On Your Own Two Feet


Aemos.jpg Randi.jpg P'sec.jpg

Date: 23/05/11
Location: Landing - Main Square and Archives
Synopsis: Randi runs into Aemos (literally) while in search of starcharts. P'sec makes it a party and violence and alcohol ensues. (Well, sorta.)
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Randi

Landing is surrounded on three sides by water and stone, but there is ample room between her buildings for a wing of dragons to land easily. To the north, the land becomes sandy and leads out into the open seas, where dolphins play. To the west, the Black River flows from the Southern Mountains into the sea. The Eastern Barrier Range winds across the southern side of the complex. One of the closest peaks is the Two-Faced Mountain—the volcano that buried the place in lava and ash thousands of Turns ago.

The complex itself contains four parts: the famous AIVAS Complex, containing the Automated Intelligence Voice Address System, classrooms and conference center; the Archives, which houses all the information gained from the computers and all the contributing Halls; the Dining Hall, where the residents of Landing eat; and the Barracks, the cluster of buildings where they sleep. At certain times of the day, the solar panels on the tops of the various buildings reflect down into the square, making the dragons' ability to land without visual cues nearly invaluable.

The sun is just setting over a bustling landing, and most of the people seem to be winding down for the day. Oh course the usual fare of people in and out of the Aivas facility and it's attendant buildings continues. Shuffling from the Archives comes Aemos, a book clutched to his chest and his eyes on the path.

As the air cools ever so slightly on this warm day, A brilliantly shining gold shape pops out of Between over landing with a screeching bugle to the watchdragon on duty. Circling slowly, she rides the heavy evening air in a downward spiral, watching with distant amusement as people scatter out of her way. Landing with only a gentle 'thud, she settles against the ground as her rider frees herself from her straps and slides down to land on terra firma with a click of boot heels. No helmet for this short of a jump, but the flight goggles are adjusted to sit atop her forehead like a washer-woman's hairband. Striding with purpose, she sets out for the archive building and only barely manages to miss smacking into Aemos. "Sorry, sorry. Head's not with me today." She grins sheepishly at him and - perhaps noticing the Harper blue of his tunic - snaps her fingers and asks something else of him. "You haven't seen the Masterstarsmith lurking about anywhere, have you?"

Aemos, caught unawares stumbles backwards a step or two. This is of course when he catches sight of who he bumped into. "I'm sorry Weyrwomen." he says with a quick bow. "No I have not seen the Master Starsmith. But I'm new here, I don't know everyone by sight."

Randi's grin widens. "That's alright, lad. He's, ah…" She tries a moment to come up with a diplomatic description of the man, then gives up entirely. "Taller than me by about, oh… this much." She holds her hand above her head to show approximate height. "Skinny as a beanpole, brown hair he probably hasn't combed in a Turn - " or two " - brown eyes and more freckles than you could shake a stick at." One of the passersby happens to hear the description and politely covers his laugh with a cough as he nudges between them to get into the Archive building. "Seen anyone matching that description?"

Aemos closes his eyes. "Hrmm, tall, skinny, brown hair, freckles. I think I've seen him, but never actually talked to him." Shaking his head Aemos looks back at the weyrwomen, stepping back so he's against the wall. "Sorry! I'm Aemos, Journeyman Harper." he says with a quick bow.

Stepping back to let the man through on his business, Randi considers Aemos' response and laughs aloud. "Yeah, if he didn't hold still long enough to say hello or else talked at you so fast you couldn't get a word in edgewise, that was probably him." The sudden bow and introduction has one brow rising above the other, but Randi seems amused. "I'm Randi, rider to Her Ladyship over there." She jerks her thumb at the queen lounging in the last rays of the setting sun, who rumbles at the saucy introduction. Randi doesn't look the least bit apologetic, but she does correct herself. "Kaseth. Her name's Kaseth. Well met, Aemos, though I'm not entirely sure why you'd be sorry about it."

Aemos tilts his head, confusion in his eyes. "Bu? Wa? Nevermind. I bumped into you Weyrwomen Randi. I apologize." he says with a slight bow again, his head still tilted sideways. When he straightens he presses his back firmly against the wall again, leaning some weight on it to support himself.

Giggling - not unkindly - at his confusion, Randi shakes her head and folds her arms over her chest. "I rather think it was me that very nearly ran you down, but that's neither here nor there. No harm, no foul. Yes?" The bow makes her nose scrunch up a little in confusion, but she shakes it off. "Maybe you can help me, then. Harpers do records." There's something familiar about the lad, but she can't quite place it. "I think you may have been at the Hall when I was about. Hmm." But that's digression and she has a mission, dang it! "Oh, right. Records. Do you know if AIVAS has spewed out any of the new starcharts for this turn, yet? I was told there might have been some minor adjustments in our favor this time."

Aemos smiles shyly back at the rider. "I guess not?" at the mention of records hsi shy smile turns nova. "Records? You've asked the 2nd best person here for that!" He seems almost to vibrate with energy. "Come this way. The archives should be empty, I just finished cleaning it actually." he says moving at a decent pace towards his precious archives. "I don't think 'your ladyship' will fit thought."

Randi has to hold her breath and bite her tongue to do it, but she does manage to keep from laughing outright at Aemos' reference to her queen. Kaseth, for her part, grumbles and dampens her end of things to take a snooze. "That's just fine with her. She'll either listen in while I look around or she'll dig through my memories later." She's very cavalier about that fact, having perhaps forgotten what it must sound like to those who don't know her dragon well. Or dragons at all, for that matter. "Lead the way, young Aemos!" And she's keeping up with him easily, though she's careful to stay following.

Aemos nods, keeping ahead, but gives a shudder when she mentions memory digging. "She digs?" he whispers, taking the the right turn towards the archives door, checking the lock then opening it carefully. He heaves a sigh as he enters. "Books. The best smell in the world."

"When she feels like it." Randi almost lets momentum take hold and has to do an almost comical turn so as not to end up somewhere else entirely. "It's not like it hurts or nothin'. Shards, after this long it's almost gotten to where I don't even notice she's doing it, sometimes." Not sure she'd go to that length, Randi still inhales appreciatively. "They do smell nice. If we could convince the stodgy bastards up north to let us have more resources for - and if they weren't so stubborn about letting their children apprentice to - the Papercraft here, we'd have mountains more than we do." Pausing to run her fingers down the spine of just such a book, she looks wistful for just an instant before jerking back to the present and turning to Aemos. "Right. Star charts. Which way?"

Aemos shakes again. "I don't know if I could stand someone going thorugh my memories." he does a quick spin, "I'd love us to have more real paper and books. But Hides work, and will continue to work for a while yet." and then closing his eyes Aemos completes the turn and points. "There!" and he takes a few steps forward sidesteps left and goes down an isle. "In the back here anyway, not a huge call for starcharts when there are healer remedies in here too." he comments in an aside, looking at the spines of books to orient himself.

Part of Randi feels like she ought to stick up for her peculiar little gold, but reason and experience have taught her that there are some things non-riders just won't be able to understand. Watching Aemos orient himself among the absolute shelves and shelves of books, however, captures her focus and by the time he's sorted himself out, her jaw's hanging open - just a little. "How in the … How do you do that?" There's open astonishment in her voice. "I could live here and still take ten minutes to do what you just did in two." Or less.

Aemos chuckles. "I have an almost perfect memory. The spin was just for fun!" he says happily, almost bouncing in contrast to his reserved demeaner outside. "Now then. I've found the starcharts. Did you want one in particular?" he says, scanning the books. "And of course someone decided that they wanted the turns all messed up. Great. More work." he grumbles now.

A long, low whistle showcases Randi's awe at that trait. "Shards, lad. A perfect memory, hey?" She decides to test this, a little. "How'd I describe the Masterstarsmith to you earlier?" If he can remember word-for-word even that short of time in the past… "Here, I can hold some while you re-organize, if you'd like. I'll only need the most recent one, if it's even here yet."

Aemos chuckles, picking books off the shelf and reorganizing them. "Easy. A bit taller then you. Skinny as a beanpole, messy brown hair that hasn't seen a comb in a while. More freckles then a stick should be shaken at." He frowns. "Why is this 20 year old record beside the 2 year old one." he continues pulling and reshelving using Randi as a mobile shelf to hold more books as he organizes. "So far the most recent is about 6 months ago."

As the sun slips just under the horizon, a very recognizable small golden queen lounges about in Landing's main square, enjoying what appears to be an evening's nap. Inside the Archives, Randi and a young Harper Journeyman are in one of the aisles, with Randi being used as - well, as a mobile shelf while the Journeyman reorganizes. Shifting her arms to better balance the weight as it's piled on, the young weyrwoman whistles again. "Damn, lad. Anytime you get tired of Harperin', I'd hire you on the spot." For what, she doesn't say. "That kind of recall would be damn useful, sometimes." Cursing under her breath, then, she scowls. "Sharding wherryfuckers. Told me this turn's one would be done this time last seven. Shows you what they know."

Aemos looks at Randi. "Well it's not here, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Maybe the Master Starsmith has it with him?" he suggests, finally un burdoning Randi and looking up at his newly reorganized wall. "I just odn't understand why people put stuff in the wrong place instead of just giving it to me. It takes twice as long to fix as is it to put em there in teh first place." Shaking his head he gestures towards the front of the archives. "We can check to see if anyone has signed out the chart you need." He then looks at his companion again. "Oh… Oh dear… I just used you as a shelf didn't I Weyrwomen? I'm so sorry!"

Randi laughs, clapping the boy on the shoulder with … probably slightly more force than she should have. Oops. Used to riderfolk, she is. "I offered, didn't I? Don't worry so much, lad. When you've actually done something wrong, you'll know it, believe me." She gestures for him to precede her to the front of the room. "Why not have a basket sitting out front for people to leave things in when they're finished with them? Then you can shelve them yourself at the end of the day." Seems reasonable enough to her, anyway.

Flying straight rather than coming out of between over Landing, a dragon appears on that horizon with the golden light of sunset limning his limbs, enhancing the metallic glean of his hide. Once over the courtyard the bronze, small himself, dips down for a careful landing, talons scrabbling for purchase. He doesn't disturb Kaseth and neither does the rider once he swings down from Abydoth's shoulders. Once on his own two feet, P'sec pivots in a slow circle with the air of taking it all in rather than setting off in a clear direction.

Aemos flinches from Randi's friendly clap a look of fear in his eyes as he huddles himself against the bookshelf behind him. He slowly inches towards the door. "But you just hit me!" he replies the fear in his voice evident, not even noticing the extreamly nice idea of a basket. "Why did you do that?"

The flinch and the wide-eyed look of fear set off alarm bells a-ringing in Randi's head - though the huddling against the bookshelf like a startled wild thing come a close second. She just watches him for a moment, letting the initial spike of adrenaline fade before she speaks softly, kindly. "It's a friendly gesture, very common among riders." Taking a slow step forwards - so that he can still bolt if he feels the need - she moves to slide an arm about his shoulders, much like a big sister to a youngster in a storm. "I'm sorry if I frightened you. Are you alright?" There's more to this reaction than meets the eye, though - and from the determined lines beginning to wrinkle Randi's brow, she'll be finding out the whole of it. A silent 'ping' from her dragon has her pausing, her eyes going glazed as she deals with it, but then she'll be doing her best to steer Aemos into a chair somewhere nearby. There have to be chairs in an Archive, right?

To Abydoth, Kaseth stirs from her slumber like a lion shaking off sand. « Mine is in the Archives. » There is no verbal greeting, just a brush of that massive and ancient mind against yours in a subtle, affable caress. « Along with a rather skittish little Harper. »

Aemos shakes his head, still wide-eyed, as she puts her arm around him. "Friendly?" he whispers, being guided towards the chairs near the front of the archives. "I'm… Not sure?" he whispers again to the second question.

P'sec pinpoints the AIVAS complex and considers it a long moment, though he makes no move to go investigating there for the moment. Instead, he ends with his swivel pointing him towards the archives, giving a short "Thanks" to the air as he sets off, strides taking him up to the door and through.

To Kaseth, Abydoth sifts through a deluge of other thoughts, some of it spilling beyond his own mind. The scenery he's just passed over speeds by faster than flight, a flicker of acknowledgment surfacing and held as a still point above the racing images.

Ah, yes. A chair. Success! Settling the Harper in one, Randi pulls up another one, spins it around and straddles it so that she can fold her arms over the back and rest her chin on them. "Not sure?" She watches the younger lad carefully with kind brown eyes, though she lets the silence sit for another moment. Give the guy a chance to catch his breath. "Hasn't anyone ever clapped you on the shoulder before?" Having grown up in a Weyr, where it's one of the most common forms of casual greeting, or, in fact, expression… Randi is at a bit of a loss. She hears bootheels in the hall outside, but her current focus is on Aemos.

Aemos shakes his head as he's forced in to the chair. "I… No. No one has who didn't want to hurt me." he says his eyes on the floor now, the bootheels going unheard by the young man.

To Abydoth, Kaseth absorbs the rush of images, savoring each one simultaneously and piecing them together to form a full and complex idea. In exchange, she offers a block of information that - once sorted and processed - would, basically, amount to the sights, sounds, smells, actions, thoughts and ideas that have made up her world since last she brushed your mind. A glimpse of J'cobi's angry face as he processed what he'd been told; the smell of sand and soap suds accompanied by a small child's innocent babble; the taste of a kiss and white wine, accompanied by a rush of cluttered anger, hurt, joy and embarrassment that would be a veritable tangle for anyone to unweave. Communicating this way is so much easier than words, but sometimes Kaseth forgets to hold back - forgets that the minds are not always like hers.

P'sec fiddles with the buttons on his jacket as he walks down the hall, unfastening the last by the time he enters the archives and finds himself before Randi and the shaken young Harper, coming in at the tale-end of Aemos' remark. The rider's gaze rests on him a moment, but having just come in doesn't immediately ask. instead, the man shares in lieu of greeting, "I haven't been here in ages."

The sight of P'sec in the doorway is a welcome one, and Randi's soft smile blooms into her sunlight-bright brilliant grin - the one it's hard not to smile back at. "Haven't gone and forgotten how to read have you?" The words are light and playful, but there's a deep affection underlying the tone. She turns back to Aemos at his comment, though, and her gaze is knowing and sympathetic. "But you've been hit a lot before, haven't you?" It's not even really a question - no one reacts like that without a bad past to go along with it - but merely a request for confirmation.

Looking startled at the entrace of the rider Aemos looks over his shoulder at him, and moves his chair against the wall. Aemos likes walls it seems. "Yes." he whispers, his eyes glisening as he holds back tears.

To Kaseth, Abydoth prefers the range of thought, sound and sight to words, limited as they are and never quite right, straining to phrase the right thing and make a raid upon the soul but always coming up short, always an achievement coloured by failure. He sorts through the information received, lingering here on the child as something of import even if he forgets why, there on the pain and hurt as something that should not be. Echoing it back to her, he forms a wordless enquiry.

"I tried," P'sec admits, focusing on Randi with an understated smile. "They kept pushing hides at me." The man is big, big enough to form an unconscious threat to someone with a history of abuse, so he hangs back rather than approach her and Aemos, taking an exploratory stroll that leaves him close enough for conversation, but not too close.

To Abydoth, Kaseth absorbs the echo into herself and lets it grow, exuding the smell of space-dust and ozone as she weaves another idea to reflect. Inside the pattern is the image of a man, dark-haired and dark-eyed, with swarthy skin and a smile that melts hearts. Some of the images include a pale, grey-eyed redhead and some include an older woman with thick blonde hair. Her image fades into the man's image which fades into the image of a young child - a girl with her father's dark hair and eyes. A sense of comradery, of safety and also of unending frustration accompany the comfort of a hug and the satisfaction of a well-thrown punch to the jaw. Fear and rejection, affection and irritation. All of these describe a man in so many more facets than words ever could.

Reaching out one arm, Randi grasps Aemos' upper arm and rubs her hand from shoulder to elbow in soothing rhythm. Reaching the other hand to her belt, she pulls a small flask and offers it to the Harper. "Here or at the Hall?" She well knows the abuses that go on behind the closed dorm doors and in hallways the Masters can't see. She ended up in enough scraps in them, herself. As for P'sec, his response gets an eyeroll and a good-natured tongue stuck out at him, but her focus is on Aemos. Her overprotective 'picking up strays' instinct seems to have kicked in again.

To Kaseth, Abydoth processes contemplatively, letting his mind rest in the winds and empty spaces of the place he was born and raised, not so much remembered as felt. Finally - and here the wry cue of his rider can be felt - he focuses on the punch. The words that he shares are P'sec's rather than his own. « Hope it was a good one. »

Aemos's instinctive flinch turns into a grab for the flask, and he quickly down a swallow. Then being unseasoned with any alcohol spits it back out. "Guh. Gross!" he looks at the flask in hand. "What is this stuff?" he says passing it back. "Everywhere." he finishes in response, his eyes darting from Randi to P'sec and back again.

Poking through the records serves P'sec well as his focus slides in and out. He pulls one of the records out and starts to idly flip through. "Don't mind me," he remarks, briefly looking up from the document he's not really reading to look at Aemos. It doesn't seem to cross his mind to give any sort of indication about why he's here.

Randi seems used to P'sec and his lurking. She pays him no mind. Well, at least until she gets a bit of a filler on another conversation entirely and starts to turn pink all over. "Yes," she grumbles out sheepishly. "Kass was proddy and he told me to fuck off." Which, in her mind, are two elements that combine to justify punching pretty much anyone. Watching Aemos spit the drink back out on the floor, there is dismay in her face, if not surprise. "That's good Benden White, I'll have you know. Straight from the Hold." Literally, though only her glance up to P'sec would give away that it's anything but a turn of phrase. Ahem. "Everywhere, huh?" Screwing the lid back on the flask, she tosses it towards the bronzerider in a silent invitation. "Who is it here?"

Aemos looks directly at the flask. "If that's good wine I'd hate to have bad wine then." he remarks. Closing his eyes he tilts it again. "Let me think here. I had my shoes stolen in the night. I've had a book or two taken from my room while Iw as gone. Luckily the got returned here somehow. Then theyre the countless people who "accidentally' bump me in the dining hall or outside." he shakes his head, wrappin his arms around a convient book. "If it weren't for these books I'm not sure I would even be here."

P'sec grins a little, evidently amused. "Temper, temper," he comments in a tease that carries not the slightest bit of criticism. His grin takes on the air of a smirk when Randi identifies the origin of the wine, confirming his guess with her short glance. He catches the flask the goldrider throws over without a fumble, making a quick adjustment so the record he's leafing through is under his arm rather than cluttering up his hands. "Start on something sweet," he recommends for Aemos, unstoppering the flask so he can take a pull.

"Huh…" So not as bad as she'd feared. Nevertheless, harrying like that gets to a person just as sure as fists or blades do. It just takes more time. "Well," she begins, looking a little lost. "There're a couple of options, lad. I can write the Masterharper a nice letter and ask him to give you a different posting." And by her reluctant tone, it's rather a bit clear that's not the road she'd take. "Or I can take you back to Eastern with me and I'll pay him a visit later to explain things. Or I can have a word to the Headwoman here about it, or I can see what can be done about making you better able to care for yourself and stick it out here." Having spent the last few turns dealing with the Big, Life-Threatening Problems, Randi's at a bit of a loss as to how to deal with this one. P'sec gets a questioning glance, a 'Did I leave anything out?' look.

Aemos look at the weyrwomen. "I think your crazy… You gave me that 'friendly pat on the back' and look how I reacted. How do you think I'd deal with a whole weyrfull? And what would I do without my wonderful books to keep me out company. Away from /them/."

P'sec gives a subtle shake of his head - nope, nothing missing. Except for, "And teach you how to drink." He appreciates the good white, even if Aemos doesn't, and gets in a second pull before he screws the flask shut and steps forward to offer it back to Randi. "Best if you learn how to handle yourself," he voices his opinion though no one's asked him for it. "They won't stop if they know they can get to you."

Randi draws back a little, frowning at that response and then shrugging it off. "Not the first time I've been called crazy for trying to help." P'sec's suggestion is nodded to and she accepts the flask back with a wry smile, hooking it to her belt before standing. "I know a few people." She may not have asked for it, but she also knew she wouldn't have to. "The new star charts still aren't ready." This to P'sec, her original mission here. Which means we'll have roughly eight minutes to see how each Fall will be and make a determination on wing patterns and flight orientation." Oh joy. "But for now, I have a meeting with a Beastcrafter that I should very much not be late for." Nevermind that she is late. It's just a little jump. "P'sec, I'll need you and D'lan - and any of our others who're here already - bright and early tomorrow morning. Spread the word, will you? Aemos." She reaches down to ruffle the lad's hair. "It's been an interesting meeting, to say the least. I'll see what I can do about … things."

Aemos's confused stare turns to comprehention. "Oh. Oh I understand now. Why didn't you go into the dining hall and bellow out the Master Starsmiths name? That's get you a direction real quick." he moves a bit at the touch, but allows it. "Thank you Weyrwoman, maybe you'll beable to help me. And maybe one day I'll visit the weyr. Make sure to have extra padding too."

Randi's information isn't exactly the welcome sort, but P'sec takes it in stride and gives a wry reply in return. "That'll keep us on our toes." He nods, short and affirmative. "Done." The Harper's suggestion about disruptive bellowing occasions further remark. "You mean she hasn't done that already?" The bronzerider then goes to return the record he's got to the shelves, likely in the wrong place. He'd leave it there, inattentive to proper procedure, except that it provides a place to ask of Aemos, "Hey, kid, where's this go?"

To Kaseth, Abydoth opens up once again, roused out of the details of the lay of the land that he, and a part of his rider's mind, has been reviewing continuously in an effort to turn it into instinct rather than memory. « Don't run into yourself. » Again he plays the messenger delivering a piece of advice Kaseth and hers probably don't need telling. Words are P'sec's, but the image of two golds colliding is all his.

Bumping her shoulder against P'sec's as she passes him, Randi rolls her eyes. "I figured I'd try being civilized first, this time. Never does seem to get me anywhere." Nodding to Aemos, she offers them both a saucy salute and slips out before she can be once more drafted into re-organizing books. Because we all saw how well that went.

Aemos looks over at the tall rider. "3 left 2 down. And you've got it upside down. Also no, i didn't think she was a bellowing sort." He seems to have recovered from the earlier shock of the unusual contact method.

"Civilised?" P'sec packs quite a lot of incredulousness into the word, calling it after Randi on her way out. "Oh, she is." He corrects that straight-away, grinning down at the short Harper before he dutifully replaces the record right side up. "Haven't been here in ages," he says conversationally, repeating the remark he'd opened with upon coming into the archives. "Feel like showing me around?" And maybe, just maybe, it might help Aemos to be seen around the older, taller, bigger dragonrider. Maybe P'sec's casual confidence will even rub off a bit.

Aemos looks over his book and takes a deep breath. "Sure. I'm Aemos by the way. Anything you'd like to see Rider?"

"P'sec," the rider offers amiably, holding out his hand. If Aemos shakes it, he'll find the grip firm but not overly forceful. "Oh, I don't know. The grand tour, if I can drag you away from your books long enough." There's a hint of a friendly tease.

Aemos, taking the offered hand shakes it, his grip weaker then the riders. "The grand tour? But that'd put me right in the middle of my precious books. But only if I can drag you away from your 'precious dragon!'" he says with a smile gesturing unaware at the unintended insinuation in his words

"I was thinking more the buildings than the books," P'sec admits, looking around briefly as he lets his hand drop. "But since we're in the archives, we could start here? Though dinner's not too far off, and I've half a mind to try out your dining hall." With Aemos for company, if he can manage it. The rider looks briefly amused as he assures, "He'll wait. He's not going anywhere."

Laughing Aemos gestures towards the shelves. "Well here's my precious archives. Not mine, but mine. The shelves are all labled. Which means the weyrwoman didn't really need me at all, but we won't tell her that." he gestures to the little cubby holes along th wall. "These are so people can research in peace." he turns towards the door. "And out there is wild country. A place I know not to much about considering I haven't been here long at all myself actually."

Aemos looks to the rider. "We could just walk around and see what we can here together? Atleast then I have someone big and strong to protect me!

"No, we won't," P'sec agrees, though he's filing it away for a later tease about how Randi's the one who really can't read. "Wild country?" he repeats, turning it into a question. He grins at the suggestion about 'protection,' since that's exactly what he had in mind. "You make it sound fun. Come on, kid." He doesn't clap Aemos on the shoulder since that went so badly wrong with Randi and leads the way out.

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