Seed of Doubt (of a different kind)

Fort Weyr - Coverage Area
Somewhere in the southern forests within Fort's territory and sweep coverage area…


Afternoon is a strange time for sweeps but someone's got to do it! Mr'az is one of the "lucky" one's to draw this shift and he was likely in for quite the surprise as to who his wingmate for this venture would be. Zhirazoth could care less. There was a job to be done and so the bronze gets to it! Flying low along the forested ranges south of the Weyr, eventually Mr'az signals to land and Zhirazoth glides down to a rock topped hillside that provides them with ample lookout in all directions.

Kimmila doesn't usually take this sweep, but one of 'her' riders needed coverage and she had the time, so here she is. Varmiroth doesn't mind who he flies with either, gliding down to land nimbly beside the bronze. "Nice day for flying," Kimm remarks as she dismounts and removes her helmet.

Zhirazoth remains alert despite being on the ground, his head held high and eyes scanning the area around them. Mr'az dismounts, taking a few strides to approach Kimmila while he too removes his helmet and gloves and opens up his riding jacket. Even in spring, it feels much warmer! "It is. Easier for us, I guess. Wonder why they're sending us to this part of the range," he murmurs, pulling a well folded and hastily sketched out map from the inner pocket of his jacket. Opening it, he frowns as he double checks their sweep area and then passes it to her. Refresher? "If there's anything odd it'll be next to impossible to spot it from the air where the trees grow too thick."

Kimmila lifts a brow as she takes the map, curious why he has it and why he thinks she needs it. "Next to, but not totally impossible," she remarks. "And who knows why. Just checking things out, maintaining a presence in case there's any unsavory types up this way."

Mr'az has no answers for her. Maybe it's just a quirk of his? It's totally not meant as an offence! He shakes his head, "If there are any unsavoury types, they're well hidden. Haven't seen a lick of anything out this way." Which is so very strange. He implies as much in his tone.

Kimmila shrugs. "It's Fort territory, we have to be on the lookout and do sweeps over all of it. Even if we don't see them, they'd see us and be reminded of just where they are and who they'd have to answer to." There's a little smirk there, her posture shifting and a hand resting on her dagger hilt.

Mr'az can see that shift in her posture and his brows lift before he chuckles dryly. Frowning, he'll turn his head to glance out over the land below them. "Yeah, I know what you mean — or have come to understand it." He was High Reachian once. Not anymore! "Keep them reminded, keep them scared. Seems to have worked, if you can ignore the mutterings coming from the Holds." Now he's glancing sidelong back to her. What's her opinion on that?

Kimmila nods slightly. "At least for now it has." As for the holds, she glances sidelong with a lifted brow. "Time will tell with that…we can't do much there. Otherwise it'd be resolved by now."

Mr'az smirks but doesn't press the issue. Instead he moves on with the conversation, "Right. Funny how they're grumbling about it now in some of the holds. You heard anything from the cotholds you usually help with?" He's aware of Kimmila's special work. "I don't know. I just find a lot of this strange — and I'm not the only one."

Kimmila shakes her head. "Nothing more than the usual complaints about trade lacking recently." She leans idly back against Varmiroth's side, peering out across the forested land. "Oh?"

Mr'az makes a thoughtful sound and then shrugs his shoulders, glancing sidelong to Kimmila. "You don't think it's strange? It's all been such subtle things. Quiet rumours and grumblings. Somethings wrong and yet where's the proof? We had troubles with ships, now Half Moon Bay does or did. Now the holders are saying something isn't right with their trade deals. So is it to do with the coasts or has this come mainland?"

Kimmila shakes her head. "I don't know. And we won't know until we, as a weyr, take some action…"

Mr'az seems almost disappointed when Kimmila doesn't give anything more as far as opinions go. Not that it won't stop him from pushing a little bit. "You don't think this is strange then? Forget if we take action or not. Just as a whole, something doesn't seem right. I mean… didn't Harper Hall have a Journeyman go missing and no one seems overly alarmed by that?"

Kimmila nods. "Yes, it's strange, alright?" she says, a hint of frustration showing through. "It's very strange and I'm tired of sitting by and doing nothing…"

Mr'az has to fight not to smile when he seems to have struck a cord. Finally! It may just be a hint, but it's all the bronzerider needs. "Lots of us are but we know better than to speak up about it. I mean, what could we do?" Never mind that they know better than to approach Th'ero about it. "I don't like it. Something isn't right and these sweeps are maddening. But… our duty is our duty. Just wish the damn Holds would ask for help."

Kimmila nods. "Me too. I almost wish…" But she trails off with a small frown, focusing again on the land stretching out before them.

Mr'az will wait for a polite stretch of time before prompting her. "… that we could act?" He assumes but there's obvious questioning there. What is it that she wishes?

Kimmila huffs. "That the holds would ask for help," she says, darting him a sidelong look with a lifted brow.

Mr'az just shrugs at the look he receives. "Oh, they will. When it's too late," he smirks and then scrubs his hand along the back of his neck. Why the sudden awkwardness? Because he's going to start delving into things better left alone. "How's Th'ero handling this?"

He didn't get it, but it's probably for the best. "He's pissed off," Kimmila remarks, blandly. It's no surprise, right? "Upset we can't do more, upset that it's happening at all."

It's probably for the best, indeed. Mr'az snorts and it sounds close to laughter. Grim laughter. Nope, no surprise there. "Yeah, well. We've got age old tradition to thank for that, right? Weyrs don't meddle but never mind that it affects us too. Just how long do we "not meddle" before someone gives a damn." He sighs, resting his hands on his hips as he shifts his weight to one side. "Nyalle's not having an easy time of it either. Different stresses than Th'ero but it's affecting her too. All the more frustrating."

Kimmila nods, looking at Mr'az for a long moment. "Mmm. It's hard, watching them sometimes…"

Mr'az just stares right back, fully aware that he's treading a line here with her. He barely knows Kimmila and there's very little in common between them. Aside from the fact they're both involved with partners holding top rank. "How'd you two cope then? With the stress." There's a motive behind his careful prying. Will she call him on it?

Kimmila smirks a bit. "Travel. Hunting. Sex. The usual things. You and Nyalle?"

Mr'az wasn't expecting to get an actual list of the 'usual things'. He forgot that Kimmila is far more open (or so he heard) than her mate. "Ah, well…" Damn. "We don't often — my shifts are often at odds with her duties. I do what I can to support her. Listen." He sucks at this, doesn't he? Not that he can just carry the Weyrwoman off travelling. Or can he? Hmm. He clears his throat, "Most times just dinner, together. Sex." A sharp look follows. Don't tell? "… she's wanting a child. The stress though…" He shrugs and grimaces, looking away again over the lands below. "Just wish this nonsense with the rumours out in the Holds end already. Then some of us can get a well deserved break."

Kimmila lifts a brow as he rambles on…and on. "She can't get pregnant?" That's what she got out of his long story.

"Doesn't seem so." Mr'az answers honestly as he shrugs his shoulders again. "Don't know why. I worry she's blaming herself. I think it's the stress. Could be me, for all I sharding know!" Yes, he rambles when he gets it in his head to do so.

"You?" Kimmila pauses. "There a reason you think it might be your fault?"

Mr'az spreads his hands out again, "Just covering all possibilities and I guess it's a way of comforting her. I don't want her stressed about that on top of everything else. It just doesn't seem fair."

Kimmila shrugs. "Well, maybe it's her fault that she can't get pregnant. Maybe it's not you at all."

Mr'az frowns and shakes his head, "I'm not saying it's me or even her. But I won't deny that there's a chance." He fidgets again, rubbing under his jaw and back along the back of his neck. "For all I know, she'll get pregnant once distracted. Or Kayeth's next flight." Uh, what did he just imply?

Kimmila blinks, turning to focus more on the bronzerider. "What?"

Mr'az stares right back though his hands lift in a sort of open palmed gesture of placation. Easy. "All possibilities, right?" Right. It's not like he's outrightly saying the Weyrleader could sire a child with Nyalle (he's already been faced with that once!), but this bronzerider has always taken every consideration into account and that includes flights, uncommon though they may be. He knows Zhirazoth will never catch Kayeth anytime soon. So that leaves…?

Kimmila frowns, shaking her head. "I hope not," she mutters a touch bitterly.

Mr'az frowns as well as he tilts his head a bit, giving her a cursory glance. "You'd not want her to get pregnant?" Forgive him for missing the whole point.

Kimmila shakes her head firmly. "Not by Th'ero!"

Mr'az snorts, "It'd have been that way in the old times. Expected, even." he mutters darkly but for all the defensiveness, he doesn't like the idea any more than she does (obviously). Yet he'd not ignore the child and neither would it change his feelings towards Nyalle. Not that there wouldn't be some difficult times…

Kimmila snorts. "Yes, I'm aware of that." She pauses then, turning to outright stare at him. "Nyalle…she's super traditional…you're not telling me that she's…?"

Mr'az just looks lost and a bit puzzled by Kimmila's sudden prying. "That she's what…" he asks with a grimace.

You say "Going to try to get pregnant by Th'ero because it's 'proper' or some shit like that?"

Mr'az sighs and shakes his head, "No. She tried that once and she knows better now. You have to understand that she is young and High Reaches did a good job in filling her head with outdated traditions and Faranth knows what else. We've spoken about it at length. What I meant is that there's just a natural chance that should — when — Kayeth rises again it might be Th'ero who fathers her child. Or it could be me." How did they get to this conversation?

Kimmila frowns. "True…" But. "But I hope Th'ero doesn't sire any more children." At all, ever.

Mr'az blinks, having not expected that answer from Kimmila. "He's not sired any others?" Come on! With the way Velokraeth chases and catches?

Kimmila shakes her head. "Nope." But then there's a pause. "At least I don't think so…"

You're welcome, Kimmila, for the little seed of doubt Mr'az may have just planted. He just grimaces and shakes his head again, "Ah well." This has been awkward! "We should probably get back to our sweeps."

Very awkward. And yes, the seed has been planted. "Probably, yeah…"

No apology from Mr'az and apparently no thanks either for the discussion. Zhirazoth rumbles with impatience, his wings already rustling at is sides. The bronzerider exhales heavily, "Alright. Let's get moving. Sooner we can get this last stretch done, sooner we go home."

Kimmila nods. "Right." And the sooner she can ask Th'ero just /how/ sure he is about not fathering any other woman's children…

It'll be a delightful conversation, to be sure! Mr'az nods as a form of acknowledgement and then he's mounting up and buckling in. Time to get back to work! With the weather holding, it won't take them long.


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