Fort Weyr - Living Caverns

This cavern, having been created by bubbles in the volcanic flow of this extinct volcano, has a breathtaking ceiling — a vast dome that arches high above the heads of the weyrfolk that scurry around beneath it. A hollow echo can be heard from loud enough noises, and the chatterings of various firelizards are consequently multiplied into a chaotic babble. All in all, the living cavern is a loud place.
Tables are scattered around the room, apparently in no particular order. Over to one side near the kitchens, two medium sized serving tables are constantly spread with snacks, klah, and other goodies. The tables look worn, yet perfectly fitted to the atmosphere of the caverns. In the 'corners' of the cavern, smaller two and four place tables are set up for more private talks or just a less chaotic atmosphere in which to eat.

There is snowfall outside, but, it is not falling as heavily as it was in the wee hours of the morning. It is, for the most part: a normal day. Dtirae is settled in the living caverns for breakfast, a mug of klah is currently being sipped at while she stares at the entrance of the caverns. Waiting for someone? Perhaps.

Entering the caverns is Jajenelja, looking chipper and brighter than the woman normally looks. Perhaps someone drugged the young woman, because she's skipping to the serving tables. And? She's not talking.

Borodin emerges from deeper in the caverns. It's only morning, and he already smells like beer. Mind you, he's not weaving or anything, because none of the beer actually went in him. He just had morning duties with the vintnercraft that involved dealing with the brewing vats, and if it's possible to do those without splashing… he hasn't figured out the trick of it yet. Hence the yeasty boozy smell clinging to him as he goes to get a mug of klah.

Snow will not deter one individual from going about his usual routines and as Th'ero slips into the caverns, his riding jacket has accumulated quite a fair bit of it, as has his hair and his boots. Even with a quick stop to his weyr, he hadn't bothered to brush himself off, which he does now as he scans the room. Spotting Dtirae, it is not the Weyrwoman's presence that has him quirking a brow but rather that of the infamous Jajenelja as the young woman skips along. Maybe he has the same assumptions that someone drugged the junior goldrider, as he turns to murmur to Kimmila, who he may have oh-so lovingly dragged out of bed. So sweet of him, isn't it? With the worst of the snow now shaken off his clothing, the Weyrleader gives Jajenelja a wide berth and instead alters his path to where Dtirae sits. "Morning," he greets in a low voice, "Mind some company?" Only polite to ask right before taking a seat? Though he's already reaching for a chair to pull it out (and no doubt offer it to Kimmila, if the bluerider followed him). Good thing too that Borodin is too far from Th'ero for the bronzerider to catch on to that boozy smell, for that would have him all too curious and for various reasons.

Kimmila leans away from Th'ero as he sheds that snow, lifting a brow at him and muttering back under her breath. Someone wishes she was still in bed as she stifles a yawn. "I need klah," she mutters, skirting around the pulled out chair and walking with long steps towards the tables, nodding to Borodin as she passes. "They spike the klah this morning?" she asks, both wry and hopeful of Jajenelja.

D'ani is used to being up with the… uhh, chickens! Even if it was formerly cows he dealt with. Old habits die hard and so here he is, entering the caverns, not following either weyrwoman - honest! He's dressed for sweeps or something like, wearing his old leathers. It's not until his helmet, goggles and gloves are dropped on a chair along with his flight jacket that his brown eyes sweep the caverns and he notes Dtirae. He smiles, scoops them back up and heads her way. "Morning. Save me a seat?" His stuff gets tossed in one of the seats beside her and he too heads for the klah, hanging back a bit from Jajenelja who gets a squint. He's near enough to smell Borodin and so he stage-whispers, "Did, uh, she fall in one of your vats?"

Dtirae is waving to Borodin as he enters, an idle sort of welcome while she continues to watch the entrancce of the caverns. Of course, she saw Jaja and has chosen to ignore the bouncing goldrider with a roll of her eyes. Clearly, someone is regretting their decision to give the knot back. "Good morning. Feel free." Even if he's already grabbing a chair, she'll incline her head in a welcome for his company regardless. A smile to Kimmila before she's shrugging, "or, someone drugged Jaja's this morning. Saying they got klah special for her." And then, there's D'ani and her smile shifts just a bit. "Of course" She answers the bronzerider, offering the seat beside her. She'll start to eat while her gaze is shifting to watch the bronzerider.

Jaja fills a mug, humming quite loudly and out of tune. And then, she's striding over towards Borodin. "Helloooo there. You're looking quite fine." And then, she giggles quite loudly before she's striding off. Apparently, the comment is quite hilarious to the young woman. Giggles are following her all the way to her seat, before the giggles die down into soft snickers.

Klah is a good way to start the morning - or continue it, once it's begun. The earlier the morning, the more important the klah, and Borodin's already been up for hours, so he's got to catch up! He gives a small wave back to Dtirae, then glances to Kimmila. "Uhm, I don't think so." He looks at the pot, though, and frowns. Maybe they did? So… he pours a small amount into his mug and sips it as a careful test. Judging potency is one of those skills he's been learning, mostly in Evening Drinks With Ianco. That's where the vintner journeyman takes some apprentices through rounds of samples. It'd be fun, except for the tendency for it to also include oral examinations on a variety of subjects… while tipsy! At least the experience means he can speak with some certainty as he shakes his head to Kimmila. "No, uh, you'll have to do that yourself." He gives a smile with that, then goes about filling his mug the rest of the way. There it is. Full of the appropriate mind-altering chemicals for morning! As opposed to… okay, first Borodin takes a step away from Jajenelja, then he shakes his head to D'ani. "I hope not." He stares, adding almost absently, "It'd be bad for the flavor." Speaking of flavors, he takes a sip of klah. He's partway through swallowing it when Jajenelja comes over and addresses him. First his eyes widen over the top of his mug, then he makes a spluttery incoherent noise as he tries to talk and swallow at the same time. He doesn't choke, but he does blow bubbles in his klah and have a bit of it dribble out from around the edges. Also his ears turn pink, and as Jaja leaves, he just… stands there and stares. Drip goes the klah.

Th'ero's intention was to get klah for Kimmila after she had settled in, but as the bluerider skirts around the chair, the Weyrleader only sighs and hastily speaks his request before she's too far out of range. "Mind grabbing two mugs then?" he drawls, then turns his attention back to Dtirae. "Thanks," he murmurs and pulls out another chair across from the Weyrwoman but before he settles in, he at least remembers to slip off his jacket and hang it over the back. He snorts, "So is that's what got her so cheery?" he asks dryly, only to shoot Jajenelja another long and peering look when the girl goes about her giggling and then sets her sights briefly on poor Borodin. Can he be blamed for being a bit suspicious of her behavior? A slight frown creases his brow, only to ease back when D'ani is approaching. A half salute is given to the Weyrsecond, followed by a quiet spoken, "Morning." before the man moves off again and Th'ero's curiosity has him glancing away distractedly.

Kimmila gets two mugs and blinks again at Jaja, before she's grinning a bit at Borodin, moving back to sit beside Th'ero and putting the mugs down onto the table. Shedding her coat, she nods to the rest of the leadership before she settles in, curling her hands around her mug and sighing contentedly after her first sip.

Spiked klah. D'ani might enjoy some of that - at least on some days. This morning he needs to wake up rather than relax. But he might be tempted to sit in on one of the classes Borodin attends. "Morning Kimmila," he mumbles while awaiting his turn at the klah pot. He's studiously ignoring Jajenelja, though Borodin's comment about her spoiling the flavor elicits a chuckle. He can imagine! Breakfast hasnt been this entertaining since…ever! And so while he grimaces in distaste at backside of the giggling goldrider, he offers the vitner apprentice a napkin for the klah-dribbles and says drolly, "It must be your aftershave?" The beer-scented one. He's next up for the klah, fills a mug and strolls sipping it back to the table, finally awake enough to notice that the Weyrleader is there too. "Morning Sir." It's a touch cheeky, the flicker of grin that ghosts his lips after saying that.

The snickers suddenly come to an abrupt stop, and then it's as if Jaja's become a woman possessed as she's staring as if she can see through the walls. There is the roar of a dragon, and then the accompanying calls of the males. Of course, her klah is dropped onto the floor and the woman escapes the cavern.

Dtirae's also quite stricken, because not long after the initial call: Zuvaleyuth's call is joining. The Weyrwoman pales, swears loudly. There's no further commentary, she's moving so quickly that the chair falls over in her panic. "ZUVALEYUTH." That is the final word of the Weyrwoman before she is out of hearing range of the caverns.

Borodin said that aloud? Oops. Still, he lowers his mug and accepts the napkin from D'ani with a mutter of, "Thanks," from behind it as he blots his face, then glances back and forth from D'ani to Jajenelja a few times. "Uh, it must be." So, girls like the smell of beer. He'll just tuck that fact away for future use, but for now, he'll go take a couple biscuits and look for a place to sit down. Ideally one not near the leadership and important people, but the empty seats seem to be in that direction, so he's turned to face them as Things Go Down. Cue Borodin for staring again. At least this time he wasn't trying to take a drink.

"Thanks, Wingmate." Th'ero murmurs to Kimmila and offers her a faint, but warm, smile as she returns with two mugs. Taking his, he lifts it in slight toast to her before sipping at it and then setting it back down to be held between his hands. Ahh, warmth! "So what's up with her?" he asks her, likely assuming the junior goldrider said something while the bluerider was at the serving tables. Or that someone, Dtirae or D'ani perhaps, have an idea, beyond spiked klah. Normally the young woman is a chatter box with a sharp tongue and the Weyrleader is hard pressed to believe she's being silent. Or giggling. Yet there's his proof! D'ani's reply, even if just a touch cheeky, earns the Weyrsecond another look and a crooked, but light smile. "Patrols this—" he begins to ask, only to suddenly stiffen in his seat, hands clutching so tight that his mug jerks from his hands, spilling some of the klah to the table. Skin pales, then flushes and Th'ero reels, blinking as Velokraeth's voice answers that call from the young gold, Jajenelja's gold, and the pale bronze's thoughts only turn to one thing. "It can't be… Iaverulth? But, Zuvaleyuth is…!" Here still. Swearing loudly, he finds his feet, pushing back but fumbling as his boot snags a chair leg and he barks his shins rather painfully. That is ignored however as Dtirae's panic has him staring at her, equally as shocked and then he is reaching distractedly (or more like groping) for Kimmila. "Gold flight." he growls. No, really? He does not look pleased at all, his features twisting into a complex and conflicting mask of emotions and his eyes have the faraway look that riders usually get when talking to their lifemates. Th'ero shakes his head sharply, mouth twitching in distaste. "I can't call him off." he mutters half under his breath to any who can hear but his eyes drift to Kimmila and almost pained. Regardless, he will tug at the bluerider. They have to go, now, or at the very least it will be him who has to face the snow and cold again.

Kimmila adds her swearing to the mix. Might as well, right? "Get her out-" she begins, but Dtirae is already gone and the bluerider bites off the rest of her unnecessary comment. Outside, Wiyaneth adds her trumpeting roar to the mix, the older, Flightless queen pushing her control against the Senior in an effort (if it's needed) to keep her from the feeding grounds. Grabbing Th'ero's arm, Kimmila just nods, her expression a bit twisted as she steels herself for whatever is to come. "Go," she encourages softly, even if she'll go with him. Just for a bit at least, before she breaks off to go to his weyr and wait for the outcome.

Borodin might want one before this is over though? Something stronger than klah, mind. D'ani will join him! "Yeah-" he starts to answer Th'ero but as Jajenelja acts like one possessed, the Weyrsecond does a little staring of his own, gaping at the junior's sudden personality switch. It's the calls of the males that alerts him and his eyes follow Jajenelja's progress out of the caverns, all the while muttering under his breath, "Dremkoth, don't you dare…!" He's… not being paid the slightest attention by his bronze, if the garbled gagging noise issuing from his throat is any indication. "Fine! You chase her, damn it!" He'll stay right here and ignore the whole thing if only he can wrestle the growing link with his dragon into submission. It's Dtirae's cry that confuses him, his fingers frozen around his steaming klah mug as his gaze follows her in turn when she also goes tearing out. Two plus two equals gold fight, but he's slow to recall his Weyrling lectures on mating flights and thus he's panicking a step or two behind Th'ero. When reality hits him, he's up so fast his chair falls over, his jacket, goggles and gloves grabbed as an afterthought while he pelts out after her.

Oh, look. A bunch of seats have just opened up. Borodin sidles into one and attempts to eat his breakfast as though nothing at all has happened, never mind the chairs fallen on the floor and the bellows from outside.

Wiyaneth's control is certainly a welcome addition against Dtirae's own against her dragon. Out in the bowl, the gold is barely restrained, flexed as if she were about to take off into flight. Her wings are outstretched, strained, and she's ready to go. Eyes whirl an angry red while Dtirae looks to be staring at her gold with such a harsh intensity, however: the woman is pale and shaking, almost like a leaf in the wind. The battle between the two is silent, except for the roar that finally breaks from the gold. Her Weyr, and her bronze is chasing. And after a moment, she's leaping into the air. She does not blood, nor does she chase after the gold that dares to try to steal what is hers. Dtirae's control is still evident there, restraining her lifemate and attempting to will the dragon back to the ground.

Amid the chaos stirred by Iaverulth's decision to rise in her maiden flight without warning comes another change that all but sends Th'ero reeling again as he skids to a hasty stop amid the snow and ice covered bowl. Thankfully he doesn't wind up falling in his headlong rush and abrupt stop, but his head does cant to the side and his expression twists into one of a man that is utterly confused and lost in some private battle. Velokraeth's influencing him far more strongly and too early, but something else is amiss and staggering, he will try to seek out Kimmila if the bluerider hasn't already made her escape. "Why is Zuvaleyuth still here?" he'll hiss, either to her or under his breath, flinching at the roar and eyes scanning the bowl in haste to try and spot Dtirae and does, though they are close to opposite ends of the bowl. Stiffening, he turns to resume his brisk and hurried walk not towards the feeding grounds but towards the Weyrwoman. Overhead, a shadow swoops by them and there is a flash of pale bronze hide — Velokraeth's. He's abandoned the blooding, eyes whirling a maddened violet-red-yellow as he soars by and then lands as close as he absolutely dares to where Zuvaleyuth is crouched. He does not touch the irate gold, he knows better than that. But he has returned and is rumbling and whuffling, crooning as he does what he does best: sweet talks with honeyed but cunning words in an attempt to placate her enough to reason… or at least try.

The moment Zuvaleyuth takes to the sky, the old ivory gold queen pushes from her ledge, chasing after the younger Senior. Wiyaneth /knows/ what needs to be done as she labors after the much younger gold with a roar of command. « DOWN. » She might not be Senior any more, but she was Senior for far longer than Zuva has been, and the role comes naturally to her. And if she can't order her down mentally, she is pushing herself after physically, despite her old injury. On the ground Kimmila gasps, paling slightly at the sight of her mother's gold taking such a risk, pushing herself into a flight she has no business attempting. Wiyaneth pushes herself hard after Zuva, struggling but pushing on, as Elara bolts onto the ledge with a cry. Kimmila grips Th'ero's arm. "Velo needs to help!" she gasps, as Zuvaleyuth takes to the sky.

D'ani's distaste for Jajaenelja is rapidly ebbing in the wave of Dremkoth's mating lust that sweeps over him. He's forgotten that he didn't want to be out here; forgotten why he ran out anyway. One hand rakes through his hair, drops to run a finger around his collar to loosen it, snapping the first button completely; it goes flying off somewhere into the snow. The situation with a second gold challenging snaps him out of it somewhat. He isn't sure what Zuvaleyuth is capable of, or what the aged queen can do to restrain her. He looks wildly about, spots Dtirae, eyes narrowing as he notes the effort it's taking for her to restrain her queen. Dremkoth is wearing his harness but the bronze has already made his kill and is blooding. Still, something in his rider's panicked call has him responding and the bronze leaves it reluctantly, springing up to land beside his rider who mounts. D'ani doesn't bother to strap himself in before the young bronze leaps, lands beside the Weyrwoman, crouches low enabling the Weyrsecond to throw his jacket over her shoulders, scoop her onto Dremkoth in front of him and then they're moving again, springing aloft and arrowing for the senior's gold. They collide midair - Dremkoth taking her from the side, the gold's forearms gripped in his talons, neck twining with hers, tail lashing about her hindlegs to prevent them from rending his belly. They are but several wingbeats above the ground, not clear of the bowl but he has to risk it. The pair disappear *Between* Poof! Gone.

When Velokraeth veers away from the other gold, there is likely a moment of smugness from the queen. But, that does not deter her. Nor do the sweet honeyed words and crooning as they normally would. There is still the matter of the other trying to take what is hers. Dtirae shakes her head after a moment before she's focusing on Zuvaleyuth again. Then Wiyaneth is attempting to bring down her lifemate and her face briefly shifts into one of concern, because while she is not entirely there mentally: She's still locked in a battle mentally. Wiyaneth's presence is enough to startle the gold, the command against her own certainly causing hesitation. Enough hesitation that both rider and dragon are distracted by D'ani and Dremkoth's actions. The fact that Dtirae is swept up registers after a moment in which she clings to the bronzerider, with barely enough time to register the fact that Dremkoth has latched onto Zuvaleyuth. Then, they are gone *Between*.

Velokraeth won't take it to heart that Zuvaleyuth will not heed to his attempts on soothing her by wit and cunning alone. Physical strength is not his forte and so not his first choice, though he has flared his wings, stretching them to their fullest as the young Senior takes to the skies and his boxy, stunted form tenses in preparation to pursue her. Then Wiyaneth is closing in and the pale bronze calls out in a brassy voice of confusion and worry, but support to the older queen as he launches aloft, joining the fray now. Not that it is necessary in the end, as Dremkoth will pull his stunt while all are distracted. Velokraeth will have to hand it to the young bronze, that is a very crafty move and one he'll remember — for a little bit until his memory fails. Alas! The pale bronze wings up sharply all the same, rumbling in a disgruntled way as both Dremkoth and Zuvaleyuth vanish Between and safely away. Left behind, Velokraeth hisses in displeasure as Iaverulth's flight progresses on, too late for him to rejoin despite the urge to do so. So what is he to do? Well, he came to the aid of one gold, so why not focus on Wiyaneth now? Not that she may need it. Down below and through all of the drama above, Th'ero is closing in on the Weyrwoman, only to stop again and glance up in shock as the older queen takes wing and spinning on his heel, the shout he had ready to call Dtirae to attention is refocused into a strained and harsh edged reply to Kimmila, "We're trying all we can!" he exclaims, only to gesture with a rough upwards jab of one hand, "Now we have Wiyaneth involved and—-" The rest is lost, as the Weyrleader's eyes unfocus, brows knitting together and his features twisting again into disbelief and then shock as D'ani and Dtirae both vanish. Cursing out loud, he casts an alarmed look to Kimmila, only to relax the tiniest of fractions.

As Dremkoth rises, Wiyaneth veers off, tweaking her wing with a groan of pain to avoid the reckless bronze. And when the Senior and the young bronze vanish, Wiyaneth roars with…fury? Spiraling down towards the ground the old queen lashes out with her mind, trying to find them. And she /will/ find them, unless they've timed it or gone *between* forever. And she is not pleased. In the physical world she lands heavily, tail lashing as she settles low to the ground. Not affected in the least by the Flight, she puts her focus on finding the pair that left. Elara hastens down from the ledge, eyes wide as she bustles towards Kimmila and Th'ero, waiting for a heart-stopping keening. Kimmila gapes, open mouthed at the place in the sky where Dremkoth and Zuvaleyuth were, before she stomps her foot and swears viciously. "Of all the /stupid/, reckless, /idiotic/ things to do. I expected more from D'ani!" she hisses. "What the hell was THAT?! That boy's got a…a…what'do you call it. A hero complex. FOOL! She could've raked him stem to stern or he could've lost them both between…you just don't grab a dragon and rider and /take/ them…! What the fu-" Is Th'ero even listening?

Zuvaleyuth and Dremkoth sense that Wiyaneth 's mind is raw, stinging wind as she seeks the pair. « Where are you? »

Varmiroth, Velokraeth and Wiyaneth sense that Dremkoth's night is a peaceful summer one, the sky black and void, « We are in Maoina. All is well. We will occupy Zuvaleyuth until it is safe for her to return there. » He sends a picture - not that any of them could use it as coordinates, mind - of tropical sunshine and tranquil turquoise waters, a glimpse of feet sinking into a white sand beach… then suddenly that night sky is FULL of stars! « Oops! Gotta go. » The bronze is suddenly very busy soothing what might turn out to be an irate gold… if she mirrors her rider's emotions.

Velokraeth, Dremkoth and Zuvaleyuth sense that Wiyaneth is still /not/ pleased, but what can she do? They're safe. Stupid, foolhardy…but safe. She closes the link.

Wiyaneth, Zuvaleyuth and Dremkoth sense that Velokraeth answers with a simple sweep of spice and smoke, the comfort and warmth of a hearth fire and the mellowing and complex bouquet of a well aged and dry wine that is both sweet and yet sharp. « Best of luck! » he drawls with what is almost a mental snicker before sobering, a single thread of displeasure filtering through beneath. Next time give some warning!

Continues in Surprise?

'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.