Fort Weyr - Fort's Forests ~~ Western Forests
The forests here grow all the more pressing, soon choking out the gravel- and sand-formed path that splits from the fork. While it continues to wind further into the darkness and coolness that only such thickly grown foliage can create, other smells hint at places yet to be fully explored. Blueberries and the calls of birds, lush blackberry thickets just out of sight, and deep undergrowth that holds promise of mysterious fungi and other such plants.

Traveling through the woods alone is always a dangerous affair … and all the moreso with whisperings of renegades and feral beasts running rampant throughout. The whoop and call of avians and firelizards penetrate the strange not-quite-silence of the forest, while deeper rumblings of creatures yet unseen might be heard in other places. Great beasts crash through the forest from time to time and set the avians into unexpected flight.

Stomp, stomp, stomp. Off into the forest Ha'ze is going to take himself, for once not totally wary of the danger that could be in the darkness. No, he just wants to get away. Kainaesyth is left behind, curled up on his ledge, as Ha'ze plunges into the trees. He doesn't have his bow with him for once just a knife in his boot. If he wasn't so angry perhaps he would be more concerned with the fact that he's not slipping like a ghost through the trees.

The real hazard to stalking passionately — not to say angrily — off into the forest, without really watching where one is going, is that one fails to notice important minutiae of said forest, like that tree branch. That one, right there. And shortly after Ha'ze trips, sprawling into the leafmuck, there's laughter, floating on the breeze, sounding … well, not cruel, but not particularly kind, either. Hanging out, casual, in a perch against one of the forest's larger trees, is a bluerider (judging by his knot, at least) with one of those easily-overlooked faces — the kind of guy who's seen around and really only remembered by his actual friends, and sometimes his wingmates. (His dragon, one might assume, is somewhat more memorable.) "Nice one," he says, helpfully.

The string of cursewords that Ha'ze lets loose are probably one of the firmest examples that Ha'ze didn't grow up in the weyr, but somewhere a little bit harsher. "What the f*ck." He pulls himself out of the muck and brushes at the leaves and dirt on his clothing.

"Well," the same bluerider's voice (at least there isn't more than one?) answers pleasantly enough, "to answer your question, a tree just attempted to terminate you with prejudice. And you failed to dodge."

"No, what the F*ck are you doing out here?" Ha'ze gets that he just biffed it, and bad. No need to keep TALKING about it.

The look on the bluerider's face says, quite clearly, that he thinks the answer to Ha'ze's question is None Of Your Damn Business, Bronzerider, but he doesn't go so far as to actually say that. "I'm keeping watch," instead, is his laconic answer. "Apparently I get to see more than usual, today."

Ha'ze snorts a bit, and brushes off the last of the attack of the forest. He's less angry now as ehe eyes the rider from top to bottom. "Hard to see much when things're this dense." Things? or blueriders?

A long, slow look up and down, followed by a briefly-quirked eyebrow. "Well, some of us pay attention to the surroundings," the bluerider deadpans.

He's got Ha'ze there. He'd let Rayathess blow his cool and now he was here. In the forest. Hum. Well, at least if Ustrr jumps out from behind a tree Ha'ze can throw the bluerider at him and see if that stops him long enough to stab him with his boot knife. "What's your name?"

There's a momentary hesitation, and then the bluerider sort of shrugs in his expression only, since it's not like his shoulders actually move. "J'one," he answers shortly. "Blue Cairbreth's. You're Ha'ze, right?" He says that kind of like he's saying 'you're that guy who shot that other guy, right?' but not quite.

Except Ha'ze is the guy who shot the other guy…. except it was more like "stabbed" and it's been almost a turn and half since then. He runs his mind through the riders and have a vague remembrance of J'one, but no actual interaction. More like someone mentioning a name that was mentioned by someone. "Aye. Bronze Kainaesyth."

"The storytelling dragon who has yet to actually win a single flight of his own," J'one identifies in a terribly kindly fashion. "Best of luck to him, really." He continues to look at Ha'ze as if the bronzerider has completely failed to clean any of the forest off his face.

Was.. that a slight to Kainaesyth? Because of everything in the world Ha'ze is pretty protective of the bronze. Overly. Not in the I-won't-let-you-get-hurt-and-learn-protective, but in No-one-talks-bad-but-ME protective. But he's not quite sure if he can punch the rider from where he's standing. So it'll stay a silent thought for a bit.

Eventually, the dark stares prompt another response; unfortunately for Ha'ze, it's just more laughing. "Your face," the bluerider manages, between chortles. "Oh, you're priceless."

…….. "Right." Ha'ze turns on his heel and more carefully this time, steps off further into the forest. If possible he'll leave the blue rider behind, and if not well. Maybe the rider will get close enough trying to follow so that Ha'ze can deck him.

This would, therefore, presumably, be exactly the moment when Ha'ze is supposed to be well away from the bluerider, and from the forest, and everything will be fine and dandy, hunky-dory, all of that, and nobody's going to shoot an arrow into a tree in front of Ha'ze from somewhere off to his left where J'one couldn't possibly have been. Right? Crap.

See arrows have this particular zippy sound to them. And Ha'ze is very aware of that sound. "Down!" He hits the ground and is just going to hug it as his eyes search for where that arrow might have come from.

J'one, of course, is having none of that; on the other hand, he's also not laughing at Ha'ze's kissy-facing of the ground this time. He is, however, looking somewhat wary — if sideways, from Ha'ze's perspective — as he runs off in the general direction of the archer, completely failing to check to see if the bronzerider is safe, or hurt, or otherwise occupied.

Ha'ze has self-preservation down to an ART. And if kissing the ground HELPS THAT? MAn, Ha'ze is going to make love to the ground alll night long. "Catch him?" Ha'ze calls out as he scoots along the ground.

J'one does at least catch up to him — and starts to talk to him, still keeping an eye on the surrounding forest, far enough away that Ha'ze can't actually hear them from his little lovenest. The other man, whose hat is hiding his face and who is quite rudely not displaying his knot, is dressed about how someone expecting to be spending a few days in the forest should dress, which means neither displaying wealth nor poverty; he leans on his bow, glancing in Ha'ze's direction briefly, before turning his attention back the way he may have come, pointing and gesturing as he continues talking with J'one.

When no more arrows fly Ha'ze finally does get back to his feet. He really is a very good woodsman when he's paying attention, and this time, Ha'ze fades into the forest like he belongs here, drifting around to the far side and close ro the rider and archer.

On the other hand, since they're both watching the forest — and apparently aware of the moment he disappears, even if not one hundred percent sure of where he is — they don't stick around to keep talking about their plans and conspiracies openly, where he could hear all about them and make reports to people. He does, however, see them trade packets — papers to the archer, what looks like the flash of gold to J'one — before they split up, each heading in opposite directions. Rapidly.

Ha'ze has shifted himself into the trees and has a choice to make. Be suspicious all over the rider or the archer. Hey, why not do both? Reaching outwards to Kainaesyth, he makes a request of the bronze, before setting off after the archer. Soon enough blue Cairbreth will feel the desert creep in, sage and jasmine dancing in the breeze. « Is yours well? » Ha'ze is going to leave the questions to Kainaesyth and keeps after the hunter.

« Fine, » is the surprised-and-puzzled blue's response, floating back like dandelion fluff. The archer, meanwhile, is gaining a substantial lead, and not leaving very much of a trail behind. (And J'one is long since gone.)

There's only so far Ha'ze wants to go into the forest tonight, alone, and unarmed. So when the distance becomes too great Ha'ze stops and takes himself up a tree. There, safe enough, he can listen to Kainaesyth question further. « Why is yours meeting with another at night in the forest? »

The dandelion fluff is drifting in circles, puzzled, as Cairbreth replies: « For the Weyr, » the blue answers, in the slightly-tentative way that says he has no idea how that's the answer, but his rider believes it, and so therefore he does, too.

Ha'ze is quietly going to kill J'one next time he sees him. After perhaps having a conversation with Abigail. Someone's setting the forest aflame, and Ha'ze doesn't believe riders are without the ability to do BAD STUFF. « Do you know any other piece of the story? »

« They are fighting the bad people, » Cairbreth answers immediately, with focus. And pride.

« Bad people? » Kainaesyth is gentle, so so gentle. There is a story here, one which ought to be told from start to finish. The breezes push gently… what more?

« The ones who hurt the Weyrs, » the blue explains brightly, and then promptly loses focus and attention and heads to the pens.