Forest Fork Road
This trail leads north into the depths of the traveller's forest and it forks here to lead also west, just as deep a forest lying ahead. The trees have been cut back from the trail to remove hiding spots for anyone that might take a fancy to the thought that easy pickings might be found along this trail. The surface of the trail has been packed down and consists mainly of crushed gravel and sand to provide a solid foundation and good drainage during rain storms and spring melt waters. A sign post indicates the distances to each area that the path leads to as well as a plaque indicating that the path had been completed under Senior Weyrwoman Elara's supervision and guidance.

The occasional thunderstorm is what started this whole mess, the gold who only rose when it rained. But Ha'ze cannot resent his bronze from chasing, nor catching the queen. But being forced to dress up and go to a party, ugh. Line drawn there. That's probably why he's here, having cast off the outfit Inri had stuffed him into. He almost blends into the tree he's sitting on, watching the road, the darkness of the night almost enough to hide him from view. Solitude. It was a good thing. Log started…

Into his sight comes a teenager, all but stumbling his way down the road in the dark (and muttering dark comments about dark-and-stormy-nights, to say nothing of his horrid lack of talent for estimating travel time). Daralyn has the hood of his coat pulled down and is looking about for signs of somewhere to get in a bit better shelter than just huddling under an incidental tree…he's getting soaked.

No one was expected along this trail, and so when Scrap, a particularly beat-up looking firelizard trills once and moves from one tree to another (but not the one that Ha'ze has settled himself in) the bronzerider sits up, eyes narrowed to pierce the darkness of the trail. A particular tenseness enter's his posture - it may have been three turns since his candidate class was attacked at this very spot, but old habits (especially when one keeps them as sharp as Ha'ze does) die hard. He waits til the shadow on the road is closer, then abruptly jumps from the tree. His knife rests in his hand as he walks towards the walker, "Identify yourself."

Daralyn nearly falls over at the surprise and scrambles to reach for a small knife of his own. Much as he wasn't expected, he didn't expect to meet anyone…at least, not out here. "I…I…I'm Daralyn." Beat. "Who are you?" His wits slowly returning, his own hand is on his knife now. This is either going to get way too real very soon or…hopefully not get too real and take another course.

In the time light the storm affords Ha'ze examines the… boy. No older than a teen, that stands in front of him. No matter that he himself had only just entered his early twenties, experience added years. "Why are you on Fort Weyr lands." A question, a demand, a snapped order. The traveler's cloak hides any markings of his rank, and thus Ha'ze must ask. Or just stab him. But Th'ero would probably not really like that.

For a variety of painfully obvious reasons, neither would Daralyn. "I left my home to come here seeking to finish my education. And…er…seek work." Pause. "Uh…I had family issues." The last bit is offered rather sheepishly with little inclination to elaborate.

"Name. Where you come from." Abigail would be so disappointed that Ha'ze isn't being more friendly, but his wingleader isn't here right now, is she? Instead it's Ha'ze, on a dark road, with a stranger. "Are you a crafter?" The knife that the teen has gets eyed- the bronzerider discards the idea of this boy as a crafter, he was too ready to defend himself, for all of his stumbling words.

Daralyn shakes his head. "I am not. My name is Daralyn. I'm from Fort Sea Hold. I was training to be security there…" Raising his hands to show he means no harm, Daralyn sighs. "Look, is there somewhere we can do an interrogation that isn't soaking wet?" Beat. "Uh, other than a jail cell. I'd rather avoid that if I can help it."

Suspicious by nature, the Sea Hold being invoked only causes Ha'ze to distrust the young man in front of him even more. But as no particular laws have been broken… Ha'ze stands in stony silence as he considers. "Hand me your knife and any other weapons you have." Mentally, he's already reaching out for a mind that is not that far away, calling Kainaesyth away from his children. Too calm to sulk Kainaesyth unfolds himself from the sands and spreads his wings in the cool night air. Don't mind that shadow that'll be overhead in a moment, it's just a rather large bronze dragon.

Doing as he's told, Daralyn hands his knife over hilt first…

…and then sees the dragon flying overhead. "Woah, where'd /that/ come from?" It isn't the dragon appearing that shocks him…it's more the timing and all those other little elements coming into play. Even as he asks that, though, Daralyn is reaching for a second sharp stick he has concealed on his person as an emergency backup. It's crude, it's cheap…it's basically what he could carve in his spare time and probably only good for one stab, but considering that he's managed to get held at knife-point by someone who isn't an enemy or robber this evening? It isn't a bad precaution.

Ha'ze's eyes narrow at the shock on the young man's face. "He's a dragon." Duh. "Hand over your weapons and Kainaesyth will get us back to the weyr quicker than we can walk. No don't you do that." Twisting, the last few words are for the bronze standing behind them, folding his wings. Curious the bronze's neck has extended to… sniff the teen. « He has a story yet to be told Ha'ze. » Silent to Daralyn, Kainaesyth's mindvoice rolls into Ha'ze's with the deep weight of the desert blooming after a sudden rainstorm. Gentle breezes lift the warm currents up, carrying the sent of saguaro blossoms high and far, a bold invitation to the creatures who would taste of them, and propagate life. "You say that of everyone." A hint of exasperation, this, this is why Ha'ze leaves Kainaesyth behind when he goes a'spying.

Daralyn recoils ever-so-slightly out of reflex. Think of it as a dog sniffing you…a /really big/ dog…and you'll get the idea. "Says what?" Asks Daralyn…who knows he's being left out of something there. With that, weapons handed over, Daralyn turns to the large bronze beast next to him. "So…anything I should know about…" Him? Her? "…boarding your dragon in particular?"

For a second longer Ha'ze keeps his gaze on Kainaesyth then lets his breath out in one big sigh. Taking the weapons he stows them away, then pulls a bag off of his shoulder. Glossing over right now why Ha'ze brought his straps at all when he escaped the weyr tonight, he turns his back on the teen. Throughout Kainaesyth's faintly whirling blue eyes stay fixed on Daralyn, and if he's paying attention, there's be a particular feel of warm breezes brushing against his mind, and a scent so very alien to the forest around them, the scent of invisible sage twisting about. A test.

Well, Daralyn picks up on the feeling in his mind. It makes him do a bit of a glance-around, trying to figure out the source of it. "That you?" he finally asks Kainaesyth after a moment. "Uh…nice to meet you?"

An overwhelming feeling of joy pours down that link before Kainaesyth is drawing away again, the touch fading and leaving only the sense of cleanness, like the desert after a storm. « I wish him to meet my children. » This causes Ha'ze to abruptly swear, and put a pause on pulling on the straps. "Him?" Ha'ze's brows are knitted together in, not confusion, but irritation. "He's coming from the sea holds. That's enough to warrant the Sargent talking to him first." But the bronze will not be naysayed. « He will come greet my children when they seek the light of day to begin their own stories. Perhaps one will choose to join with him, or perhaps another will be to their liking. But his story shall be wrapped with theirs until the choice is made. » Ha'ze shakes his head as Kaianesyth's inner monologue continues, finally finishing the straps. "Fine. Daralyn, you wanted a job, right?" Abruptly Ha'ze is sliding down from his dragon's side and turning to face the teen, gesturing for him to come closer.

"Uh…yeah? Of course, why?" Daralyn asks, confused by the sudden turn in the discussion. He had /not/ been expecting anything like a job offer out of this discussion the way it had been going. Still, confusion or no he comes close as directed. /Something/ just passed between dragon and rider, something that clearly rattled Ha'ze.

"Then you're going to be a candidate for the clutch that Kouzevelth just laid. Kainaesyth," a jerk of Ha'ze's head towards the bronze who is looking much too happy right now, "says that it's going to be. Come on." Um, Ha'ze. You should, uh, probably ask first. But he doesn't. (Because Ha'ze is not-so-secretly the worst-rider-ever) Instead Kainaesyth extends his foot and Ha'ze points upwards. "Go."

"Uh…" Pause, and Daralyn turns to the dragon. "…thanks." Beat. "I hope." Then Daralyn manages a smile. "Yeah…thanks. I mean it." His look towards Ha'ze is a lot more sheepish, a look of 'Don't blame me, this isn't quite what I expected either'.

"Yeah, well. We'll see if you thank me later." Ha'ze's own candidacy included almost getting the whole group of them killed. And a whole lot of suspicion. Not the most fun time (though not the worst either, considering!) He'll help the teen settle on to Kaianesyth's neck, and secure the straps in place. A short flight, and if it had been just rider and dragon, Ha'ze wouldn't have bothered. "Hold on. It's not far to the weyr. We'll get you a knot and I'll hand you over to Mi'cha when we get there."

Daralyn shrugs. "Fair enough." With that, he cooperates as Ha'ze straps him onto the dragon. Once he's strapped on, he turns to Ha'ze. "Ready when you are…" Never mind the ever-so-slightly nervous grip he has at the moment, Ha'ze…

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