Fort Weyr - North Bowl / Hatching Grounds
Just before the events of Fire!, after the events of Crazed Ideas. It's complicated!


Careful studying of the star charts and meticulous comparisons of memories between Zeruth, Kayeth, and Velokraeth helped form the point in time. From the queen's ledge they conferred one last time late in the afternoon, with S'ai ensuring he had the right image that he shared with Zeruth and his two firelizards. Then they disappeared. It's cold. Not just the cold of Between, but the cold of Between longer than he ever experienced. The cold of fear and uncertainly that turns his insides to water. Then adrenaline and shock collide as they emerge in the dark of Fort's night in the northern bowl. Quickly, before they're spotted, Zeruth drops and retreats into an unused ground weyr to let his rider off. "….we did it!" S'ai whispers in the amazement of a kid spotting Santa Claus for the first time as blue Striker and brown Sirroco chirrup on his shoulders. "We went through time and /lived/! This is the most awesome thing ever!" «We do not have long.» Zeruth chides his rider, their voices all but identical save a metallic tang to the dragon's voice. «Hurry. I have told Kayeth we are well. Move quickly. Do not be seen. I will watch through your eyes and their's.» "..right right. wish me luck." «There is no luck, there is skill.» And then S'ai is leaving, creeping along the wall towards the hatching grounds.

It is not only S'ai that creeps through the dark Fortian night. One of the many shadows that cling to the bowl's rocky face disengages itself — just the barest suggestion of movement amongst the stationary outlines drawn by Belior and Timor's light. The shade creeps on quick but careful feet across gravel and grass. A chance moonbeam hits the skulking figure Just So, illuminating the features of a scar-faced man for a long moment before he backs against the wall outside the hatching ground.

Spying what looks to be a likely target, S'ai picks his way through the shadows to keep clear of eyes - human or beast - that might spot someone who shouldn't be there. He swallows heavily, reaching up to rub uncomfortably at the side of his head. 'We're not going to have long, buddy', S'ai thinks to his lifemate. 'We're too close to… ourselves.' «Focus. We are asleep in this time.» As he arrives several minutes later at the hatching grounds, S'ai looks to the two firelizards. "Okay boys," He whispers. "Moment of truth. Go for the dragon entrance and get a good look. Stay hidden, no sound, no approaching." He shares the image of the wide opening high up the hatching grounds wall and the two firelizards take flight to reach their spying perch.

Vossler — not that you'd know his name, quite yet — leans just inside the glowing pool of light from the Hatching grounds entrance, taking a short peek before retreating once more into the camouflage of night. A rusting of leaves and a few choice oaths break the suspicious silence, followed by a hollow, liquid rush and the shift of gravel beneath wheels — a barrel in a wheel-barrow being pushed by the boxy man. He stops, reaching to the ground for a handful of dirt, which he summarily rubs deep into his craggy features.

S'ai is holding tight outside the entrance and trying to keep out of sight. It's the two firelizards who are perches, waiting and watching, eyes peeking over the edge of the ledge to watch the gallery below. Striker threatens to launch off, attracted by the gleaming golden hides below and shining eggs. «No.» The command and force of Zeruth's mind grounds him, sharp with anger at the risk of this failing. With a weak, grudging squeak, the blue holds position.

It takes quite awhile for the arsonist to actually move, and his crouched position is almost prayerful in the face of the blasphemy he's likely about to commit. Finally, with a grunt, Vossler struggles to his feet. There's a plaintive squeak — timely, considering the hidden blue's complaint — as he struggles with the barrel's bung. A comical *pop* announces it's sudden release, sending the man's arms windmilling in an attempt to stay standing. He takes the handle of the cart and disappears into the cavern itself, a trail of acrid-smelling liquid flowing from the barrel in his wake. It doesn't take long for him to sprint out again. Another shuffling and he's pulled something again out of his stash. Sparks fly from the flint in his hands, illuminating a bottle that's been stoppered with a long piece of cloth. He swears. More sparks. More swears. Finally, it catches, and the molotov cocktail's light throws Vossler's features into sharp relief. He side-steps into the mouth of the grounds and, with a long-overhand pitch, throws the bottle. Even before the crash and subsequent percussive *whoomph* of catching fire, he's running away, not bothering this time to camouflage as he careens towards the weyr's exit and the safety it ostensibly provides him.

Two pairs of eyes swirl red as the tiny spies convey what they see, a vision shared by both S'ai and Zeruth. In that moment, S'ai isn't sure if the growl is coming from him or the dragon, shaking with the adrenaline and desire to rush in. Tear, shred, flame, burn…. let him die in fire as he threatens those inside with, rider, dragon, and children alike. 'We could stop this all.' the rider thinks, desperate and angry. «No, we cannot. This is shadow, memory.» Zeruth says, voice and mental cityscape flickering like a holographic recording. The city is broken, shattered, pixellated flames filling the skies that roar with an eternal lightning storm. The bronze's voice is cold and emotionless and terrifying in its scope and intensity. «It is done, but we will find him. We will correct this insult. Oh, we will correct it.» The rider's knuckles are white with the strain of restraint and one hand may impact with the stone wall next to him in helpless fury. «We have his sight. His smell. The fire has begun, it is time to return.» And it's all S'ai can do but watch Vossler run for cover, making a quick summoning of the firelizards and bolting back for the ground weyr.