| the skies over ISW, heading to D'ziel's weyr | midday | 11.1.76 |
He had cleared it with the wingsecond to spend lunch and a bit of break time up at Ice Stone Weyr. Under the condition he be ready to return at any time of course. So Holt and Korith circled over the north end of Rainbow Mists a full turn to find the ideal height. Then in that peculiar way dragons disappear, the two of them entered the blackness of between with its sensory deprivation. In stark contrast they were thrown back out into the freezing winds of Ice Stone Weyr. Holt shrunk into his clothes and wondered how those Riders who made this trip daily managed.
Hocteth, we're here. I'm heading to the Bowl and will await you there.
Korith, conscious of time and the cold, circled down into the top layer of the Bowl. They found some shelter from the wind there but the Blue declined to land, instead waiting for Hocteth to join them in the sky and guide the way.
D’ziel breathed out, a puff of condensation in his view for a moment. Hocteth’s movement carried him past it in a moment, and the tiny cloud was swallowed by the wind a moment later. His face was all rosy, as it usually was after practice. Hocteth was just cooling off, and D’ziel was enjoying the relaxing ride. Still cold though.
Korith. Wait a moment. The Moonlight changed course and D’ziel focused on the Moonlight. Holt and Korith are here.
“Ah, cool.” D’ziel smiled, glad for his friend’s visit. The pair of them soon found the Blue and his rider and the Moonlight headed down toward their home. D’ziel waved at Holt, though the wind was a little too annoying for a casual conversation up here.
Have you and yours been doing well? The Moonlight asked as they descended toward the weyr. In no time at all Hocteth landed, letting D’ziel off. He went into his room, which was much the same as it had been at RMW. Same accommodations, though perhaps it was a bit smaller. Smaller rooms were a boon, they were easier to warm up. However, that meant that the conspicuous bit of eggshell that was always in his room was out rather then put away somewhere safely. It was out of reach of Pounce though, who, true to form, decorated the bed. D’ziel waited for Holt to come in before speaking.
They could not land and get inside soon enough. Holt was shivering as they walked through the halls to D'ziel's room and the BlueRider wondered what generations before him had wondered: how does anyone keep warm here?
Pounce was a welcome sight as they arrived. He went immediately to the feline for two very good reasons: she was familiar, and she was certainly warmer than his were.
"D'ziel." He smiled but it quickly slipped off his face. "I would, under better circumstances, tell you that I'm doing quite well. But, I'm grateful to be doing at least this well. You've heard, I guess." he said, walking around the topic on his mind. "It's been a rough few days down south. Mau was there, you know. With the wagons."
Pounce purred, letting Holt pet her, even if his hands were probably cold. She had the fur to handle it. She knew this human so she was instantly at ease, rubbing into him and such. She was a generally friendly feline anyway.
D’ziel’s face dimmed when Holt spoke. “Ah, right.” He’d heard about the whole situation around Rainbow Mists. The two Weyrs were quite close after all. It was the reason he came here in the first place. However, his gaze snapped to Holt when he mentioned the last part. “No one told me that part. You both… Okay?” He judged Holt to be…unhappy. Not in distress, unhappy. At least that’s what it seemed like.
Hmph, that was the most… D’ziel looked up for a moment. foolish thing. They have cowardly actions staining them. The offenders. Hocteth hated that sort of thing. Things that were ‘improper’. This counted in spades. He tried to stay civil, but he didn’t like it at all.
"I, I don't know." Holt admitted. "It's all a shock. Maybe ask in a few months, sevendays if you can't wait," he tacked on at the end, trying to be humorous. His tone failed. "But we're alive."
Agreed. How they acted was not the way to solve their problems. Could the north really be that desperate? Korith commented to Hocteth.
"When you're ready, I would also like to hear about something normal. How your life's been up here." It was very good to see D'ziel and he felt some comfort in being around an old friend. They had been weyrlings together after all. He would need to come back again, to have another visit.
D’ziel considered his friend for a moment. Holt’s words seemed to line up with the vibe he was getting from him. After a moment of tension, D’ziel relaxed slightly. Well, nothing for it, time was the answer here. Even if he didn’t really want to wait for his friends to be okay.
I suspect the individuals involved were not thinking clearly. Otherwise they might have thought better. The Moonlight’s tone got slightly condescending, obviously directed at ‘the offenders’. However he smoothed his mood and added, a bit more practically, I haven’t paid as much attention to other Weyrs. My home and yours are the ones my attention has been given to. Hocteth had not found himself personally involved in the debate surrounding one of Ice Stone’s more unique colors. However, he did try to learn from D’ziel about the affair so as to be knowledgeable. So far he had come to the opinion that he’d know how to deal with th situation, when presented with a Silverlight.
“Normal? Umm…” D’ziel racked his brain for a topic, in the same way that someone who is on the spot has difficulty thinking about anything at all. “Most of my spare time is spent learning things the weyrlings here would have learned in classes, though I think I’m going a little deeper than that now. I have to say though, naming past Weyrwomen is a lot easier here.” He smiled a little, but it was a little more difficult to keep his mood up, so he went to more morbid thoughts. “Wing practice is different, we’re still on about the dangers of getting turned around when out and about. You have to be way more careful about going outside the Weyr, even as a rider. Some guy ended up getting into trouble and dying, I think it was weather or something that got him in trouble.” D’ziel wasn’t quite clear about the circumstances, but it had gotten around that it had been an accident. Dangerous place sometimes. And it was getting into winter now.
“Guess that’s it. Oh, been reading a few books. The Library is pretty good for giving me something to do.”
"That's really too bad about that guy," Holt mentioned in passing, letting the poor news wash over him and away. Already dead, nothing they could do. He didn't have any more room in his chest for heavy feelings. He had said his piece to D'ziel about Mau and it made him feel just the slightest, tiniest bit better to know that one of his friends had even the smallest idea of what he was going through. So with that matter settled, he made a move towards normalcy.
"Easier to name the past Weyrwoman?" Holt asked with sly interest. It seemed such an odd thing for D'ziel to mention. "There wouldn't happen to be pictures of said women in these books, eh, D'ziel? That'd be one wicked imagination you got there." Holt laughed. Perhaps it wasn't a fair thing to pick on D'ziel for, but picking on friends was a normal thing to do. He'd understand.
Understandable. There is news enough for one Weyr to keep straight. However, and maybe it is the inclination of my Rider and I after what happened, but I think this is the beginning of something big. Two raids now. The south will not let it stand, and those in the north, if they are so desperate, cannot afford to quit. What can be done? Korith mused, though he felt the weight of the situation pressing on his chest in the way of human concerns. He flicked his tail off to the side and felt his Rider trying to switch topics. Korith waited for Hocteth to reply but felt torn between discussing what was on his mind with abandoning the topic for Holt's sake.
D’ziel merely nodded, looking grim for a moment before he smoothed into a more relaxed face. It had been a while, since that guy had died, and D’ziel hadn’t really known it. Long enough to take the sting out. Time changed things, didn’t it?
Soon enough though, D’ziel was laughing, Holt having a time poking fun at him. That was the thing he had to get it for, huh?
“Hey now, no need for that. After all.” D’ziel smiled mischievously. “I don’t need imagination when there are pretty Weyrleaders.” It was far easier to go along with jibs then deny them. More fun too. He paused briefly, his mind traveling along similar lines for a moment. “How’s K’tar doing by the way? Hopefully him and Chan are doing well.” Not easy for him to forget that he was the only one of their trio unattached at the moment. He wasn’t really torn up about it either. He didn’t mind at all.
I agree. Something will come of this, but I imagine there will be too many ‘pointing fingers’ to get anything of value said or done. Still. Hocteth flicked his tail once. I shall leave such things to the Weyrleaders. We need only follow their lead. That was just the way the Moonlight was. He wasn’t entirely sure about the Ice Stone Weyrleaders, but he knew their dragons, and that was where his approval came from. He suspected D’ziel found the Weyrwoman…distressing? Closest word he found for it at the moment. Didn’t concern him much though.
"Ah, D'ziel, I should've warned these northern folk. Your warming up to said pretty persons may just melt them," he chuckled. "But, y'know, K'tar hasn't shared too much of his personal business lately, but I suppose that means things are as well as they can be for now. Just the rare bit of typical trouble but he's been pretty quiet on the whole. Suppose his mischief making muscles needed a break, though they'll probably kick back soon enough." Holt kicked his feet up on the nearest piece of furniture from his chair. He wobbled and didn't stay put as planned, so in short order his feet were rearranged back on the floor. He cleared his throat a moment, as if ignoring the matter of almost falling out of his chair entirely. "Well, I may be warm enough to see a bit of this place if you're ready."
I suppose you're right. More reactions stuck in the political bog, best for those ones though. Won't be much to follow then, just to stay in rank and file. Changing the subject, have you and D'ziel seen any other new places besides this since you moved? Any visits to warm your wings a bit? Korith pulled his wings in tighter. He couldn't imagine Holt really wanted to be anywhere the slightest bit colder. What a thing to do for a friend then, to offer to go wandering about the Weyr.
D’ziel couldn’t get a quip out in response to Holt, since he was too busy laughing. Some of the folks at Ice Stone did seem like they might melt if given a hug. That is, into a puddle of water, because the person giving the hug was bound to get frostbite. He recovered from his laughter after a moment, but the mood was a lot better afterwards.
“Well, that works. K’tar is the sort of person that no news is good news.” He watched Holt’s attempts to look cool fall flat, but let his friend collect himself while he remained in a good mood.
“Oh?” D’ziel’s expression shifted to neutral, as he considered Holt. He didn’t know if Holt really wanted to see everything or not, but he did know that he wanted to hang out with his friend. Sure, there were any number of ways to do that, but he did have a preference for the time being. Usually it meant he was the kind of person who wanted to be up and moving. However…
He stood up and moved to his desk. “I was kinda hoping, that maybe…” He opened a drawer and pulled out a deck of cards. “We could play for a bit instead?” Card games varied from person to person, but while it meant more variety, he missed some games that were far more popular at Rainbow Mists.
Hochteth made a small noise to confirm his agreement with Korith. Easy enough to stay in the rank of the rest. Just one. We took a brief trip to Sky Mountain Weyr for business. I was very impressed by the view. D’ziel seemed to enjoy it as well. It seemed as different a place as here is from Rainbow Mists. The people seemed to favorably impress D’ziel, so I imagine it would be a nice place to live. Still cold, just not quite as ‘bitterly cold’, as D’ziel puts it. Not much had happened, so they had just taken the time to look around.
Holt was grateful that D'ziel didn't rub in his missed attempt. His feet remained planted on the floor, nonchalant as if they had never left, and challenged anyone to say otherwise.
He waited while D'ziel got up and shifted about. There seemed to be something else on the Rider's mind. What Holt didn't expect was,
"Cards?! Of course cards! Why didn't I think of it sooner? I bet you haven't played proper game in some time. Wanna start with Rainbow Four? Shuffle and deal, I'll give you a run for your marks," Holt agreed with emphasis. He slide his chair up to the table and waited for D'ziel to start the game.
Sounds like a good trip. Sky Mountain has some good people in it. I'm glad you ran into them. Cold's all the same to us. There's mountain chill, but the cold that is found in these sorts of places is beyond our level of commitment for a home. I commend your efforts. You got a nice place for yourselves here. Are there any other bits of news I should inquire after?
D’ziel’s face broke into an easy smile when Holt’s reaction was so clearly enthusiastic for his idea. No need to be worried then, his friend was most certainly up for some classic games.
“Rainbow Four it is. And we’ll see whose marks start running in fear.” He sat down and started to shuffle, easily cutting and shuffling without looking at the deck. He dealt the hands, enjoying the simplicity (and the coming complexity) of playing a good card game. Good times.
Oh, it doesn’t bother us so much. Hocteth looked up and around. I look forward to our next visit back though. who knows when it would be, but D’ziel couldn’t keep here forever. Too many friends and too much family. That seems to be all I can think of.
Holt grinned back at D'ziel's challenge. The game was on. He watched his friend deftly shuffle the cards. He had missed having D'ziel around to shuffle, he was the best of the lot. Waiting until D'ziel picked up his hand, so he could watch his face for clues, Holt then grabbed his cards. He scanned through them, and then started taking a second look at his hand. A decent start, but he'd have to hope D'ziel's hand wasn't stellar. He watched D'ziel's first play and with friendly teasing asked, "Oh, you do remember how to play Rainbow Four?"
It would be nice to have you visit the south someday soon. A good ocean swim, or a wing on a lazy breeze, or even a brisk glide through the rain. It's a good place. How is it living where the sky lights are? Korith wished his friend Hocteth would be able to come south, but he also disliked strife and disagreement and acknowledged that perhaps his Rider wasn't ready yet. They had the time. You know, even if he doesn't wish to return, or well visit, the Weyr yet, Holt's home and his parents love visitors. We could spend a day in the mountains.