New Arrivals
Participants: Maura, Meiglen, Fiala, L'han, Xantes, Warin, Thayet, Nenienne; Rikath, Svaldirath, Escaeth
IC Date: Day 18, month 9, turn 3
OOC Date: 9/11/11
Location: Eastern Weyr: Upper Bowl West
Synopsis: Meiglen and Svaldirath arrive at Eastern and meet Maura and Fiala — and then quite a crowd.
Rating: G
Posted by: Meiglen

Maura tends to plan her route of errands so that she can exit to the bowl and cal Rikath to come pick her up; today's no exception as she goes through the infirmary to the infirmary weyr and then out to the west bowl with a small packet being tucked into her back pocket. She squints up against the sun, looking for a familiar blue-grey figure to come closer.

But the next figure to come forth from the skies is not, in fact, Rikath — it's not a blue dragon at all, but rather a gold. An unfamiliar gold to Eastern, certainly not local (or perhaps as local as one can be) and never having visited before. She circles momentarily, large wings flap-a-flapping cautiously in this different air, before settling down into the bowl just feet before Maura. "Svaldi!" the rider's voice scolds out loud from the dragon's neck as she moves to dismount, "You are not supposed to nearly hit people! I thought we had covered this!" The weyrbrat that Svaldirath had narrowly missed touching down upon runs away before Meiglen can fully land on Eastern's soil; by the time her feet touch down he's nowhere to be found.

"It's ok sweetie, come this way!" Maura calls out, starting to kneel so she can catch the weyrbrat - but he knows who HER dragon is and wants no part of THAT! Seeing the notoriously crabass Rikath come flying in from the other direction didn't help calm him that's for certain. She cant' even try to call out for him again, cause he's long gone! "Well then." Standing up and dusting herself off, she raises a brow first at her blue. "Really Rikath? Try not to pretend you're eating children from now on." Sigh. But then it's on to gold and shiny and the unfamiliar rider. "Ah, hello. Duties to…." her eyes scan for a knot, and her head tilts. "Something I can help you with perhaps?"

Limping out into the bowl is the delicate, somewhat harried form of Fiala, carrying a now-empty sack. She pauses halfway, finding a bit of rock to sit on, and she scrambles up, putting the sack under her rump. She sighs, then reaches up to loosen the tie about her hair, and it tumbles town in a cascade of tawny red. She closes her eyes, counts to three, then opens her eyes upwards, stretching her hands to one side and the other, almost like wings. She sits and watches the dragons, currently unaware their riders are nearby.

"Ista," says Meiglen to Maura quite promptly, "technically, except not really anymore, hence the sudden lack of Istan knot. I'm to be from here now." While she certainly does not appear pleased, she doesn't seem to take any great issue with it, either; that or she's just tired of arguing and seeming displeased. "Replacing your — missing, according to my Weyrwoman. Or according to my former Weyrwoman. Our apologies, belatedly, and." She hesitates, unsure of what to say, focusing hard on her hands, then steers off to, "Name's Meiglen. Svaldirath. Hello."

Maura seems … well, a bit taken aback by the ida that there's already somebody here to replace … "Randi." she supplies, sounding a bit uncomfortable. "Randi and Kaseth are missing." That winds up coming out in abit of a whisper, but the bluerider recovers quickly enough to offer a polite smile. "I'm Maura and this is Rikath." she offers, gesturing towards her blue; one who, for the moment, does little more then give the barest of greetings and then turns towards Fiala to inspect her strange method of flying. "I'm sorry. He was rather fond of Kaseth. I… we… well, never mind all that. You'll want to get settled in I imagine."

Still apparently unaware of the riders, Fiala gets to her feet, a bit precariously, really, and she bows to the blue. "Hello, Rikath," she says, remembering his name. Then she gives an even deeper bow to the unfamiliar gold. This proves disastrous, for the sack shifts, the lower hem of her skirts catches on a bump of the rock, and she ends up tumbling down across the floor into a little heap of tangled arms, legs, skirts, and unbound hair. "Bother!"

Svaldirath, attention drawn to the child, offers out a low croon — an attempt at comfort — as Fiala stumbles. She takes a step closer, stretching her neck in that direction, while Meiglen simply watches on, lips pursed. Seconds later she's drawn back to Maura, and offers up a distant, "Well, I can't blame any of you for not being too fond of the idea. I can't say I was either, but it's not personal, trust me. Or political, for that matter. And yet we were told to go, and thus here we are."

Rikath is of course rather amused by Fiala's tumble. And where Svaldirath ofers comfort… he chuffs in an obvious equivalent to laughter and ambles foward to try nosing at the young woman. Get up! Get up! Do it again! Maybe he's encouraging a bit *too* much. "It's not personal or political on your part I'm sure." Maura agrees hastily, though she seems to implicate that's not the case for those who may have sent Meg here. "It's good of you to make haste, then. I'm sure Ciara and Suosith will appreciate the cavalry arriving quickly." is then conceded, and a gesture is made inside, and then around the bowl. "I haven't been here as long as some others, but I could show you around if you like. Once we're sure the young lady over there is doing fine." By which she seems to mean Fiala.

Fiala is too startled to cry out; she only gives a soft "Eep!" when she comes to a stop. Then she lifts her head, brushing back her hair, at the sound of the dragon's croon. She blinks, then sits up a bit gingerly. "Thank you," she says, wobbling to her feet, and almost falling as she is nosed. She gives a startled laugh, reaching out her hands to keep her balance. "What, what do you want?" she asks gently. "I'm all right, really." She glances over to see the two dragonriders, and then bows her head, her cheeks flaming to match her hair.

"I think she's doing okay," Meiglen replies lightly, slight smile broadening to show her teeth and crinkle up her eyes for a split second before her expression neutralizes again; whether she forced it to do that, or if, perhaps, it is simply what she does remains to be seen. "But I would appreciate it, yes. Is it particularly easy to get lost?" Svaldirath exhales in Fiala's general direction — a personal-space-invading wash of momentary warm air. Ignore the people! They're just being people!

Oddly, Rikath's whuff of air is nearly cool in comparison. He tries to jump up a bit on his hind legs to demonstrate that he wants her to try again. Yeah, ignore the people. They'll try to talk you out of it. Meanwhile, Maura gives a slight nod of agreement with Meiglen's assessment. Though, she adds: "For now, anyway. You don't know Rikath." Smirk. "I would be glad to show you, then. Being from Ista you'll be used to the weather. But, oh yes… it is /so/ easy to get lost here. So do you want he bowl tour first, or the inside?"

Fiala turns her head at the unexpected wash of warm air. Perhaps it is her experience in the beast cavern that brings her lack of fear, but she seems less startled than surprised. "What do you want, beautiful one?" she asks, looking towards the larger dragon. "I'm just a stablehand, a little slip of a thing. Nothing else. And you." She turns her head to Rikath. "You two want me to stay? I…" She sighs softly. "I'm going to regret this, aren't I? But I can hardly say no. It wouldn't be nice. All right. But you'll have to *show* me what you want, because I can't hear you like they can. I'm sorry for that. But you understand me, right? I think?" She glances over at Maura and Meiglen, biting at her lip, as if she is worried about breaking some unknown rule.

Meiglen is not, it seems, the best with children. In truth, Meiglen is not the best with anyone, but she certainly gives just about every attempt her all, which is why in the middle of answering Maura with an, "Outside would probably be the best for ," she cuts off and turns about to face Fiala, overhearing. "She's just being friendly. Saying hello. I think she thinks you're interesting." Svaldirath gives her wings a single flap from her sitting position: yep, that's it. Except this blue would like you to try to fly again. Meiglen does not translate that part. " Er. For Svaldirath and myself both, I think, so she can get used to the area too, although. It might be a bit funny. Odd. Trailed by such a large creature every step."

To be fair, Rikath just wants entertainment. Because he's kind of a jackass like that. But he will gladly play along with the sharing an caring routine if it means giving himself something to do. He glances over at Svald… and flaps /his/ wings too. Twice. Yes, that's it. Help me out shiny gold dragon. Buwa ha ha ha! *ahem*. "Rikath is…. just be careful dear. He's trouble." Maura adds aloud, giving her own lifemate a wry glance. "The bowl it is, then. You may climb aboard Rikath if you want." she directs that at Fiala, trying to make up for her blue's mean streak. "And then he can waddle behind us as we give the tour. Walking. Tour. No flying, Rikath. You got that?"

Fiala nods her head, offering a shy smile. "My duty to you, Weyrwoman. And you, Bluerider Maura!" She offers a curtsey, then nods again in startled delight. Ride on Rikath? "If it pleases him, yes, I should like very much to ride." But she does look at both dragons, then lifts up her arms again. She flaps them once, twice. Then she hops, as if trying to get airborne. One jump, then another, higher. The third time she actually manages to flap her arms twice before landing, tripping on her skirts, and staggering awkwardly. She shakes her head, then looks up. "Not a dragon nor a rider. Maybe it's just best I walk along behind…"

"Meiglen," the goldrider introduces herself to Fiala — it's polite and sociable, but does not contain any such information as 'feel free to call me Meiglen' or 'no need for the title,' it is simply a statement of fact that Meiglen is her name. "And I think that perhaps Maura and Rikath will help you get up." Svaldirath tilts her head so far over to one side that it's nearly upside down, watching the young teen's attempts at flying with intense curiosity.

"There's no need to curtsey, sweetheart. At least not to me." Maura notes, with a dry tone. "I'm just a wingrider." She does indeed offer her hand to the young woman, pulling back long enough to let her try the arm-flapping again. The action making her laugh. "Nonsense. Nobody is a rider until they Impress. And many people take a ride on a dragon numerous times whether they wind up a candidate or not. Come on, I'll help you up." There is nothng of deception on the blueriders face when she offers a hand. Indeed, at least for the moment and with her attention on Fiala she's genuine in her desire to help. Rikath slumps. Ostensibly to allow the girl up. But more likely because his rider is taking away his FUN. "We'll even strap you in so you can't fall. It'll be fun." she promises, casting a glance this new Weyrwoman's way to gauge her reaction.

"Rikath," Fiala says, looking at the blue slump, "I promise I will try to fly for you every day if it pleases you so much. For as long as duties permit, anyway." She nods and accepts the bluerider's hand up, still flushing. "I've ridden runnerbeasts since I was two. Now, Rikath is much nobler and better and handsomer and cleverer than any runnerbeast, but I'm not afraid of falling. So I don't need to be strapped in. And I'm good at falling, as you see." She bobs her head again. "Weyrwoman Meiglen of Gold Svaldirath." She flaps her hands at the gold dragon and tilts her head so it is tilted as far over as it will go. "Do I look less stranbge from that position?"

Reaction? Meiglen is supposed to have a reaction? Oh. Right. Yes. At present, it's largely to look very pleased at Fiala as she recites their names — the girl's managed to remember and properly enunciate 'Svaldirath,' after all. "Yes," she replies, true smile returned. "That's us. She says you may call her Svaldi, if you like." While Meiglen's friends would call her Meg if she had any, it isn't like her to actually introduce her /own/ nickname into the conversation, but when the dragon insists, well, the dragon gets what the dragon wants. "Also, yes, a bit, although now she's curious about the other angle. Don't indulge her or she'll have you twisting about in all directions all day." As to letting Fiala ride Rikath? Meiglen shows no sign of objection, except to pipe up, "Straps are usually safer, though I suppose if you stay on the ground —"

Maura just doesn't have the heart to tell Fiala that Rikath is more interested in watching her fall then watching her try to fly, so instead she smiles faintly. "Don't let him take advantage of you. Because he will." she advises, helping the girl climb up further. "And you will need to be strapped in. I trust you're careful and competent, but it will ease my mind." is insisted, as she already tries to start the process. « What think you of Eastern? » The blue's first attempt at speaking to Svaldi carries with it the tone of cold formality to it. Reluctance, even.

"Yes ma'am," acquiesces Fiala, bobbing her head. She moves her legs to assist with the strapping in, and she places her hand on the blue's back. "Why would he take advantage of me?" she asks curiously, looking down at him. Then she smiles at the weyrwoman, apparently unconcerned about the politics or anything. "Thank you, Weyrwoman." She then turns and grins. "Svaldi. You're very pretty." She tilts her head over the other way, letting the dragon see her from this angle as well. "I don't mind humoring them… or any of you. You do so much for us, the least I can do is give the dragons some bit of amusement. It's not much, but it's something."

Meiglen almost seems amused at the idea of Rikath taking advantage of someone — for about a second before perhaps Svaldirath corrects her. Then again, she's not being all that expressive so it could, indeed, be anyone's guess what she's really thinking. "You're welcome. Svaldirath does appreciate your accommodations, even if I fear now she's going to be spoiled rotten." Svaldirath's appearance is complimented, and thus the amber gold offers Fiala another soft croon before answering Rikath. « It is attractive, » she determines. « The landscape is pleasing. The company is not unpleasant, » Rikath aside, anyway, maybe, but she leaves any insinuation to that out of her mindvoice. « I appreciate the weather's relative similarity to home, only in opposite season. » While she mentions nothing of Kaseth in words, there's a tinge of sorrow, of mourning, of sympathetic outreach to those dragons who have lost one of their own. Despite never knowing her, Svaldirath grieves too.

"Because it is Rikath. That's simply how he is." Maura replies, a smile somehow working its way into her voice and onto her expression. "It takes rather a long time for him to trust and respect others. And until he does, he like to play little games. But once his respect *has* been earned, it's quite difficult to shake that." The explanation is perhaps meant not just for Fiala, but also for Meiglen and Svaldirath. It explains much about his behavior. « You have yet to meet anyone except the watchdragon and myself. I am well aware I am NOT pleasant company. » he relays, bluntly. « We are from Igen. It is dry there, where it is wet here. » he explains, again exceedingly polite. Even he, however, can be reached with expressions of sympathy, and there's that moment of gratitude for it before he stifles the impulse and pulls in on himself. "ALright, I think we're all ready now!" Maura, aloud, notes. ANd, begind to lead the way. Keeping her face turned away for a moment for some reason.

"I see." Fiala nods to both dragonriders, the one sentence answer for both. She strokes the dragon's hide once again, and a wondering expression comes to her face. She smiles at Svaldirath too, her expression tender. "It's only the second time I've been on a dragon's back," she says softly. "And the first time there's been no one up with me." She draws herself straighter, as if to be worthy of this rare treat. "Even if walking. Even if." She tilts back her head and closes her eyes, allowing a rare expression of unfettered happiness. "Even if. Oh, this is the best day ever. Thank you Rikath. Thank you wingrider."

Svaldirath, now, is satisfied by Fiala's pleasure and by Rikath's response; so Meiglen, too, is calm. And as they walk, and tour the bowl, Svaldirath watches Rikath. Meiglen watches Maura. Neither ask questions just yet, simply pay attention and soak in information except when dragon stops to speak to dragon. « The watchdragon was sweet, however, » she allows. « And you are certainly not the most *un*pleasant company I have yet encountered in my short life, sir Rikath. » Deliberately ignoring the draconic conversation, not wanting to be aware of the dispute, she attempts socialization. A rare and possibly disastrous move for her every time. "Do you plan on standing, then, next there's a clutch?"

It takes a full moment for Maura to pull herself together enough that she can look either of the other humans in the eye again. But look she does, and her expression is pleased, softening with Fiala's obvious enjoyment of the treat. "I don't get to hand out treats like this often, so you are quite welcome. Rikath adds that he loves that spot just behind his ear ridge scratched… and he will be pleased to give you a ride some other time too." is noted, with bemusement. She then begins pointing out the various areas of the bowl. Especially the area leading to the Queen's quarters. The lake. The living caverns entrance…. « The watchdragon is sweet. » he agrees, maybe sounding disgusted by that. A little. « Well Lady Svaldirath, I am certainly amused at the idea that there are more unpleasant dragons then I! Maura gives me an 'I told you so' for that.» His amusement: all as dry as Igen.

Fiala has apparently been paying enough attention to dragon anatomy to reach up and scratch Rikath behind his ear ridge, making a soft crooning sound that is the human echo, and adolescent echo, of the gold's. But she shakes herself out of her reverie when Meiglen's words sink in, and her eyes go wide. "Me? Stand at a clutch?" She looks down at the dragonback between her legs, then over at the gold. "I thought I needed to be Searched for that. I didn't think it was something one could… plan for. But I would… I would ever so much like to at least watch." She clears her throat. "After watching all the riders with their dragons, riding runnerbeasts seems so lonely."

"Well, I'd love to learn to ride a runnerbeast," Meiglen confesses, warming to her surroundings and companions a little bit. "But I don't think miss goldie here would be too content with my doing that. She's quite convinced that she's enough for me to be riding. But since you live at a Weyr, you're permitted to just ask, or else, at Ista you are. I don't know the rules here. But if we stay " it's an if, of course, because everyone might hate them, something Meiglen is very conscious of, " I'm happy to invite you to her next. I believe I am permitted to do that here as well." A little shrug: she doesn't, really, know just yet. She has a Headwoman to speak to. Igen's dryness is a puzzle to Svaldirath, dragon of the tropics. « Your hide did not crack there? » she inquires, thoughtful. « And — yes. I can assure you there are. They live at Ista. You might go meet them and have an argue-off. »

Okay, that one Rikath is amused by. The genuine amusement of one who thinks that crooning by humans can either be cute or sickening. In this case: cute. And Maura, she looks over in mild surprise at Meiglen's offer. "I believe it is permitted here as well, Weyrwoman." she agrees, something about the interaction immediately warming her to Meiglen for some reason. « No, my hide did not crack. Maura takes excellent care of me. » Pride shows in his mindvoice thre, unbiden. « Really? I could do that? » Oh Rikath…

"I…. really? Me? And…" Fiala manages not to squirm, and she controls her emotions admirably. "And I would be happy to teach anyone how to ride runnerbeasts. I've done it for so long. Actually, a dragon's back is more comfortable. More secure. Which is a good thing, I think, with the flying and all." She gives a sigh, then croons softly at both dragons again. "They're so wonderful, really. I've never been to a Hatching."

« But of course, if you ever have any reason to be in the area. Actually, I think perhaps you were once recently? I vaguely remember someone mentioning a blue rather like yourself coming by for a visit with a brown pair. Physical description, mind. No one said you were terribly rude. Next you take a vacation, though, I recommend you seek out Ivandith and take him on for position of most unpleasant dragon on all of Pern. » Svaldirath is clearly amused by this conversation; she seems, even, a bit delighted by Rikath's company and actual interest in dueling for the rudeness crown. Meiglen, on the other hand, cannot take it at this point — she attempts eye contact with Maura to roll her eyes at the dragons' exchange. Fiala gets a much more friendly, "I'm sure there will be one while you're here, unless you plan on leaving very soon indeed, though your runnerbeast friends may be sad to fully lose your love."

« Well, yes. Zekoith's rider and Maura went to Ista. For a few days away. » Rikath agrees. « I would not be rude if it would reflect poorly on M.. okay, I am usally not exceptionally rude unless I have reason. » Which could well mean tat if he thinks someone is ugly he has reason. « Ivandith? I will make sure to meet him! » Why yes, he is absurdly cheerful at the idea. And towards Meglein, Maura can't help but have to stifle a laugh; one that comes out anyway because of, in fact, multiple dragon conversations. "I enjoy spending some time in the stables, even with havng Rikath. Runnerbeasts are special." she seems to, well, agree.

"This is my home now," answers Fiala. "I will always stay here. I'd like to be a dragon-healer someday. Even though I love my runnerbeasts." She shifts easily with Rikath as they walk along, not seeming bothered by the gait one bit. "If you're lucky, you get good enough so that you and the runnerbeast can almost know what the other is thinking. It's lovely." She reaches up to scratch behind the ear-ridge again, humming to herself.

"And sometimes annoying," muses Meiglen as she walks, "as regards the creature you are riding knowing what you're thinking. Because dragons, they can be critics. I'm willing to bet runners are too, but in a less — dramatic fashion." Svaldirath actually snorts at this. Meiglen, such a critic. /She's/ the critic here. « Ivandith will either adore you or hate you, » she promises Rikath. « Either way you may get in interesting debate. »

"Okay, now just do that for another fifteen minutes, and then for at least that long four more times today and eight times tomorrow, and you'll be good before you know it," is what's coming out of the mouth of the tall, older man just ahead. The rider standing opposite him, one who's recently-enough suffered a knock on the head, is balancing a strange wooden board with a large rock suspended in its center against his leg, and looking at the man as if he's completely insane. But, in the end, he's also dropping the board back down on the ground, where the rock keeps it from resting evenly anywhere, and gingerly jumps up on it, wobbling around as he tries to stand steadily. "Good!" And that's when Xantes turns around to see the approaching ladies, and promptly offers a bow. "Ladies," he greets to all four, and glances up (and up) at Rikath. "And sir. I hope you're all enjoying the afternoon."

Rikath is being used as a runner-toy; thus, he swing his muzzle over towards Xantes and snorts impolitely at the notion he's having an enjoyable afternoon. Oh wait! Scritches… aaaaaahhhhh; his back leg thumps once before he shakes it off and scowls again. Ahem. « Oh, I much prefer he hate me. » the blue decides, with a sinister short of chickle. "Dragons always offer their opinion; wanted or not." Maura adds, staring at her lifemate with a rueful twist of her lips. "Ah, hello there." the girl smiles, glancing over at the healer Master, seeming curious about what exactly he is doing at the moment.

Do dragons bite you and kick you, though?" Fiala asks, curious. She tilts her head, then regards the man thoughtfully. "Whatever are you doing, sir?" she calls. Then she glances between the dragons, catching somewhat of the change of expression. "I won't tell anyone if you're enjoying this," she whispers quietlky, leaning forwards. She looks up again, almost longing. "I think I can unbderstand."

« Do you prefer everyone hate you? » Svaldirath asks, before — oh, hello, it's a person. It's a /familiar/ person. She knows the scent of this older-than-Meg man, and inches closer to him. Who are you again? Meiglen is forcibly distracted by Svaldirath, and when she fully turns to face Xantes, something in her entire person just relaxes. The thread holding her tense, holding her head forcibly high, eyes squinted, everything about her firm, melts away. "Master Xantes," she says politely, but less politically stoically than she did with any of the others. "Svaldirath nearly remembers you."

Wobble, wobble, topple, goes the rider behind him, who curses and grits his teeth and gets back up to wobble some more. "Ahh! Goldrider Meiglen," says Xantes, smiling back at her, "I shall take that as a very high compliment indeed, I think! Would you introduce me to your companions?" His smile broadens to include eeeeeeeeeverybody.

"Most don't. But some of them imagine eating people for snacks or shoving them off of ledges." Maura supplies, her voice deceptively innocent. « No, not -everyone-. But many. » Rikath himself supplies easily, just before snorting amusedly back at the girl riding atop hsi neckridges. He ignores Maura. "Master Xantes, is it? I'm Maura, rider to Rikath. How nice to meet you. So many new people here it seems." Her voice drops to a bit of a murmur, there.

"I'm just Fiala. A stablehand. Nobody much, really," calls the teen, flushing red again. She leans forwards, hiding her face against dragon hide, perhaps embarrassed to be up here on someone else's dragon.

"So you see," says Meiglen to Xantes, "they've introduced themselves. And yes, I think she appreciated your — help. With — me." The characteristic pauses in Meiglen's voice don't ever really seem to falter, though they are a tell-tale sign she's a bit uncomfortable. « Do you prefer I hate you? I could if you really wanted me to, » gold tells blue, agreeably. "Do you live here now, Master? I believe I'm meant to. There's even actually a proper ground weyr for me. I'm not actually — taking — Kaseth's. There's another." She looks down, guilty, despite that.

Xantes laughs, and finds a convenient outcropping of rock to lean against and watch the others in the bowl. Behind him, the injured rider falls off the board /again/, curses /again/, and sets to whining under his breath as he hops back on, wobbling back and forth. "You're doing great!" the healer calls over his shoulder without looking around. "Rikath, and Maura, and Fiala, and of course Meiglen and Svaldirath," he identifies, fixing the names and faces in his mind. "And yes — Nahia and the children and I have all moved here recently, to help with all the injuries," nearly as an aside. Of /course/ there are massive quantities of physical and mental injuries here. This is Eastern, right? "You're /meant/ to live here?" he questions. "Or are you beginning to?"

« Would it make things easier for you here to hate me? » Rikath wonders, his tone bordering on sly. « Why did they send *you* here to replace Kaseth? » The question seems guileless, with an underlying thread of curiousity about it. Should she search, he really does wonder: Why her. Why right away. Why. Just why. Maura even frowns a little and casts an eye at the blue, as if in quiet censure for being so bold. "That was a good choice, at lest for now. In my opinion anyhow. Forgive me for being forward, but it certainly makes it asier for some of us to get used to how quickly things are happening. So thank you." she says sincerely, and quietly. Her voice rises next, to reach up to Fiala. "Are you doing alright up there? WHenever you want down, just say the word you know. Hope you're having fun!" Xantes observation about injuries, even if well meant, startles her enough to have the bluerider pin her gaze on him a moment. If he only knew.

"Me? I'm doing all right," calls Fiala, glad to have a safe question to answer. "Though I am sure it is beneath Rikath's dignity to shuffle about so." She smiles, kissing the blue hide before she straightens again. "With the straps, I hardly have to try to stay on." Then she bobs her head. "Thank you for asking, Wingrider." Manners, after all.

There is the telltale sound of a dragon coming from between which happens to be the lithe green Escaeth and her L'han. The greenpair circle towards the ground lazily before backwinging to a landing with a soft thump. The green trills before she lays down to let her rider and a passenger off. L'han for his part waves to Maura and Fiala as well as anyone else that he might recognize in this gathering. That would exclude Xantes and Meiglen, as well as the new gold. « Hmm… new dragon? » That being from green to blue and gold.

Svaldirath's focus goes instantaneously from watching Xantes and his patient on the funny board he also once put her Meg on, head whipping up toward the *pop* of between, eyes settling on Escaeth. « I am not a new dragon, » she informs the green, politely. « I am a little over five turns old. So I am young but I would not say I am new. To here, though, I am new! I am Svaldirath and that is my Meiglen. She is a bit shy. » More in response to Rikath, the gold adds, « I don't believe so. I would prefer not to hate you. And — why? I do not know. I may rise soon, though I may not. We were the youngest and we have no political alliances to speak of. » That is, they don't have personal opinions. On generally anything in contention across Pern right now. Ideal to push into this sort of position, right? « And Meg is easily influenced when she does not have me pushing her away. I am certain *she* has not considered the whys. » Meiglen, of course, isn't listening. Meiglen tends not to consider the whys. Meiglen tends not to want to know. "Hello," she says, a bit weakly, to L'han's arrival. And in response to Xantes? A shrug. "I am — beginning to, yes. There is a weyr for me. But I'm not certain that I am entirely welcome, and if Eastern's Suosith wishes us gone then gone we will be again."

"Well, I hope that you have a conclusion soon, at least," Xantes offers, part polite and part wry. "And in the meantime — you're more than welcome to visit whenever you like." Whether or not, his expression attempts to add briefly, it's for medical reasons. This is probably time to wave at the next new people in the crowd, right? Unknown green, rider, passenger — hello there! "Do you know why you're here?"

Nenienne slips over from the other area in the bowl and pauses, clearly not expecting a crowd. Latching onto L'han as the most familiar, she heads over toward him and Escaeth, while giving a polite nod to Maura and a wave to Fiala.

"Hey L'han. Haven't run into you in awhile. How've you been?" Maura's greeting is pretty laidback, though she has her eyes still narowed on Rikath. « My Maura can be shy as well. » is conferred, in quiet comisseration with both the other dragons. « Perhaps that is why, then. There are many who would like to see Eastern fail. You should think about that. » But as they are no longer alone, draconically speaking, he pulls back in to his stone fortress; and decides to pick on his rider by scaring the wits right out of her. How? He hops and glides, sending the bluerider into a panic. "RIKATH YOU GET YOUR SORRY BLUE ASS ON THE GROUND RIGHT NOW." Ahem. And she seemed so sweet and mild mannered, too. "You do NOT treat your passengers that way. Fiala, are you alright?" He didn't go /that/ far. But mental peals of 'neener neener' type laugher can be heard by any dragon in range. SIGH.

« Ahh, I meant new here. Welcome. » The green's mindvoice carries the hint of a orchestra and music with her. Neni gets a soft trill in greeting from the green as L'han turns to her to wave. L'han however speaks to Maura first. "Oh I've been alright, Maura. Landing is busy as ever." He nods to the new goldrider as Escaeth passes on the girl's name. "Hello Meiglen… or Weyrwoman… I'm not sure which you prefer to go by, but welcome." He smiles to her before Rikath gets off the ground and he quietly snickers to the bluerider's reaction and yelling at her dragon. But he does answer Xantes and he says, "I'm Landing's Watchrider from Eastern. My name is L'han and this girl behind me is Escaeth. I'm just dropping off them." A thumb to the passenger as the green dragon lifts her head to look at Rikath in interest. « Now now Rikath, you should behave. Don't scare your rider like that, or the girl on your back. » And then the green tosses a chime, sweet musical chime at the blue.

Fiala is caught off-guard by the sudden change in Rikath's movement, and she wraps her hands around one of his ridges, while pressing her knees more tightly against him, as if he were a runnerbeast about to buck or jump or rear. Hard to say, really. She gives a gasp at the sudden lift and then weightless feel of the glide, followed by an incredulous cry of startled joy. "Wheeeeeee!" Then she looks down at the bluerider, and she frees one hand enough to give a cautious wave. "I'm all right. Startled but… all right…"

Meiglen freezes as Rikath takes off on his glide; the last thing she needs is someone injured right in front of her, even with Xantes there. He has a charge to focus on, and she is supposed to be stepping into an important role at this weyr. As Maura scolds him, though, she brings her hand to her face to hide laughter. "I think since we haven't been scared off yet we are staying at least for a bit. Ista would be disappointed to have us back so soon, and it's because one of Eastern's queens has disappeared. That's all I know." She knows nothing of why she, personally, is there. Svalidrath has theories. Meg does not. « I am, » she informs Escaeth, « new here. I have never been here. But I am enjoying the scenery and the company now. Rikath has been quite — » She would hate to ruin his reputation by saying pleasant. « — welcoming in his own way. »

Thayet is … here. Stepping out from the infirmary weyr, the swarthy woman might be seen in a swiftly hidden moment of shock. She hadn't expected a gathering of such proportions, that much is obvious. She leans back against the rock wall, taking her time to run a sharp hazel gaze over each of those gathered. Finally - and only, it seems, when her decision is sure - she approaches the man with the man with the wobble board. "Healer Xantes?" she questions politely, her rich alto voice a little sharper than intended. It takes time to remember how to talk to people who aren't meant to be soldiers. She'll get better. Eventually. Maybe.

Xantes takes a long moment to watch Fiala, and after making sure she's okay, he raises his eyebrows at Maura. (The rider behind him didn't even notice, despite the screaming: but then, this is the longest he's managed to stay on the wobble board yet!) He's just about to ask if her dragon pulls this sort of stunt /often/, and if she has any meditative means of calming her temper as a result, when his attention is drawn back and behind him, instead — he twirls gracefully on one heel, eyebrows rising as he goes, until he spots Thayet. "Yes? Can I help you? — I'm sorry, I don't remember if I'm supposed to remember your name."

"He does it on purpose, you know." Maura mutters, glancing at the two trying-not-to-laugh riders with exasperation. Surely they understand how annoying it can be. « WHat, she's enjoying herself! Did you hear that squeal of glee? » he defends himself, but not very well. And then, the chime. And the kiss to his hide. OH NOES THE TORMENT. « Augh! /Chime/. » He gives it a mental full-force hand splat to try and crush the tinkling cutesy sound. "Well, if you're alright then.." the rider concedes, her shoulders relaxing some. "I'm going to need a whole bottle after this." she mutters to herself, rubbin the back of her own neck.

Fiala is still breathless as Rikath comes to ground again, and she scratches at the dragon's neck-ridges. "I… You are marvellous, Rikhath, even in just a glide. Such a strong dragon. I bet you can outfly most of the browns. Thank you for the ride." Fiala's voice is a croon, but she looks over to his rider. "I'm sorry," she calls apologetically. "Maybe he knew I've dreamed of that for a while." Excuses for the blue? Smitten girl. "But maybe you'd rather that I come down now?"

Watching the wobble-board rider, Thayet's lip twitches in something rather like sadistic amusement. Xantes' address commands a return of her attention to the healer and she straightens from her subconscious drop into 'parade rest' to look him square in the eye. "I would be surprised if you did." She keeps her response cool and professional, biting back the urge to indulge in a sarcastic drawl. Not everyone has the misfortune of being her trainee, after all. "My name is Thayet. I am in charge of Landing's defences." Again, a cool, professional - if a bit clipped - answer. "I was told you had been reassigned to this area on a long-term basis. Is that correct?" The messy business of dragons taking off and landing and running away and generally not doing as they're told? Yeah, she ignores it. Like they don't even exist…

Warin arrives and looks around at the crowd. Noting the new rider and the new Master Healer, he approaches them in turn and introduces himself. "I'm Warin, assistant steward here. Please let me know if you need anything for your new quarters," he tells each.

L'han looks over to Meiglen and he says, "So you're… taking up post here until Randi either comes back or one of the golds goes up?" The greenrider walks over towards her with a nod to the gold Svalidrath. "If so, we probably need to have a chat later about Landing and whats going on, but that can wait till you and your girl here have settled in." He smiles at her before he looks back to his dragon. « No Rikath! You're supposed to enjoy it! » The green grumbles at the blue's treatment of her chime but her mental attention goes back to the gold. « Well, I hope you are finding things to your liking? There's so much to see and such smells to find. You should come out to Landing sometime soon. It's an intresting place and it's almost always sunny out. »

Suddenly there are people. Everywhere. And the tension that melted off Meiglen when she found another face from Ista has entirely and completely returned. She is frozen there, Svaldirath watching her curiously as she offers mental sympathy to Rikath, until someone speaks to her and she starts a bit. "Oh! Hello. I — need a knot," she admits. "I've got to speak to your headwoman, I know." Svaldirath notces Escaeth before Meiglen hears L'han, and replies politely, « I have heard that it's interesting! The good sun sounds nice, too. We will stop by. » Meiglen is still trying to catch up, still trying to keep her head above water in the crowd: "Well. Yes. Sort of. I'm to stay regardless of who rises first, got to keep on as a junior, they want me to stay. If Randi returns we'll handle it then, what happens, she can — choose what happens to me." Unless Svaldirath rises first, goes unspoken.

About to answer Thayet, this time Xantes gets his attention interrupted /again/ — by Warin, this time, who still gets a pleasant smile. "Ah! Thank you — I believe my youngest daughter is terribly distressed that her rug isn't pink, but you'll have to talk to my wife, Masterhealer Nahia, to figure out what else we need. She's the one who's handling that — I think our quarters are lovely, thank you." And so then it's back to Thayet, again, and … his lips quirk, he pushes off from his rocky outcropping and prowls around her, studying her parade rest. "My wife and I both have, yes," he answers agreeably enough.

See, now Rikath is going to be smug for.. months. Yes, months. If he were the preening sort? Yeah, everyone would be in trouble. As it is, he accepts all these compliments from Fiala like it's his due. "You needn't be sorry, Fiala." Maura assures, giving the blue anoher sidelong glare. "Yes, maybe he did. I wouldn't want to cut your enjoyment short, sweetie. You really seem to like it up there. You stay as long as you want." That was the earlier promise and she'll keep it, even if Rikath gives her a stroke in the meantime. « I did enjoy it » is protested. His enjoyment is via violence, that's all. "I'll show you how to find Jaya's bar later, Weyrwoman. I'm sure you'll need a drink after all this fuss." Nods are given in turn to everyone who shows up.

"Really? Oh, thank you, Wingrider!" Fiala beams, and she ducks her head again, though perhaps this is because she sees Warin. Or perhaps it is because she is surrounded by Important people. "You're brave and wonderful and I bet you can breathe te best fire too, and keep your Rider safe from… from Thread…" She strokes the blue hide. "And I don't have any way to thank you, or Svaldirath, or Escaeth, or any of the dragons. Or to tell you how sorry I am when you get hurt. Or disappear. But at least I can talk to you here and tell you, right? Thank you, Rikath, for being so noble and brave and wonderful. And would you be marvellous and tell the others? You can, right? That's what they say. Would you?" She scratches him again behind the ear-ridge, and her eyes are wet with tears. "Wonderful Rikhath."

'Pink?' Thayet mouths that one word to herself, not quite suppressing the look of distaste that goes with it. And then … the healer guy is smiling at her. (Hey, for someone as iron-clad about controlling her facial expressions as Thayet is, that lip quirk counts as a smile.) And now he's pushing off and … circling her. Like a wildcat. Not particularly thrilled with any situation where she is the metaphorical herdbeast, Thayet's frown deepens. "There are several persons under my command who have not done well under the traditional methods of healing." Something in her posture tenses as he prowls, her jaw clenching down on the instinct to move, to strike, to respond in some way. "Your success in these matters has been much-lauded." But that seems the extent of what she's capable of saying while this … tense.

"Bar," Meiglen repeats, slowly. "I — yes, I think — Svaldirath thinks I need a good whiskey and soda to calm myself down, and I think perhaps she might be right." Although it's possible it's just Svaldirath that wants that whiskey and soda, Meiglen is going to drink it for her. She's a tad big to fit in the bar, after all. "It gets very crowded here, it seems." She has no room to comment on Thayet's tension — she's just as bad. The difference is that Xantes is already aware of that.

Fiala is beginning to remind Maura of herself before she impressed. A fact that may explain why not even Rikath can resist her effusiveness for long. His mental sigh is for Maura only, as he finds himself acquiesing to the lovely request before he can think too much about how such sentiment normally makes him hurl up the contents for both stomachs. « Fiala would like to convey her sincere thank you to everyone, and her sorrow when one of us is injured or disappeared.» Pause. « And just one mental word from any of you about that sentiment being given from -my- mindvoice and I'll do something dire to all of you.» he threatens, grumpily. "Whiskey and soda? Jaya introduced me to the Istan Wave. It's my new favorite. I'll buy you a welcome drink, even." the bluerider offers, congenially. "A drink helps calm me sometimes too. I get it."

L'han nods to the goldrider. "Jaya's Bar. It's one of the best places to get drunk. Especially after Thread. Just don't stick around when the bronzeriders get up to their eyeballs. It isen't a pretty sight sometimes." Escaeth mentally smirks at the blue as she comments, « Don't want anything to think you're becoming a big softy, Rikath? »

Is Xantes looking at Meiglen? No, but that's not stopping him from murmuring "Meg, third breathing," as if that's supposed to make sense. And then, to make matters /that much worse/ for Thayet, he's reaching over and /poking/ at her. (At least he isn't prowling any more, right?) He prods at her shoulderblade with one broad-pointed finger. "Let me guess: you spend hours daily working on your drill, and carefully stretch in the precise fashion you were taught when you were taught those drills, and you don't actually get much of a chance to relax, do you." That doesn't sound like much of a question.

"The herdbeast with the red spots has been eating the best of the hay and has been putting on the most weight and fat, Rikath," Fiala says quietly. "You might like her." She seems content to remain where she is, though she does glance over at the gathering number of people. She licks at her lips, then dries her hands on her riding skirt. Meant for her excursions on her ponies, it suffices here. Though the tour seems to have stopped. "Are you getting bored just standing here? I could get down if you want to fly about or something. Not that I minded before. It was wonderful. I'd love to do it again. But I don't want your rider upset with you because of me."

The Healer is totally calling the weyrwoman by her first name. Not even by her first name — by her /nickname/. But it's entirely possible that, as her healer in the past, and as someone whose scent Svaldirath actually remembered, he entirely has that right. Meiglen doesn't seem to mind; no, quite the contrary. Meiglen seems to be listening. "I'm — used to it, the whiskey and soda, but — I'm Istan, so I suppose I'll give that a try." She also gives smiling at someone (a female someone only a turn younger than her, even) a try. Whereas Svaldirath is nothing but practical and grateful. « Well, tell her somehow that I do appreciate the appreciation, for all that I personally do not do much to ensure Pern's survival except produce more dragons and catch them when they fall down. »

There is a Healer she Does Not Know poking at Thayet. The fact that it's only turns and turns of training, discipline and control that keeps her from lashing out is not something that would be able to be seen from her stance and tension. The fact that restraining herself from doing so is a physical difficulty, however, is. "That is correct," she grinds out from between her clenched teeth. "But I am here about the injured under my command." Hint: Not for herself.

« A softy? Really? » Rikath is dismissive of the mere possibility of course. And he perks up at the juicy details of the best herdbeasts. This exchange hs definite possibilities. He gives a quiet chuff of agreement. And based on what he's hearing from the others, looking firnmly at both the dagons, then turning his neck up as much he can to look at Fiala. And croon. That's the best he cna do to convey that the others appreciate her sentiments. "Good. I'll try the whiskey and soda in return." For such a little slip of a thing, one has to wonder just how Maura is going to have more then even one drink and not fall over. And then, up to Fiala again! Maura is starting to have trouble following all these conversations, alas. "If you want to glide again, I'll let him do that. Just a couple of times. But not fly. Not unless I'm up there with you. I'd feel just terrible if you were injured. And gliding is much safer."

Fiala is startled by the croon, but she smiles, giving a little bow of her head to the three dragons. "I would like that, Wingrider, if it pleases him! Thank you ever so much!" she calls to Maura, her eyes shining. For all her shyness, she can speak up for this. She leans closer to Rikath, then. "I know it isn't flying, but maybe you'd like it better than just standing here. And… don't eat the black ones, unless you like tough muscles and big bones. Because that's what they are. Big males that were castrated late and still want to rut. They fight a lot and make their muscles all stringy. They only *look* big. And they have nasty tempers, too." And then she holds tight. Just in case.

"You really ought to lead by being a good example," Xantes chides Thayet, almost absently. Almost. "Your guardsmen will doubtless trust me more if /you/ trust me, for one thing, and for another — something tells me you really hate it when you have to suffer through a sprain or strain, and while you probably /do/ listen to the healers, there are ways you /could/ speed up your healing, or keep from being injured in the first place, that I highly doubt you do, and that's my professional opinion." At least his professional hands have gone back to being kept to themselves. "You can, however, finish saying whatever it was you wanted to talk about, though."

Meiglen is trying to track everything that everyone around her is saying, and Svaldirath forces her into focus on her breathing exercises. They are now in a large group of half-disconnected conversations; something she's not, really, so good at. But she seems terrified to leave; as if maybe it would be rude. « I cannot imagine, » Svalidrath perks up, « that you would be considered a softy, Rikath. » Meiglen's focus wanders, yet again, to the healer and the guard. Someone /had/ said Landing was interesting … "He's really very good," she pipes up, on behalf of Xantes.

Rikath is a relatively good boy, and does only three full hop-glides; though he makes each one a little longer in length. Fiala should have more then enough to squeal about and brag about to her friends by the time the blue is done with her. And by then, Maura is becoming uncomfortable enough with the crowd that she climbs up to help Fiala unbuckle when her lifemate comes to a halt nearby. "I hate to cut your adventure short my dear, but I've promised to meet someone at Jaya's. And I need to show Meiglen the way." she murmurs, giving a friendly smile. "But I tell you what - in a few days, we can do this again if you like. You can keep Rikath out of truble for me. Is it a deal?" Her words should be loud enough to travel down to the others as well. "If anyone else is heading for the bar…" well, she'll be going shortly!

Fiala rides happily, though her hair is a wild unbound tangle when she is done, and she hiccups to catch her breath. Her eyes are shining, and she cannot *quite* keep herself from trembling a little. But it is from exhiliration rather than fear. "It's a deal, Wingrider. And thank you so very much. This has been the best day ever." She slides down, and surely she puts her arms about the dragon to steady herself on her feet, and not to hug him, right? "I love you, Rikhath," she whispers, hoping he can hear. And perhaps hoping only he can hear. She steps away from him, then gives a couple of flapping hops, sending herself deliberately into an awkward tumble into the crowd… just for the blue.

Relaxing much more now that those 'professional hands' have stopped poking and prodding, Thayet takes a long, slow, deep breath and exhales. The censure - no matter how mild - rankles, as such things always do. Still, she's not dumb enough to lash out at someone whose assistance she needs, so Thayet forces a small, tightly polite smile. "I simply wished to request a meeting at your earliest convenience. I can bring records of the affected injured so that you might better be able to tell me which would most benefit from your services." The tone is tighter, but also civil. It's the use of the more flowery, 'Lord Holder' language that shows just how pissed off she actually is. Not the most common of venting strategies, but there could certainly be worse ways to purge angry energy. "I treat my body with respect; it is the greatest weapon I have." And though that sounds so much like a line recited by rote, there is a ring of truth to it as well.

Meiglen is back to holding her breath as Fiala tumbles — she doesn't release it until the girl is safely on the ground and uninjured. Svaldirath was, of course, also concerned — but her focus is less. Well. Focused. She apparently has more faith in the fact that since Xantes is standing right there, no injury will come to anyone. The gold is somewhat relaxed and comfortable with her surroundings, it seems, as she's settled with her tail swishing as she watches her Meiglen. Her Meiglen, who is desperately trying to seem competent and not outrageously awkward. "Right," she says to Maura, remembering her role in all this. "Yes, you do. And I'll try that drink named after Ista — Master Xantes," she remembers, suddenly, "wouldn't you want to drink something called an Istan Wave?"

Xantes rocks very briefly back on his heels, and his eyebrows knit together as he studies Thayet. "I do believe you do," he says mildly, which doesn't actually contradict anything he said /previously/, so far as he's concerned. If she thinks she's this good /now/…! He glances behind him, grins at the rider who promptly /jumps/ off the wobble board, grinning back, and then has to windmill his arms everywhere in order to keep from falling now that he's on solid ground. Of course. Back to Thayet: "I think that tomorrow morning would probably work best for me," mildly, without actually seeming to consult any type of schedule at all. "I usually take breakfast about an hour and a half after dawn; if that's not too late for you, you're welcome to join me with whatever records you have." Because /then/, of course, he has to flash a grin over at Meiglen, which is possibly answer enough.


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