Ahnika.jpg Nara.jpg and other NPCs

Date: 1/13/11
Location: Various
Synopsis: Ahnika asks Nara to take an important missive to her foster mother at her old cothold and Nara ends up being a little inconvenienced than that, though in the end finds the trip worth it.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Ahnika

“Are you sure this isn’t an inconvenience?” Ahnika asked as Nara climbed up green Inefredath’s straps and secured herself.

“You said your foster da is a master weaver, yes?” Nara said, grinning brightly beneath her leather cap and goggles. In response, Ahnika nodded, shielding her eyes from the glare of the summer sun. “It’s not an inconvenience at all, Darling,” Nara said then, giving Ahni a thumbs up sign and a wave to the tall and stocky green dragonet, Jhath, behind her. Wordlessly, Nara urged Inefredath to take off, and the green crouched briefly before launching herself upward, wings pumping fast and furious to gain the proper altitude, before winking out and into Between.

For a lingering moment, Ahnika watched the space where the green and her rider had just been.

« What worries you, My Ahnika? » the warmth and calmly rhythmic crackle of Jhath’s hearth poured gently into Ahni’s mind.

Only who and how many Nara might end up bringing back with her, Nobleheart, Ahnika responded, lowering her hand and heading off to the barracks.

Jhath fell easily into step beside her, « You only sent her with a missive to deliver. Why would she bring back someone with her? »

You have to get naked to try on new clothes…

While the southern continent was enjoying its summer, the northern continent was “enjoying” its winter, so there wasn’t quite the shocking blast of warmth Nara had been used to coming out of Between over the southeastern fringe of Fort’s sweep area. She and Inefredath conducted a brief aerial survey, got their bearings and headed off for the quaint little cothold near a small lake. Nara pushed down the incredulous questions over what the shards a master weaver could possibly be doing in this rural country place.

Inefredath was spotted well before she was at a velocity to come in for a landing, and by the time the mostly hunter green dragon sank her talons into the cold ground, they had a little audience of children ranging in ages from just barely walking to late teens. Very few of them actually looked alike, but then Nara had long ago learned of Ahnika’s orgins in this group foster home and wasn’t really surprised. The greenrider put on her most winning smile, unstrapped herself, and slid down to hit the ground with a little thud as the kids ogled a little longer. A few looked as if this were the first time they had even seen a dragon, though that wasn’t the typical look. Most just appeared curious. They must not get too many stop-ins by rider parents, Nara thought a little grimly.

« This is why you never clutched yourself. » Inefredath pointed out somberly.

Among other reasons, Nara replied, then took off her gloves and cap, winning smile still in place and shook out her loosely twisted bun of hair, “Hello, Darlings. Such wonderful little—“ she was cut off by a little brunette girl who stepped forward, looked up, and asked, “Are you me mum?” “—shells,” Nara finished awkwardly, looking down at the little girl, the greenrider's smile wiped clean away.

This place is far too depressing. We need to find this Seren and get the fuck out of here.

«The light from Rukbat on the lake water seems to shine in regular intervals like … a kind of dance,» Inef said unhelpfully, already inching her way down the sloping yard toward the frozen edge of the lake, staring off into its slightly rippling center.

Nara sighed. She looked down at the girl, “No, Darling. I’m too young to be your mother.” Yeah, right. Nara looked up then, searching briefly, and sent that winning smile toward a boy who looked like he was at least 16 turns. “You look like a young man who is in the know here. I bet you know where Journeywoman Seren is. Hmm?” He looked decidedly just as well-composed and with full mental faculties as a large feline dropped in a pool of water isn’t.

But it was another young woman, also in her mid to late teens, who spoke up, “She’s at the Farrelyns. Midiena is birthing.” Nara’s smile faltered, Shards. Inef?

« Pretty lights on the water! Every point-oh-seven-three seconds. Unless they collide. Then merge. Then the water current and wind velocity, accounting for debris, and … wait, I need to do some math here … »

“Shards,” Nara said aloud, then points to the teen who spoke up, “You know where the Farrelyns are?” The girl nodded, and Nara followed with, “Good. Come with me. The rest of you,” she waved her hand with her gloves and cap at them, “Go … play in the lake.” That would be the icy one, “Make sure to splash around a lot.” All the easier to get Inefredath’s attention again. Then she pointed to the male teen she picked out earlier, “Your foster da, this … Xavier?” The boy nodded, and Nara continued, “Right, tell him I’ll be back later to look at some of his goods.”

While the gaggle of kidlets dispersed, Nara put her gloves back on and walked down to the edge of the lake with the female teen, “What’s your name?”

“Brahceer, ma’am,” she answered, ogling the green dragon again now that they were closer.

“Brahceer?” Nara looked incredulous, “What the shards fool of an idiot named you that? That’s a terrible name, Darling. You poor thing. I’ll call you Cee and you’ll do well to get everyone you meet to call you that from now on. Have you ever ridden on a dragon before?” Inefredath, finally, after much internal urging, came away from the icy bank and settled next to Nara, who was putting her cap back on while Cee answered, “Not that I remember, ma’am. Not since I was brought here as a baby.”

“Well, Cee,” Nara grinned, climbing up the straps and holding her hand out to the teen, “I’m Nara, she’s Inefredath, and this is your lucky day.”

An hour later…

“This has positively got to be the unluckiest day of my life,” Nara mused aloud to Cee over the moaning and weeping woman in labor between them, “Why are we here again?”

“Diedara is in labor down the road, ma’am, so we’re staying here with Midiena as Seren looks in on Diedara,” answered Cee, who was looking about as pleased to be there as Nara, “At least until Journeywoman Brielle gets back from the Ghillastons.”

Outside, Inefredath was crooning a birthing song. “You’re not helping,” Nara said to her green, aloud this time for Cee’s benefit, who Nara was beginning to like, even if she was a bit on the shy side. “What do you all have some sort of fertility ritual so you can get yourselves with child at the same time around here? Remind me not to drink the water here before I go,” Nara said, then looked at Midiena, “You’re doing … fine.” Another flash of her smile, “Really, Darling. Quite fabulous! Honestly!”

“Who are you?” Midiena asked.

“Long story, that one is, but the main thing is that no matter what you do, don’t push.”

“But she’s supposed to push,” Cee looked concerned, “Right?”

“Not on my watch, she isn’t.”

“It hurts so much!!” Midiena cried.

“Well of course it does, Darling. Bet you weren’t thinking about all this when you were being topped did you? I can well imagine it doesn’t tickle… though, that reminds me of a funny story once. There were these two blueriders at Ista and one bet the other that he couldn’t take a wherry carcass and put it up—“ Nara’s tale was cut off by a sharp shriek from the woman in labor, “Alright, alright, another time then.”

“I’m here!” declared a middle-aged woman with a smile as she opened the bedroom door, “Brielle is with Diedara now.” And without missing a beat, she was giving orders for boiling water and towels and Nara and Cee both went into action under Seren’s expert guidance.

A little while later a new baby girl cried her way into the world and was placed in her mother’s arms. Nara tried not to look at her. She focused on the midwife who was cleaning up now that the baby was in Midiena’s arms and she checked over their health and safety. “Right, so, now that that business is taken care of, Journeywoman, I’m here as a favor of Ahnika,” Nara said, standing and pulling the letter from the breast pocket of her riding leathers, which she had never had a chance to change out of.

“Ahnika?” Both Seren and Cee said together, looking surprised. Then Seren asked, “Is she unwell?”

“She’s perfectly fine. I’m taking fantastic care of her. She’s like my own daugh—,” Nara looked down at the fussy, wrinkly baby in bed with the new mother, and says, “She’s like my own sister. She just wanted me to make sure you got this letter from her.” With this, she stepped closer to Seren and handed off the letter. “I can stay long enough for a reply if there is one?” Nara added as Seren unfolded the letter.

After reading it once quickly, Seren looked up from it to Nara, and then read it over again a little more slowly.

Nara furrowed her brow a little in a mild expression of concern, “Is something wrong? It’s not that Beast Manager is it?”

Seren refolded the letter, looked at Nara, “I’ll do better than a letter. Can you take me back with you and bring me back here right away, after I’ve spoken with Ahnika?”

“What?” Midiena said drowsily, and Seren responded, “Don’t worry, Middie, Brielle is just down the road and can look in on you later.”

Nara thought about it, looked at Cee, and then looked back at Seren, “Can we bring Cee with us?” Seren blinked a little at the name as well as the request, and then nodded, looked at Cee, but spoke to Nara, “If she wants to, yes.”

Cee smiled uncertainly while Nara grinned at her and said, “Fabulous!”

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