Near Misses


Alara.jpg Randi.jpg J'cobi.jpg

Date: June 27, 2010
Location: Randi and Kaseth's Weyr
Synopsis: Randi loses something, Alara gets flustered and J'cobi is rude.
Rating: PG

Once inside this space, the first impression is of size. The ceiling arches high, high above the main room. Even the largest of dragons could move in here comfortably. Along the western wall, where it can be warmed by the same springs that warm the Sands, a wide couch sits. It hasn't had the chance to be smoothed and curved by years of dragon-use, but the builders attempted to compensate for this by chiseling a slight curve into the stone. The surface is a bit rough, but not enough to be harmful. There's a large desk along the back wall, its surface covered in a myriad of hides. There's a small nook along the east wall that leads to an even smaller room containing only a bed and side table and an odd indentation in the rock just north of the dragon's couch. Scattered throughout the room are canvas bags and wooden chests. Most are open and have something dangling from the edges. Behold the process of organization. It will be finished. Someday. Maybe.

Late afternoon finds Kaseth sunning herself in a conveniantly sunny spot near her weyr. The tiny queen is still as a statue, and about as blinding as a mirror in the bright sunlight. Still, she seems blissfully unaware of this possible discomfort as she naps. Inside the weyr, however, it's not so peaceful. Hides and clothes and shoes are strewn everywhere in that mad sort of chaos stirred up only when something vital has been lost. Against the back wall, there is a pair of kneeling legs and a rear end sticking out into the air. The rest of the body - it's moving, so it should still be attached, right? - seems to be buried inside a massive trunk. Muffled curses and grumbles can be heard, along with something about 'that sharding bracelet'.

Alara nods politely to Kaseth, and then steps up on to the ledge, knocking lightly on the weyr stone to alert her friend to her presence. "Iardani? Are you in here?" She steps in, because she heard some of the curses. "What's wrong?" She takes a look around her weyr, and frowns disapprovingly. "Oh, Randi. It's a mess. No wonder you can't find anything." She crosses her arms, and glances around. "What in particular are you looking for?" The obvious 'this time' is left off.

"Bracelet," Randi answers, surfacing long enough to toss a few wrinkled Gather gowns to the ground. "I used to have this tin bracelet I got off that snooty Trader girl in a game of dice - you remember the one? - wore it all through Candidacy just to rile her up." And back down into the trunk she goes, her voice muffled by the wood and the background noises of rustling fabric, hides and leather. "Now we've got this blue in with weird welts on his skin and Yiia says his rider hasn't been oiling him right, but I'm sure it's that he's allergic to the tin on his buckles."

"Oh, yes. Her." That's about as disapproving as Alara gets. It's all in the tone of voice. She wrinkles her nose at the memory, and glances around. "What did you wear it with last?" Let's apply a little logic. "It could be that…" Alara thinks. It's not the different kind of 'beasts down here, is it? I know sometimes with the kids — " She pauses. "Oh, Rau says that's a stupid idea." Probably word for word what the gold said. "Right."

To Rauzath, Kaseth brushes against your mind with just the briefest touches of the enormity of her own personal eternity. It's a disconcerting feeling and she draws back to a more appropriate 'conversation distance'. « Stupid seems a little harsh, don't you think? I am certain I've heard you sneeze at least once while passing the food corral, Rauzath. »

To Kaseth, Rauzath projects « It's the dust, you interferring old biddy! » The words are harsh, but the tone is light and airy. However, she's open to the idea. « Isn't it? Surely it's just the dust? » Uncertain. « Who would know? »

"Um." Randi pauses then, staring off into the middle distance as she tries to remember. "I think I had it on with my maroon Gather gown." Her nose wrinkles up in concentration as she does her best to remember where she wore that. "To… the last Gather at Igen." She pauses again. "I think."

To Rauzath, Kaseth is unaffected by the harsh words and projects only the ethereal sense of calm and stillness that seems to be her default. « As you may recall, Rauzath, I am younger than you. » The folds of that calm shift and change; an undertone of ozone seeping through as she does her best to concentrate on details of the here and now. « The healers should know, although Mine suggests that it is a possibility. She related it to a human being allergic to nuts. »

Alara uncrosses her arms and glances over to the side. "Well, here's your maroon Gather gown…" She holds the dress out distastefully, as though it offends her. It mgiht do, at that. "I don't see the bracelet, though." She frowns. "Rauzath!" SHe shakes her head as she chuckles softly. "It might be a blessing, Iardani, that you've got your sweet Kaseth, and I've got my loud girl." She too speaks affectionately about her dragon. "She's a bit of a handful. Much like yourself." She snickers. "Rau was just relaying something to me. She has been sneezing…" She sets the offending garmet down and crosses over to the bed, clearing a space off to sit lightly on the edge. "SHould I talk to a Healer about the possiblities?" Alara worries easily.

Randi, on the other hand, does not worry easily. Pushing herself up, she flops down onto the pile of furs near the edge of Kaseth's couch. "How long have you been a rider, 'La?" she asks, the air of the much-put-upon settled firmly around her shoulders. "And in that time, how many dragons have you seen who were allergic to the tin in their straps?" She pauses a moment and then waves it off with one hand. "It's a fluke."

"Oh, I'm not talking about the tin." Alara brushes off the nickname, though it used to bother her horribly. Rauzath calls her more interesting things now. "I was talking about the 'beasts here. But if he does need some help, then we do need to get it for him? Or a different metal for his straps…" Maybe not a Healer. Maybe a Smith. Her mind is whirring. She taps her finger against her knee in a slow rhythm. "We'd have to see if there's another metal available to …" Her mind is already moving to the steps to get it fixed, if it is a problem. But first, she sees the need to find the bracelet. She scans the room, not moving from her place. She's looking, but not exactly efficiently.

"Iron." It's heavier, less cost-efficient and harder to work, but it's better than no straps at all. "I've heard of a Smith who could do it. It'd just be a matter of getting up the marks to pay for it." She shrugs and watches Alara get up to look without making a move to join her. "I don't think it would be unfair for us to get him a set of buckles. The leather he could always replace on his own, but iron's expensive." She leans over the couch to grab a skein of her preferred brew and takes a swig. "Lasts a long fardling time, but I doubt J'lor would have that kind of mark just laying around."

"Oh, definitely. First set's … on the house." That phrasing definitely was borrowed or learned from Rauzath. Alara scans the room, turning in place. "Faranth, girl. How can you live in here?" She shakes her head. Somehting catches her eye on the table. "What's that?" She points to the sparkling thing. She's not going to mess with Randi's 'system' if there is one.

"I get by." Randi waves her hand again. "I'll organize it all eventually." Read: Never. That sparkle catches her eye too - now that it's been pointed out - and her attention is drawn ever closer as she hauls herself off the couch and reaches to grab the thing off the table. "Aha!" Behold, the missing bracelet. She holds it up triumphantly and then pauses, perplexed. "I could have sworn I looked there…"

Alara rolls her eyes. Some things never change. But her chuckle shows her friendly affection for her fellow weyrwomnan. "You probably did, but sometimes, it takes a new set of eyes." She brushes her hair out of her eyes, and sighs. "Everything else alright, then?"

Randi shrugs, pocketing the bit of metal to take back with her. "Mostly. Keep tripping over the blasted floors and I've gotten lost a good - " she counts on her fingers, " - six times today." Irritated snort, there. "Whoever designed this place was a sadist." She seems crankier than usual. "And it really doesn't help that Kass has been an absolute grouch the past few days…" She shrugs it off and flops back down on the couch. "But aside from that. Peachy." One hand pushes her fringe back from her face and she blows out a lungfull of air. "You?"

To Kaseth, Rauzath snorts, a most unladylike sound, even as a mental affect. « It's not your age, girlie, it's your attitude. » It's probably a common argument that runs straight into the wall of Presence that is Kaseth. « Nuts? Oh. Mine has explained. Those things. » It somehow doesn't connct for the moment. Her mind is following with Alara's into resolving the problems, if they do exist. That of the meat, and also of the metal. « Did you see those welts? »

To Rauzath, Kaseth is very used to the lack of grace Rauzath tends to display and as such isn't even mildly fazed. Still, it's much closer to that 'here and now and fleeting' business that claws at the corners of her mind, and so Kaseth's response is only a slightly warning jolt. After a moment of thunderous silence, she adds. « I did not see them. »

Alara has had a pretty good day, and she gazes bemusedly at Randi. "I did trip a couple of times." That seems to be the extent of the complaints. "But I marked thoes spots on that map the Smiths gave us, and I gave it to them. They'll level them a bit before we get too — " She frowns. "She's alright though?" One's dragon is priority, after all. "Ow! Rau, I really didn't need…" She sighs, looking to the side as she carries on a quiet conversation with her lifemate for a moment. "I think I see what you mean." If only secondhand.

Seeing Alara's jerk of surprise, Randi's gaze unfocuses a little in that not-all-here look all riders come to know well. When she jerks out of it and sucks on two fingers to dull the sting, the blonde weyrwoman sends a rather petulant look in the general direction of her pissy gold. "She wasn't this bad yesterday, but she's been getting more and more touchy about thi - Ow! Enough, Kaseth."

To Kaseth, Rauzath's mental presence pulls back from that jolt. « Ow! What the shell was that for then? » She pulls back a bit farther. « Bloomin' mental. » A mental shake of the head, and she falls silent. For just a moment. « You sure you aren't proddy? Or brooding? » The latter is thrown out as a mere jab. //Obviously she's not brooding.//

Alara frowns. "I forget, Randi. How old is she?" It's phrased as a leading question, that much is certain. She rubs her temple, and glances out toward the other bowl where her own gold sits inspecting the bowl and counting crawlies while she verbally spars with Kaseth.

"Um." Randi tilts her head back and does a bit of mental counting. "Just a bit over two turns, I'd say." The lean riders swings her legs around to tuck them underneath her and leans forward thoughtfully. "Sure doesn't seem that long, though. Guess it's been the workload."

To Rauzath, Kaseth only pulls farther inwards, slamming walls up on all sides and deciding very firmly to Ignore Everyone.

Alara does some more thinking and nods idly to Randi's comments about the workload. "Mmm." She really doesn't want to be the one to mention this at all. Shouldn't Ianti — or someone older — but no one is here. She's the oldest, most experienced weyrwoman in the area. She rubs her hand across her face, and then she gives a gentle smile. "Has … has she risen yet, Iardani?"
GAME: Save complete.

"Hah! Noooo." Randi seems only mostly amused by this, though her frown deepens. "You don't think… But I thought dragons got flirty when proddy. Shells, you know how Meryth was…" There's a bit of affectionate amusement in her mention of the old queen. "Isn't it a bit… counter-intuitive to zap people before a mating flight?"

Alara actually snorts at this, then laughs. "You'd imagine so, wouldn't you?" She smiles brightly, and shakes her head. "No, Rauzath gets demanding. And starts counting … " She rolls her eyes. "I missed that one. I knew it was about time." It's as much a revelation to her as it as to Randi. "One of the younger girls would get extremely sarcastic. She'd become a real terror. Both dragon and rider. There are as many ways of responding to the feelings as there are gold dragons, I think."

Randi, whose personal experience with proddy dragons had been limited to Meryth and Presth - both of which had been exceedingly flirtatious - is kind of puzzled by this, but it does seem to click several pieces of information together that - at the time - didn't make much sense at all. "Well, good," she replies after a moment's consideration. "Sooner it's over with, the better." She rubs her sore fingers with her other hand. "I'd like my Kaseth back, please."

Alara nods, relieved. "Alright then. This'll be her… what?" She counts for a moment, and then smiles. "This will be our seventh Turn, I think. So, if you've got any questions we can help you with, just let us know. Rauzath especially likes giving out advice." And especially during this time. The clear inference is that Alara doesn't like to give out the advice much herself, but will as necessary. "She'll be back soon. I imagine she'll take to the sands rather well." She attempts to encourage her friend.

Randi may be totally blunt and frank about things such a sex and other awkward topics. Most of the time she's the one making Alara awkward with such talk, but being on the other end is not nearly as fun and so she does her best to gloss over it. "Sure, will do." Right, just as soon as she asks Ianti about it. "Probably. She's always going on about the importance of the future and all that." Not nearly as annoying as Randi makes it sound, but it's a new topic and that is just fine.

Alara nods once, sharply, and smiles. She's perfectly fine with the subject change as well. "See, you'll do alright." She gives her blithe reassurances, and chuckles. "Glad I could help you find your bracelet." She frowns, trying to remember what brought her to the other girl's weyr in the first place. Ahh. Rauzath reminds her, and she grins. "So, one of the smiths was wondering if everything was okay in here, or if there were any — " She pauses, considering how to phrase this. "Any minor changes you needed?"

Randi blinks twice and then turns on her friend. "What kind of 'minor' changes?"

"Little things. Like do you have any uneven spots, or maybe a crack? Things like that I think." Alara frowns, trying to remember the other thing that the Smith said. "Not huge changes, mind, but little things that annoy. Like in mine, I found a small bit that needed smoothing out again, because I kept stabbing my toe on it when I got up in the morning."
J'cobi has arrived.

Randi thinks on that a moment. "Anywhere the floor could be smoother would be lovely. Until I moved here I had never before tripped on a floor." It's not just the dragon who's grumpier than usual. "But there's a weird crack in my back wall that goes back to the closed-in Sands." She glances back that way and frowns. "I wonder if that's still stable."

Randi is sitting cross-legged on the fur-and-cushion-covered edge of her dragon's couch, looking thoughtful and concerned at one of the back walls. Alara is standing nearby, looking uncomfortable at being in a room that's so incredibly cluttered and messy.

Trudging up the stairs, J'cobi pauses on the ledge outside to peer out over the landscape with squinted eyes and a disinterested curl of his lip. That done, he ducks his head slightly (an old habit from his mining days) and steps into the cave to which he has been summoned. He makes no sound or move to interrupt the conversation, simply standing with his arms crossed low over his stomach and that usual dour look he sports.

"I'll — " Alara notices the man standing in the doorway. "I'll, uh, let them know then." Her cheeks blush a little bit, and she turns to nod at the bronzerider. "Hello, J'cobi. Are you well?" It doesn't hurt to be polite, even when the politeness is going to roll right off the recipient. "Do you need something?" She gestures between the two women. I - I can go if I need to." Randi's and her previous conversation makes her feel somewhat awkward, especially realizing that both of their golds are nearing times.

Nodding once, Randi opens her mouth to say something further when Alara's confused embarrassment catches her eye. "Ah, J'cobi. Good." She throws a sidelong glance at Alara and her offer to leave and can only roll her eyes. "Don't be silly, 'La. He's just here to pick up his drill roster." She stands and goes over to her table, shuffling through the smallest stack of hides. "I know I just saw this…"

Ah, how useful it is to maintain mystique when other people talk for you. J'cobi offers Alara a glance and jerks his head just slightly in what could be construed as a shake. When Randi moves to fetch the roster, he glances down and stretches an arm out before him. He gives it a cursory glance before brushing a speck of some imaginary dust of the sleeve of his riding jacket.

"Iardani…" Alara's tone carries a hint of scolding. "You really do need to .." She blushes slightly and falls silent, gazing at the table, as if willing it to organize itself. She shakes her head, and turns toward J'cobi, nodding. "That's right. He'll run the drills…" She frowns, trying to remember something, reaching a finger up to her temple as though to stir the thoughts back into some semblance of order. "I should really…" She hates becoming forgetful. And this seems to happen quite a bit during this time. She looks off to the side as though asking Rauzath a question. "Some help you are," she mutters softly.

"Clean? Yeah, yeah. I know. I said I'd get around to it." Randi's tone gets a little testy because she's not finding what she needs and when she finally does find it, J'cobi's right there taking it. "I - alright." Giving him a moment to glance over the main points, she can't help the slightly dirty look she's sporting. He's a bronzerider and he's rude and Kaseth is glowing. Not exactly the best combination for a happy Randi. "Since you have prior experience, you'll be leading drills until we can form up proper wings. I'll need your assessments on each pair within two sevens. If you can find her, I know we've got a Harper somewhere who can dig up our archive of drill patterns if you need them."

"I could give you an assessment right now," J'cobi answers flatly, voice completely without flair or grand inflection, "They don't cut it. Not even for a new Weyr." He's quite adamant about that, not pulling any punches as he takes the roster and tucks it under an arm without looking at it, "But if they can change my mind before then, you'll be the first to know. Anything further?"

"I - I think Rauzath needs me." Whether she actually does or not, it makes for a lovely excuse. Alara is getting more frustrated at herself, and a little bit at Randi, and it's time to leave. "It's good to know what you think, bronzerider, and I imagine they'll be more ready after you've trained them, right?" She nods at J'cobi, as a farewell. "Randi, I'll talk to you later. Maybe you can come over to mine next time." Less stressful for both of them, as well as clean chairs! "Clear skies." And she steps out of the weyr without waiting for a response.

Startled and not-best-pleased by her friend's sudden departure, Randi's brown eyes narrow and her mouth sets into a thin line. "We didn't exactly have the pick of the litter, bronzerider," she snaps. "What we have will have to make do with Southern's support wings until we can get some of our own in the air." She folds her arms over her chest and faces him square on. "If you don't think you can get them into fighting shape, I'll find someone who can." So saying, she arches one brow and holds out her hand for the hides in a clear challenge.

J'cobi stares intently at the hand stretched out towards him for a moment, not making any movement to return the roster, "I think you will find that I said they didn't cut it. You yourself gave two sevendays for that to change." It is at that point he takes the hides out from under his arm and holds them out towards Randi, "If you're not satisfied with my reputation, of course, and are so intent on finding someone else then you're welcome to. Tell me, though: did you want them to survive or not?"

To Erikath, Kaseth brushes against your mind with just the fleetest of touches, but the power behind her mind is evident. « It would be wise to inform yours not to push her in this way. Her temper is not what it normally is. »

"And you voided that timeframe by giving me your assessment now," Randi replies, honestly thinking the matter settled. When he reaches as if to return the hides, however, the young weyrwoman has to dig her fingernails into her palms to keep from doing something drastic. "No, I'd prefer them all to die and leave this entire area defenseless." The sarcasm dripping from her words is biting and harsh. "Of course I want them to survive, you wherryhead! That's why I picked you in the first place. Don't ask such stupid questions."

To Kaseth, Erikath sighs slightly, like someone who is very put-upon, « Oh, I know. These are such stressful times though, are they not. I cannot imagine things are anything but stressful for either of you. I sympathize entirely. »

To Erikath, Kaseth projects the sensation of relief. Finally, a sympathetic ear. Subtle scents of fresh grass and clean rain filter through your mind, though peals of muted thunder lurk just beyond the horizon. « Did we do something to offend? His manner is incredibly harsh, even for a human. »

To Kaseth, Erikath chuckles lightly, the string section beginning to warm up in the background, « Not at all. He has his own stresses. A long flight here, a new Weyr, different faces. Nerves fray. »

The shouting and threats do not seem to faze J'cobi, though he does glance sidelong for the briefest of moments as though listening to something else. Then, he quietly folds the hides back under his arm and gives Randi a careful look, "Then give me my two sevendays." The bronzerider turns sharply on his heels and strolls out towards the ledge, idly wondering in the back of his mind whether he's about to be pushed off of it.

To Erikath, Kaseth seems to have lost her serenity. The thunder builds up from the background and you get the sense of massive power being tightly restrained. « He should leave. //Now. »//

J'cobi drops his shoulder and leans to one side with an amazing show of prescience, perhaps he's had an angry goldrider throw something at him before? All the same, it misses and he ducks down the stairs to vanish off to his own duties. If Erikath is chastising him, he is not responding aloud.

To Kaseth, Erikath sighs once again as the strings in the background begin to play a soothing tune, « And leave he does. I hope our next meeting will do more for such stressful feelings. » As the pot is thrown, he seems to be talking almost to himself, « Almost got him that time … »

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