Eastern Weyr - Cove Docks

A thin, windy pathway lined with paper lanterns leads to the sturdy docks made of stone and wood that stretch out into the deep azure waters. A large wall of stone curves around the docks, protecting the small docking harbor from the weather. Nestled against the intersection of docks and land, a large hollow has been carved out of the rock, the formation intended for storage of smaller ships during the worst of Eastern's storm season.
//The paper lanterns offer a colorful pathway of light to and from the ships in dock here. Night rests here on Eastern so the docks themselves are quiet all but for the night guards wearing the colors of Riptide and WeyrGuard Wings. Springtime has arrived on Eastern Weyr, the flowers budding with wild abandon and all about new growth of the jungle seems to be the theme both in the animal and plant kingdoms.

Acting on a hunch, D'ani has snagged Ezra and popped over from Fort to Eastern Weyr's docks, since the traders' ship they're seeking could conceivably have turned east upon exiting the mouth of the Rubicon River and stopped at that port before turning back to the west. The search has turned up no further leads, despite careful questioning and checking with the harbor records, nothing shows for ship having docked with a crew that fits the descriptions they've given (that is a 'family' traveling with two young girls and a young boy aboard their vessel). It's hard, given the enormity of the task and the importance thereof to his young friend for the bronzerider not to be discouraged. D'ani's hands are shoved deep into his pockets as he walks aimlessly on the docks, boots thunking hollowly on the wood. "They'll turn up… somewhere, Ezra…. eventually." He isn't sounding so sure, but he's trying his best to be positive.

Ezra was happy to be snagged, eager to be away and out of the weyr for a while to continue the search. The boy hunches his thin shoulders in his borrowed riding jacket, the knives from Abigail sheathed against his side, unused. "I hope so," he says quietly, his voice thick with a multitude of mixed emotions. Excitement, anticipation, hope mixed with disappointment and discouragement.

D'ani seems in no hurry to head back to Fort. Perhaps it's because winter grips the northern Weyr while this southern one basks in a warm tropical sun. Perhaps it's because going back empty-handed is an admission of defeat - again. "Ships don't just go missing-" D'ani begins, his voice fraught with frustration when he catches himself, darts a sidelong glance at Ezra and changes it to, "-without a trace." And then he sighs. Of course they do. Frequently, in fact. He rakes a hand though his brown hair and frowns at the sparkling waters of the bay as if they are deliberately holding back from revealing where that ship went.

Ezra shoves his hands deeper into his pockets and hunches his shoulders, looking around the docks almost accusingly. Then he lifts his chin, taking a deep breath. "We'll find her," he says, glancing at his friend with a knowing look. He caught that change. "We will." Pausing, he watches a pair of children run down the dock laughing, the boy chasing the girl and reaching out to try and grab her swinging runnertail. He misses and she shrieks with smug satisfaction, bolting off down another cooridor. Ezra sighs, turning instead to fix pale green eyes on the sea.

D'ani closes his eyes briefly at that repeated assurance. "Yeah," he mutters, unconvinced and then adds a touch more hopefully, "Rayathess turned up. What were the chances of that happening, eh?" Reaching the end of the pier, he stops walking and leans back against a piling. Without taking his hands from his pockets, he slides down to sit on the rough boards. It's a great way to get a splinter in his back or wreck his shirt, but he's oblivious to that right now. Allowing his legs to dangle over the side, eyes study the water directly below, perhaps absently looking for fish. "One thing we now know," he says at length. "The ship probably sailed west."

Ezra sits down with a lack of grace, long limbs folding themselves in an ungainly fashion until he's seated beside D'ani. He doesn't dangle his feet, keeping his legs crossed and instead just peering over the edge. "Yeah," he says quietly. The boy pauses for a moment and then darts a little glance at his friend. "Sometimes I think it was easier when I was the only one left," he admits, softly whispered with a grimace of guilt at the admittance. "Then at least I didn't have this…hope."

D'ani takes the admission in stride. Instead of looking shocked, he chuckles. "Hope keeping you awake nights, is it?" He swings his feet idly, turns his head to look at his friend, squinting a bit as the bright sun hits his eyes. "I always found hope to be a good thing. Just the… waiting is hard." He's not giving up on either search - his or Ezra's - but finding nothing is eating at him today. Watching the younger boy though his lashes, he asks casually, "How are things going with you and Rayathess?"

Ezra nods, "Yeah," he admits, shoulders slumping in relief when D'ani didn't gape at him or call him stupid. "Just thinking about her, out there, needing help but I can't get to her…" He trails off, giving his friend a pained look. "I understand you better, now," he murmurs. Then he takes a slow breath and shrugs, running a hand through his hair. "Okay I guess. Sometimes he wants to talk, sometimes just sit. Other times he avoids me for days. I…I gotta be patient with him. I know how…bad I was when I first got to the weyr. But it's hard. Not to take it personal."

D'ani listens quietly, his face reflecting his own inner disquiet, but he says nothing for the time being of his own situation. "Indeed," he breathes at the end of Ezra's comment, "it is hard being helpless to do something about it." His expression grows thoughtful regarding Rayathess. "They're… keeping him at the Weyr until his name is cleared, is that it?" He's just guessing there, musing aloud on the heels of that, "So I'd imagine he's probably feeling sort of like a caged animal. Which probably doesn't help his mood for socialization, but I get why you'd find that disconcerting." His brow lowers in further thought. "Have they let you two take a visit back to Stonehaven together yet?"

Ezra nods, "Helpless. That's how I feel," he murmurs, peering around at the shifting waters of the ocean, a bit disconcerted - as always - by the vastness of it. "Yeah, they are. They still don't trust him really. I don't think he trusts himself, either. He's…unpredictable," he admits quietly. "And yeah, caged. He's been caged. But even what freedom he has, he won't take. So. I understand. He's scared, I know how he feels." Then he blinks, a little startled. "Stonehaven? No. I mean, I haven't asked. I don't know if he'd even want to go back…" He hasn't been back save for that one time with D'ani.

The Weyrleaders not yet trusting Rayathess is something D'ani understands. The psychological fallout for having been subject to Laris' particular brand of abuse is what prompts his muttering of a curse-word under his breath that has Laris' name attached to it. He nods about the young man being scared; he's seen Ezra work through some of the same issues. "I thought maybe if he was working to restore the hold it might help, give him-" A quick glance at Ezra, "-both of you something to do." But the Weyrleader would probably not allow it. He leans back against the piling, savoring the warmth with his eyes closed while he muses, "I wonder if they'd let you do it if a few riders were posted there."

Ezra glances over at the bronzerider when he starts to swear, stiffening for a moment before easing back. "Work on Stonehaven? Maybe…" he says, brows furrowed. "It needs a lot of work. A /lot/. Good, honest, hard work. Maybe. Maybe we could, if some riders were there with us…" He trails off, thoughtful.

It's a thought anyway. D'ani shrugs, unsure whether it's going to meet approval, whether Rayathess will even be interested, but offers nonetheless, "You two will have to ask Th'ero but if he allows, I…could help get your herdbeast program off to a start." So there would be one rider, albeit a craftrider, on the premises. The bronzerider tilts a brief look at the sun, checking the time. "Come on, we should head back. It'll be time for noon sweeps at Fort and I'm on the roster." So saying he pushes to his feet, offers Ezra a hand up. He'll have to find Dremkoth and awake the bronze from his sand-baking naptime so they can return to the icy Weyr. Oh joy.

Ezra takes D'ani's offered hand, unable to hide the surprise and gratitude on his face. "You'd do that?" he asks, even as he blushes because he knows the answer. "You're a good friend, D'ani," the teen mutters, swiftly so he's not caught being heartfelt or mushy. "Alright then, yeah," he agrees, pushing his hands into his pockets again to saunter along after D'ani, and back to the cold of Fort.

'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.