Galleries
The galleries are carved right out of the rock face, the rows and rows of benches rising high up into the air on a slight slant. Stone and wood benches that used to be known for offering little in the way of comfort, are now padded with cushions in Fort Weyr's colors. Placed along the railing at regular intervals are antique looking baskets filled with cheery fabric flowers. The curving walls sport tapestries in warm vibrant colors that seem to add a dash of color to the otherwise dreary stone. Where the galleries curve slightly at the ends, affording those attending hatchings or clutchings a decent view of the sands, shaded laterns offer warm lighting along the rows of benches.


If a day can seem heavy, this one certainly has fit the bill. It's been dark even during the afternoon, clouds hanging thick and rumbling with discontent all day long. Even with the onset of evening, the air hasn't cooled much, and the low snarls of thunder continue, the occasional flash of lightning flickering at the entrance to the hatching cavern. Chores done for the day, Brennan sits in the sweltering air of the galleries, shorts and a tank not doing anything to keep him from sweating in spite of his stillness. It's hotter in here…so why does he stay? It's the one place where he can escape from watchful eyes for a bit. He's not going anywhere…and his warders know it.

Ahh, summer in Fort. Kimmila walks down the tunnel to deliver some iced tea and dinner to Nyalle, who is now stuck on the sands except when Kayeth naps - which isn't often - and then moves up into the galleries. Watchful eyes what? "Hey," Kimmila says quietly as she approaches, flopping down not far from him and offering him a small smile. "How're you doing?"

Brennan blinks up almost sleepily at Kimmila before remembering to move his arm and give a salute. "Lady bluerider," he greets, his voice quiet. "Doin' well, I guess. Pretty beat. Still tired of bein' watched everywhere I go, but…" He shrugs, giving a grunt. Still better than the alternative. A brow arches. "How's the Weyrleader doin'?" he asks. "Shoulder healin' alright? You doin' alright?"

Kimmila returns the salute with a little smile. "Kimmila, please." She looks around and then back to him. "Watched?" She leans back, favoring her right shoulder a bit, but it's healing well. "He's fine. It's healing. I'm fine too. Everyone's mending, seems like, which is good." She takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly.

"Sorry. Habit," Brennan says with a smirk, and folds his arms. "Well, the lot of us still have eyes on us most places, y'know? Makin' sure we stay outta trouble." He snorts. "Not like we're bound to repeat what happened out there. Good everyone's healin' up." His eyes drift back out to the eggs, and he sighs a bit. "Still. 'm worried about a few of the others." Even now, after a good amount of time has passed.

Kimmila shrugs, looking around. "Really? I guess the weyr is just feeling protective of you guys and all." She's quiet a moment. "I think it's more to make sure nothing happens to you. Not that…anyone thinks you're going to go do something stupid." She peers at the eggs again, since it's a good focal point. "Who?"

Brennan fits Kimmila with a doubtful look. "What's gonna happen to us? No one's stupid enough to come bargin' in to where a bunch of dragons are keepin' watch, eh? Unless y'mean someone inside." Which is an unsettling thought. Fingers reach up to rasp at the stubble on his cheek. "Ravyal. Rynn. Mostly those two. Shouldn'ta had to do what they did," he replies, tone dark with discomfiture.

Kimmila shrugs with an exhale. "Fort is a little paranoid sometimes." You think? "You have to understand, what happened with Laris, and now this…those were turns of /fear/, Brennan. People are afraid. You guys are…something tangible that can be protected." Her gaze goes distant. "What did Ravyal do? I've already spoken with Therynn…"

While it doesn't make being watched any less of a thing to grumble about, in his mind, Brennan nods, mulling things over. "Guess so. Not used to bein' the one someone else is lookin' out for. Not after spendin' so long fendin' for myself, y'know?" With a shrug, he sits forward, looking over at Kimmila when she says she and Therynn have spoken. "Good she talked to ya. Rav… Had to stab one of 'em. Didn't kill 'im, but still. Not easy to have to do. Knife play's somethin' Rynn and I'd be used to from huntin'. Killin's one thing on an animal. Havin' to use a knife on a person…" He rubs his neck, a memory uncomfortable. "Not easy. Even without killin'. Just hope it doesn't haunt 'im." Like he knows it already is with Therynn.

Kimmila chuckles. "Believe me, I know," she drawls, smiling a bit. Then she sobers. "Ah. Has he talked to anyone about it? No, it's not easy. None of it is easy, but…when it's them or you…" She shrugs her good shoulder.

"Yeah. Just takes a while to square with that, is all." Brennan's shoulders hunch for a moment, perhaps to stretch…or perhaps to shrug something off. "Dunno if he has or not, but Cyrus'd be a good 'un for that. Mindhealer 'n' all." Thoughtful, he looks over at the bluerider once more. "So, is that what you did too, before your dragon found ya? Never did ask."

Kimmila nods. "It does. It definitely does." Her eyes go distant for a long moment, staring at the eggs. "Hmm. Well…maybe. I doubt Cyrus has ever…well." She shrugs with a small frown. "Tell him he's welcome to come talk to me if he feels comfortable. I talked to Rynn. I know what it's like. I remember the first time I had to defend myself." She smiles. "Is what what I did? I was actually a lot different before I impressed. I was an Assistant Headwoman. Focused on lists and organizing. Wasn't until after I impressed and had my daughter that I learned to hunt."

Brennan smirks, draping his arms on his knees. "Doubt he's ever been in a tight spot like that?" A quiet laugh. "Doubt he's ever been in many tight spots. Doesn' strike me as an adventurin' sort. Anyway. I'll tell Rav. Mayhap he'll come see ya. I hope he does." The hunter gives a curious tilt to his head as Kimmila reveals a bit of her background, and he gives another bit of a grunt. "'s a big change alright. Didn't know y're a mother. Why'd ya learn huntin', then? Doesn' seem like it'd leave y' a whole lotta time for it."

Kimmila is quiet for a few moments. Then she decides to answer him truthfully. Why not? "I actually have four children. Three by Th'ero and one by my previous weyrmate." She's quiet again, watching the clutch of eggs. "After my daughter was born I didn't handle it well. I ran away. Took Varmiroth, and we went to the southern continent. For…a few turns. Wandered around. I met a guy, he taught me to hunt. We lived off the land, hunting…"

Four kids? That earns a rather thoughtful look from Brennan, a smile faintly curving his lips. The story that follows diminishes it slightly, however. "Y'left the Weyr?" he asks, a bit puzzled. "Didn' know a rider had the option, though…I s'pose there isn't much to stop it, eh? A few Turns… That'd do it." He goes quiet again himself, also looking out at the clutch for a long moment before cautiously slipping his glance slidelong to Kimmila again. "She with ya now? Your daughter, I mean."

Kimmila nods. "I did. Western. I was in Western at the time. And yes, riders can leave the weyr. Plenty of independents out there and for a while I was one of them. A few turns. Plenty of time to learn to hunt." To perfect it. "She's at Healer Hall right now. Apprentice." She smiles, mixed with pride and sadness.

"Huh." That's Brennan-speak for 'shutting up and thinking now.' Independent riders. It's something he'd not really heard about before…and something that perhaps causes him to rethink his outlook on what could potentially happen come the Hatching. He only dwells on it for a short time, however. No use thinking about it too much. Kimmila's answer about her daughter brings that small smile back up, and the hunter nods. "Stayin' in touch with 'er, then?"

Kimmila shrugs her good shoulder. "Sometimes." She smiles a little bit. "I was not a good mother to her. I'm still not. Time will tell if our relationship mends or fades as she gets older. I leave it up to her." Which is a bit of a cop out but it's all Kimmila can handle right now. "Do you have siblings?"

"Can't always get it right on the first go, I reckon," Brennan observes, but he makes a bit of a face, his nose wrinkling slightly. He's no expert on parenting, after all! "Hope it does for ya, though. I've got two sisters. One older, one younger," he answers. "Andra's a Weaver journeyman, Breanne's a Starcraft apprentice. Took to craftin' like no one's business," he chuckles.

Kimmila shrugs again, smiling a bit as she looks at the eggs. "Thanks," she murmurs. "Fostering works out better for me." She grins. "And you? The freedom of the forest?"

"Yeah," Brennan replies, a snatch of low laughter leaving his throat. "Apprenticed as a Tanner for a spell, like my parents, but…Igen was borin'. Once I actually got to be out in a forest, there wasn't any goin' back." Again, he shrugs. "My parents didn' know what to make of it, but it's a livin'. I'm always writin' 'em. Wasn't lookin' to change anything. Then y' found my sorry tail out there…'n I got some good reasons to stick around, I guess."

"Not sure how I feel about that," Brennan murmurs, staring at the eggs, his own gaze unfocused now. "A lot's changed since I got here. I was content. I was just gonna heal up, help out a little, get movin', and then…" He trails off, gesturing vaguely at the eggs, out toward the Bowl, encompassing a number of things. Then he looks over at Kimmila again. "Guess life's s'posed to shake you awake every now and again, eh?"

Kimmila smiles a bit. "It's quite the shake, if you impress. But…there's no thread, so imagine the hunting you could do with a dragon. Varmiroth and I…we're a great team and we can get places."

Hunting with a dragon? Brennan's thought about this before - when talking with Abigail, in fact - and the thought makes him grin. "If it happens," he says of himself Impressing, "I'll have t' remember that. Snag you 'n' Varmiroth sometime. Even if it doesn't, too. Provided everything out there gets handled soon." And there comes the dark cast to the conversation for a moment. "Y'know," he muses aloud after a moment, "Cyrus is convinced we're not bein' told a lot, 'bout bein' a rider 'n' whatnot. Dunno what he means exactly, but…" He thinks back to the Healer's answer to him on that matter, eying Kimmila curiously. "If y' had the chance to rethink your choice to Stand and Impress, do it over, would you?"

Kimmila grins, "It's a deal." Then she frowns. "Cyrus has a lot of opinions about things he knows nothing about. What questions do you have? No one's been intentionally keeping anything from anyone. It's a big change. We don't want reluctant riders." As for his question, she nods firmly. "Absolutely. Absolutely. There's nothing else like it. Sharing my thoughts with another, being one with a dragon, flying…shards, the flying alone…"

"See, I sorta figured y' wouldn't be," Brennan says with a slight shake of his head. About things being kept from them. "I don't really have questions. Anyone can see - should see - it's a big deal, becomin' a rider. Wouldn'ta kept the knot if I was daunted by the idea. Seems t' me Cy oughta just ask if he's havin' doubts. 'n what y' just said… I don't expect y' could explain it much better, eh? How could ya, if so much of it's just somethin' y' gotta experience?" Muscular shoulders roll a bit, and the hunter sits back again. They day is starting to catch up with him. "Maybe that's what bothers 'im most - not bein' able to know by readin' or seein'. Me?" He glances over at Kimmila, smirking. "I'm content t' see where it all goes. Even if it makes me a little nervous, I guess."

Kimmila nods. "Exactly," she murmurs, agreeing fully with the hunter. "Some things you just have to jump into. I mean you see dragons, you see riders, you know what'll happen, you decide if it's for you or not…and you go for it." She smiles. "That's the best way to be. Flexible. And it makes everyone nervous. It is a big change, not downplaying that. But." She shrugs. "Not sure about Cyrus."

Brennan gives a nod, pleased to find his understanding isn't too far off the mark. As for Cyrus… "Guess that'll be for them to decide," he surmises, jutting his chin at the eggs. Finally, he pushes to his feet, brushing his hands on his shorts. "Guess I'd best be headin' back to the barracks before I get told so. Thanks for chattin', la- uh, Kimmila. I'll see if Rav might find ya, if he wants." He ticks off a little salute, bids the bluerider goodnight, and heads out into the still-thundering evening - which actually seems a little cool now, compared to the Cavern.