Who Sephany, Zevuki
What Sephany visits Zevuki and strikes a nerve.
When Summer - Day 9 of Month 6 of Turn 2714
Where Star Stones, Igen Weyr


Igen Weyr - Star Stones

A flat notch on the eastern rim of the bowl, this area is only large enough for two dragons to comfortably rest. Its primary purpose is long past, although the ancient star stones remain. Cut from the native sandstone and inset with metal so many ages ago to frame the pulsing red star above on the eve of a pass. The stone is ever so slowly eroding from the elements, but is nowhere near collapse. Never again shall the finger and eye rocks to align with that dreaded celestial body. Now this area serves mainly as the lonely watchdragons perch. The view from is spectacular. The bowl spreads out below to one side, and beyond that are seen the low weathered mountains and the shimmering yellow deserts. A small shed topped with a solar panel located against the rising rim of the bowl provides an air conditioned area for a rider to rest out of the heat of the day. A door in the stone wall near the shed leads to a winding spiral staircase that links many lengths below to the series of inner caverns. The view may be epic, but transport by rider is much more convinient than those winding endless stairs.

The sun is just setting in Igen Weyr, which makes it the perfect time to find somewhere high to watch. The warmth of the day hasn't faded yet, and so Zevuki's in light clothes, standing near the edge, apparently enjoying the view. It's a long walk up from the stairs, a walk that — despite invitation — other candidates hastily declined, but still, they'll be able to direct any visitors as to the guard-turned-candidates' whereabouts pretty readily.

Time has steadily passed since the last conversation. Days. Weeks. But inevitably, there is Sephany once more; invading Igen with much less grace and maybe a little more… limping than is typical of the weaver. Familiar as she is with her old stomping grounds, it doesn't take her long to go from dragonback, to lower caverns, to spiraling stairs and precarious climbs, winding her way up toward the starstones with slow and careful steps that favor her foot only slightly. Dressed for the desert once again; a new addition in the form of a tiny green firelizard curled at her neck adding a touch of color to the otherwise bland ensemble. When she finally does reach the top of the stairs, there is a pause as she catches her breath and simply takes in the view. She does not immediately announce her presence, owing perhaps to her belief that the former-guard would have heard her coming before she made herself known. A moment later, and a soft sort of, "I always loved the sunsets here," is said in place of a typical 'hello'.

"It is something to experience," Zevuki replies without turning, though there's a hint of wry amusement to his voice all the same. After a few moments, he glances over his shoulder, gesturing towards the view as if in invitation for Sephany to join him. He notices the firelizard straight away, with a rise of brows. "I see you have a new addition to your family."

The invitation is taken. Sephany steps away from the top of the stairs and toward him, eyes toward the setting sun over the Weyr and desert laid out below. "Yes," and her hand lifts, fingers touching the sleeping creature coiled around her neck. "A gift, from my brother," she explains, a little smile tugging at the corner of her mouth for the memory. "Thimble," is offered casually, presumably the name of the creature. "How are you?" is much more serious, even if her smile is warm and open.

As she walks forward, the guard's sharp eyes notice that slight favoring of her foot, Zevuki frowning briefly. Instead of mentioning it, he stays on topic: "She's lovely," he says. "I have a young green I was giving shortly after I arrived at the Weyr. She seems to prefer to spend her time near the dragons, though. I'm guessing that's because they always seem to find the warmest spots to nap." He half turns his body towards her as he speaks, out of courtesy, though half his attention is still on the view. "It's been tiring," he admits, "And not the sort of work I'm overfond of. But nothing I can't handle." A brief pause. "And you?"

There is only a little shifting, a casual lean of her weight on her left leg to provide her right some relief of pressure. But it is subtle enough to simply be… relaxed in nature. Nothing so traumatic that it would require medical attention. Sephany's fingers draw across the sleeping 'lizard once more before her hand drops to her side. "Thank you," for the compliment to her new pet, a new brightness in the way she smiles as she considers the little creature she can't quite see despite an attempt to do so. "She is tiny enough, and young enough, to cling to me and demand frequent feedings. We shall see how fond she remains once she has grown a bit more and learned to fend for herself. Though I hope she will remain close." A glance at the guard and then the sky once more. "I never envied the work of a candidate," she admits. "But I have heard it is meant to prepare you for the possibility of weyrlinghood; manual labor and dexterous tasks. Taking orders and not complaining. As well as provide some benefit to the Weyr that feeds and clothes you." It is offered casually, a simple explanation that has been rehearsed and likely repeated to her throughout childhood. "I am… well. Busy. But well. Summer in Fort is beautiful. So lush, and green, and flowering. So very different from here."A flash of a grin, and a small teasing, "You might actually like it."

"I have heard that, too," Zevuki says, though there's a thread that suggests he grows dubious over the truth of such a thing. "Truthfully, in many ways it is not unlike being a guard. However, some of this experience has been many different people suggesting that I can't comprehend what it is like until I experience a thing. I… I find that very frustrating," he admits, quietly, frowning as he considers. "I am used to questions having answers, problems having solutions. I do not like the uncertainty. I also… wonder how much of it is Weyrbred folk believing I don't belong." He says it simply, like he's considering it amongst all the other facts. Her latter words earn a flickering smile. "I would visit, if I could. I understand it is possible, if one is accompanied by a rider, but I'm afraid I'm not friendly enough with any to ask the favor."

Quiet listening, a little tilt of her blond head to acknowledge his words and provide confirmation that she is, in fact, paying attention despite the silence on her end. There is no 'active listening' from her, and it is only when there is a natural pause that she follows up with a question. "Do you mean Impression?" for the thing he finds frustrating and lacking answers. She is going to assume so, for she continues with a dry, "They seem to do that. Riders. They cannot quite put into words what happens when two minds meet on the Sands. And I have seen enough Hatchings to know that it is significant, if indefinable." A little smile, an 'I feel your pain' expression bestowed upon him, though it's followed by a soft laugh and amused look. "Of course you are. You were a guard. Are a guard," she corrects, for the white-knot does not change this fact. "What prompted that assumption?" that the weyrfolk do not think he belongs. "There is a long history of Candidates being brought from Hold and Craft. Certainly you are not the first Holdborn to be asked to Stand." On the subject of visits, she simply flashes him a quick smile of understanding. "Someday. Perhaps. When you've a dragon of your own."

"Impression," Zevuki agrees, "But also egg touching. How the dragons choose. Why they choose." He grunts a little bit at her words, no less frustration in his features for all that. "Are a guard," he says in concert with her own correction, which earns a brief, flickering smile from the guard. "No, but there have been comments — both in my hearing and when it was thought I wasn't in hearing — that I don't belong in a Weyr. I am not so sure that it is an incorrect assumption." That last earns a long, thoughtful look, no matching smile, however. "Perhaps," he allows, finally, glancing back towards the sunset — Rukbat all but vanished, and the cool desert night already kicking in with chillier winds.

"Have you touched one, yet?" an egg, presumably. "I have been told it is quite an experience," though clearly, Sephany has not had the pleasure. She shifts, moving to turn and settle herself casually against the stone wall as the sun sinks down behind her. It allows an unhindered view of him, though she's more or less studying the ancient structure that used to foretell of coming of Thread. The knowledge that comments have been uttered, that assumptions have been made, and that Zevuki may agree with them, has the weaver pressing her lips together in a thin line of… not quite disagreement but something boring just along it. "Do you regret your decision?" To come to the Weyr? To accept the knot? She does not clarify. "You belong wherever you want to be," she decides. "And the choice to stay has always been your own. Though I cannot see you shrinking from this challenge; difficult though it may be." And yes. She may just be appealing to his pride with that last comment.

Zevuki shakes his head. "The Weyrwoman's started taking groups out, but I haven't been out yet." While Sephany regards him, he regards their surroundings, most often the dimming light of the skyline. "I don't believe so," he finally answers her, after a pause of consideration. "But not regretting doesn't mean I don't have doubts, all the same." He grimaces briefly at her latter words, giving Sephany a wry look. "It is not so much a challenge as it is an exercise in frustration that appears insurmountable, since no one seems fit — or able — to explain."

"Perhaps some of your questions will be answered through experience," offers the weaver in a way that is meant to be reassuring, though breaks into a mirthful laugh at his insurmountable frustrations. "Oh Zevuki! You are going to be a very frustrated man, indeed, if you continue along that line of thinking. Perhaps you ought to consider it more as an exercise in patience? Or perhaps an exercise in learning to let unanswerable questions go, and not allow them to linger and fester and slowly drive you mad?" Though her expression softens, and she offers an honest, "I would help you, if I could. But I am afraid even a life in the Weyr has not left me any closer to the understanding the mystery behind who a dragon chooses to bond with. Which has led me to believe that the question itself is futile to ask." A beat. "Do you want to know, so that you can improve your chances? Or simply because it is a question, and all questions require answers?"

Her laughter, and her suggestions — particularly about learning to let go — are met with a visible grimace from the guard, a strong reaction for one used to keeping his expression in check. Taking a deliberate step away from the edge, towards the stairs, Zevuki says, "It grows cold up here, and I should be getting back soon. I'm rostered on to help with the dinner hour." There's a moment of hesitation as she asks her questions, but in lieu of answering them, he heads for the stairs, a deliberate formality in his parting words: "I'm already late, I'm afraid. Good evening, Sephany."

It was not at all her intention to strike a nerve, and the fact that she has apparently done so immediately resonates with the petite blonde. Smiles vanish, laughter dies, and there is a quick movement as Sephany pushes herself away from the wall and decidedly toward the candidate, one hand lifting in an automatic gesture, poised as if she is going to touch him in an attempt to physically halt his movement. Her fingers fall just shy of actual contact, and she draws her hand back at the pointed rebuke she reads in his formal parting. She will call after him, however, a low and apologetic, "Zevuki wait," as he goes to leave. "I wasn't meaning to offend you…" though perhaps understandably there is confusion over exactly why her comments have garnered such a reaction from him. "I am sorry if I said something out of turn," she will continue, moving to follow down the stairs if he continues to insist on leaving. There is only one way to go, and Sephany has no reason to linger at the top of that precarious staircase in the dark if he is going to abandon her for the barracks. There is hobbling, and much clutching at the stone walls and favoring of bruised toes that make rushing difficult and uncomfortable at best.

Zevuki continues on, though he doesn't rush, his pace even footed and sure as he heads down the stairs. It's only when he reaches the bottom — waiting for Sephany — that he finally says in a low voice, "Answers are important to me, for a number of reasons, not just because it is what I do, what I am good at, and what I love. You struck something you were unaware of. I can't fault you for that." He glances across the inner caverns, sees another white-knotted candidate hurry past, and starts to move. "I am late," he reiterates. "I'm sure we'll talk more soon," he says, before he turns, picking up his pace and heading for the living caverns.

Sephany will apologize again, a quick and earnest, "I'm sorry," in the face of his leaving. But she won't attempt to stop him this time. She does, however, linger at the bottom of the stairs with her grey eyes following his retreat, confused and perhaps a touch hurt, lost in thoughts that she does not give voice to. Eventually, when it becomes apparent that she is loitering unnecessarily, she will leave to seek out whatever rider has brought her here this time, returning to her own home once again.

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