'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.

Fort Weyr - Central Infirmary

This room looks fairly similar to most other infirmaries, with it's faint scent of antiseptic and an eerie quiet that goes along with convalescence. Rows of cots line both walls, each separated by a privacy screen. Breaking the line of cots along the outside wall is a entrance to the dragonhealing section of the infirmary. The far end of the oval room is filled with metal cabinets that hold the tools of the Weyrhealers trade, as well as a desk from which the healer can supervise his domain. Upon one wall rests a thick 'chart' containing the information on all patients within the infirmary.

The skirmish at Drake's Lake took place in the early morning, likely finished before noon, but of course there was mop-up, organizing transport of prisoners (if any) and wounded. The infirmary likely saw an influx of those with cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, smacked skulls, among them perhaps a few needing stitches or minor surgery. Among them somewhere in there, D'ani arrived via stretcher, missing all of the hubbub thanks to blood loss stealing him away to unconsciousness. Triage assessment had him seen to, whisked away to a more secluded area, screens put 'round and where Healers removed the arrowhead surgically to ease the barbed tip out without causing further damage to the skin, muscle and tendons. The partially-severed vein has been sutured closed, wound repaired with delicate gut stitches and bandaged snugly. Blood lost… well, there's no way to replace that. D'ani's body will have to make more and that will require eating things high in iron, so there's a plate of spinach, sliced beets and fried liver waiting for him when he wakes up. Yeaaah, good luck getting him to eat that! Fellis, being what it is, had kept him asleep during surgery and all through the night following. It is now morning and the Healers want him to wake up so he can take some nourishment (that's what they call that plate of nastiness). The drugs have been allowed to to wear off and so finally the cot with the bronzerider in it sees some movement from him though his eyes are still shut - it's a grimace, but hey, it's a start?

Ezra has been hanging around ever since he saw Dremkoth return, and heard what happened to his best friend. Hanging around is not the right word though. Pacing, fretting, snapping at people, refusing to leave no matter what they tell him. And worrying. The boy's eyes are haunted, darting around nervously until the healers finally tell him that he can go see his friend.

Rayathess has been Ezra's lurking shadow the entire time the teenager has been set on pacing and keeping vigil. He had been with his brother when the call first went out and stayed by his side until the dragon's returned. So he heard of D'ani's state and while he holds no bond to the bronzerider, he does owe it to Ezra at least to remain. Rayathess simply gave up on trying to lure his brother away to rest and set to his watch, grim faced and concerned until at last the Healer's allow visitation.

Inri, on the other hand, has — /almost/ a different reason for being here. It's still to see D'ani, but she's also serving as a mule. A food mule. While it's not donuts she's carrying, there are a couple of muffins and a fancy alcohol-free foamy fruit concoction she mixed up as a drink. It's not like she's undermining healers' orders so much as she is supplementing them, right? None of it's distinctly /un/healthy, just providing a little bit of — variety. She comes in later, after the Stonehaven brothers have been around a bit, and gives them a tiny smile when she wanders in with her tall glass and wrapped-up baked goods.

With eyes still shut, "What… is… that… awful…smell?" croaks D'ani in a rhetorical question to himself. The infirmary sounds - though kept to a minimum - have yet to register and he has no recollection of past events just yet or who, if anyone is nearby. Lashes flicker, casting shadows on pale cheeks roughened with day-old stubble and when heavy lids open his brown eyes are sleep-dulled, confused. Ezra is the first person he recognizes, focusing on in a vaguely questioning way and he asks, "Why are you in my weyr?" But wait. There's Inri. "Did Kouzevelth-?" Nowait. They wouldn't be in his- He's muddled. Rayathess. Something horrible must have happened. He frowns, tries to sit, pushing up with both elbows and the movement of his shoulder causes a hiss of pain.

Ezra's heart leaps into his throat when D'ani wakes, the boy leaning forward onto his toes and breathing quickly. "You were shot," he whispers. "You were shot and you came back and they gave you surgery and now you're better." And he was worried. He takes a little step forward, reaching out to try and touch the bronzerider's arm. "Are you okay?"

Rayathess will hang back as Ezra approaches the now waking D'ani, stepping aside just as Inri arrives with her gift of baked goods and non-alcoholic drink. He gives her a sidelong look, but for once it is lacking in suspicion or any of his usual reserved and cautious behavior. He is simply curious and nods, lips still drawn back in a grim line. Then his eyes dart back to the bronzerider, no greeting given from where he lingers. Not yet, anyways. Ezra's doing a good job so far of filling in the missing gaps!

"Steady," says Inri, tone calm and even — taking hints from her dragon, apparently. "You had surgery not too long ago, don't go trying to get up or the Healers will kill us all." That is, of course, very healerly of them. "I brought you some better smells."

It takes D'ani a moment to answer them because there's a bronze muzzle suddenly inserted through the dragonhealer's infirmary entrance. With his eyes screwed shut from that stab of pain he says, "Dremkoth I'm fine. Pull your snout out of the door and go get some sunshine or something?" With a rumble-mutter the anxious bronze complies. He'll go, but he doesn't have to like it! D'ani eyes open again and this time the dark brown is haunted, grief-stricken. "I… yes. I remember now." He's careful to push up with his good arm to he can sit and better see his friends. It's Inri his gaze seeks and holds. She was there, she'll know. "Don't try to spare me - Th'ero is dead, isn't he." He saw Kimmila do something she'd never do otherwise - the tough bluerider wept.

Ezra shifts his weight, rocking back and forth on his feet. He opens his mouth to ask /his/ question, but then stops at hearing Th'ero is dead. Dead? The Weyrleader? He doesn't know, being so focused on D'ani, so he looks at Inri too, blinking and pale. Th'ero can't be dead. Can Th'ero even be killed?

Rayathess starts a little as well from his shadow lurking spot, blinking. What is this about the Weyrleader? "I did not hear the dragons keening. Don't they keen at death?" he asks, stupidly perhaps but won't have much time to add anything more. Cause in walks a ghost! Err, the Weyrleader. Speak of the devil and he shall rise? Rayathess shrinks back against the wall, keeping out of the way as Th'ero strides in, looking perfectly fine and very much alive, save for some lingering exhaustion in his eyes and his posture. Kimmila is with him too, at his side and held close by the arm he holds around her. "Good, you're awake," he murmurs with a vague smile, gaze drifting from bronzerider, to Ezra and then to Inri. Realizing he may be intruding, the Weyrleader clears his throat slightly. "We were just on our way through. Figured we'd check in." Be sure that he wasn't dying. "Won't keep you then…" Cause, well… awkward? "But Kimmila and I would like to speak with you, when you are feeling a bit stronger." Because that's not being cryptic!

"Yes," Inri laughs, as Th'ero walks in, giving D'ani an affectionate smile, "as you can see, he's dead." Kouzevelth is relaying what happened to Velokraeth and Varmiroth, of course, in order to prevent anyone from being too unsettled, but it's clear the goldrider couldn't resist a small tease. And then she's moving toward D'ani's bedside table to put the foamy drink down. "That," she says, "is fine at any temperature so o need to drink it /now./"

D'ani didn't hear dragons keening either! But then, he was busy being all unconscious and stuff. And asking Dremkoth would be just insensitive, right? The truth is… he thought he saw- "Kimmila was crying over- Th'ero?! Th'ero! You're alive!" D'ani shoots Kimmila a curious look then back to the live Weyrleader, who he looks like he actually wants to jump up and give a hug to, but… for the gown with built in air-conditioning. Well, that's his primary concern, but there would be much awkwardness. They want to talk to him? "Yes Sir," he says, suddenly shifty-eyed. Probably to ask how he managed to get himself in the way of an arrow or something. His eyes follow Inri- then the drink and as she sets it down he finally sees the plate of- "Bleach. I… I could try the juice now." Right? So the healers won't force-feed him spinach? Ezra's question is finally answered, "I'm fine, Ez." Really, it's just a wee boo boo. Th'ero almost drowned. The Weyrleader's retreating form gets peered at. So. Confused.

Ezra's eyes widen when Th'ero walks in, the boy clapping a hand over his mouth and then taking a deep breath. Kimmila grins crookedly at D'ani, visibly snuggling up against Th'ero in a rare, /rare/ display of affection. "He's alive. Almost wasn't, but…he came back to me - us," she quickly corrects. Surely she's not /blushing/. Way to add to the confusion.

Th'ero glances sidelong to Inri for her choice of introduction but he at least snorts softly, looking rather amused though it's so brief before he's sobered again one has to wonder if it ever happened. "Glad to see you too, Inri." he drawls. The Weyrleader blinks, looking down to D'ani, "I am," he confirms and it's probably best the hugging does not occur, gown or no. Always another time to try! Th'ero's hold on Kimmila only tightens when the bluerider snuggles up in that rare display and rarer still as the bronzerider doesn't react to it. No awkwardness, no weirdness. Just happens. "Almost drowned," Th'ero explains, coughing a bit while Kimmila blushes. "But it'll take a bit more than that to kill me. As for you, D'ani… Giving us a scare like that." For shame! "Good to see you are mending though. I'll have to tell Dtirae, if Zuvaleyuth hasn't already heard." he murmurs and then offers another small smile. "Rest up. Our talk can wait." Sorry! Leading Kimmila with him, Th'ero murmurs a few hasty farewells before they both vanish back into the Weyr. Rayathess steps out from where he had pulled his little "I'm invisible against the wall" stunt and clears his throat, "Well… That answers that." he mutters.

Inri opens her mouth to say that she is /sure/ Zuvaleyuth has already heard, because if Kouzevelth can be counted on /anything/ at all it's relaying information to her dam — but she doesn't actually get the chance to do so before the Weyrleader and his mate have disappeared. "We would've actually noticed because of the keening, yes," she clarifies for Rayathess' sake, though she's still smiling; apparently to her the entire affair is amusing. Or at least the misunderstanding in the aftermath is. That, or she has to laugh to stay sane. "And juice has calories in it." Meaning: maybe if D'ani drinks he won't be force fed anything?

D'ani takes the glass with his good hand - well, his other hand is good too, but the place where his arm is attached isn't at the moment. "Is that all?" he asks her with mock-suspicion because you never know what healers will hide in innocent-looking things like juice. Not waiting for her answer, he sips. See? He trusts her. Ezra and Rayathess get a head-motion to come closer while he swallows. "That's really good, Inri," he tells her with a smile more like his usual and he takes a long draught, suddenly thirsty. Twenty-four hours without anything to drink! "So… I'm sorry you couldn't come," he starts gravely, meeting Ezra's eyes, "but look, if that arrow hit me, one could've hit you." His eyes lift to Rayathess, flick back to Ezra. "Laris is dead," he says without trying to sugarcoat the announcement.

Ezra edges closer a bit nervously. Infirmaries make him jittery so it's a mark of his stubbornness and friendship that he's been here this long. Or at all. "I'm sorry I wasn't there," he says, guilt in his eyes as he looks at his friend, eyes flicking back and forth over his face. Then his shoulders slump and he takes a deep breath at the news. Exhaling, he blinks rapidly and just tilts his head down to face the floor.

Rayathess is a bit edgy as well but for other reasons that the current location. At D'ani's head-motion though, he'll approach and come to stand just a little behind Ezra. Close enough to hear what the bronzerider says to the teenager and for a moment there is an approving look to his eyes. Just what he tried to explain! All that is wiped clean though in a look of blank surprise at the news. Yet… "Figured. That is what you all left to do, right? End it. So it's ended." Great! So why isn't he looking overjoyed? Looking down at Ezra, Rayathess frowns and rests a hand firmly to the boy's shoulder, but his gaze lifts to dart between D'ani and Inri. "And this is for certain? What of the others?"

Biting her lip, Inri — shrugs. "Death, destruction and honestly you're asking the wrong person; I was more concerned with Fort's wounded and minding prisoners than anything else, but I don't think we'll have to worry about any further uprisings from anyone left behind." Or else, she certainly /hopes/ not; that look is in her eyes for all that it doesn't actually come out of her mouth. "Laris' death has been confirmed, yes; wouldn't have otherwise left, I'm certain." She looks confident when she speaks to Rayathess, for all that she looks /concerned/ when her eyes wander to Ezra — who she knew wanted his own revenge.

"No!" D'ani says forcefully, then gentles his voice, "No Ezra, Rayathess was right. It was better you weren't there. I'd have been…distracted keeping you safe and maybe Abigail would have fallen all the way down that cliff." Speaking of the brownrider, his eye scan the infirmary cots, half expecting to see her in one. But some have screens around them and he frowns, worried now. He yanks his mind away from his concern and returns to Ezra, brows knit. "Whoever aimed for me was probably told to kill Th'ero," he explains. "I think they mistook me for him. What if you'd been there, either of you? How do we know you wouldn't have been on the hit list?" Maybe that's fellis talking, but really. Why weren't any of the other dragonriders shot at? But Laris being taken out is his primary concern - that and Ezra's reaction to the news. His brows knit in concern as Ezra drops his head. Lifting his eyes to Rayathess, he nods agreement with Inri, "I saw Th'ero sink his blade into Laris' chest just as the platform collapsed. He fell into the lake and never surfaced." The… others? He's not sure which ones Rayathess means. "There were three or four others up there with Laris. Kimmila killed one and another fell off the cliff with Abigail."

Ezra takes another slow breath and shakes his head, fingers gripping into a fist before he forces them to calm. "The…important thing is that you're okay," he finally whispers. "And Laris is dead." Dead. The boy still can't really believe it.

Rayathess nods his head to Inri, his grim look returning but there is a hint of something more behind his eyes. Happiness? Hard to say. It's too early yet to know how the hold-heir will react once his mind has time to absorb the news. To D'ani, he grimaces as the bronzerider fills in the rest, only to look both alarmed and appalled. "The man was mad if he convinced his men to fire on a dragonrider!" he mutters in a low voice, shocked. He shakes his head then, "Probably his best men, those ones. What remained of them. I meant the holdless as a whole. There are families in there. Innocent folk…" Sort of. Something in him twitches though and he falls abruptly silent, his hand on Ezra's shoulder tightening. "We should go. You're going to need to rest." This is said to D'ani, though there is a look given to Inri as well as he begins to try and steer Ezra away once the teenager has had a chance to say anything more. "We'll drop by again." Which may mean Ezra will. Hard to say where Rayathess will be in the coming hours. Horrible at farewells, Rayathess keeps it to a simple brisk nod to each, followed by a lingering look before he's disappearing, hopefully with Ezra in tow.

"He can never hurt you again," says D'ani lowly, almost fiercely to Ezra, including Rayathess in that. As to the others, he shakes his head. "The rest gave up without much of a fight," he says quickly but before he can say more, here come the healers, one of which is waving a syringe, probably fellis-filled. Looks like visiting hour is over.