Fort Weyr - Ancient Workshop
Nearly lost in the fact that this room is half buried by rocks already, the room seems to have been a valuable mechanics workshop. There are instruments in this room that have not yet been shattered by falling rock. Devices and tools of foreign creation seem to scattered now haphazardly due to a table and a shelf that have been destroyed due to the collapse of the ceiling. Most of the tools and items in this workshop would be rendered useless for the era of the present day folk; yet, some are still listed on the AVIAS machine in landing. Covered in rust, dust, and rock in the far back corner is a machine that looks rather bulky and startling similar to the image of 'sleds' that AVIAS has reportedly never rendered designs for or given access to. Yet, here one is. Rusted and practically dismantled, but here nevertheless.

Winter is showing it’s true strength and with the snow falling so heavily outside, it means most of Fort Weyr’s residents are staying indoors — children included. And while most are content to stay near the nursery or with the caretakers, some are prone to wandering. Kyzen is one of those children. Ever since he fought that bully, things have both been better and worse. Better, because said bully won’t approach him now and his taunts have remained verbal (and lame). Worse because the other children still aren’t sure about Kyzen. They’ll play with him, sure, but there’s no real connection. Even at eight, he understands (to a degree) that there is a difference between “friends” and a true friend. If asked, Kyzen would say his ‘true’ friend at the moment is Ha’ze. There is one other too but he sees this friend so rarely and so, figuring the day will be another spent on his own, Kyzen ventures down the unused tunnels…

… and into the Ancient Workshop. He likes it here, with all the curious rusted bits of this and that laying about. Sometimes he’ll pick a few of the items up if he feels he can without damaging them (or hurting himself). Today he’s poking about the rusted shell of an old, old dismantled sled, nothing more than the bare skeleton of the original machine.

It’s the singing that would likely alert him first. The light, flute-like sounds of a young girl, echoing through the tunnels as she wanders. Even though she knows these tunnels about as well as anyone, her manner of movement makes it seem like aimless wandering, as if she just happened upon this spot rather than having any intention in ending up here. Stopping in the doorway, the young girl brushes wild hair out of her face and continues to sing, eyes sweeping the room curious and bright.

Kyzen’s head jerks up and turns sharply towards the entrance of the workshop from where he’d crouched to inspect the sled (for the millionth time). He blinks at first, as if doubting what he heard but when the singing grows louder and more familiar there is no mistaking it. Out of the semi-shadows and more into the glowlight of the basket he brought with him, Kyzen’s grin is just as bright and happy. “Skydancer!” he calls, using her ‘nickname’ earned from the first time he crossed paths with her on the stone archway with Skyler. “You’re here in the Weyr? I thought you’d be gone…”
Sharaza giggles lightly, pushing hair out of her face again, only to let it fall right back and this time she ignores it. “Hello,” she says, absently and dreamily, drifting further into the room. “I thought we’d be gone too.” But apparently they’re not and she doesn’t offer any further reason for it. “What happened here?” Light fingertips touch the sled and then jerk back with a frown. “It’s broken.”

Kyzen won’t press any further as he’s just happy to see her. No details needed! He’ll watch as she approaches and laughs, “Of course it is. Have you ever been in this room before? It’s apparently the Ancients workshop or one of them. None of the stuff works because it’s real old. That,” He gestures to the machine she’d just touched. “Is a ‘sled’.” he informs her proudly, glad he can remember some of his lessons.

Sharaza giggles. “That’s not a sled,” she argues lightly, drifting around it, peering at it curiously, keenly, but with suspicion. “No, not a sled. WE have a sled. This isn’t a sled. Why does it look so funny?” She drifts over to Kyzen’s side and tilts her head to look at the so-called ‘sled’ some more. “Not a sled.”

Kyzen tilts his head and frowns. Not a sled? He follows her, hovering close by while Sharaza makes her observations. “How can you have a sled?” he counters. “We learned that these sleds haven’t existed in forever! And it looks funny because it’s not whole and it’s broken.” Now he’s peering curiously at the relic. “There’s more than one type of sled? What does your sled look like?”

Sharaza turns to look oddly at him. “It’s like a wagon, only it has…sleds on it. Not wheels. It goes over snow. The runners pull it. It’s really fun, except going down hill. Down hill isn’t all that fun but it’s a little fun. Just a little bit.” And she giggles.

Well now she definitely has Kyzen’s attention! “How weird but it sounds neat! And fun.” He giggles a bit too. “How come it isn’t all fun? And it sounds like your sled is much different than this sled. Kind of like how there’s different runners, y’know?” Because that makes complete sense. “They told us that these sleds,” Another flick of his hand at the ruined machinery. “Could fly once. Needed some sort of special… pack? … to do it.”

Sharaza just looks more puzzled. “You don’t have sleds here? But how do you get around when it snows?” This is Fort, after all. “WEll sometimes you go down fast and I’m afraid the sled will run over the runners.” She looks at the sled and scoffs. “Nothing can fly but dragons. And firelizards. And wherries. And other birds. And…” And she continues. Listing all the flying things. All of them.

“Most folks don’t travel far if they can help it or they wait until the roads are cleared.” Kyzen says and a touch defensively at that to cover his ignorance on these sleds. When she explains why her sleds aren’t always so fun he wrinkles his nose, “That’d be awful…” And now she’s listing everything that flies? He’ll stop her at some point, laughing and waving his hands to get her attention. Okay, okay he gets the point! “Some machines can fly but it’s all old stuff the Ancients bothered with. Did you learn about the Crossings and all that from the Harpers?” he asks, peering at her curiously and forgetting once again that she isn’t like the other children.

She stops listing with a puzzled look, and then resumes wandering around. “The crossings? Crossings of what? I know lots of crossings…” Which road goes to which place, etc. “You just have to read the signs.”

Kyzen will shadow her though his interest has shifted from the curious relics here to what Sharaza is telling him. He giggles again, “You’re silly. Not THAT sort of crossing. The Crossing! There’s two of them. First one is when we came to Pern from somewhere far away in space,” He points up, to indicate the skies. “Called Earth. Then there’s the Second Crossing when everyone packed up and left the Southern Continent and settled here. Fort was one of the first Weyrs, you know…” Cue that pride again but he’s giving her another funny look. “Don’t you go to your lessons?”

Sharaza drifts, but she doesn’t touch anything. “Sometimes,” she says dreamily. “I don’t believe that we came from somewhere else. I think we’ve always been here.” Always.

“Even when there’s proof?” Kyzen states with another curious tilt of his head as he regards his strange friend.

“Proof of what?” she asks, hopping up onto a workbench and swinging her legs, heels clicking against the wood.

Kyzen exhales with a puff of his cheeks. “Proof of the crossings!” he explains again, eyeing her as he comes to stand near that workbench. “And why wouldn’t you believe them? Seems like an awful big story to come up with just to fool folks…”

Sharaza shrugs. “I just don’t,” she says casually and quietly. “So these sleds flew? Why are they here? Why did it break? Can you fix it? Wouldn’t it be neat if they could work again?”

Kyzen frowns and his mouth sets into a bit of a stubborn line. That wasn’t an answer! He would have pushed it further too if she hadn’t gone on to ask all those questions. “Yeah, once long ago. Guess this one here was stored away and forgotten. A lot of rooms like this show up in the tunnels.” He shakes his head, grimacing. “No, I’m not a tech or a smith and I don’t really wanna be. I just like exploring… and I guess it would be neat? But what purpose would it have? Like you said, dragons fly and dragons are way cooler.”

Sharaza nods, looking around distractedly for a moment. “Do you like flying?”

“Do I?” Kyzen asks, sounding incredulous. “Of course I do! It’s a lot of fun but I don’t get to go very often. Father and mother are often busy…” he murmurs and then grins. “I know you like to fly, Skydancer. We never made those wings, you know…” For a child who often forgets key meetings with his parents or the usual rules… he remembers the oddest things.

Sharaza smiles, faint but there, and then she laughs. “Fathers and mothers are busy a lot of the time.” She spreads her arms, moving them up and down a bit. “No, we never did, but it would have been fun. But I don’t want to make wings anymore.”

Kyzen smirks, “No kidding. Are yours then too?” he asks and then appears disappointed. “Oh. How come?”

Sharaza shrugs, looking off into space. “They don’t help,” she says cryptically, legs swinging again, heels thumping.

More games? Kyzen leans against the workbench and is completely hooked on this cryptic reply. “Don’t help? How? With what?” he inquires.

Sharaza looks down at him, eyes a bit shadowed. “They don’t help because if they did he’d have flown and he didn’t fly, he just fell.”

Kyzen swallows a touch nervously to see her eyes shadowed like that and the implications behind her answer. Yet, he’s eight and his curiosity knows no bounds. “Was he hurt bad?” he asks quietly and then, a little bolder. “Was he your friend?”

Sharaza continues to look at him, almost unnervingly. “He died.” Whoops. “My brother.” Even worse!

“You’re lying!” Kyzen blurts out before he even realizes what he’s said. Horrified, he stares at her bewildered for a moment before blushing furiously and dropping his head. “Sorry.” he mumbles and then looks up at her from under his lashes and hair. “… about your brother. But — how are you not in big trouble?”

Sharaza doesn’t argue with him, like most kids would, she just stays silent and stares at him when he accuses her of lying. “I wasn’t there. He did it on his own.” Without her. If she’d been with him she might have tried it herself.

Kyzen looks all the more ashamed for his outburst when Sharaza doesn’t laugh or claim to be pulling his leg. “Sorry about your brother. Guess it was a very stupid idea,” he mutters. Is he feeling a little guilty for it? Probably. Just like his father, he is. For a moment he’s silent, fidgeting awkwardly until he perks up. “Wanna go do something fun?” No more talk of death.

Sharaza shrugs. “It’s why I’ve been gone a lot.” Then she hops down off the cabinet and smiles. “Yeah, I do.”

“Oh.” Kyzen replies and his brows knit. How to answer that? “Well… I’m happy you’re back.” Because it means he has a friend! Who doesn’t seem terribly torn up about the death of her brother but that sort of thing goes right over Kyzen’s head — for now. He grabs for her hand and if she allows it, his grip will be firm. “Come on! We’ll need to go outside though. Do you have winter gear?” he asks as he begins to lead her out of the workshop and back into the tunnels, stopping when they reach the fork with one way leading to the lower caverns and the other into the depths of the Weyr.

Sharaza doesn’t pull back from his touch, her hand light in his. “Winter gear?” she asks, laughing. “Of course I do, this is it.” She’s…kind of wearing winter stuff? Her jacket is a long patchwork coat, a bit threadbare but not something horrible for a kid to be wearing. Odd, but apparenly warm enough.

Kyzen gives her a look over and seems doubtful that her jacket and clothing are suitable but he’s not about to argue. He shrugs and nods, letting go of her hand. “Okay. Wait here then! I gotta go get mine and some other stuff. I’ll be right back!” With a grin, he scurries off and should she be patient, he’ll be back within minutes and look ridiculously bundled up. His jacket is a padded leather one and it makes him look clumsy though he seems used to it. He’s also carrying… burlap sacks? “Skydancer?” he calls. Is she still there?

Sharaza peers at his jacket and she stifles a giggle behind her hand. “How can you move in that thing?” she asks, swaying a bit to emphasize her own ability to move. See? Freedom.

Kyzen frowns when she stifles a giggle at him. “It’s not that hard,” he grumbles and tucks the burlap sacks tighter under one thick puffy arm. “Follow me! I know a neat way out of here,” Leading the way, he’ll head down that darker, unused portion of the tunnels, pausing to rummage something out of his pockets and handing her some small glows. “Here. Not ‘fraid of the dark are you?” Is that a challenge?

Sharaza laughs, quiet and brief as she takes the glows. “‘course not,” she replies confidently. Challenge accepted!

Off they go then, with Kyzen stomping off ahead all proud to be leading his friend to something ‘cool’ and ‘fun’. They go down many tunnels, some looking quite old and roughly carved. There are so many twists and turns it’s a wonder they don’t get lost but eventually he gives a little whoop of delight. “Here it is! I think they tried to fill it in awhile ago but some of it broke away. You gotta climb a bit and it’s a bit tight but it’s worth it!” Grinning, he’ll lead her to what looks like a cave in but is, in fact, human made. It’s the old hidden entrance that Th’ero had filled a few Turns ago but clearly the weyrbrats (or someone) didn’t get the message and near the topmost corner there’s a gap and barely human sized. Not for an adult, that’s for sure! “Come on, follow me!” Kyzen encourages as he begins to climb, shoving the sacks out the hole first before wriggling his way through. He makes it seem so easy!

Sharaza is as nimble as a goat, and she clambers up after him, careful of where she puts her feet but sure footed. She’s older than him but she’s still very slim and small for her age, and wiggles through after him without hesitation or even a ‘where are we going?’ question. Because who cares? They’re /going/ somewhere.

Kyzen has already scrambled down the other side, his padding making any of his clumsy attempts a little less painful. He’ll be relieved to see she manages so well, grinning at her from over the edge of his scarf. “You’re good at this!” he exclaims and… doesn’t breath a word of where they’re going. Instead he tromps off, boots crunching on the fresh snow and the sky above still bright with plenty of daylight. They’ll pass the ruins, half buried in snow and ice but it’s to a hillside he’s heading. Half way there, he’ll brandish those burlap sacks (and almost trip over one in the process). “Ever gone down a hill on these?” Sledding! In another form.

Sharaza giggles. “I live outside, Kyzen,” she teases him brightly, tromping along with eyes curious, and then she laughs again. “Of course I have!” she replies, reaching out to take the sack from him and flick it over her shoulder before she begins to run. “Race you!”

“Oh right. I forgot,” Kyzen admits sheepishly. He keeps forgetting how strange and different she is, despite that being one of the reasons why he likes her so much as a friend. Something is always new with her (and he sees her so rarely!). Blinking as she grabs the sack and tears off, he then let out a whoop of laughter. “You’re on!” Off he goes but his bulky clothes make it hard for him to keep up and the fresh, unbroken snow doesn’t help either. She’ll likely reach the top of the hill minutes before he does but he doesn’t care. Even winded, he’ll grin, breath puffing in white plumes. “Wanna race going down?”

Sharaza is waiting for him, sack held at the ready and grinning. “Of course!” Duh! “One, two, THREE!” And off she goes, throwing herself forward head first. Down she goes onto the sack on her belly, and zooming down the hill.

Kyzen’s laughter will drift behind her and he’ll be ready as she counts down and picks the same tactic, sliding down the hill on his belly. His whoops of delight echo all the way down and at one point he begins to spin a bit, only adding to his giggling. Who cares if he wins or not? This is FUN! “Again!” he’ll crow at the bottom, snatching up his makeshift sled and tearing back up that hill as fast as his boot heavy feet will allow.

Sharaza laughs the whole way down too, and she is also quick to get to her feet and race back up the hill, slipping and sliding and having a blast with it. Again! And again!

Kyzen is over the moons with this! THIS is fun! Again and again he’ll slide down that hill, becoming more brazen and wild with his attempts to gain more speed or do something out of the norm. Is he trying to impress her? Not so much but if she pays attention to his antics that’ll be just fine by him! He’s so absorbed in sledding that he doesn’t see the approach of three older boys… one of which is very familiar and observes him with a mixture of dislike and apprehension.

Sharaza notices, and she pauses, sack held in one hand as she stares at the boys. She doesn’t say anything, she just watches them the way they’re watching them.

Kyzen has just finished sliding down the hill again and his giggling is just subsiding when he sees that Sharaza is looking away. “What’s up…?” he asks and then freezes mid crouch as he spots the three boys. “… Squash …” he breathes under his breath and slowly stands, tense and wary. The older boys advance a few steps, already looking smug and cocky. “What’cha doing?” Squash drawls with a grin that is anything but friendly.

Sharaza tilts her head, looking between all the boys, and then focusing back on Squash again. She’s traveled enough to recognize the type. “Sliding,” she answers simply. “You wanna try?” Her hand extends, holding out the damp sack.

Kyzen is trying to silently signal Sharaza not to even say a word to the bullies but it’s too late. Squash stares at the girl as though she’s just lost her mind and then he smirks, brushing the sack aside. Maybe he does it too hard and it’ll make it seem like he pulled it down, only to let it fall to the snow. “We don’t play at silly games and not with your type,” he sneers, his eyes falling on Kyzen now while his two cronies snicker. “We’ve something else in mind…”

Sharaza lets the sack go, looking down at it and then bending to pick it up. “If you don’t want to play with us then why are you here?” she asks, meandering over towards Kyzen. “Oh? Another game?”

“Never you mind, trader brat…” Squash sneers as though Sharaza is as lowly as a drudge and his cronies snicker behind him. “You run along now. Our games aren’t for girls.” He makes a shooing gesture with his hand, figuring that’ll send her off in a tizzy. Kyzen however looks torn. Annoyed but uncertain but notably he puts himself in front of his friend. “Leave us alone, Squash! We don’t want to play.” Kyzen attempts to speak up but it only seems to egg the older boys on who laugh and mock him. “What’cha gonna do? Cry to mommy again or your Weyrleader daddy?” Same old tricks but it makes poor Kyzen bristle all the same.

Sharaza tilts her head a bit, befuddled, and she doesn’t run along, thank you. “Why not?” she asks, leaning forward a bit. “Is it a peeing game?” Because she knows she can’t compete in one of those.

Kyzen snorts and has to bite back a laugh for Sharaza’s brazeness, something of which staggers Squash and his buddies (who also have to bite their tongues from snickering at her comment). The older bully glares at all of them, only to grin cruelly. “It could be but not with you around.” He gestures again for Sharaza to scram and in the same moment he swings his other arm out and snags Kyzen by the hood of his jacket, hauling him back so fast and hard that he loses his footing with a startled yelp. “Get going, girl. We’ve got some catching up to do here with wittle Kyzen…” He says in a mocking, sneering tone and gives the boy a bit of a shake for good measure. “Not so brave now, are you!” Squash hisses before shoving him towards his cronies, who grab him despite Kyzen’s writhing and wriggling to get away.

Sharaza does no such thing. Instead she bends, picks up a hefty stick and screams, drawing the stick back as she runs right towadrs Squash, stick at the ready. Her scream is /loud/. Piercing, shrieking, almost unearthly as she charges the bully without a second of hesitation. How convenient that he pushed Kyzen away from him. Now Sharaza has no qualms about going right for him, no concerns about hitting her friend as she swings that stick towards the bully’s shoulders.

Her screaming has all the boys looking up in shock, but none so much as Squash when he finds himself facing the sudden wild and stick weilding girl. “OW! Shards! Ow… quit it! What are you doing!?” he exclaims, staggering back as he does his best to defend himself and completely at a loss of what to do with this insane reaction. His cronies can only gape, shocked and Kyzen takes advantage of that by literally squirming out of his jacket to flop into the snow. Cold? What cold? He’s FREE! And while Sharaza’s sudden wild turn has startled him too, he also feeds on it and uses it as fuel to be brave himself. He has no stick but snow makes a good alternative! Most of which is sent towards the Cronies, who sputter and totter backwards, the fight rapidly draining from them.

Sharaza continues to scream (any adults nearby?) and wield her stick like a club, hitting whatever she can. She doesn’t say anything, she just screams and fights like a wild banshee.

With Sharaza screaming like a wild feline and Kyzen going on the attack with snow, the cronies break first and take off running. Squash, however, has fallen under the wild girl’s attack and is now flailing in the snow and trying to keep her from nailing him good with that stick. “Get her off!” he screams. So much for big tough bully? As for adults… Oh, there’s one making his way over to all the commotion. “Sharaza, you better stop!” Kyzen bounds to her side, trying to stop her stick wielding. The boy knows that black-cad form very well. It’s the Weyrleader and Th’ero’s expression looks as steely as the sky above their heads. “What in Faranth’s name is going on? We could hear screaming clear across the bowl.” His voice is level, only hinting at half of his annoyance as his dark eyes dart from his son, Sharaza and the curled, sniveling form of Squash. His expression darkens further. “You again.” Uh oh.

Sharaza does stop, hopping back and holding her stick - HER stick - and looking up at the Weyrleader. “Sir,” she says, dipping into a curtsey. “He grabbed Kyzen so I hit him with a stick. There were two others but they got scared and ran away.”

Kyzen is just going to stand there, like prey caught in a trap, as he’s always uneasy around his father when he’s in a mood like this. Plus he’s assuming he’s in trouble again. Poor kid. Th’ero is more concerned with the older boy still cowering in the snow, but he’ll look down at Sharaza and then to the stick she still holds. “I think you’ve done enough. I’ll take care of him,” He’s already crouching down to grab Squash’s collar and haul him to his feet. If he’s a bit rough, no one’s going to say boo about it, right? Right. “Kyzen, why don’t you go home? Bring your friend with you. Warm up a bit.” Which is code for: I’m going to talk to you both later.

Sharaza dips into another curtsey. “Yes, sir,” she says, dropping her stick and reaching out to snag Kyzen’s hand. “Let’s go! Race you!” And she tugs him as she tries to run off, her mood light and happy, as if she didn’t just jump a kid and beat him with a stick.

And that will puzzle Kyzen to no end how Sharaza’s mood is so light and carefree. He won’t protest though, gripping her hand and being tugged forwards, racing after her though his pace will slow a bit as he looks over his shoulder at Th’ero now leading Squash away and likely straight to the Headwoman and Steward’s offices. Maybe seeing his bully finally being caught in the act lifts his spirits as he’s suddenly grinning. “Hey, wait up!” he calls to Sharaza and once he’s caught up to her, he will lead her up the stairs. “Ever been in a weyr before?” he asks, pausing on the landing just outside of his parents personal weyr.

Sharaza slows and then stops on the Weyrleader’s ledge, looking up with wide-eyed awe. “No,” she whispers, clasping her hands together and wringing them. “Are you sure I’m allowed in there?”

Kyzen can see that she's nervous and tries to reach for one of her hands again. If he can't, then he'll opt for gesturing encouragingly for her to follow him. "My father… uh, that is the Weyrleader, said to. It'll be okay. You can meet my pet feline Boo? And Velokraeth is nice, just not real pretty to look at."

Sharaza doesn’t protest his holding of her hand. She scoots in after him, still nervous but also very curious. “I’ve seen him,” she says. “He’s a bronze.” Meaning it doesn’t really matter what he looks like. He’s a bronze and has sired many many dragons, and been Weyrleader for a long time. “Looks mean nothing.”

"Have you?" Does Kyzen sound disappointed? Maybe a little. "Yeah, he's a bronze. But have you seen him up close?" It's her luck day! He's lead them in by the wallow and Velokraeth was curled up and resting. Now there's the dry rustling sound of movement as he raises his head and tucks his tail a little tighter to his body with the tip resting over his stunted front limbs. He whuffles softly to greet them. "Sorry if we woke you up, Velokraeth." Kyzen pipes up without hesitation, though the bronze seems to be watching Sharaza with great interest.

Sharaza giggles. “Everyone’s seen him, he’s the Weyrleader dragon!” She shakes her head though. No, never up close. Her hands fidget when they approach and she dips into a low curtsey, head down ut watching him from beneath her lashes. “H-hi,” she stammers softly.

Kyzen can’t help but giggle. “You don’t have to do that.” The curtseying. Velokraeth doesn’t seem to mind it. If anything, the bronze appears amused and will dip his oversized ugly head as if to acknowledge her stammered greeting. Then he whuffles and chuffs low in his chest, much like a throaty chuckle. Yep, something is definitely tickling him! Or maybe Th’ero’s really angry right now and laying into Squash and his cronies. “Come on,” Kyzen gestures for her to follow him again. “Let’s get inside.”

Sharaza shoots him a look. “Yes I do,” she argues. She does. She’s a trader. Then she tiptoes after Kyzen, into the weyr with another curious look around. “It’s so /big/,” she whispers, in hushed tones.

“No you don’t. I don’t,” Kyzen counters with an amused smirk and then he snickers, “And you don’t have to tiptoe either. Not gonna break anything,” he teases her gently and then shrugs his shoulders as he walks in the weyr which is now a second home to him. He shrugs off his jacket and hangs it on a peg, kicking off his boots too. “Wanna see my feline?” He asks, just as a rush of small wings stir the air as Th’ero’s firelizards arrive: gold, bronze and brown. Kyzen ignores him and for the most part the firelizards find perches. Electricus, however, goes right for Sharaza’s wonderful wild hair. NEST.

Sharaza disagrees. She /does/. But she won’t argue with him about it either. “Yeah!” she says excitedly, before squeaking in surprise at the sight of the firelizards. Eyes wide, she squeaks again when the brown goes for her hair. “Eeep! Is he angry? Should I go?”

Kyzen is already distracted in trying to find his pet feline when Sharaza’s startled squeak has him peeking up over the back of the couch. “What? No. None of them are angry. They make an awful racket. Just hold still. He wants to burrow in your hair… he does that to mother all the time. His name is Electricus.” Say that three times fast. “The gold is Ticosa and the bronze is Boromir.” Could having names make them seem less scary? Kyzen shuffles over to his friend’s side, “Want me to take him away?” Since the brown is now definitely trying to perch on the back of her shoulders and under her hair.

Sharaza tilts her head slightly and then holds still. “Okay…” she whispers. She’ll just stand her then, looking nervous and uncertain. “I…if it won’t make him upset?”

“He’ll fuss but it’ll be at me, not you.” Kyzen murmurs. “Hold still now. Real careful like, okay?” He’ll wait until Sharaza does so before lifting his hands. Slow… slow and steady. “Don’t move…” And ignore the quiet hissing coming from your hair!

Sharaza squeaks but holds perfectly still, not moving an inch, even holding her breath.
Three… two… one… GRAB! Electricus hisses and growls as Kyzen gets a hold of him but the brown is strong and writhes, tangling into Sharaza’s hair. “Sorry! … sorry… I’m trying!” he exclaims.

Sharaza yells at that point, hands flying up into her hair. “Get him off get him off get him off!” Karma for beating that bully with a stick?

Karma comes in threes! So while Kyzen is panicking and gets himself scratched good by the brown who is twining himself all the more into Sharaza’s hair, things get REAL fun when Ticosa comes swooping down to scold everyone, whirling and diving around both of their heads. It’ll last but a minute until a sharp, quick warble-like bark from Velokraeth has the firelizards scattering, Electricus included who untangles himself, dropping and vanishing between in an instant. “Oh… shards,” Yep, Kyzen just swore. “Sharaza are you okay?”

Sharaza crouches down, arms over her head when the firelizards depart. “Are they gone?” she whispers very, very softly. Yup, someone’s afraid of firelizards now.

Velokraeth croons softly from his wallow and Kyzen will try to gently lower her arms. “Yeah, they’re gone. You don’t hafta be scared anymore. Velokraeth called them off I think. It’s my fault. I forgot Electricus likes to burrow…” he tells her and then tries to guide her to the couch. “I’m gonna go find Boo. She always makes me feel better…”

Sharaza stands, glancing in the direction of the bronze dragon as she shuffles over to sit on the couch, tucking her legs beneath her. Felines she can handle. Maybe. Hopefully Boo is nicer…

Boo is MUCH nicer. Partly because she was raised from kittenhood by a very young child she’s very tolerant and patient. So much so that she’s practically limp as Kyzen carries her in, the feline knowing just how to hold herself under his sometimes clumsy handling. “This is Boo!” he exclaims and sets the fluffy ghost-marking silver and white tabby feline beside her. “She likes to be scratched under the chin and she’s real cuddly.” Kyzen states proudly, climbing up onto the couch on the opposite side. “Go on!”

Sharaza slowly extends a hand, light fingertips reaching for the underside of the feline’s chin. “Hi there, Boo. Why’s she named Boo?”

Boo begins to purr almost immediately, her eyes closing in content as she daintily makes her way onto Sharaza’s lap. Flows there, it seems, as though she knows just how to get there without causing too much of a disruption. “See? I’ve had her since she was a wee kitten.” Why that name? “Dunno. It just seemed to fit her. Don’t you think?” Kyzen asks.

Sharaza smiles, gently stroking the feline’s fur with her other hand. “She’s beautiful, and so sweet,” she says quietly. “I have a pet runner kindof. He’s one of the family runners but he likes me the best.”

Kyzen is instantly envious and doesn’t even bother hiding it or the pride when she compliments Boo. “She’s the best feline ever,” he states, “And really? You’ve your own runner? You’re lucky! Even if it’s just your families. I asked for a runner once and I was told no. I don’t even know how to ride…” Woe.

Sharaza gapes at him. “You don’t know how to /ride/?” How can that be? Is he even human?

Kyzen’s face darkens with a flush of embarrassment and pricked pride. “It’s not that I’m scared!” he says in defense. “Just that no one has shown me… I’m good with riding dragons though!” Because there’s totally skill involved with that (not one bit). “Father and mother have runners in Keroon but they’re too big for me they said.” More like Th’ero said. “And the Weyr doesn’t really have ponies.” Excuses!

Sharaza scoffs at him, shaking her head. “You have to learn. I’ll teach you.” Because it’s that easy, right? “We have five runners we use, they’re old and they’ll be easy for someone like you to learn how to ride on.” Forgive her, being a little bit proud at the moment, that she can do something the mighty Kyzen can not.

You can teach me?” Kyzen sounds incredulous and disbelieving. Don’t mind him! “Isn’t it hard with it being winter…?” This is too good to be true! Hopefully he doesn’t blab to his father or mother that Sharaza wants to show him how.

Sharaza shrugs with a little smile. “Why not? The runners still need exercise, we’re not going anywhere, and when you fall off,” yes, when, “you can land in the snow and it’s not as bad.” She sees zero things wrong with this plan.

Kyzen frowns, “I won’t fall.” he states stubbornly. Pride, he has pride in spades! Boo continues to purr away in Sharaza’s lap but with a perk and twitch of her ears, the feline is suddenly stretching and leaping off, tail held high as she stalks her way into the kitchenette. “Maybe she’s hungry?” Kyzen suggests with a giggle but soon goes silent as the sound of boots coming up the stairs and walking towards the weyr is audibly heard. That can only mean one thing…

Sharaza giggles. “Everyone falls.” She pouts when Boo leaves, but then straightens at the sound of boots. “Stick?” Right. She just asked for a stick because her first thought is she’s going to need to defend them again.

“Not all the time,” Kyzen counters and his eyes widen, mouth dropping open a bit. A stick? Agains the Weyrleader? “No stick… you’d never win against him.” he says in incredulous awe. “And why would you…” Hit the Weyrleader? His sentence is never finished as just then Th’ero walks in through the door, framed for a moment by the last of the winter daylight outside. He looks imposing, almost frightening, in his black and dark brown riding leathers with the furred collar and the stance in which he takes. Closing the door behind him, his eyes will settle on the two children, one of which is a complete stranger to him. “Kyzen? Be polite and see if your friend wants something to drink or eat, will you?” In other words… go in the other room. Uh oh.

Sharaza doesn’t know it’s the Weyrleader! She can’t identify his footsteps. She darts a look at Kyzen, then to Th’ero, and huddles a bit into the couch. “M’kind of hungry…” she murmurs.

“I’ll go get some food then,” Kyzen murmurs because he’s not about to argue with his father. Down he slides from the couch and disappears around behind it to go to the kitchenette. There’s the sound of cabinets being opened and a stool being dragged across the stone floor and while he’s busy scrounging food together, Th’ero will slowly approach Sharaza where she sits. If he was imposing from afar, he’s definitely moreso up close. He doesn’t loom forever though and will kneel to be more on eye level with the girl. “And what’s your name?” he asks in his usual soft, but firm spoken tone.

Sharaza peeks at Th’ero through her messy blonde hair, eyes following him as he kneels. “Is the brown firelizard that got all into my hair yours?” Question for a question.

Th’ero frowns for half a second and then sighs, mouth quirking into a faint smirk. “That would be Electricus, yes. Did he scare you?” he asks, a brow lifting as he expects Sharaza to answer his previous question.

Sharaza nods. “Yes, sir. But Kyzen got him off of me.” So thank you for that. Then, softly, “Sharaza, sir. Trader.”

“Did he now?” Th’ero murmurs and remains crouched in front of Sharaza even as he tilts his head a bit to try and catch a glimpse of his son. Nothing seems to be going wrong but one never knows! “Well met, trader Sharaza. You must be from the family who’ve been held up by the winter snows, hmm?” he asks in a seemingly casual way. “How’d you come to hitting that boy with a stick?” Let’s just get right to business.

Sharaza shakes her head. “No, sir. We came in not long ago with our sleds.” She pauses, looking towards where Kyzen has gone, then back to the Weyrleader. “He and two of his friends came up and told me to go away because they were going to play a game and I couldn’t play. Then he grabbed Kyzen and the other boys were holding him and I knew that one boy was gonna do something bad to him so I grabbed a stick and ran at them.” She pauses, lowering her voice as if sharing a big secret. “You have to catch them by surprise when they’re bigger than you.”

Th’ero listens closely and when Sharaza shares her secret, he can’t help but smile faintly and crookedly. “You certainly did catch him by surprise. He’s been bullying many of the children of late, but I don’t think he’ll be a problem anymore.” Is there a thank you in there? Maybe. It’s very subtly implied but his expression sobers to a serious look. “You know that you’re not to hit others with sticks though, right Sharaza? You could have hurt him bad.”

Sharaza lifts her chin stubbornly. “He could have hurt Kyzen bad! And I couldn’t fight him without a stick, then he wouldda hurt /me/ bad.”

“Yes, he could have hurt Kyzen bad or you. Which is why fighting isn’t always the right way. You went after him to defend your friend. If he had backed down though, would you still hit him?” Th’ero asks her gently and will barely glance at Kyzen when the boy returns with a plate of food. He may be eight, but he can make a decent meal. Not that it’s much. Mostly cheeses, meats, bread and some other finger foods. It’s a start, right? He’ll set it down on the table and then take a seat on the couch.

Sharaza shakes her head. “No, sir. I just wanted him to not hurt Kyzen, that’s all. I had to stop him.” And she did. “I yelled for adults.” Lest he forget. She looks over at Kyzen when he returns, then back to Th’ero.

“Is that why you were making all that noise?” Th’ero asks and now he does sound a touch amused. He seems satisfied with her answer as well and gestures for her to help herself to the food Kyzen has brought. Now it’s his turn to grill his own son, “Your friend told me that that boy tried to bully you again. That he grabbed you and was trying to send her away. Is that right?” When Kyzen nods his head, looking grim and ready for a lecture, he’s relieved when all Th’ero does is sigh and shake his head. “You’re not in trouble. Either of you… though I’d have preferred if the stick wasn’t involved — not that the boy didn’t have it coming to him.” Pushing to his feet, he’ll dust off his pants and glance back towards the entrance of his weyr.

Sharaza nods. “Yes, sir. There were three of them and only one - two - of us.” Kyzen was there, but he didn’t have a stick. Leaning forward, she grabs a handful of food to begin eating. She looks up with a smile. “‘course we’re not in trouble! /We/ didn’t do nothing wrong.”

“No, you didn’t.” Th’ero confirms and Kyzen visibly relaxes and enough that he’ll reach for some of the food as well. The Weyrleader, however, doesn’t seem to be lingering for long. He’ll look between the two of them with a curious expression but says nothing. Instead he smirks, “You two finish up that food and then I think it’s best you bring Sharaza home, Kyzen and get home to Tlazio yourself. Understood?” Kyzen nods his head, though he doesn’t look thrilled by it. Th’ero nods, “Try to stay out of trouble. I’ve got to get back to my duties.” Which explains why he’s slowly making his escape now that he has confirmation of what happened from the two of them.

Sharaza smiles brightly around a mouthful of food. “Okay, sir!” As he leaves she grins at Kyzen. “See? We did good!”

Kyzen won’t say a word until Th’ero has actually left the weyr. Only then does he exhale heavily and sag back against the couch. Slump! “Yeah, we did. Or you did mostly… “ Does that upset him a bit? You bet it does.

Sharaza giggles, nudging him a bit as she shoves more food into her mouth. “Now he won’t bother you any more!” Isn’t he happy about that?

“Do you want more food?” Kyzen asks while he watches her shove more into her mouth. Was she hungrier than she let on? As for his happiness, he does perk up. “Do you think my fa—- the Weyrleader was telling the truth about Squash? That he’ll leave me and the other kids alone?”

She is always hungry, always a bit too thin, always eating more and faster than she should. “Of course he was! Why would he bother you now?”

Kyzen snorts, “Because he didn’t learn the first time?” He’ll pick at the food a bit more but leave the majority of it for Sharaza to enjoy. Once the plate is empty, he’ll pick it up and bring it to the kitchenette before bounding back. “So… wanna stop at the living caverns and see if we can’t sneak some stuff passed Cook?” Which seems to be a pastime of his.

Sharaza tilts her head at him. “But did he get hit with a stick and then hauled off by the Weyrleader the first time?” She watches him bound off and when he returns she fidgets a bit. Clearly she wants to, but… “I don’t want to get in trouble.” Not after so narrowly avoiding it already once.

Kyzen frowns, "Well… No he didn't… So I guess it is different then this time." Pardon him while he keeps his dubious tone. He grins, "Trouble with Cook? Nah! She pretends to be mad but really she doesn't care. It's like a game," he explains. Could be it's only a 'game' for him with Cook showing preference given who he is.

Sharaza grins. “You’ll be fine!” she says flippantly, before sobering again. “Ah. Alright then…?” This is her being dubious.

Look who's dubious now! Kyzen' grin doesn't waver. "I won't let you get into trouble. Do you like sweets?" Silly question, right?

Sharaza squirms a bit. “Yeah…I think so. We don’t get sweets often.”

"You're not… sure? You're so strange," Kyzen sighs and offers to take her hand again. Does he think she'll run? Maybe. "I'll show you. You'll see. Cook makes good bubblies."

Sharaza straightens a bit, frowning. “You’re the strange one. Never ridden a runner before.” Different lives. She takes his hand though, ready for him to lead her to the kitchens.

"Why am I the strange one?" Kyzen asks and tries not to sound as stung as he does over her calling him that. Different lives is right. Holding her hand, he will take her back outside and down the stairs and over towards the living caverns.

“Because you don’t even know how to ride. That’s like not knowing how to climb or something. But we’ll fix it,” Sharaza says brightly. “Tomorrow you can come ride.”

Kyzen shakes his head, "You might need to ride but I guess it's not important here? Tomorrow! Wow, really? You're going to teach me so soon?" He seems eager though, just surprised by the suddenness. He's used to waiting. As they approach the living caverns he slows and still pulling her along with him, sticking close to the walls as he peers about the room. "Okay, looks like they don't have anything yet on the tables so… we need to go to the kitchens." What?

Sharaza nods with an odd look. “Why would we wait?” She isn’t used to waiting for much of anything. Then her eyes widen and she peers up the stairs. “Up…up there?”

"Because things always take time or need to wait for." Kyzen states matter of factly. When she peers up the stairs, he only grins. "Yup. Come on!" Tug goes her hand and Kyzen is trotting along and then sneaking, expecting her to mimick his movements as he goes along, sticking close to the walls. The closer they get to the kitchens, the warmer it gets. Not to mention how good it smells! There are some tables holding food trays ready and waiting to go down and it's towards those that he heads.

Sharaza can sneak with the best of them, especially right now when she /needs/ to sneak and is nervous about getting caught or in trouble. She is not the Weyrleader’s child, after all. Different rules apply to her.

Kyzen will be thrilled that she can sneak around just as good as the rest of them. She may not be the Weyrleader's child but she's with the Weyrleader's son. That'll count as something right? He continued to creep closer and closer until he's practically up against the table. Signalling to keep quiet, he'll raise his head just enough to peer over the edge. Target spotted! Quick as a flash, Kyzen's hand grabs a pastry and passes it to Sharaza. One, two, three… They're small fruit filled pastries. Best in larger quantities to a child.

Oh, so he’s giving /her/ the evidence to hold? Sharaza frowns, but then begins putting the pastries into her big coat pockets, keeping her hands free to accept more as he passes them to her.

Of course he’s handing her all the evidence! How is he supposed to steal and stash so much? Kyzen will of course shove a few of the larger pastries in his pockets and on his last greedy reach there’s suddenly a stern call of “Hey! Get yer paws away from there you sticky fingered ‘brats!” That’d be Cook. Kyzen grabs Sharaza’s hand just as the woman comes rushing forwards, wooden spoon raised threateningly but when it comes to a chase there is none of it. The moment they reach the stairs and are down it, Cook just turns back. Kyzen will bring them to safety to a quiet and empty far corner of the living caverns and by the time they stop he’s giggling. “See? She acts tough but really isn’t. I swear she does it on purpose sometimes.”

Sharaza squeaks and bolts when they’re caught, racing down the stairs until Kyzen pulls her into the corner. Panting softly, the girl pushes hair away from her face with a shiver. “She seemed really mad..”

Kyzen is a little out of breath himself but he just grins toothily at his friend. “Nah. If she was, she’d have sent her Apprentices after us. No one is coming up the stairs… Bet these were from lunch and they were looking to get rid of them anyways.” So fresh but not ‘freshest’. Kyzen just shrugs and plops down somewhere to sit, pulling out one of the bite sized pastries. Which he eats like any boy his age… with little manners and pretty much all in one bite. “…try it…” he mumbles around a mouthful of food.

Sharaza sits as well, peering up the stairs towards the kitchen as if nervous someone is still going to come after them. “Alright…” she murmurs, digging one out of her pocket. It’s a bit squished, but still tastes good as she shoves it into her mouth. “S’good…”

Kyzen will wait, almost on the edge of his seat, when she goes to taste the stolen pastries. Her approval is met with a brilliant smile and he’s clearly thrilled she’s enjoying it. “Told you,” he mumbles around another mouthful. Seems he doesn’t (yet) share his father’s aversion to sweets.

Sharaza gives him a little nudge. “Yeah, yeah.” There’s a pause. “So tomorrow? Out at our wagon? In the morning?”

Kyzen nudges her back and begins to lick his fingers clean of some of the residual jam and crumbs he’s managed to get all over his hands. “Tomorrow!” he agrees, only to pause. “… morning? First thing?” Why is he hesitating?

Sharaza eyes him. “Not…scared, are you?” she taunts gently, shoving another pastry into her mouth and gobbling it down happily.

“No! I’m not scared or a coward!” Kyzen protests immediately and puffs up in indignation. He’s already eaten all his pastries and he’s not so bold as to start helping himself to what she has. Helps that he’s distracted now, fidgeting. “Morning is for lessons…” he mutters. “… with the Harpers.”

Sharaza stares at him and then she giggles. “Oh. Well. Afternoon then?” But she’s totally laughing. /Lessons/. Pffft.

Kyzen doesn’t like being laughed at or maybe he’s just feeling a little prickly about the subject. “What’s so funny about it?” he asks, ignoring her question as he frowns at her.

Sharaza shrugs a shoulder, shoving another pastry into her mouth. “Just…don’t you know everything by now?”

Kyzen snorts, “No? There’s your ballads and songs that you learn first but there’s more than that afterwards. Other things.” Things. How descriptive of him! Still feeling a bit pricked by her giggling over his good-doing ‘can’t skip class’ behavior, he decides to lay down another challenge. “Bet you couldn’t sit through ‘em!” Which may as well have been him saying: bet you can’t understand it.

Sharaza laughs. “I can sit through them! I have before.” Remember? “I just don’t need to.” Or want to. But mostly she doesn’t need to.

“How come you don’t need to?” Kyzen exclaims and comes close to pouting. No fair! He always has to go! Or so he assumed. Now he’s questioning this… “Why wouldn’t you want to learn stuff anyhow?” All these questions!

Sharaza shrugs. “I already know all the stuff I need to know. You probably need to know more than me.”

Kyzen shakes his head and is once more confused. She is such a strange girl! “How do you know that you’ve learned everything…?” he pries her again and then frowns. “Why? Cause I’m the Weyrleader’s son?” Uh oh.

Sharaza shrugs again. “‘cuz no one’s asked me anything that I didn’t know the answer to in a long time.” That’s how she knows. Then she blinks at him. “No. Cuz’ you live in a weyr and need to know more than traders do.”

“Can you do your numbers?” Kyzen inquires with a doubtful quirk of a brow. Wellll? He snorts again, “That doesn’t make sense. Wouldn’t we need to know just about the same stuff about things and the world? Traders need to know how to do their numbers, right?”

Sharaza nods. “Traders need to know their numbers /good/ so people don’t steal from you.” So yes. She can do her numbers.

Kyzen pouts. Drat! He can’t catch her that way (and no way is he going to admit he struggles with his numbers). Scratching at the back of his neck, the then snaps his fingers and is about to say something, only to take it back. Nope, she already told him earlier what she thought of history. “There HAS to be something you don’t know.” he grumbles. “So when in the morning do you want me at the wagons?”

Sharaza grins crookedly at him, pleased. “What, in the morning? Are you skipping your lessons?”

Kyzen lifts his chin and squares his shoulders, jaw set determinedly. “Yeah, I’m gonna. Maybe I’ve learned all there is now but I haven’t learned how to ride… right?” Kid logic. Also a way for him to make it a “good” thing when it’s technically still “wrong”.

Sharaza grins crookedly, her expression a bit daring. “Alright then,” she says, getting to her feet and brushing herself off. “Tomorrow morning then.”

Kyzen also gets to his feet, slowly beginning to grin. “Tomorrow morning,” he echoes back and would have held out his hand to ‘shake’ on it as though they’re making a business transaction but instead he only cheerily challenges her again. “Race you to the wagons?”

Sharaza laughs at him, shaking her head. “It’s not tomorrow morning yet!” The idea of him walking her home goes right over her head. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“I know that!” Kyzen counters back and then tilts his head. But didn’t his father say he was supposed to walk her home? He fidgets, unsure of whether or not to follow her and decides to do so in the end but only because Tlazio’s residence isn’t that far off the same path. “First thing?”

Syaraza looks over her shoulder when he follows her. “First thing? Yeah, I mean whenever you get up.” She assumse she’ll be up before him anyway.

Most likely she’ll be up before him. Kyzen nods his head and gives her a farewell wave before he turns to walk away. “See you then!” He won’t forget!