Fort Weyr - Bowls and Inner Caverns; Administration Complex and Velokraeth's Ledge

Night has fallen and the Weyr now still and quiet, save for the last distant echoes of the flight that just occurred. Kayeth had risen - surprisingly first among two native and Fortian bred queens - and in doing so set in motion the future of Fort’s Leadership. A ripple effect that will continue to spread long after Velokraeth has secured the fiery gold in his grip.

Velokraeth caught. Fort’s Weyrleader remains the same, heralding in only a new Weyrwoman to take up the mantle after Dtirae’s sudden step down from the position. All these thoughts and more rattled around Th’ero’s head as he slipped out of the guest weyr in the feeding grounds. Without pausing, he pulls the collar of his jacket up higher around his neck and stuffing his hands into his pockets he begins the slow trek back to his ledge. No one is out at this hour, most likely having gone indoors with the flight now over. Th’ero tries not to think of the reasons why most weyrfolk and riders are scarce. There is enough choking his mind right now not to have that added in.

A quick mental reach to his bronze results in nothing but a thick, heavy and wine-scented barrier. The bronze has returned with Kayeth and is sound asleep. Good. Th’ero keeps his head low, eyes flicking briefly to the discarded remnants of drained herdbeasts, most of which have been picked at by firelizards now. He will have to get some drudges and butchers out to dispose of the carcasses. Later, not now. Now he has larger matters to attend too.

Baffling woman. Th’ero thinks to himself as his mind, despite his efforts, drifts back to his brief after-flight discussion with Nyalle. Not that the young goldrider hadn’t baffled him before. Yet her behavior back in that guest weyr had unsettled him, leaving him ill at ease. Something was off and he couldn’t put his finger on it.

She offered herself to me. Was that it? Asking if I desired more. Like she was some… object of pleasure. Was that it? Th’ero’s brows knit into a heavier frown, nearing a scowl and his mouth draws back into a tight line. She didn’t seem to pleased but that is to be expected. I wasn’t the rider she had chosen. And I am not myself in flights. Used. Th’ero’s mind shies away from that thought, shoving it aside into the racing tide of other conflicting thoughts. His steps continue forwards but his pace has slowed considerably. The night is cold, but the winds are down and there is not a soul in sight. He will take this precious moment to try and sort out his head before he returns to Kimmila and there is a familiar twinge when he thinks of his blueriding weyrmate. She will be waiting for me. Do I tell her? How Nyalle seemed to expect more from me, to stay? How I have snippets of memory of her just laying there, not at all caught up in flight lust?

Is that what makes him uneasy? Th’ero isn’t so sure and he exhales in frustration, breath streaming white into the frigid air. Does it matter? It was a flight. Velokraeth won and we have what we both sought. Harsh and blunt truth, that is. It was what the Weyr as a whole wanted too. How else was Kayeth swayed to take the pale and ugly bronze as her mate when she had so many other strong (handsome) bronzes for her to pick. She was unbiased and new blood to the Weyr. Yet it was Velokraeth who snared her in the end.

Second choice. Th’ero had felt that resound through Velokraeth with a flash of sharp bitterness and so fleeting that even now Th’ero has his doubts. Yet… That other bronze. Zhirazoth… the High Reachian. Mr’az, his rider and Nyalle’s friend. Zhirazoth was leading. He had fouled Velokraeth at the start, knew exactly who his threat was… And it came back to bite him in the ass. Th’ero’s steps slow to almost pausing as he reaches the center bowl and his mouth has twisted itself into a displeased smirk. Velokraeth returned that ‘kindness’ when it mattered. For that Zhirazoth fell and lost. Yet it was he who Kayeth had desired, not Velokraeth. If Velokraeth hadn’t pulled that dirty move…”

Th’ero would not be Weyrleader and Mr’az would be. This brings a fresh wave of conflicting emotions, the top most having him feel a pang of guilt for such - to quote Nyalle - “improper” thoughts. Part of him is glad for Velokraeth’s daring move to foul Zhirazoth at such a crucial point but on the cusp of that thought is the guilt that the young High Reachian bronze could be injured. Yet those are the risks of any mating flight. All riders know it and Mr’az knew the stakes would be high. So why feel sorry for him? Because he is Nyalle’s friend. Zhirazoth did not deserve to lose that way but… Velokraeth had to do what he had to do in order to win.

So he will continue on as Weyrleader, at least for another few Turns until Kayeth rose again. Maybe Velokraeth will have won her over by then. Th’ero considers it and then sighs. No, that’s too far in the future to think of right now. His thoughts shift again as his mind races on and on. Right now… he needs to find a drudge to send for some clothes for Nyalle. That of course sparks the all too recent memory of the brief discussion he and the goldrider — no, Weyrwoman now had had back in the guest weyr. Again, he is troubled but cannot pin the source. Flight guilt? Maybe. Though by now that shouldn’t matter. Kimmila and I have come to terms with it… Even if it still stung and raised those insecurities. Nyalle knows too that I am a taken man. Maybe she was just… awkward, from nervousness. Like him. And figured it’d be the “proper” thing to ask.

Yes. Yes, that must be it. Nyalle and her manners! How could there be anything more to that? She’s not the conniving and plotting type, like Pandara. Th’ero’s pace begins to pick up now, the cold air beginning to seep through his jacket and his desire to be home and in Kimmila’s arms (oh, his thoughts go far further than that too) becomes his focus. Firstly, he will find that drudge, a female one and after making certain that his orders are to be followed through immediately, only then does he turn to walk back out into the north bowl and towards the stairs that will lead him home.

Home. His ledge and weyr and as Weyrleader again. Home, which he shares with Kimmila, his weyrmate and love, ever faithful and the one he desires to see now. To seek out for the comfort and reassurance he craves and only which she can give to him. He needs a bath, too but that is just another trivial thing to join the flood of other thoughts racing and running about in his head. Should I tell her everything? Yes. He holds nothing back from Kimmila and perhaps she can help ease the troubling thoughts nagging at him. Having reached the door, Th’ero lingers on the threshold and inhales deep of the night air, not caring how the cold sears his nose and lungs. It’ll be alright. Just as before. He thinks to himself as his hand opens the door and he slips inside to find their weyr clean and warm. Readied, with Kimmila waiting there for him and once the door has closed behind him he does not hesitate in stepping into her arms. Seeking comfort and seeking answers with her beside him as the night progresses on towards dawn.