Fort Weyr - Center Bowl

The wide center of the bowl is often bustling with activity as riders come and go. Off westward can be seen the entrances for the candidate barracks and the guest weyr, while to the east is a large opening that leads into the dragon infirmary. The bowl stretches off both to the north and to the south, where the sheer stone walls rise steeply to the sky.

It's been a long time since M'lo was out of bed, and it's changed him. He's still tall, but all the solid muscles he'd earned through hard work have gone, leaving him thin. There are shadows under his eyes and his skin is pale… but he looks so much better than he has in recent months. The lingering lung infection, which he managed not to pass on to anyone else thanks to the excellent Healers, is finally vanquished. And now it's time for his recovery.

He's taking a walk with Irelanth, and the pale brown is almost beside himself with excitement to be out of the weyr with his lifemate. His eyes whirl in various colors and his wings are held half-aloft, fluttering more than the weather can account for. It rained the night before, but today the skies are studded with fluffy clouds that skid across the blue in a leisurely sort of way. M'lo has walked a good 500 feet or so since sliding down from Irelanth's back, and that seems to be all he can handle for the moment. Irelanth puts out a foreleg and M'lo sits on it. "This didn't used to be so hard," he says, half a laugh in his voice. "Don't let me get any softer than I am. I want to be running laps and doing pull-ups by… I dunno. Soonish."

In that cloud studded sky, another pale form emerges from Between but this one carries a bronze tint and the stunted and oddly twisted form could only be one particular bronze known to Fort. Velokraeth seems to be in no particular hurry to land and once his mismatched eyes have caught sight of Irelanth, he seems to veer his position towards the brown. Landing with surprising grace of one of his physical disposition, Velokraeth folds his wings neat and tight against his sides before dipping his oversized head in a greeting, followed by a low and warm rumble. Th'ero isn't long with dismounting and once the Weyrleader has stepped to the ground, it's clear that he's been out again on some meeting or another - it's just an issue of where this time. Dressed in his formal riding gear, he's unchanged really. Same mess of hair, beard still neatly groomed and the same guarded and cautious demeanor to his movements and features and the only changes are subtle; a tired look to his eyes, the way his mouth always seems drawn into a thin line and the fact that's he's armed. Always armed, though today he's not with his sword and only a dagger clipped at his side. "M'lo," Th'ero has taken a few steps towards the Weyrsecond, working the gloves off his hands as he does and tucking them away. "Good to see you and Irelanth out. The Healers have cleared you then for light exercise?" he asks, giving both rider and dragon a long and lingering look.

Irelanth bugles quietly back at Velokraeth and tells the bronze all excitedly about how his rider is /out of bed/, now, and look he's /walking around/! For his part, Irelanth is healthy and strong. Despite the constant worry he's felt for his lifemate, he's been out getting exercise (though staying away from the greens), flying around Fort and hanging with his dragon buddies, all at M'lo's insistence. It's been good for both of them. M'lo grins up at Th'ero and nods his head. "Yeah, finally," he confirms. "How are you, though? You look a little… tired." His expression becomes concerned. He takes in the dagger. "You can talk to me, if you want. They say a shared burden is half the weight." He breaks into that friendly, open grin and almost looks like his old self for a second.

Velokraeth is a good listener and his responses to Irelanth's excited news on his rider's recovery is likely met with well spoken, honeyed words that both congratulate but also reassure and flatter the brown in someway or another. Where the bronze sorely lacks in physical appearance, his mind is certainly sharp. Th'ero has come to stand now more or less in front of M'lo, close enough for both to be heard but with a respectable distance still between them. The Weyrleader doesn't look entirely at ease and that is nothing new; the bronzerider has always been a little distant and guarded to all, even his own staff. Lately though, it's been wearing down, mostly because he's been spending so much more time in their presence and given the latest situations… "Tired would be an understatement," he admits with a faint smile, frowning, as M'lo grows concerned. Lifting a hand up, he makes a dismissive gesture with it before it's tucked under his arms as he folds them across his chest. "Don't worry yourself. I'm well enough and whole. There is just much to be done in the day and a fair bit of travel. If it's not to the Holds, it's to the Weyrs." The glance to the dagger isn't entirely lost and at the Weyrsecond's friendly grin and offer, the Weyrleader simply chuckles gruffly. "You've read the reports. That'd be most of it. And this…" He tilts his head to vaguely indicate the dagger. "… is just precaution. One close call is enough." Close call? Th'ero took on Laris directly, despite the dangers and if it weren't for A'lin… "I suppose things aren't all gloom, though. Our clutch hatched healthy, with another gold." To judge by the change in his tone… there's something amiss there. "Western's did as well. My sister is among their new weyrlings."

"Yeah," M'lo says, his grin dropping off as Serious Subjects are broached. "Glad A'lin was there." He inhales. "I'm going to get better as fast as possible so I can resume my duties fully. You've been incredibly generous to let me keep my job while I was sick." He sticks his hand out to shake, if Th'ero will. "Thank you." He pats the pale tan dragon forarm he's perched on, inviting Th'ero to sit. "Gonna break my neck, looking up at you like that," he jokes. His smile comes back for the mention of the clutch and Th'ero's sister impressing. But it flickers again when he catches the strange tone. "Um. Congratulations for your sister," he says, turning it into half a question. "Is something wrong with the hatching?" He didn't get to go.

Leave it to Th'ero to always be a buzz kill, as the Weyrleader is often broody and caught up in those serious subjects. If it weren't for Velokraeth reminding him silently, the Weyrleader likely would have continued to ramble on to the Weyrsecond of all the issues and problems currently surrounding Fort, Weyr and Holds alike. Technically, it's part of their shared duties, but now is not the time. The bronzerider has to remember that. "Don't feel as though you need to rush, M'lo," The offered hand is reached for and clasped firmly, the hand shake returned before his hand drops back and under his arm. He shakes his head at the offer to sit, though he moves just enough that the brownrider can easily look down at him from his current perch on Irelanth's forearm. "I saw no need to replace you, aside from having a rider stand-in for you for travel purposes." Also a good way to see if any riders had potential and given that there was no change in ranks, Th'ero must not have found a suitable one. "Thanks," The Weyrleader smiles again, though it's faint and a touch forced, before he's giving M'lo a bit of a curious if not slightly puzzled look. "Nothing is wrong. Western's hatched well, as did ours. Our… newest goldrider may be a bit of a handful though. We shall see, I suppose." Ah, so that might be where the strange change in his tone had originated.

M'lo nods amiably enough, and gives his Weyrleader a quick grin of thanks when he moves. But not one to be too lazy, he goes ahead and stands up, then leans back against Irelanth's shoulder. The little brown cranes his neck around and blows air at his rider, sending M'lo's long black hair flutter. He laughs and pushes it back. "I haven't met her," he tells Th'ero. "What's she like?" He pauses. "And… I know I just read her name. Uh." He gently knocks the side of his head a couple of times. "Her name… is…" He draws out the s, eventually sounding like a buzzing vtol, and then he shakes his head. Not coming to him.

"Jajenelja," Th'ero supplies readily enough once it's clear that M'lo's memory has failed him. With a name like that, it's a surprise the Weyrleader even remembered but given the girl's reputation and rocky start, the bronzerider has obviously had it brought up enough to stick in his mind. There's more he wants to add but he pauses, head turning to scan the center bowl. No one is near them really, all too busy going about their tasks and while some may glance their way there's really nothing to note of interest. Regardless, Velokraeth moves in such a way that the bronze blocks them, but also makes for a good buffer if the words the Weyrleader is about to speak do not want to be easily overheard. If anyone were to approach now, the bronze would send them off with a look or a warning rumble. "She was among the group of Candidates," Th'ero begins in a low, murmured tone as he glances back to M'lo, brows knitted into a heavy frown. "The ones suspected of being set in place for… whatever reason. How, we don't know. By who, we don't know. But she passed a secondary Search and her Impression only proves that she was valid… but she's difficult." And he doesn't trust her loyalty. That much is implied at least in his tone.

"The dragon always knows," M'lo said. "And no matter how loyal she was to whoever sent her, she's got to be absolutely loyal to us, now. To her dragon. She impressed a gold, after all. The only way she can get bronzes to fly her is to be in a Weyr." He frowns thoughtfully. "She can't just not fly her when it's time. Right?"

"No, I fear that Impressing here won't guarantee her loyalty, gold or not. It will perhaps give her pause, but I'll admit that I do not trust the girl, goldrider or no. But a Turn is a long time and perhaps she will come around." Th'ero replies in his usual blunt and curt manner when the Weyrleader is in one of his moods. It's not meant to be mean or harsh, but the bronzerider has a knack for becoming cryptic and cold when he's stressed or so deep in thought. Most have just learned to brush it aside or take it with a grain of salt as it were. "It won't matter about flights. Loyalty is not forged in who flies her gold when the time comes and regardless of where it may be." Is that a hint? Surely Th'ero isn't thinking on foisting the problematic goldrider so soon on another Weyr. But the topic isn't elaborated on, as Velokraeth soon rumbles and cranes his oversized head towards the administration complex over in the northern bowl. "Ahh. It would seem I have a visitor." The Weyrleader uncrosses his arms, brushing at his riding jacket and straightening a few details before he fixes M'lo with another of his faint smiles. "It was good to see you up and about. Take it easy, as I said and welcome back. If you'll excuse me," And with a slight nod of his head, he turns on his heel and begins to stride briskly away towards the offices and his weyr. Velokraeth lingers, likely sharing a few parting words with Irelanth before the pale bronze is waddling awkwardly after his rider.

M'lo is well aware of Th'ero's moods, and he doesn't take it personally. It may be what lets them work so well together, as the brownrider is generally genial and laid-back. He reaches out a hand to clap his boss on the shoulder, if it's allowed. "A year is a long time," he agrees. "In that time we can show her that we're good people. Perhaps if we try to love her, she'll become worth of it." It's a gentle suggestion, and he smiles with it. He nods when Th'ero takes his leave. "Of course. You know how to find me if you need me." He waves and then starts on his walk around the bowl again.

'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.