Live in No One's Shadow

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.


Nyalle has been getting stronger by the day, and this winter evening she has finally emerged to have a meal in the Living Caverns. Seated at the raised leadership table (which guests are always welcome at), she eats a hearty, fortified stew with fresh bread, and of course, some tea that's likely medicinal. At least that's a good assumption from the smell.

Mr'az is one of those guests at the leadership table but it's been no secret that he's not been far from Nyalle's side during her illness. He never caught it, but has been seeing the Weyrwoman through the worst of it. The bronzerider is helping himself to a rather generous helping of that same fortified stew and fresh bread, though he doesn't have that tea. It'll be ale for him! "How're you feeling?" he speaks softly to Nyalle and likely the millionth time she's heard that very question.

C'rus makes his way into the living cavern, a smile gracing his face. All of the news that he has been getting, limited as it is, points to the fact that the plague is largely winding down and with it his concern. He glances around the hall and sees no other weyrlings, but Nyalle is there along with a man that he's not seen before. He smiles even more widely upon seeing that she's out. Good to see. Poor Nyalle getting sick was a sad event for everyone. He offers a salute in the leadership tables direction before wandering toward the table with the stew.

Nyalle turns go give Mr'az a look that is half grateful (he /did/ take care of her) and half exasperated. "I am fine, Mr'az," she murmurs, reaching under the table to gently squeeze his knee. The hand is withdrawn so she can return C'rus' salute, gesturing for him to join them. "C'rus, good evening, how are you and your lifemate?"

Mr'az is, indeed, a rare sight to see most days. He and Zhirazoth are often with Thunderbird and when within the Weyr, he generally sticks with is fellow Wingmates or is in Nyalle's company when the Weyrwoman is not otherwise occupied. At her gesture, he coughs slightly and looks a touch sheepish. Sorry? "Cooks are doing a good job at fortifying the food and keeping it from tasting too medicinal," he remarks idly, only to look up in interest when the Weyrwoman salutes and he spots C'rus passing by. A salute is given as well, followed by a gentle spoken: "Good evening, Weyrling."

C'rus grabs some of the stew that seems to be the popular thing to eat this evening and once he is all set up with food he joins the table since Nyalle invited him. It would be rude not to, and besides he is glad to see her, "I'm doing just fine and so is Jaicoureth, though he'd much rather stay inside where its warm. He isn't a fan of the winter." he explains, "I'm really glad to see you out and about. When I heard you were unwell I was worried." He worried for all his friends. He gives a warm smile to M'raz, "Good evening to you as well."

Nyalle smiles gently at Mr'az and dips her head in a nod. "They are. They are very talented up there, no doubt about that. It just tastes /good/." What little she can taste of it. "Oh no? He isn't? I hear that several of the weyrlings this clutch do not enjoy the winter weather. Thank you for your concern, C'rus, but I am healing. Have you met bronzerider Mr'az?"

"It does, doesn't it? If you're hungry for more, let me know? I'll go get another serving." Mr'az murmurs quietly to Nyalle, only to fall silent as C'rus speaks, politely listening and then smiling as he's introduced. "Don't think I've had the pleasure. Well met, Weyrling C'rus! I'm Mr'az, rider of bronze Zhirazoth of Thunderbird Wing. So what's this I hear about the cold and the weyrling dragons?"

C'rus shakes his head at Nyalle's question, "I don't believe that I have.." he responds and smiles to Mr'az, "It is very good to meet you sir." So many faces that he hasn't had the chance to touch base with yet. Now onto dragon discussion, "Some of them just don't seem to like it very much. Kai is very bad off. All gray and not wanting to get out and do anything. Mazz sleeps all the time and my blue Jaicoureth just would rather stay inside where its warm and ponder things, and don't even get me started on his dreams…"

Nyalle tilts her head thoughtfully, smiling for a moment. "Well that's just an invitation for me to ask about his dreams, C'rus," she teases very gently, turning her head to cough lightly into a handkerchief before she takes another sip of tea. "I will let you know, thank you Mr'az," she says with another soft, fond look for the bronzerider.

Mr'az smiles back to Nyalle and dips his head in silent acknowledgement before his eyes turn back to C'rus. "You'll get to meet more of us Wingriders as time goes on, C'rus! Though we won't hold it against you if you don't remember all our names on the first shot," he teases the Weyrling gently too. He'll listen with a faint frown for the details concerning the other dragons, glancing sidelong to Nyalle. When she doesn't seem so concerned, he relaxes. "Huh. Don't think I've ever heard of dragons sensitive to the changing of seasons before…" he muses.

C'rus chuckles at Nyalle's comment about asking, "It's a party in his head most of the time. It can be very distracting. Things move a million miles an hour when he really gets going and his dreams are becoming more vivid at time passes. It was difficult at first but now I'm sort of getting used to it, though he still surprises me sometimes." He does hope to meet more of the others as times passes, "I'll have to do my best with the names." He'll try anyway, but its alot to get to know, "If you ever wanted to meet some just come to the training grounds and you'll get the chance to chat wtih them." At least if they aren't sleeping.

Nyalle nods thoughtfully as she takes another gentle sip of her tea, signaling a drudge for another cup. "I know Kayeth prefers the autumn, and the cooler weather. But she doesn't sleep through the summer. Or go gray. That is worrying, but I have confidence in M'icha." Looking across at C'rus, she laughs softly. "I can only imagine how distracting that would be. Do his dreams invade yours even when you are sleeping?"

Mr'az laughs quietly, "Maybe I will then! I'd certainly like to meet your Jaicoureth. He sounds like a fine fellow and I can relate to all the busy thoughts." He'll lift his free hand to gently tap the side of his temple. "Zhirazoth likes to fill my head at times with his schemes and plans of grandness on a regular basis. You do get to learn how to filter most of it out." After Turns! Glancing sidelong to Nyalle, he takes a bite of bread, looking thoughtful again. "Suppose M'icha would know best."

C'rus is a bit worried about Kai too, and certainly worried about Ha'ze, "Ha'ze doesn't really know what to do with himself I think. I let him know that I was there for him, but you know Ha'ze." Everyone probably knows Ha'ze, he's hard to miss, "Yeah. They often do. I'm not really sure alot of the time whose dream it is. He doesn't seem to mind and I guess I don't either. I imagine he dreams about things most young dragons dream about, mainly flying and apparently these days water." When Mr'az speaks of schemes and such he can't help but smile, "I don't think that I could call anything that is going on in Jai's head a grand scheme, more like a desire to know things and figure things out. He likes to think outside the box. I can relate to that. Though for him it's all emotion and he cetainly wears his heart on his sleeve. I'm sure he'd like to meet you. He likes to meet everyone."

Nyalle chuckles. "Zhirazoth is always full of grand ideas," she says fondly of the bronze, also one of Kayeth's clutchmates. She smiles. "A lot of young dragons share their dreams with their riders. It's all about managing the mindlink. But that comes with time. Lots of things come with time. I'm sure Ha'ze and Kai will figure this out as well. "

Mr'az tilts his head, brows knitting together when C'rus mentions Ha'ze and the concern for him and Kainaesyth. "I believe I've met him briefly once or twice but not since then. Perhaps I am overdue to come by the training complex but I'd rather not step on M'icha's toes. I'm sure the Weyrlingmaster will have you lot shadowing the Wings when the time comes and we'll all get to know each other then." he admits, moping up the last of his stew with his bread. He laughs again, this time to Nyalle. "Aye, most of them are grand but the rest are… far beyond his capabilities or my own." As most are aware. "Mhm, the Weyrwoman is right! The bond is always growing and changing in time."

"I don't find it overly obtrusive. I wouldn't mind if he shared his dreams always, though I could see where he'd want a bit of privacy too." Just like his rider, he probably would want some thoughts that remained his own. C'rus looks over to Mr'az as he clearly isn't aware, though he'd like to offer a hopeful note, "If things change with time perhaps in time those will become possible for both of you. Things to do change. If anyone knows that I do."

Nyalle smiles at Mr'az. "You should go visit. M'icha is not opposed to visitors. He might even use you and Zhirazoth as examples, or get you to teach a lesson." Wouldn't Zhirazoth /love/ that. Chuckling, she pats his leg beneath the table. "Not all of them are beyond your capabilities," she murmurs, nodding in agreement with C'rus' words. "Yes. Things do change." She chuckles and finishes her stew, but is content to sit and talk and sip her new cup of tea.

"Oh? You know all about change, do you, C'rus?" Mr'az asks the Weyrling with a curious smile. The bronzerider knows nothing of his past and so has no idea of the weight behind his question. It's completely harmless and there will be no pressure put for C'rus to answer. Instead, he only chuckles again for Nyalle's reassurances. "Weyrwoman, I think Zhirazoth would be best to use as a warning to the Weyrlings of what NOT to allow their life mate's to become. He's a good bronze, but you know how blinded he can be by ambition." But it's true, Zhirazoth would adore to teach the Weyrlings! So Mr'az will have to be careful he doesn't overhear about it or he won't hear the end of it.

"Others have already come to visit for brief periods. Jaicoureth has met several grown dragons. Of course in most of those instances he was still in his posessive phase and probably didn't fully appreciate it." says C'rus, "Yeah. I know about change. In the last turn I've moved twice and become a rider. I never really believed this to be something that could happen. I just thought I'd live my life out in a hold somewhere as a healer." He's still a bit wistful about that lost dream, but this new state has dreams of its own, "Nothing wrong with a bit of ambition here and there." Not that C'rus or Jai are prone to it at least in the normal sense.

Nyalle laughs, smiling fondly at Mr'az, though her eyes do briefly gleam with humor. "Perhaps that is how M'icha would use you, then." As a warning. Poor Zhirazoth. So misunderstood. "You have done very well by him." Looking back to C'rus, she smiles. "And are you pleased with your new path in life?"

Mr'az quirks a brow, "Possessive phase?" he queries but leaves it at that, as C'rus goes on to explain a little about his past. "Ahh, so you were a Crafter prior! Nothing to say you can't still pursue that, though there's truth in it that a Craftrider still isn't quite the same…" he murmurs, only to chuckle. "You'll see what I mean if you've ever the chance to meet Zhirazoth!" He'll share in Nyalle's humour, rather than bristle for it. He knows his faults and knows it just makes up who he is.

C'rus would probably have been said to be a naturally pessimistic person, and perhaps a touch bitter. Though the present situation is doing a great deal to change that, "I have no regrets. One door closes, and another opens. That seems to be the way of things. Though you can check back in after I hear back from my parents." Life might be pretty good right now but he's sure that will change once they respond to his letter, "I still haven't heard back from them. They are gonna be upset. If you see a man talking about limestone and waving his fists around wandering through the bowl looking for me I'm not here." he says partly as an attempt at humor and partly as a statement of fact, "Yeah. He didn't want anyone near me or his stuff after he was hatched. We spoke as one being for the first day or two. After that it evened out. I'm honestly not sure where we will end up. I guess that's a ways down the road yet."

Nyalle reaches out for Mr'az's hand, on top of the table this time, if he'll take it. She smiles warmly at him. No offense was meant and she's glad he didn't take any. Then, to C'rus, she frowns. "It is an honor to be a rider, especially a rider at a weyr so strong and rich in history as Fort. If your father gives you any trouble, let someone know immediately. That is not tolerated. Especially not around your young lifemate. We might not be able to change his opinion but he will not be allowed to endanger Jaicoureth or make you feel anything less than proud."

Mr'az snorts softly, "Wise words! It's true though and not many are often aware of it…" As for C'rus' family, there is a faint look of understanding from the bronzerider, though he nods his head in agreement to Nyalle's words. "The Weyrwoman is quite right. Try not to let your parent's… disappointment colour things either though I know that is easier said than done. Some folk just don't take change, especially as abrupt as this. As for your Craft, well… there's no harm in planning for it now. The Weyr is all the more richer for every Craftrider gained. You are aware that you can still pursue Healer to Senior Journeyman? No small feat in that!" Mr'az will also lace his hand with Nyalle's, even if a touch belatedly from being so engrossed in the conversation.

C'rus is certainly glad for the support, but at the same time his family problems are largely his own problem, "You haven't met my father. He still hasn't gotten over that I became a healer. And then I went and did something even crazier. It will just confirm in his mind everything he's ever said about me. And if you think I'm a pain in the butt he's worse. I think you might have got to my life about 19 turns too late. He's been trying to make me feel 'less than proud' most of my life." C'rus didn't get his issues out of the blue. He can't help but notice the hand interlacing and he smiles. So Nyalle does have someone. How wonderful is that! Ever since Jaicoureth came into his life he's noticed more and more the love around him and its amazing, "I suppose. Though its also a chance to do something new. I'm not going to force anything. We'll see what Jaicoureth likes and take that into account. I do miss healing though. I'd like to act like a healer again." He hasn't felt like one in a long time. Even since before he came to Fort.

Nyalle shakes her head slowly, with a little smile. "Your father hasn't met Th'ero," she says quietly. /Almost/ smug. She knows her Weyrleader and knows he would not stand for someone - even a father - insulting one of his riders. "It isn't any of his concern now anyway. You are grown. And of Fort. That is what matters. Hopefully in time you can mend things though. Family strife…it is difficult." She hides a frown behind another sip of tea, briefly squeezing Mr'az's hand.

Mr'az's brows lift again as C'rus goes into depth concerning his father and the bronzerider shakes his head, making a rather disappointed sound with a click of his tongue. "That's unfortunate. Let me tell you though… You don't have to live under your father's shadow." He nods his head to the talk of Craftriding. "That's what I've done concerning Zhirazoth and I. We've found our niche, as it were for now, in Thunderbird." Blinking, he looks sidelong to Nyalle again and then laughs. "It's true, Weyrleader Th'ero is not a man to cross and certainly not when one of his own are threatened! I've heard tales of his temper…" he remarks, squeezing Nyalle's hand back in return but shows little more in the ways of affection towards the Weyrwoman.

C'rus thinks that might well be true, although it would be almost fun to watch…if the personal ramifications weren't so large, "It's true. I'm grown. But I dont' think parents ever see you as much older than 5. At least thats what I'm told." He does smile though when Mr'az says he doesn't have to live under his fathers shadow, "I've done a good job of not being under anyone's for a very long time. I intend to keep it that way." And sometimes rather vocally at that, "I hope never to see his temper. He's always been supportive."

Nyalle nods. "There is nothing that riles his temper more than a threat to one of his own. Oh no, C'rus, I don't think his temper would ever be directed at you. It's directed to threats. Things that could harm Fort. That is one reason why he makes such a great Weyrleader. He is utterly devoted to this weyr."

"Some parents don't, but most parents know when to let their children go to grow up to be their own person," Mr'az mutters as he reaches for his ale and takes a deep draught of it. He quirks a brow for Nyalle's glowing compliments of the Weyrleader, but the bronzerider doesn't correct her. He just chuckles, "So long as you do nothing to make him feel threatened, I think you're perfectly safe, C'rus. And so long as you don't do something so outlandishly stupid as to put others in danger…"

C'rus thinks he might well like these two together. They gel very nicely. And Mr'az has a good sense of humor, "I'm a very threatening individual." he says with a chuckle. Yes. So very scary, "I can't promise never do anything stupid, though I do try to keep keep my stupid to the moderate to massive variety. I really try to avoid outlandish stupidity."

Nyalle looks over at Mr'az and blushes slightly at his brow quirk, looking away and taking another sip of her tea. She is /quiet/.

Mr'az laughs again, "That's the right way of thinking! Though I'm sure you'd be forgiven for a few wrong decisions here and there. No one is perfect, right Weyrwoman?" he muses, only to realize she is suddenly quiet. His hand squeezes hers and then lightly rests against her arm. Everything alright?

That solidifies it in his mind: Mr'az is good people, "I suppose you are right. Though I'd like to think I'm as close as it comes." he says with a wink letting everyone know he is only kidding. Though if Jai were here he'd probably agree with him wholeheartedly. Nyalle's quietness is unnoticed by him for the moment but thats why she has Mr'az.

Nyalle returns the squeeze and smiles back at Mr'az, nodding her head slightly. Yes, everything is fine. "No, no one is perfect. There is always more to learn, and more growing to do. Always."

Mr'az chuckles as he leans back in his chair, mouth quirked into a little half-grin, "Exactly! Besides, who'd want to be wholly perfect? I'd think it'd be a rather boring life. You'd never learn anything new or grow or gain anything from life that way. Even if the failures and low-points are rough, they're what shape you, eh?" Shaking his head a bit, he will push his chair back and slowly rise, gathering his dishes and those of Nyalle's and perhaps even gesturing for C'rus to pass his over too. May as well! "Let me take these to the dish pile and then I best be off to the Thunderbird lounge to check on my next sweep shifts. I'll leave you in good company, Nyalle though if I can be brazen enough to ask to come by later? There are some things I'd wish to discuss…" Sure there is. Could be he's just trying to be a proper gentleman and fabricate some sort of excuse as to why he'd be entertaining the Weyrwoman — or possibly be doing so.

C'rus passes his plate over to Mr'az and smiles at the man's comment's to the weyrwoman. If he had any doubts before he doesn't have any now. Though why they would need to be anything less than open is beyond him, "I think that I'll be off back to the barracks now, but it was very nice to have dinner with both of you and it was very nice to meet you Mr'az. I'm sure I'll see you around more and more." He rises to his feet and salutes them both, "I hope you both have a good evening." And he's off across the cavern.

Nyalle passes over her dishes with a warm smile. "Of course, Mr'az, you're always welcome," she says quietly. "If you have Zhirazoth bespeak Kayeth with what you'd like to discuss, I can be better prepared." It's all very proper, and she appreciates it very much. "Take care, C'rus." Then she too is rising, to head back to her office.


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