Every Flower has Thorns

Fort Weyr - Floating Dance Platform
An enormous raft-like structure of wood and plasticraft has been set up at the edge of the weyr lake. It floats just offshore, supporting a raised stage with a dome-shaped back. A wide, flat area, presumably for dancing, sits before the stage. Food tables, sporting banners in Fort's colors, have been set up along the edges, and a large number of curved benches ensure ample seating. Thick ropes secure the structure to stakes driven into the shore, while a number of floating wooden bridges provide easy access.


The afternoon has turned into a beautiful warm summer day, with the sun clear from any cloud cover, warming the landscape below. So what does that mean to a teenager? Fun in the sun! What else! There's certainly no reason to be stuck inside when the weather allows it, especially when a person doesn't have chores to do! Today, a rest day for Zaala, means a cannon ball into the lake from the platform. Sure, it's supposed to be for dancing, but it's also for those pesky teenagers who sprawl out in the afternoon rays with their towels and swim suits, or in this case, to have an impromptu gathering. Further out on the lake, are floating devices other than the platform itself, where teens and young adults are pretty well cooling their heels as others splash around them. The small kids, thankfully, are on the beach, with their parents having not allowed them to join the craze of an older crowd going summer wild. There's laughing, drinking, eating, swimming, and everything else in between. The platform is home to several towels and groups, most in their own cliques, though generally, this is weyrbrat central. It's good for spotting opportunities too, to socialize and make friends or… scope out the eye candy! Zaala surfaces after her cannon ball, smirking over at a few friends, girls whom appear to be from the lower caverns, and are more inclined to sit on the edge of the platform rather than fling themselves off the edge! So the blonde swims back over and hangs there, chatting about the typical nonsense one expects from a girl her age. Boys, mostly.

A beautiful warm summer day like this shouldn't be wasted indoors, though Rayathess hasn't come out to the lake to swim. Honestly, he really hasn't come out to socialize at all and yet… curiosity drew him in all the same. He's dressed in lighter clothing at least, sporting a short sleeved and trim cut tunic, a pair of slim cut trousers and a pair of sandals. Not his immediate choice, but the bandages still wrapped around the one foot is evidence enough why he's stuck with such foot wear. At least he's not using the cane to day… or he suppose to be. But what eighteen Turn old young man is going to go to the lake filled with young girls (and boys) hobbling along with that in his hands? Not him. So he'll limp along, but keep his head up and ignore any curious looks as he approaches the floating platform. None of the groups already there are any he's overly familiar with, so he'll just tuck himself into the closest available and empty corner. Back propped up, he'll settle in comfortably and then promptly drop his uninjured leg into the water from over the edge after rolling up his pant leg, while he keeps the injured one stretched out in front. He may not be able to swim, but he's going to find some way to cool down! As his eyes scan the gathered teens, he'll spot Zaala hanging on the edge with her usual friends surrounding her and offers a slight half wave in greeting.

Abigail had a feeling the lake would be rather busy today, it is a nice day out and after a hard winter everyone is out to take advantage of it if able. She is making her way on out towards the platform, a curious glance sent over the little groups here and there looking for anyone she may know well enough to possible go hang out with, so far doesn't seem so, or she isn't looking to well. She continues on towards the edge of the platform where she settles down there and soon sits. She places a bag down next to her while letting her legs dangle into the water and goes about pulling her hair back. Clothing wise she has on a bikini that is bluegreen in color, the top wraps around her neck while the bottoms look more like shorts. A brown firelizard pokes his head out from her bag, chittering out and soon scrambling to peer into the edge of the water, looking for fishes it would seem.

There's a new visitor to the Weyr, who just showed up on a runner a day ago and looking a little bit worse for wear. Nevertheless, he presented himself to those in charge and asked to stay, at least for a little while, and offered his services as a general handyman. After a bath, he made his way to the stables to check on his runner, then starts exploring the Weyr. Eventually, Jastre makes his way to the lake, where he sees people having fun. Sounds good to him, though he hangs back, just watching for the moment. A beautiful day isn't one to be wasted, definitely, but he likes to scope out the natives first before he considers any interaction.

The warm summer day brings an odd site for the weyr as well, K'drozen, one of the weyrs search and rescue rider, makes his way out onto the floating platform. The broad shoulder rider, not dressed in his normal riding leathers, but instead a pair of shorts and light shirt. He smiles as he passes Abigail and says softly, "Hey Abi." peearing over the edge with a slight smile.

Cluck cluck cluck, cheep cheep cheep, peep peep peep. That's really what the three female voices at the edge of the platform sound like, whispering, giggling, making remarks about one thing or another that really at the end of the day, is so immature it couldn't possibly matter in the big scheme of things. But, that's the typical group from the lower caverns, in which Zaala is a part of. There's no denying her love to talk, certainly about the silly things when everything in the world is like, perfect. As she's leaning her arms up on to the platform, chin resting over crossed wrists, back legs kicking to help her to keep floating, she notices the wave in greeting from a hobbling sort of young man. Her eyebrow is certainly quirked upward at Rayathess, to which she murmurs something to her friends, making them wiggle aside as she pushes herself up onto the platform. Hey, she's got some muscle to do that! Well, at least she can support her own weight on her arms. She's dressed in a bikini of course, a nice black one with red stitching, bottoms a little on the skimmpy side. She's clearly not afraid to flaunt it, but at least not nude, in fact, most of the weyrbrats are in swim gear. Dripping wet, her hair is pulled forward and squeezed as she pads over to Rayathess, "Trip on a rock?" she jests to his foot, a warm smile though on her face to ease it from sounding like she's picking on him. This is just her after all. She has yet to notice the dragonriders on the scene, as she nearly drips on Rayathess, assessing the damages, one hand on her hip, waiting for word on the injury.

Ugh! Clucking? And that is why Rayathess is over here in his corner and not over there with the hens — err, young girls. He's not one for silly conversation, as many are very quick to discover. He'll blink a bit in surprise as Zaala pushes herself up onto the platform, though once he gives her the cursory once over with his eyes, they are then kept at a modest and polite level. "Could say that," he says with a lopsided smirk, only to grimace as she all but comes close to dripping on him. Instantly he's tucking that injured foot of his under his leg protectively and wriggling a bit farther into his corner. He then snorts, his features relaxing into a more relaxed and easy going smile. See? He's on good behavior too. "It was a stupid accident." he drawls in further explanation and leaves it at that. No more comes from his lips, though he's casting his gaze now out towards the assembling crowd. He'll recognize Abigail seated not far from him and she'll get a brisk nod, but his attention is returning to Zaala as she stands there with one hand on her hip. Uh. "Out with your friends?"

Abigail seems to have missed a few people being around, namely Rayathess and his injured leg that isn't all that far off from where she happens to be sitting at the moment. Hey she isn't over there with the ones that are clucking. "Hello Rayathess, Zaala. How are ye both doing?" No asking about the leg as it was just asked after a. She offers with a smile before her attention is pulled away as she hears her name, or well a nickname at least. "Hello K'drozen. Nice day out on the lake aye?"

K'drozen glances up at Rayathess and Zaala are adressed and gives the pair a wave before looking back down to Abigail and nods, "It really isn. I figured i might actually take my rest day to rest for once.

Jastre decided he's been a wallflower long enough, and decides to introduce himself. The ones on the perimited seem the best ones to do so with, so he approaches that group. He looks about the group, trying to play it casual even though he's a stranger. "Hey… I'm a little new here, but nice to meet you, my name's Jastre."

Zaala notices Rayathess squirming back from where she's hovering close to him, which earns an impish grin from her as she flicks a little water down at him. It's a tactic that isn't supposed to be anything more than pestering, but afterward, she does give him space, smirking, "Aren't most injuries from stupid accidents? I'll let you keep your mystery, this time, mr." She doesn't look on the verge to push him, completely, yet. She seems to know where his boundaries are and seemingly respects them. Her gaze floats from him over toward Abigail, as she follows his nod of greeting. She notes Abigail and K'drozen, giving them both an exaggerated wave. It's to Rayathess though that she responds, "Yep I am." She looks around, noticing maybe he has none, or rather came alone, "What about you? Just wanting to show off your battle scars?" Then as Abigail and K'drozen are near enough, she pivots, "Hey you two, have you come for a swim?" She twists her hair a little more before pushing it back behind her, "I'm great, you know, enjoying the day while it lasts. Trying to smooze this scoundrel here into telling me his secrets, but," her eyes flash to Rayathess with a grin, "You know how that goes, can't win them all over." Totally a challenge. "Where's Borodin at? I totally thought he'd be here," this to Abigail. Her attention moves to K'drozen, "You time that just right." Wink. And then she spots the NEW guy. "Hey cowboy," welcoming smile, "I'm Zaala, this is Rayathess, Abigail, and K'drozen," and because her friend aren't in the picture, she just introduces those around her immediate area.

Rayathess mutters some half-hearted curse at Zaala when she flicks water at him, the pestering tactic working excellently to make him bristle a bit. But where he would have once been actually angry over such a thing, now he only chuckles dryly and gestures in a 'stop bugging me' jerk of his arm. Not that that is really meant either! "Thanks. I'd rather preserve my dignity." he drawls with just a hint of sarcasm, though that little tidbit might just arouse more interest in how he managed to hurt himself. Smirking, he shakes his head, "Battle scars?" he scoffs a bit, amused. "Shards, no. Don't have any of those… yet. I just came out here for," Pausing, he frowns. Why DID he come out here? "No reason." A bit of honesty can't hurt right? "Sun is out, weather isn't freezing. Why not come to the lake? Can't swim but the platform makes it easy for me to soak at least one leg?" Further teasing only has Rayathess going silent and giving Zaala a narrowed look that could be both teasing in return and perhaps a slight warning. "A man's got to have some secrets," he mutters in his defence, before tilting his head up to Abigail and K'drozen. "Hey. And well enough. What've you two been up to?" Then there is another voice… a NEW voice! That has Rayathess shifting against the corner he's wedged himself into to peer curiously at this newcomer. Mouth opens to introduce himself, but Zaala is quick to the punch and so he fumbles awkwardly for a moment. "Uhhh… yeah, I'm Rayathess. Well met, Jastre. First time to Fort?"

Abigail chuckles softly as she hears the bit on battle scars, yeah she would know /nothing/ about those. Not that she has a bunch, but a few here and there. "Nothing wrong with going out ta get some fresh air that be for sure." This said with an amused tone as she hears Rayathess. A nod is seen and she smiles to K'drozen. "Good idea.. Sorta what I was doing while I got the chance." There is a new voice and she turns her head to look over to Jastre curiously with her pale gaze. A warm smile is seen and she nods. "Well met Jastre. I'm Abigail, pleasure ta meet ye." There is a pause as she catches the punch from Zaala to Rayathess which makes her smirk. "Borodin is around somewhere. I don't rightly know truthfully."

Jastre chuckles, relaxing a little. They're friendly, good. "Yeah….. started out in Tillek, went along the coast as far west and north as I could go before I froze to death, then made my way to the other side of Pern. Ended up back here, eventually, though it took me quite a few Turns to do so. Fortunately, most of the coastline is in temperate weather that I was able to get along." he rubs the side of his nose absently, looking around. "I skipped a trip to Fort Weyr my first time out, but decided to come inland this time around."

K'drozen glances curiously over at Rayathess but doesn't question the injury instead he looks up Jastre and nods, "Nice ta meet ya." as Zaala introduces him. Looking back to Zaala he shrugs, "I was considering it i don't know, been a while since I have gone."

Clearly, Zaala seems to pay particular attention to Rayathess' reaction, as one who really doesn't care if he likes or hates her, she's just amused by it all, not letting his reaction touch her. To his answer for his own reasons out on the platform, she accepts it because her gaze snaps away from him. That or she's totally bored by his answer. Nothing creative in that answer at all. She seems to only sneer at his narrowed look, eyes upon the other three. She does remark to Abigail, "That's too bad. He's probably got his nose stuck in a barrel of wine again, sniffing out the chemistry behind it all." A little envious? Oh a tad, but she'll never admit it with anything but a playful carefree tone. The story from Jastre, has her attention, somewhat. It's really hard to pin point what the girl is thinking or how fast her mind moves, cause her eyes are darting away from the group, distractedly toward her friends. It's like she has to try really hard to regain focus and zero in on whose doing what on the coastline. Eyebrows lift and she interjects a "Really?!" in there, but, it's anyone's guess who she's said that too, since it fits so well, just about in every conversation.

Rayathess being friendly is certainly something to be contested, but the young man has his reasons for being a bit blunt or harsh at times. A very long winded story that he's unlikely to get into if asked what's biting him. He's making a valiant effort though to be more social! Which includes being amiable. Zaala's sneer is met with a quirked brow, followed swiftly by a shrug. Hey, that's his story and he's sticking to it! "No, nothing wrong with it." he murmurs to Abigail. "Just… kind of pointless if you can't really swim." That has him smiling crookedly at least, before his eyes lift again to Jastre and he blinks. Notably, his eyes dart to the other young man's shoulder to try and spy out his knot. "That's an awful lot of distance to cover. Why all the travelling, if you don't mind me asking? Trader?" Someone is curious!

Jastre says "Well, uh… not exactly. I mostly offer services for whatever needs fixing. I'm good with my hands." he deadpans that last bit, trying to keep his face as much of a pokerface as he can manage. "I have various skills I've offered, sewing, carpentry, a little metalwork…. nothing that requires you to apprentice to a craft to learn, I never could stay in one place long enough to do that. I'm no Runner either, but I've delivered messages occasionally. Mainly, I just kept getting the urge to move on, and explore Pern. About the only thing I've had formal training in is fishing, but mainly due to the fact that I was born in Tillek. Most useful skill to have when you're traveling the coastline and can't count on others for your next meal."

Abigail smiles a moment and shrugs as she hears Rayathess. "Perhaps in a sense for not swimming. Though the fresh air is always nice to get out and about in." Her pale gaze turns back to Jastre. "I do hope you stick around Fort this time then.." There is a pause and she tilts her head to peer off, a large brown dragon has settled on shore looking for his rider it seems. So much for a day off. "If'nn ye all would excuse me." This offered while she is standing up, bag in hand. "I do hope ye all have a good day." This said while she waves and is making her way on over towards Niumdreoth where the two take their leave.

Zaala does appreciate Rayathess being amiable, a vast improvement from her first run in with the young man. Her attention though is struggling to keep grip of the current group, biting her bottom lip, getting ansty, because it's entirely too much like grown up talk for her tastes. She really should hear about the new guy, give him the benefit of the doubt… oh but it's so tempting to dive bomb into the water again. However, his sentiment of being good with his hands, has Zaala's eyes locking on, unable to hide that immature snicker before it comes out, "Hmm, I bet you are…" she drawls with the sassiness edged into her tone. The rest of it, again, way too serious. She does give a pout for Abigail leaving, before she squeaks rather suddenly, bats her arms as if something is chasing her (maybe a bee?) and then leaps off the edge of the platform, doing another sploosh into the lake - probably getting at least, Rayathess a little wet!

Rayathess shoots Zaala a look for her sassiness towards Jastre, almost puzzled until it clicks. The deadpan look, her little comment… and he has to struggle not to roll his eyes and make some snarky comment. He'll snort instead and just shake his head, shifting a bit to get comfortable. Stupid foot. "Sounds like quite the life though, regardless. And true to that… about the meals, I mean. I've only been trained in wood and stone carving, but it brings in a few marks." Another handyman in the midsts? Not quite. With Abigail getting up to leave, Rayathess offers her a slight wave in farewell and goes to speak, only to end with him sputtering as Zaala's dive back into the lake does get him wet. Just on his one side, but enough to have him swearing out loud and rather rudely at that. It'll earn a few snickers and shocked giggling no doubt from some of the youths young enough to be amazed by such language. "Supposed to keep dry!" he grumbles under his breath, likely heard only by Jastre. "Thanks for that!" That he shouts at Zaala.

K'drozen chuckles and sahsk his head looking out to where Zaala just jumped and looks back to Rayathess, "Sorry to say, you probably shouldn't come our here if you want to stay dray, Ladies like that will allways get you."

Zaala appears at the surface of the water, in time to hear the shouts, her attention spinning back to Rayathess as she treads water, "BUG! IT HAD A STINGER!" What do you call them on Pern anyway? Just annoying and probably super scary, enough to chase a girl off the platform, or is that just the excuse she makes for fleeing from the conversation? No one will ever know, since she splashes around a bit, until she's floating on her back, arms extending above her head, swimming like a fish as she flips herself back underneath the water, only to resurface closer to the platform again, paddling back over languidly, not in any rush.

"Heh, yeah I'd have to agree with that. The closer you are to the water, the more likely you'd get wet…. especially with others around." the swearing causes Jastre to chuckle a little, but he doesn't comment otherwise, at least not about that. "I probably won't stay here long though, I rarely if ever stay in one place for more than a couple months. But I'll see how it goes."

Rayathess rolls his eyes towards K'drozen, but he's not about to make a flippant remark to a rider. So he only smirks and extends it to Jastre as well when he makes a similar comment. "Right. Guess it was a bit foolish of me to sit here, of all places!" he drawls, but with a exhale he is chuckling to show that he is somewhat amused by it all. Pushing to his feet, it takes him a few tries before he can get his weight under him right in order to stand and he'll rely heavily on the railing to hold his weight. "Must be nice to be able to travel so freely. Folks just let you go too?" he asks Jastre, even though his head is turned down and his hands work at smoothing his clothing. Zaala's return shout has him looking up though and his retort is swift and taunting. "WUSS!" Really? A bug with a stinger? No, that's totally a good excuse. But he's being a total man about it. Him, afraid of bugs? Pfft.

K'drozen smile a bit and steps to the edg of the platform and reaches a hand down to help Zaala out if she wishes before looking back to Rayathess, "Some of them bugs can be nasty ya know." his eyes sparkling in mirth at the statement.

Zaala puckers her lips up at the taunt, it seems to work. She's thoroughly taunted into silence! But with a woman, you have to wonder what silence truly means. Some form of vendetta probably. In this case, as she nears the platform, looking as if she's going to accept K'drozen's hand up - which she does actually take, totally innocent like. But as she's being yanked up, she kicks just at the right moment to send a good splash over at Rayathess, yeah cause, guess what, it's just water! There is most certainly a 'take that' look behind her, cocky. Definitely cocky, or for a girl, sassy. She's got fight in her. To K'drozen, a sweet little, "Thank you," for the lift up. OH and then there's the hair flicking, which will most certainly get Rayathess and K'drozen both, intentional or not, she is a blonde after all.

"They couldn't handle me whining about not being able to go, and probably figured I would've just run out on my own regardless, so at the very least they made sure I learned enough not to die. Couldn't have done it without Derp though. My runner, that is." Jastre looks over towards the girl getting pulled out of the water, raising an eyebrow as she splashes the poor guy again. "Well it is always better not to get stung in any situation if it can be avoided. It'd save you from a lot of unpleasantness later. Though I found that the best way to not get stung is to stay perfectly still and wait for it to go on about its business." pause. "And try not to pretend to be a flower."

Rayathess asked for it and boy does he get it. He tries to twist away from Zaala's first splash, but it ends up getting him in the side and soaking his leg, hip and most of his side. More swearing and maybe a good oath or two escape him, not at all polite. Holding his arms out in slight disgust, it may only be water but clearly he hates being soaked. A cool glare is sent to the young woman and for a moment he looks prepared to shove her back into the water. He even takes the first step! All it takes is for K'drozen to speak up and the young man is grumbling and backing down. "Only if you piss them off." Not quite the eloquent way that Jastre puts it and the newcomer is lucky to have escaped any of the splashing. Rayathess makes quite the shield! "I've been stung before," he tells him with a grimace. They're still talking about bugs, right? He blinks and gives him a funny look. "How'd you pretend to be a flower?" Rayathess drawls, only to curse again and glare at Zaala when she flicks her hair too. "Oh come on! Now you're just doing that to be annoying!" he gripes and promptly shuffles back until he's more or less standing beside Jastre. No more shield! "You've a runnerbeast?" he asks, belatedly.

K'drozen shake his head, "Oh Zaala here is diffently one of our flowers here at Fort." he looks over to Rayathess and notes the water that hit the man, "Complete with some thorns that'll stick ya if you cross her.

Jastre receives another once over look from Zaala, maybe for the advice on how to avoid a bee, "I did that once," she explains with a lifted finger, "And I ended up with one right here-" she points to her lip, "And it bit me." So, phobia attached, why not. The girl watches Rayathess' reaction and tartly replies, "Don't be such a wuss, it's only water." Cause, the injury totally doesn't warrent that disgusted look he gives her. She totally sees him edging toward her and bounces around the other side of her own shield, K'drozen, totally giggling now with the reaction she caused. She'd certainly one to poke an angry bear once or twice! Hands on K'drozen's arm and one on his back, she peeks around him at Rayathess, "You, stung Rayathess? Clearly, not because you're a flower - there's no point in even trying!" A wink, as she stretches her hand up and ruffles K'drozen's hair, just cause, she can. There's a soft laugh for K'drozen, chipper about it, but no doubt tongue-in-cheek, "You're so sweet." Cause she has thorns, rwar. She's totally made of the scary stuff. She puts a hand on her hip, leans on K'drozen, considers the other two and gives a smile to Rayathess, giving a curtsey, "I try!" to the annoying part. Wink. Hah. Then there's the talk of runner beasts, how quick they revert to guy stuff. Ugh. Beasts, horsepower, how typical! "Beasts, really, you revert to that? You need to get out more."

Jastre grins at Rayathess. "The flower thing was a joke. And yeah, I got one from my parents as a goodbye gift, it's easier to travel on a runner than on foot even if it's more expensive." he shrugs at that, running a hand through his messy hair. "At any rate, I should probably go find where I'm sleeping tonight, I was only given a temporary bunk last night, I was planning on moving on but I might stay a little while longer. Nice to meet all of you!"

Rayathess rolls his eyes again for Zaala's tart reply, only to smirk as she turns to K'drozen for protection. Oh, all the remarks he could tease her on THAT accord. But he only gives her a long look and bites his tongue. "Never said I was!" he drawls, seeming to be tiring of the game so soon. The brownrider's comments only have him snorting again and waving a hand in an almost flippant manner. "Don't have to warn me twice." he mutters, giving one last look between K'drozen and Zaala before he starts to shift his weight to take another slow backwards step. "What? I was curious to know. That's not a crime, last I checked!" Rayathess shakes his head and then turns. "I need to go dry out. You two have fun!" he mutters, only to then smile crookedly towards Jastre. "Thoughtful gift and… very good point. On both cases. And I'm heading back to the resident caverns too. Probably where you're wanting to bunk if you're planning to stay. Even if for a bit." Shrugging his shoulders to his rather roundabout offer, Rayathess will linger to see if Jastre accepts but regardless, the young man is limping off with one last wave to them all.

"See you around stranger," she wiggles her fingers at Jastre, "See that you stay a while and have some fun!" Because being a wanderer can only be so much fun. Her eyes dance over toward Rayathess, still leaning on K'drozen, arm and hand on his shoulder. "Don't be so sulky, you know I still like you," this to Rayathess as he starts to leave, smirking a little as he goes and does the proper official thing of leading the new guy in the right direction. Not her role, not her responsibility, he was a wanderer too, so she could only assume he'd wander the right way eventually. Instead, she turns a wave at them both, "Bye!" And with that, she suddenly moves to push all her might against K'drozen. If he's not paying attention or expecting it, he could go right over the edge of the platform and topple into the water. "I have thorns do I?" Hrrumph! Grin.

Jastre nods gratefully in response to Rayathess' offer, then hesitates just long enough to incline his head towards the other two before loping after the other guy.

K'drozen grins having expected that, loops his arm quickly about Zaala allowing her to shover him off the platform, but draging her with him.


'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.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License