Reunion Of Kilts And Leathers


Ahnika.jpg Jhath Neythan.jpg

Date: 5/8/2011 - IC: Turn 3, Month 1, Day 27
Location: Lakeshore
Synopsis: Ahnika learns that someone fitting Neythan's description has returned to the Weyr and intercepts him by the lake. They catch each other up on what's been going on while he's been away, and get reacquainted.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Ahnika

It's been months. Maybe almost a turn that this journeyman smith was away. Not too long after the two hatchings, Neythan was ordered to continue on his journeys, posted to other places. It's only now that he's been able to return, posted here once more since the Mastersmith had more need of him here than anywhere else for the moment. The kilted man looks around, dark eyes seeking out the changes in the place since last he was there, and he casually tosses a rock into the lake he and the others, then candidates, had labored so hard to carve out. Absently, he hums to himself as he watches the ripples expand.

It’s no secret that dragons have poorer eyesight at night, hence the lack of sweeps at that time, but some flying in and around the Weyr and more specifically a brief flyby of the lake at this hour is not as dangerous as fully formed wings flaming Thread. So it is that Jhath descends, swooping low over the somewhat bloated lake’s surface, this being the wet season. A moment later and there is another swoop, though closer to the side that Neythan is on. Finally a third time, though this time Jhath backwings a bit some distance away from Neythan so as not to disturb the man with her wind, and Ahnika unbuckles and slides off Jhath’s neckridges by using the tall and stocky green’s shoulder and foreleg. Not that the tall greenrider really needed much help getting down, leggy as she is. Taking off her cap and goggles and tucking them away in her belt, Ahni peers in Neythan’s direction, perhaps attempting to see if it is really the man she is looking for and was told might be around the lake. Turns change people, and Ahni knows this very well.

However, there's no one else who's /ever/ been at Eastern who took up the smith's fashion statement of a kilt. The large green's aerobatics is given due consideration, and there's a startled look of recognition as he realizes that this big honkin' dragon is the one he saw shelled how long ago was it? A cheerful wave is given to Ahnika as he moves closer now that it's safe to do so. A large rucksack is tossed over one shoulder as he strides over yonder, joining the stiffened hide instrument cases and the tools slung around his waist. "Surely it's Ahnika!" he cries out gladly, his eyes crinkling with happiness upon sight of his fellow former candidate. "You're looking well, and Faranth, look at you, Jhath!" He hasn't lost his charm in the intervening time, it seems.

As Neythan gets closer and Ahni makes him out better in the evening’s shadows, she grins, moving to intercept with Jhath lumbering in stately step beside her, well with her head abreast of Ahni’s gait, that is, and the rest of the camo-colored green stretching out behind her. “Ney—err, Journeyman!” Ahnika says, remembering herself at the last minute, but obviously happy to see him regardless. Jhath doesn’t remember him, but she is cued by her connection with Ahni and so bugles an obnoxiously loud greeting before bowing her wedge-shaped head to the smith. Ahnika steps forward with her hand out, intending to clasp arms with Neythan if allowed, “Thank you. It is good to see you, too. I had heard you’ve returned. I hope it is not just a brief visit?”

Neythan grins toothily at the loud bugle, that grin becoming quite wicked when some rider lounging on his ledge fairly near the lakeshore grumbles vocally about the infernal racket. He's quite willing to clasp hands with the greenrider, even going so far as to offer a wide-armed hug if she accepts the obvious invitation. "I hope I get to stay longer this time," he answers with a chuckle. "Otherwise I'll have lugged all of my stuff here for no reason at all… How've you been? The others? Learning your lessons well and everything?" He doesn't seem disappointed to not have been chosen for the two hatchings he stood at, or at least he does a very good impression of having gotten over it.

If there is any admonishment passed along to Jhath from the other rider’s dragon, the green gives no indication of it in her body language, lifting her head out of that bowed position and attentively regarding the man with seemingly just as much interest as Ahnika does. She doesn’t quite wag her tail, of course, but she’s certainly giving him her undivided attention, as is her rider. Ahni readily accepts the arm-clasp-turned hug and returns it, “Me too,” to his hoping he can stay longer, giving him a tight squeeze before releasing him and stepping back a pace to regard him more closely. “You’re looking good,” and then she looks at the items, “Here, let me carry some of that for you.” And reaches in offer to take one or more of the items off his hands as she continues, “Been well, over all,” she says, a glance away from him indicating that it’s not a lie, but just a glossing over of some darker truths. Then she grins and looks back at him, “We’re all starting to graduate. Jhath and I have our own weyr now. Everything seems to be falling into place for the class. Soon we’ll all be up there, defending Eastern, sending the Southern riders back home.” Jhath rumbles with obvious pride for that moment. “Have you quarters already set up? I can help you move your things in if so.” Ahni offers.

"We have quarters now?" Neythan asks with pleasant surprise, since the last time he was present, the candidates had to bunk down in the weyrling barracks because the regular dorms weren't ready, and no one gave him a personal room in the living caverns. "That would be nice for a change." He catches that shift in her gaze for a few moments. He didn't expect things to be sunny days and no accidents the whole time he's been away. "How are the others in your weyrling class? The Weyrleaders are well?" He hesitates before allowing her to take a couple of the lighter things, just the gitar and drum cases. Precious enough, but not too burdensome to a lady. "And did I see fish in the lake?" he then queries with a brief glance over his shoulder.

Ahnika grins, “Well, the important people do. Journeyman ranked and up. There’s a whole residential hallway now off the lower caverns.” There’s a pause and she answers his next question only after she’s properly and more comfortably bearing the couple of extra things he’s allowed her to take from him. “The others are doing well. Everyone moving at their own pace, which is how it should be really since no one wants a fresh-from-Weyrlinghood rider up there in the skies with the rest if they aren’t fully ready to do it all, yes?” She avoids actually getting into the more gossipy threads of conversation on the class, such as who is hooking up with whom. “No major accidents in Weyrlinghood, though, Faranth be thanked,” she continues, hesitating a little as she answers the next one, “No, honestly. I wish I could say the Weyrleaders are well. But I’m a terrible liar,” as anyone who has spent any time around her could attest. The grin returns and she puts her grey-eyed gaze on the dark lake once more, “Possibly? I’ve heard of a blue who has been trying to stock it with fish from somewhere else. Not sure how well they survive in different waters, though.” Jhath remains carefully out of the way of their direction, if they are moving, but falls in step to keep up too, not that the humans would outstride the tall green dragon, to be sure.

Neythan murmurs relief that there have been no major accidents, much less death, but then her latest bit of news and frowns a bit. He also gravely thanks Jhath for her courtesy before pondering what to make of the news of the Weyrleaders. His mouth quirks in a grin about the fishing blue, but shakes his head. "I had such /plans/ for that lake… not just dumping a bunch of water and ice in there and all, but to actually make it more like a natural pond, with plants underwater and fish and frogs and all sorts of critters you see in lakes and such. Alas, but the Mastersmith won't let me build my own pond, so I shall have to just make do with this one. "I'm sure the Southern riders will be glad to not have to mind our territory," he then remarks casually. 'our' territory.

“That would have been wonderful,” Ahni says, glancing over at the darkened lake again, “Sounds like the lake I grew up around actually. Jhath and I can take you there sometime, now that we’re out of Weyrlinghood. I actually have to go back there soon and talk to my foster da about a Gather gown. You can come with us if you’re interested and your work here allows for it.” There is a slight adjustment to one of the items she carries and then she responds, “There’s been some altercations between the Southern riders and Eastern riders. Not much of anything beyond verbal or brief brawling, but the tension is there. Whenever the Southern riders lose someone over our skies, I think they blame us or at least resent us. So, yeah, I think they will be glad to go back to protecting their own Weyr.” She sighs a bit, adding, “I wish people didn’t do that. We’re all Pernese. Thread affects us all. Every one.”

"I wish everyone believed as you did, but if wishes were dragons, everyone would fly," Neythan responds sincerely with a soft sigh. "I can understand why the tension exists, but the Weyrs have historically not been too willing to tread in each other's territory, even during times of crisis. We do tend to teach it that way, if you listen to the harpers and the old hidebound sorts," he adds with a shrug. "It is what it is. But soon, you'll be in charge of your own destiny, and our beholden areas will learn what a real Weyr's coverage is like, hmm?" he adds, his eyes twinkling with impish humor.

Ahnika nods a bit as they walk, eyes on the ground ahead and agreeing with his sentiment, “And not just the Weyrs, either,” though she doesn’t elaborate. Not the time. Then she chuckles and lifts her head to regard him, “I’d say I’m already in charge of it, and you helped me to see that while I threw rocks,” but then she nods, “But I know what you mean. It will be tight. Just skeleton wings, methinks, but we’ll do well. We’ll be ready, and the surrounding areas will know it.” Especially if Ahnika’s confidence has any part in it.

Neythan nods approvingly at her firm conviction. "If the others in your class are half that confident in your collective abilities, you'll do fine," he says calmly, much heartened by such sentiments. "Meanwhile, those of us with other duties to Pern do what we can to ensure you have the support you need to get the job done. Sadly, I didn't get a chance to raid Landing for further smithing techniques… others were higher up the priority list than I was. Still, Lemos Hold was quite pleasant last summer…"

Ahnika smiles and nods, “Very true. Not everyone Impresses, or is born Blooded or has the abilities to build a lake, but everyone is just as important to keeping Pern and its people hale and prosperous and productive,” no shortness of idealism here, it seems. “I’d love to hear all about Lemos. I’ve never been there. Fortunately Landing isn’t too far. Maybe you can go back on freedays?” Ahnika really doesn’t know exactly how one gets in line to learn from AIVAS. “Jhath says she’d be honored to convey you.” Then she smiles, “Speaking of supporting riders, when you have settled in, I’d like some of your smith expertise for advice, if I may impose?”

Neythan nods to the freeday thing and then appears rather curious when she makes a professional request. "It's not an imposition, my dear Ahnika… what's up?" He pauses where he's standing, unslinging his pack of tools and clothes and goodness knows what else down to the ground, where it settles with a suspiciously glass-like clinking. "And thank you again, Jhath, you honor me greatly with your courtesy." He sketches a bow to the green as if she were the biggest queen on the planet.

Jhath being Jhath is quite happy with Neythan’s manners and sense of propriety, of course, rumbling her approval with another bow of her head a moment after Neythan’s own bow. “It’s nothing really,” Ahni says, suddenly flushing a bit as he stops and she stops with him, “I feel silly asking since I don’t mind doing the work myself, but I am terrified of doing something wrong and bringing our new weyr down around us.” She chuckles, and then explains, “I have some pegs that I plan on hammering in the wall of our weyr for coathooks and such. Would you mind if I brought you up there sometime to get a look and make sure I’m not gonna put a big crack in somewhere and make things … you know, unstable?” She moves to place a hand on his forearm and then thinks better of it, considering what happened last time, just saying instead, “It doesn’t have to be right now, of course. You only got back. You’ll want to get your quarters and a meal in you and probably a bath, I suspect,” she’s rambling now, “not that you smell, of course, I mean.” She lowers her head and exhales, “I asked another friend to help me … before you came back and … I think he might have misunderstood … my intentions. Or something.” She looks up at Neythan, her smile returning as she lays it out straight, “But I know you’re a gentleman and a scholar and a friend, and you’re not going to try to kiss me or manhandle me or some such just over a few pegs in the wall and …” her voice trails off.

"Well no…" Neythan begins slowly, pondering her request carefully, trying not to smile at her rambling on, his brows puckering slightly at her hesitant gesture. "Not unless you asked me to," he adds, his eyes still twinkling with his own inner amusement. "Why, have you been having a problem with asking people to help you and thinking you wanted to have your way with them?" And then he adds sincerely, "Not that it would be a bad thing to let that happen, however… you're not exactly ugly, you know," he points out kindly. "Sure, I can help you figure out the wall peg thing… more of a stonemason thing then full on proper smith, but I'm sure I can handle it."

Well, see, now Ahnika is wondering how she can properly respond to that first prompting without saying something insulting. Again. Like, ‘you’ll never have to worry about me asking you’ and not because she doesn’t find Neythan all full of win, but she’s a bit done with men for the time being. At least thinks she is, romantically. So, she hears him out, her mind chewing on an appropriate response, only to flush pink once more when he tells her she’s not exactly ugly. Ahni clears her throat. Jhath looks amused and intrigued, her eyes swirling a type of turquoise hue. “Thank you. It’s … complicated. He felt bad and left. Nothing really bad happened.” Then she laughs softly, but it’s a nervous laugh, “I think I’m starting to realize that men are more trouble than they’re worth is all. Present company excluded, I’m sure,” she murmurs the last, more for the sake of politeness. She brightens and relaxes noticeably as he agrees to help her and says, “Thank you. I felt that if you knew enough to work on carving out the lake without it caving into the lower caverns below, you’d be just the one to ask for help in this. And again, I can do it, the work I mean,” she says, not really defensive as much as reassuring, “I just wanted someone with some sense of it all to have a look and make sure I wasn’t going to hammer it in and crack off a big chunk of our weyr or something.” She grins.

Neythan has been rejected before, even when he wasn't exactly offering, just letting her know he wouldn't make any advances without her permission firmly in hand first, so he doesn't seem to mind in the slightest. "We were fortunate that we'd used this side of the bowl to dig and not that one," he adds, pointing across the way. "It would have cause problems, shall we say. Generally, however, the walls of the Weyr itself are pretty solid. You've more concern about knocking a hole through to the next rider's weyr than causing a huge collapse and landslide or anything. But still, better safe than sorry, eh?" he queries rhetorically.

Glancing a bit in the direction he indicates before looking back at him, smiling once more, “Well, then allow me to save some face with my limited experience living in Weyrs and use the excuse that I don’t want to accidentally bust through into a neighboring weyr.” Ahnika grins and nods in agreement, “Better safe than sorry, indeed. See? I knew you’d understand good sense.” She looks off in the direction they were heading, but doesn’t resume walking unless he does. “I don’t think the Headwoman is back yet, but Steward Warin is taking care of things in her stead. He’d be the one to talk to for your quarters and Eastern knot and such again.”

Neythan seems amiable once more to walking, letting Ahnika set the pace like a good gentleman. "The headwoman is away?" he asks curiously. "My, I have been behind the times… what else has been going on while I was plying my craft in other places? Did they ever find out who had committed that heinous act against the eggs?"

“Just for a little while. She’s been here mostly. She makes trips throughout the turn a few days at a time, or sometimes at most a seven, I think …” Ahnika’s voice trails off and she shrugs, not really knowing what the Headwoman is up to these days as much as she was when Ahni was being groomed for the junior headwoman knot. “No,” Ahnika answers with a wrinkling of her nose as she walks alongside Neythan. “They never did. That person, or people … whoever it was … is still out there. I imagine when there are eggs on the sands again, they will have more guards in place.” There’s another sigh and she answers his other question, “I won’t lie. It’s not been terribly pretty. Leadership here has been … a challenge. The Headwoman has been pretty much running the Weyr for some time now with the Beast Manager’s help and the Steward’s and a few others. The weyrlings were isolated for most of the time, in training, so I’m only getting bits and pieces of it now that I’m out of the barracks. There hasn’t been a goldflight since before the last hatching … it’s a wonder the Weyr Council hasn’t transfer new riders down here to take over, really.”

Neythan frowns as it's clear the culprit or culprits hasn't been found. "Other Weyrs have had hatchings without this kind of incident, so it may be that whoever it was is targeting Eastern specifically, but it makes no sense as to why," he muses aloud. "I can't envision anyone, even the most staunch traditionalists out there or the most progressive person out there wanting to harm the dragons, any dragons. Anyone with any bloody sense knows we need each and every one of you to protect us," he adds fervently. "Unless it's someone who was specifically targeting Randi and Kaseth…"

Ahnika nods sagely, having been through the same round of logic herself over and over again, and not just for herself but for Jhath’s sake and her short-dragon memory. “I think most everyone’s come to similar conclusions, but it’s been a couple turns now since,” or close enough to it, “and … as far as I know and as far as Jhath has heard among the dragons, there’s been no new leads. Jhath and I are going to ask to be put on guard duty for the next clutch though, if we can.” Jhath rumbles her satisfaction and agreement. “That is, assuming Thread’s not falling and our wing won’t need us, of course.”

"Of course," Neythan remarks kindly. "However, I would be wary of anyone who offered to guard things, unless there were more than one person on duty any given time… far too easy for the culprit to be left as the only guard and another attack happen.. Probably best if Randi hand-picked the guards from the volunteers, so they'll be people she personally trusts… if she trusts anyone after this," he adds with a sad turn of his voice. "I know I wouldn't…"

“Well, certainly,” Ahnika agrees, “I wouldn’t imagine there just being one dragonpair on guard duty. Normally I think there are some bronzes and browns, but they say that night they were gone to some …” she trails off, trying to remember where they had been and then suddenly does, “oh yes, Isilna’s wedding.” Ahni wrinkles her nose, “Another unfortunate event. That was a bad night all around.”

Neythan nods thoughtfully at the mention of the wedding. "From Lady Holder to dragonrider. Well, it's happened before, or so the harpers have said. I hope she's doing well. I didn't get to know her very well during our collective time together as candidates. At any rate, I wouldn't recommend just dragonriders to guard the eggs… a few trustworthies, particularly if they have firelizards, would be very useful. The critters can send up a warning almost as fast as a dragon can, after all."

“She is, I believe,” Ahnika says, of Isilna, unfortunately among the several dozens of weyrlings, Isilna was not within the circles that Ahnika hung out with frequently to really know her well, either. Then she nods, “Oh you make a good point about non-riders guarding them too,” though Ahnika doesn’t quite comprehend the implication that it could have been an actual rider to have done the deed or ordered it done. “Firelizards,” she says, also nodding, “A pity there are so few of them anymore.”

"Well, to hear some tell, they got into everything, but they could also be useful if trained by someone with a good heart," Neythan opines. "When I think of all the times I could have used an extra pair of hands… Anyway. It is good to be back. I was a bit surprised when I realized I actually missed this crazy old place. A bit strange, don't you think?"

Ahnika nods in silent agreement to the usefulness of firelizards while Jhath continues to walk alongside them, content to be listening in and in the loop, so to speak. Then Ahni grins, looking over at the smith, “Not strange at all, I think,” looking away and up at the Weyr around them or what she can see of it in the glow-light-marked path anyway. “It grows on you.” She hesitates a moment and then adds, “I … was contemplating requesting a transfer for awhile there, but … changed my mind.” For now anyway. “Eastern needs us, Jhath and me. We’ll tough it out,” whatever ‘it’ is. Then she reaches over to try and grasp Neythan’s shoulder in a friendly manner, “It’s good to have you back, Journeyman. We’ll get you settled in in short order.”

Neythan isn't about to shy away from a lovely lady wanting to grab hold of his shoulder, so Ahnika's gesture lands on its mark. "So we're back to ranks again, are we?" he teases lightly with a grin. "It's just Neythan. Journeyman is for when the masters are annoyed with me," he replies with yet another twinkle in his eyes. "Which isn't all that often. Depends on the master, really. Still, if there's anything I can do to help, just let me know. I'm not going anywhere, for awhile at least," he adds with a bit of a cryptic shrug.

Laughing softly and releasing her grasp, Ahni says, “Old habits die hard. Weyrlings are the bottom rung and no one wants the Weyrlingmaster to catch them being disrespectful in address to a superior.” Of course, now Ahni’s graduated, “I’ll get better. Promise.” Then she nods with a warm smile, “First stop is to find Warin, and then once you’re settled I’ll take you up on your offer to help me put some pegs in without breaking something. You do the same, though, if you need anything and I can help? You let me or Jhath know.” Though if Jhath’s around and Ahni is above ground, chances are the two are already together. Another grin, “It’s so good to have you back!”

Neythan smiles and offers up another hug as she proclaims it being good for him to be back. "I'll go find Warin," he promises, "and then find you and/or Jhath when we're ready to annoy your neighbors," he adds with a chuckle.

Ahni returns the hug gladly. It’s not something she’s had much opportunity to do lately, even with friends. Still carrying a couple of his items, Ahnika lifts them up a little bit, “Well, I can at least help you along the way if you like, and move in if you need it.” Jhath trumpets and Ahnika adds, “Jhath says she’d help you move in too, but she’s too big for the entrances.” Jhath bows her head solemnly to Neythan.

Neythan grins widely at Jhath's statement, once more ignoring a grumpy retort from one of the ledges in the darkness. "They should be used to her by now," he confides to Ahnika, going so far as to try and swing her around before putting her down. "There isn't much to move in, other than what you see here. I'm sure I can handle it… but I wouldn't mind the pleasant company…"

Ahnika doesn’t mind being swung around before being put down. She laughs softly and agrees, “They should, though in fairness most of her loudness has been kept within the confines of the barracks until now.” There’s another smile and a nod, “I’d like to be the one to give it to you,” the pleasant company, “and Jhath, too.” There’s no way Jhath isn’t going to be a part of the conversation, even if only as a third party to it, sort of, when they get indoors. “We can catch up more. Tell me about Lemos,” she prompts again as she resumes their pace toward the interior of the Weyr, and presumably the Steward if he can be found.

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