the handle he straightens once again, a sheepish grin in place, "Jhath would be right." Agreeing with her comment on Destiny. The head of slightly curled hair dips respectfully in the green's direction as he intones in quiet agreement, "Everything and everyone to a purpose." His attention turns back to his green counterpart, a warm smile in place as he nods, "In training then. And…thanks." This for the letter now trusted into Ahnika's care. Without further ado, the blue pair turn and head back toward the barracks, with Balkrith pausing just the once as he passes by Jhath to offer her a whuff of farewell and light nudge of muzzle to her shoulder if she allows it. A bond has indeed been formed this day.

Dragon> To Jhath, Balkrith's mindvoice is subdued through the slow and deliberate scrubbing of floors. She's given him a lot to think about. « Noble one, » this given in conjunction with the nudge to shoulder if it had been allowed. And then he's on his way trailing but a step or two behind his rider.

Closing Credits Theme Music: Ben E. King - "Stand By Me"

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