Stone Booter

Fort Weyr - Lake Shore

This lake shares many features common to mountain lakes — a brilliant blue jewel nestled amongst the rocks. The waters are crystal clear, and the north shore slopes gently before abruptly falling away into the depths. This lake does have one significant differentiating feature, however. The south shore of the lake is a tumbled mass of rubble, rock and earth of an ancient rockslide smoothed only by the elements in the intervening years. This rubble, as well as the rather sheer east and west faces, makes for the north shore to be the only one easily accessible.
The chilly lake waters are an invigorating draw to weyrfolk and dragons alike as summer's heat bears down upon the Weyr. The calm jewel blue waters offer a pleasant respite upon which to bath, relax, or play. The shoreline buzzes with activity and at the peak of the day it can be hard to find a spot to stretch out. At night, like a great mirror the lake reflects the multitude of stars overhead with the occasionally shadow of a passing dragon breaking the serene visage.


The summer sun is out in full glory as the afternoon stretches on, warming the usually tepid waters of the lakeside, causing those who like Zaala, whom have little in the way of duty keeping them occupied, are out enjoying such refreshing moments. It's a rare thing, to have a warm day and to brave the lake waters which often numb the skin despite the time of Turn it is. Zaala isn't necessarily swimming at this point, but rather stretched out in one of the less rocky areas on the shoreline, with a towel beneath her. She's in shorts and a tank top, with a jacket laid beside her, incase the winds pick up and it gets chilly. For now, the winds are still, allowing those below to soak up the sun. Zaala's leaning back on her elbows, tilting her head back to point her face up towards those warming rays, bare feet wiggling toes, looking rather content with the day and heedless of those about who are looking more over worked and stressed than she is.

Overworked? Not so with Rayathess. Unbeknownst, that is something he shares with Zaala and has no position or job to keep him busy throughout the day. He does carry a status though, one he was born with and one he'd rather not have but must live with. So what does a young man like him do on sun warmed, summer days like this? Venture aimlessly, of course! "Chased" from the inside tunnels and caverns of the Weyr, Rayathess is seeking some respite from the crowds by… possibly going where there are more. But at least by the lakeside he is not confined by stone and any groups he can avoid easily enough. Dressed in clothes that look to be gleaned from the stores rather than tailored, he wears a simple short sleeved tunic and pant ensemble despite the warmth. With the tip of his boot, he sends a small pebble skipping across the ground, lost in his thoughts and not truly focused on his surroundings. That is until he realizes that kicked pebble comes close to pinging off Zaala or at least skittering close by. Oops? "Sorry." Rayathess mutters, before awkwardly clearing his throat.

Abigail on the other hand does have a position and job that keeps her busy, though at the moment she is wandering along the edge of the lake. She has on a light blue shirt, leather pants and the boots she did have on are being carried in a hand. Though she isn't alone, a rather shaggy and sad looking canine is following along a lead behind her a few feet. The canine looks like it could use a few meals, along with a bath perhaps. It's large paws kicking up sand at times whenever it puts on the breaks, and this is when Abbey pauses waiting a few moments to see if the canine will move before offering up a bit of jerky which is enough to make it move forward once more while it chews on the treat.

Oh that aimless pebble! It skitters and thwacks Zaala's elbow, as if it had a life of its own, snapping onward after striking the blondie, before thumping in with the rest of the rocks about the shoreline. Zaala gives a surprised squeal, once for the sting, where a youch follows for the smarting that follows, and an exasperated, "Hey watch it!" Blue eyes narrow considerably on the offending rock that thumps still, as if trying to hide from the guilt of striking her. She semi-stretches onto her side, thighs shifting, and feet digging into her towel, while her head yawns back to peer at the apology muttered in her direction and then glare at the offending boot which thus cast the first stone. Her head cants down, as if she were looking at him above invisible sunglasses, the way she's peering at him. "Some lazy feet you have there," she retorts up to his apology, slighting him for his thoughtlessness, muttering with an errant flip of her hair and thereby his dismissal, "Boys." In this new way she's reclined, she notes Abigail out with her dog, though, presently, from afar she doesn't interrupt the girl yet, no doubt willing to jump on her with a welcome once in range of doing so.

Rayathess flinches when Zaala squeals in surprised and for a brief moment he seems to shrink back from the noise. Or is it the curious glances he receives? But rather than slink away, he simply takes a steady inhale of breath, squares his shoulders and holds firm. For now. "I said sorry," he snaps back at her. Oh yeah, cause being snippish is a good way to smooth things over. Exhaling, the young man adds in a gentler tone. "It was an accident. You're not hurt, are you?" He peers at her curiously or perhaps her movements are his focus of interest before his gaze skirts away and narrows for her comments. "I was distracted," he mutters and then scoffs at the dismissal. Fine! Yet he does not stride off or away, rather he stays where he stands and now focuses on the lake rather than Zaala herself. "What'd you expect anyhow? You're layin' on a shoreline." So there! Rayathess catches movement approaching then and instinctively his focus shifts, tense and guarded only to relax — marginally — when he recognizes Abigail. Eyes then drop to the rough looking canine and the youth takes a small step back. "Since when do riders have pets?" he drawls. Since when does formality and respect go out the window?

Abigail catches the voices of another, her gaze turning towards where Zaala and Rayathess happen to be. The short distance from where she is, to where they happen to be takes a bit longer then it should as the canine is slow going, though soon enough the three are in close enough range to speak at least. Abbey smiles and waves towards them both. "Hello Zaala." There is a pause as she catches the bit from Rayathess, whom she was about to greet as well though stopped. She tilts her head slightly, oh yes she heard that, a slight smirk seen. "I have a few canines actually. So riders to have pets if they so wish it." So thar.

Oh snappish! The younger teen snaps her gaze over at him, the ire plain in those bright blue eyes of hers, as if the girl knows not to stand down or when to. Though, gently, as if to steel herself from being emboldened by his words, she answers, "I'm not hurt, no." Just a knick. A pin prick in the grand scheme of things. She pushes herself up to sit with her legs folded to the side, her wild hair flung back over her shoulder and twisted up with her hands, into a loose tail which she doesn't bind. At least her voice isn't harrying him like a nanny or any such business. She has no authority to do so, but, that doesn't keep her tone from being on the edge of sharp, "Distracted enough that if it weren't for the rock you would've stepped on me. I should thank faranth that the rock was put in your path before I was." She works her lips slightly, in a ponderous way, "What's so important anyway that you'd intrude on someone's peace and quiet?" And as for lying on the shore, she snorts, "You'd think people would be smarter than dragons…" A roll of her eyes, dusting off her thighs as if some dirt had gathered there. It's the beginning mark of her rising to her feet, stretching upward to avoid any further rocks being pelted her way, standing on her feet, one foot drawn back behind her butt to rub off any other pebbles attached to the bottom of her foot, dancing to do the same with the other before she regards both Rayathess and Abigail, hands on her hips. "Hey Abigail," she responds warmly to Abigail, ooh so nicely, so that her tone oozes a manner of friendliness that is more aimed at Rayathess than Abigail herself. "You should see my mother's weyrmate's den, full of kids and animals. The last time I counted, six toddlers and two or three canines, and a multitude of firelizards." Her eyes pivot back to Rayathess, "So who are you anyway? Being so endearing and the like huh?"

What does Rayathess know of riders? Very little. He mirrors the smirk given to him by Abigail, though his green eyes seem to linger warily on that rough canine at her heels. Someone not a fan? "Canines are supposed to be for workin'. Least that's how I recall it." From his home, but the young man doesn't go as far as to start blurting that out loud where so many ears can overhear. Sensing Zaala's gaze on him again, Rayathess turns to look down at her and they linger now to study her with a detached interest, as one would size up a possible opponent. "Alright then." So why the fuss? He doesn't like her tone, harrying or not and those green eyes of his narrow even further, a subtle tenseness creeping into his posture. "I'd never—-!" Rayathess begins to heatedly protest, only to realize he's falling right for her barb and he promptly bites his tongue and snorts instead. Whatever. "That's none of your business." he grouses. Truthfully it's not, but getting a straight answer from him is like squeezing water from a stone. As Zaala rises to her feet, Rayathess shifts as if to move back and keep a distance between them, something he likewise does with Abigail. It's a subconscious move, not entirely realized by the young man unless he's called on it. He makes no comment for her remark on her mother's weyrmate's den as the name game comes into play. Smirking, there is a stubborn silence before he speaks again. "Rayathess."

Abigail is quiet for a few moments while she looks to the canine, whom is settled at her side quietly it would seem. A few pieces of jerky are offered to him which he takes gingerly and warily it would seem. "My canines do work. I was a guard before I was a rider. My canines work with search and rescue, this one is new and still needing to learn about trusting people again." She watches Rayathess a few moments, she thought that he had became more relaxed around others, seems she was wrong. Abbey is off a ways from both Zaala and Rayathess, there is a large scruffy looking canine at her side as well.

Zaala's the type to protect herself with little barbs until she's entirely sure that someone isn't going to be completely nasty to her. So as Rayathess starts to become ensnared in her trap, she senses a way to get under his skin and thereby knows a little of how to disarm him, should it come to that. Standing now as she is, arms on her hips, she doesn't appear ready to jump him or anything of near consequence, so she is first to remark on his shift away from her, "I'm not going to hurt you." Silly boy - that's her tone. "Rayathess, the stone booter," little is she aware of his last name, otherwise she'd likely riddle him with other nicknames. She shrugs, "I'm Zaala," nick name her what you will. She does seem a little less tense than before, especially with him moving aside. As for Zaala, she likes canines and does the 'cute' voice to try and convince one over, "Come here you, let me pet you!" convincing noises to try to attract the pooch over.

Rayathess is a work in process it seems, prone to relapsing and with all the news and gossip running about those camps and other dark things… can he really be blamed? Shooting Abigail a quick look, he nods for her reply and does not barb her further about the canine, save to frown heavily at the word 'new'. "Where'd he come from?" he asks, curious and yet suspicious. Does he want to know? At Zaala's tone, Rayathess turns to face her again and then stiffens, scoffing for her remark only to then snap at her again. This time though there is a firmness to it — a warning. "Don't call me that." Now it's her turn to strike a nerve and with a verbal 'stone' rather than physical. Not of the mind or sort to make quirky nicknames, Rayathess only regards her a little coolly as he studies her again. Well met? Seems he's foregoing politeness today too. Zaala moves to try to coax the canine over and he will use that to his advantage to slip silent and back into his thoughts, though his ears remain sharp and keen for any conversation.

Abigail ponders if she should tell Rayathess where the canine came from or not. Did he not hear the gossip on the camps they found? "We went on a sweep, found some things The canine as well. He was left so we brought him back." Well she didn't really come right out and tell him now did she? As for the canine it just sits still, head lowering a bit with a low rumble like sound escaping him. Seems he isn't about to be coaxed away from the brownriders side just yet. "His still wary Zaala. It took me a while with a bunch of treats to get him this far."
Maybe it's the canine or maybe it's the nerve she knows she struck that causes Zaala to pivot a look over her shoulder at Rayathess and a sincere look of atonement upon her face, "Hey look, I'm sorry," squatting down without the canine responding, there's a brief moment that she pops her gaze over her shoulder to regard Rayathess in a studious way, sighing as she peers back at the canine, for his lack of friendliness. As such, she pushes back up to full height and shrugs at Abigail, "It's no big deal, he's just a canine anyway." Yes, even canines can feel her impuslive snark once and a while. "Better here than turning wild," she fidgets a bit, eyes on Rayathess, "You're not weyrborn, are you?"

No, Abigail didn't really come out with the whole truth but Rayathess gives her a look that could almost be read as gratitude. He can piece things together himself, assume enough of what is hidden between the gaps of the brownrider's tale. "Suppose it was better than him starving," he murmurs, though he still gives the canine a wary look for the low rumbling it makes. Uhh… does Zaala want to get that close? His eyes dart back to the girl and he snorts again, lips quirking into the barest of smiles. "Forget about it," he replies, accepting and yet dismissing the apology. He quirks a brow up then for her fidgeting and sudden studious look. Now he shifts, uneasy and his mouth draws back into a grim line, eyes flickering briefly and there is no denying the lack of trust to their depths. Rayathess exhales heavily then and speaks only for the purpose to at least attempt to be sociable. "No, I'm not. I'm holdbred." And he doesn't seem willing to give much more information beyond that, save to turn the tables back her way. "You are, I take it?"

Abigail offers a sheepish smile back to Zaala, wishing he canine would be a bit more open to others, like say a certain holdbred person that is in the area as well. "He'll get better with time." She offers with a soft tone to the idea. Perhaps to her he isn't 'just' a canine, something that needed help and she was able to give it at the time. There is a slight frown perhaps caught thought it doesn't linger for long. There is a pause as Zaala goes on questioning about the weyrborn bit. "No, couldn't leave me there to starve that is for sure."

Zaala will easily forget about it, more prone to dismissing things off handedly than most girls are. Even the canine's rumble toward her is cast aside, as more interesting matters arise, such as Rayathess being a holdbred. "Yep," she says with a clear 'pop' of her lips smacking, "It makes sense now, I often get my foot in it when it comes to talking to holdbreds." Weyrbreds are way more laid back and aren't so stuck up, or, shy, or timid, or whatever holdbreds are. Most weyrbreds tease back just as well as they get teased. For her part she swings out a hip, propping a hand on it, noticing the complete lack of trust in his gaze. For her, her attitude is clear. She's not there to make anyone trust her or to win over anyone. She's brazen and strong willed, like it or leave it type. "So where are you from then, holderboy?" See, there she goes again, teasing, as her tone suggests, an edge of playfulness there as with the curl of her pink lips. A glance back at Abigail, "Next you'll be bringing back stray boys." See, she's not immune to Zaala's teasing either, but the blond adds, "Mind you, I wouldn't mind that myself, especially if you can find one with long curly hair."

That will take time! Rayathess has much to work through, but perhaps in time he will find his place and shed a bit of his armor. Not now though, but at least he's not skulking in shadows and tunnels or remaining in his room. "You going to keep him then, when he's… mended?" he asks of Abigail, gaze darting sidelong to the canine again with a curious look for once. Zaala's return remark earns her a puzzled look at first, before he catches on and his brows knit in a light scowl. His behavior isn't purely based on his holdbred roots, but he is not about to go spitting his life out at her feet and so he leaves it to her to assume that he is one of those shy, stuck up and rigid holder types. Suits him just fine, considering others knowing a bit more of his story view him in a far different light. Rayathess' shoulders draw back and he simply stares at Zaala, a look that is darted swiftly to Abigail and then back to the girl, as if caught in a sudden trap he doesn't quite know how to evade. Truth or half-truths here? Her teasing rankles him though, hackles up and bristled now. Apparently he can't take a bit playfulness either. "You ask too many prying questions." Rayathess replies in dry sarcasm, evading at first and then adds. "A small cothold to the north." Among the many that are probably out there. He doesn't supply the family name and she may not get it, as the young man now seems to be taking a small step back. "I should be going." Rayathess mutters and his eyes drop, gaze sliding away and oddly distracted.

Abigail smirks and rolls her eyes a bit. "I'm holdbred too Zaala." She points out with an amused tone. While she may not be the most talkative she doesn't tend to be stuck up, sky, or timid! At the bit on her bring back stray boys there is a slight pause, is that a frown seen? Perhaps. A glance is sent to her wrist where a bracelet rest for a moment. "Naw.. I an't the type to bring anyone home.." This is a subject she will try to avoid it seems, her mind wandering for a few moments. "I'll most likely keep him. No reason he can't join my others in working with search and rescue." Her gaze turns over to Rayathess as he is quick to be making his way out of the conversation it seems. "Have a good day Rayathess." She won't try to make him stay knowing how questions can get to him it seems.

The looks she keeps getting from Rayathess seem to spark a hint of amusement behind Zaala's blue eyes, for she believes she hit the nail on the head and marked him as yet another self-conscious type out of some backwater hold. She gives him a little laugh for his own remark to her, "Well yeeeah," she drawls once again in a teenage playfulness, mocking but not entirely directed at him, "It's what I do, ask questions, you know, to learn a little more about others." She sees he's going defensive and withdrawing, and her eyes roll, "Sounds pleasant," a response to where he's from. It's not like she really understands what's been happening with the Stonehaven hold or any of the non-sense happening in and around Fort Weyr, as she's not affected by it in the least. It doesn't touch her and she's just recently arrived, learning to call this place her home, it's not like she's had time to investigate the darkness surrounding evil tidings of Laris and Stonehaven. To Abigail, she pbbts, "You're a dragonrider, that disqualifies you." She notes the glance to the bracelet, but doesn't say anything on the matter, likely having her own bracelet to dwell on. A glance to Rayathess as he's cowering out, "Yah, later." As if he didn't impact her afternoon in the slightest.

Rayathess shoots Zaala another look, scowling now and cheeks flushed with withheld temper. But she has him there, for indeed both her and Abigail are merely being social and he is being the odd one by withdrawing and shutting out all their attempts. For a moment, he looks almost regretful for being so but then something the girl says has him bristling anew and having to clench his jaw to bite back the words he almost slings at her. It's not expected for all to know of his past hold and it's a lesson the young man needs to learn. Not everyone is so tied to Laris and the grim, dark past caused by his actions. Therein is his flaws, always suspicious and suspecting the worst from any he comes across, no matter how innocent or newly arrived they may be. "It was, once." Rayathess shoots bitterly to Zaala, then turns to Abigail, abruptly dismissing the other girl already. "Good luck with your canine." he tells her hurriedly, before turning on his heel and briskly striding off back towards the heart of the Weyr and likely seeking the refuge in the lower tunnels once more. No farewells, just a hasty — and yes, perhaps cowering — retreat.

Abigail winces slightly at the words used by Zaala on the whole hold bit with Rayathess. She looks after him a soft breath escaping her, almost as if she wanted to say something but doesn't get the chance to as he is already off and gone it seems. She looks over to Zaala. "Could try giving him a bit of a break. His had some hard times recently Zaala." Well she isn't sure if this will help or not but it is worth a try at least. At the bit on her bring a dragonrider she smirks a moment before a soft breath escapes her. "I suppose to some degree." A faint smile soon seen. "How are ye liking being back at Fort?" Time to change the subject it seems.

The bitterness in which Rayathess shoots at Zaala has the blond narrow her brows, "Wow, you don't have to be such a jerk about it." She looks at Abigail, then back at Rayathess, "What's your problem?" Hands out in a gesture of taunting or one of defense, debatable for those who look at her. She watches him beat a hasty retreat, watching him go along, "That one is sensitive." She remarks, clearly disapproving of how touchy he is. There's a brief look thrown toward Abigail, "Yeah well, how would I sharding know that? I've never seen him before now and I'll be glad not to see him again. The little snot." As if she's one to talk. She takes a deep breath and rubs at her elbow, as if that stone had somehow come back to bite her a second time, before she looks her cheerful self, sorta, "It's um, good. I guess. I still don't know what the shells to do from day to day, but, I guess I'm… okay." Her arms cross loosely about her chest, "What about you? How's the dragonriding life? And who gave you that bracelet?" See, she noticed.


'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.

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