Who A'ster, Leimna, Sygni, Thys
What Oh dear Faranth, what have we done?
When Spring, Turn 2711
Where Lake Shore, Fort Weyr

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Fort Weyr - Lake Shore
This lake shares many features common to mountain lakes — a brilliant blue jewel nestled amongst the rocks. The waters are crystal clear, and the north shore slopes gently before abruptly falling away into the depths. This lake does have one significant differentiating feature, however. The south shore of the lake is a tumbled mass of rubble, rock and earth of an ancient rockslide smoothed only by the elements in the intervening years. This rubble, as well as the rather sheer east and west faces, makes for the north shore to be the only one easily accessible.
Springs arrival is noted by the disappearing lake ice. As it melts it breaks up into smaller icy bergs. These bob randomly throughout the choppy waters, slowly disappearing as the temperatures rise. They also frequently provide sport and entertainment for the bathing dragons. The emerging shoreline is inviting, though the water remains chilly for their human counterparts. As spring draws nearer to summer, the waters begin to feel quite invigorating with Rukbat's growing shine.

Spring has sprung! And while it's still a bit nippy, the chill is definitely fading from the air as the morning fades into midday and Rukbat raises herself high enough to warm the world below. For once at Fort it's not raining, and although there's mud by the lake it doesn't seem to be bothering two riders who are sparring in it, while their dragons bathe. Those riders would be Thys and A'ster, the former in sportswear, the latter in his guard uniform, both muddied up to their knees - and at some places spattered higher to mark the fact that they're actually going at it proper with the longstaffs they're fighting with. Clack clack clack goes wood against wood, and thwack whenever there's body contact - though the swings are definitely pulled. It's Thys who holds up a hand first, having just received a 'blow' (barely) to the gut, and she leans over to catch her breath for a moment. She can't be badly hurt though, as Rhenesath barely looks to her lifemate from where she's floating happily in the surely frigid lake.

The instant Thys pushes pause, A'ster swings himself and his staff — swings himself and points with the entire length of his staff, at the fug-lump wallering around while Rhenesath floats, hide the color of rich-people wood gleaming as he surges up, flares his wings like he's about to take off — like he's about to put some extra heave in his ho as he hops to shore. "No!" parade-ground carries without being shout-y yelling, "Re-stump your rump, we are not done, this is not a murder investigation, time is not of the essence." Akleteyth expresses his opinion of this with a mighty bosstone harumph and a THWACK of the meaty stubby club of his tail against the surface of the water — but he subsides, and returns to his Rhenesath revolutions. "I swear, I'm never letting him near anyone close to qualifying as Searchable-age, with eggs LOOMING. This is the worst. Three out of five?"

"Ooh, and a low blow from Blondie brings a halt to the action!," comes a voice from the rise, half-shouted and carefully enunciated with a sports announcer's rolling tones. For as loud as it is, it comes from a comparatively tiny woman, one who surveys the ending action with hands on hips and no small amount of amusement. She appears windblown, or perhaps sleep-ruffled, blonde hair askance and a heavy sweater buttoned crookedly against lingering chill, but there is too much energy in her step for that to be true as she gives up higher ground in order to approach the riders. Quick blue eyes take in Rhenesath's happy floating, Akleyteyth's impressive tail-thwack, pale brows launching towards her hairline before she rolls to a stop far enough away to watch the pair of them spar, but close enough to talk without shouting as she says, "But please. Don't stop on my account." Dimples flash - she knows that's not why - before flicking an amused glance A'ster's way. "Bad experience?," gets asked too-sweetly. It's a trap!

Wait, what? There's commentary? Thys looks up from where she's still bent double with her long staff resting over her knees, fixing her dark-eyed gaze on Sygni. She looks from the blonde to A'ster, then back at the unknown face, curiosity colouring her expression as much as embarrassment does. "And who're you?" Oh, but she's not just leaning over to catch her breath now - Thys waits until A'ster is looking at the newcomer… and then she drops to one knee to swipe at him, bringing her weapon around in a wide arc that's aimed for his shin. Take that, Blondie.

THERE SHALL BE NO PEACE. NOT FOR YOU, NOT FOR ME, NOT FOR ANY-OF-THE-BODIES. /Especially/ not for Sygni because - PITTA PAT, PITTA PAT, PITTA PAT (okay, that is the sounds of RUNNING FEET on the beach okay. WORK WITH ME HERE, PEOPLE) - there's something not-quite-as-tiny with red hair streaming behind that gets /closer/, and /clooooooser/, and - "SYYYYYYYYGNIIIIII!" At least she won't have to introduce herself. WAMPAH! It's probably quite the sight to see, a woman who hasn't even reached 5' being tackled by a woman who looks about halfway passed that height, who probably winds her cousin at some point on the way down (an unfortunately aimed elbow or simply the impact with beach-floor being perfectly acceptable reasons), but even if Sygni is mimicking guppies and gasping for air, Leimna is /all wildly enthused excitement/. "Ohp, sorry! Didn't judge my momentum or the traction right." She will dust some sand out of some blonde hair as if this is the MOST NORMAL THING IN THE WORLD to try and murder your cousin and then she's all UNNECESSARY OCTAVES when she informs that, "I THINK THE WEYRLEADER LIKES ME." He doesn't. Blue eyes swing to A'ster and Thys from her place on the floor only then, where she lapses into silence for a moment in appreciation of the chaos mud has /impressed upon their outfits/ and — /oh/. Thys fights /dirty/. This requires THE HIGHEST OF FIVES. "OOOOH. NEXT TIME KICK HIM IN THE D-Sygni, are you alright?"

Low blow, Thys. A+. A'ster's attention — drawn away from Akleteyth with a narrow-eyed suspicion is, in fact, on their interloper — because it's his job. The suspicion just has time to start its shuffle-slide into assessing interest when the wind-disturbance of Thys's swing registers; he doesn't have the time to dodge it entirely, but he twists himself with the motion so that the strike of hard wood against shin is parallel and glancing, rather than dead-on and bone-bruising. "Hey," is a complete transition from the rest of his demeanor so far: it's bright, he's grinning, and his expression is congratulatory as he says, "Perfect use of my distractiiiieeeeeeeeeee-" Did you know. Did you know. That A'sters can make noises like a teakettle whose will to live has just been violated by an extended drag of one. single. nail. across a chalkboard? He probably didn't, either. "No!" is barked this time, his own staff swung again like the world's most overcompesatory classroom yardstick. The end of it follows Leimna's trajectory, and he full-body flinches at her impact — and scowls. And scowls, and scow— turns to jab the staff at Akleteyth, lunging out of the water and aiming his canon-ball of a body at the gathering. "I swear to Faranth your gut's gone spare, no! I refuse." He jams his free hand into one of his uniform's pockets, pulls it back out still balled into a fist — and then turns to deposit that hand's contents into his sparring partner's cleavage. There's a hint of white, sure, but that might just be his professional life turning tail and passing before all their collective eyes; his maintain contact with Thys's, and he says, "I wash my hands of this entirely, goldrider," then steps back and crosses his arms over his chest. It could be intimidating, 'cept the set of his jaw's gone all petulant about it.

Well. There's already two people making noises that would wake the damned or summon the hounds from hell, so what's one more, amiright? Sygni would know that greeting anywhere, and since her mouth is already open in reply and her answer for Thys stolen by Leimna's screech, she might as well turn to face her doom. Cue Flynn Rider voiceover: 'This is the story of how I die…' "LEIAAAAHHHHHH-OOF!" It is, in the end, the impact with the ground that does it, air pushed out and diaphragm seizing, but that doesn't mean Syg's arms don't come up to positively crush her cousin into a hug, choking around raspy laughter before eyes roll, breathing is struggled with, and she withdraws the embrace to flick both middle fingers up at the younger girl. Traction indeed. "You never— did. Skipped— math." And since she's already down in the muddy sandy mess and wasn't all that prettified to begin with, she lets her head flop back, tilting it so she can aim a much nicer pointer finger over at Thys. "And you— are great." She saw that attempt to smash knees and she approves! The highest of fives might not even be enough! More raspy laughter follows as her gaze switches to A'ster, blue eyes lighting up with a devious brand of mischief as the man monologues, perhaps guessing at or recognizing the flash of white that he dispenses into Thys's cleavage and by now she's either heard the story or can only guess as she forces out a, "He had— a bad experience." No question of it now. Beat. Pause. Squint at Leimna. "Weyrleader?!" And then she'll fall silent and let explanations be offered all around while she tries to recover.

A'ster dodges the worst of the (sorta-pulled) blow, and Thys laughs as she uses her long staff as a prop to get up out of the mud. Leimna - oh, how could she not notice you there with your tackling and your voice and everything else? - and her comments make the goldrider grin, even as she's shaking her head. "Oh no. He's pretty, he's smart… and you never know when he might need to pass those genes on." She winks at the brownrider… who is making weird sounds. Is Leimna contagious?! At least Sygni has a compliment for her, and Thys bobs her head in thanks. The goldrider is moving over to A'ster's side, hand extended to shake, when two things happen: Akleteyth starts acting weird, and Leimna claims the Weyrleader likes her, and… "What the - Ali!" There's something in her boobs and Thys, typically composed, flails a little to pull it out and fling it to the ground before she realises… "Ooooh." Brown eyes go from Kle to A'ster, from A'ster to Rhenesath, who's floated herself over to the shore so she can watch the shenanigans like an over-sized hen. She's even making a soft clucking-like sound as her eyes whirl blue. "Ok. Ok, everyone shut up a moment." Thys bends down to scoop up the poor, muddy thing she threw away, then looks from girl to girl. Leimna to Sygni. Back to Leimna. "The Weyrleader doesn't fancy you. I was there. I saw it with my own eyes. So stop it, or you'll get Kimmila on your arse." Then to Sygni. "You… have just been Searched. Yes? Explosions girl?" Then she beckons A'ster to come to her side. "A'ster. Are you absolutely sure?" That muddy white knot is fumbled about in her hand, rubbed between her mucky fingers. "Is Akleteyth absolutely sure?"

A'ster cuts pose order to one-line groan, "Oh, how I wish he wasn't."

Thys leans in towards A'ster to whisper, "Well, that's… interesting."

You see, Leimna misses the shuffling of THE WHITE THING because she is all eyes on a brown and a gold who get, "HELLO BEAUTIES!" with the addition of finger-waggles that would put The Little Rascals to shame. Leia /rollllllssss/ in the sand until she's on her stomach, legs curling at the knee so that her feet go up in the air for some kick-kick-kick. "Don't listen to her," Leimna informs Sygni, completely steamrolling over A'ster's /HILARIOUS/ indignation and Syg's VERY RUDE assessment of her mathabilities. "/She/ wasn't the one pinned to the table. /Or/ being threatened with handcuffs." There were never handcuffs. "It was all filled with a terrible amount of muscles, and bubblies, and even /she/ enjoyed the view of his-" Thys' dance and song draw Leia's eyes away, the woman for /once/ looking SERIOUS about something in her momentary concern before muddied WHITE THINGS are retrieved and understood and the dragonriders PASS ALONG VAGUE INFORMATION that Leia wants /desperately/ to understand but /doesn't/. The hen-clucking gold gets another once over, another FINGER WAGGLE, and then Leia gasps and /EEEEEEEKS/ and reaches out to SHAKE HER COUSIN because WHAT IS DECENT HUMAN INTERACTION EVEN? "You got /SEARCHED/? AND YOU BLEW SOMETHING UP?" This is better than table-kinky Weyrleaders, if the way she ROLLLLLLS back until she bumps into her cousin is any indication. "Why didn't you /say/ so?" A pause, blue eyes deviously trail back to the riders and then, "You both look /fantastic, by the way." All muddied and BATTLE WEARY. A PLUS LOOK.

"I punched him in the face once, you know," A'ster tells — well. He's not really looking at Thys. The sky, maybe.

"Who, Th'ero, or Kle?" Thys is intrigued, and keeping it hushed between herself and the brownrider beside her. Close beside her now. And… is that her long staff angled behind his ankle? Sssh.

"Faranth's sake," Sygni wheezes, sitting up once Leimna's rolled off to one side, tiny hand pressed to the bottom of her ribcage as she breathes. "I set a man's hair on fire and still you have the better story!" And that is… probably not what riders, on the cusp of deciding whether or not a certain white knot should or should not be dispensed want to hear, that there's a sense of one-ups-manship between the girl that blows things up and the girl that's told everyone she's met at Fort so far about her romanceless interlude with Th'ero, but here we are, with Sygni looking jealous, then smug, then approving, then devious, slim brows daggering up and down in a waggle. "You cad. I want to hear everything." Chrissakes. But then Thys is telling everyone to shut up just a second and Sygni is… not the best at that, but she tries, sucking her lips between her teeth with a comical intake of breath, miming a lock and key as she listens. Smirks for her take on the Th'ero situation. Dimples for the threat of future Kimmila attacks. Frowns when questions are being pointed at her. Sygni mimes fumbling for that tossed key behind her, unlocks her lips, and nods. "Yes'm. That's me." Eyes that are far too amused flick down to Leimna when the girl rolls back to bump up against her, enduring the shaking as a ragdoll might. "I did! And then I was a rider sandwich, and it was great." Cue dramatic dreamy far-off look, one that only ends with a sharp look at sky-facing A'ster. "I smell a story. Do tell." She is so very engaged. Look at how engaged she is, blue eyes begging for the tale, definitely not aiming to totally distract the brownrider from that staff sneaking behind his foot. Don't mind the goldrider behind the curtain!

"Th'ero," A'ster answers, aggrieved; the sky knows his plight: he is vexed by tribes of intolerable girl-children, it seems. "It was a misunderstanding."

"I'm sure it was," Thys replies first to A'ster, because it's easiest. And she doesn't sound like she entirely believes him. There may be elaborations to come. But then, her gaze leaves the brownrider, fondness fading slightly as she looks from one girl to the other. "Faranth help the Weyr with a pyromaniac and a compulsive liar making their home here, but you," Leimna, she's pointing at you, "have been identified by Akleteyth," that's the weirdo brown right there, "as a potential candidate for Kayeth and Velokraeth's clutch." Thys looks back at A'ster, just as if to check he absolutely, 100% means it. When she's sure that he's sure, she turns back to the girls. "Look. I'll offer you this knot, but on one condition." Said mud-sodden scrap of woven threads is toyed between her scarred fingers, then she moves forward to dangle it in front of Leimna. "You stop the obsession with your fantasised run-in with our Weyrleader. Deal?"

A'ster answers the look with a nod, and his look says he clearly wishes he didn't have to.

Oh but today just /keeps getting better and better and better/. "You set his hair on /fire/?" She sounds a little bit /too/ excited about the prospect of humans BURNING, but it's all in good fun. She waggles her brows for her cousin, affects the same dreamy-sigh, and breathes, "Ibby and I built a shrine to Where It Happened. In the Living Caverns. We've put candles and effigies and /pictures/. I was going to go out and find some flower petals to sprinkle - just so that Th'ero knows how much his ass-ertions are appreciated." She leans in a /little/ closer, thumb going towards A'ster, and whispers in a not-really-a-whisper, "And /that/ one, the one that looks like he and his outfit should be outlawed even /covered/ in mud, /he/ told me to get on my knees." HE DIDN'T. EXACTLY. But Leia is giving Sygni the same kind of smile one might find on the Husky Jokes Meme. BAD DOGGE JOKE ACCOMPLISHED. Or lie. /Whatever/. There's another EEEEEE sound about rider sandwiches, but before Leia can comment — /A'ster/ comments on having punched the Weyrleader, and one of those red flyaways looks suspiciously like a Th'ero-Misery-Seeking-Antenna (and probably /is/) /right/ before Leia is on her feet /admiringly/. "BEST FRIENDS!" she shrieks, and it's all the warning A'ster will get before PITTA PAT PITTA PAT. DODGE MAN, DODGE. GET OUT OF THE WA— /Ooooo/. That looks like it hurt. Leia puts /EVERY OUNCE OF BODY WEIGHT/ (not much of that, thankfully, but still /enough/) behind her momentum and TACKLES the poor man. Hopefully right to the ground. MUD WRASSLING. "Ohp! Sorry! Didn't judge right again!" And she's laughing, but eyes up on Thys with mirth and mischievousness all rolled into one. Maybe she calculated /perfectly/. Either way, she's more focused on what Thys has to say when she is /addressed/ and - Blink, /blinkblinkblink/. She looks from Syngi, to Thys, to the knot, to mud-buried A'ster, back to the knot, back up to Thys. Fingers go behind her back crossed, and she's off of the brownrider with /too much excitement/. "Me? Really? OH DEAL." NO DEAL. KICK HER OUT. FEED HER TO THE SHARKS.

"One more condition: you have to leave A'ster alone too," Thys adds when Leimna's squirming around on him post-tackle. She isn't squirming? Looks that way to Thys! And Thys is frowning in disapproval for such behaviour.

To which Leia goes silent, tilts her head contemplatively towards the mud-covered brownrider, and then beams absolutely /brilliantly/ (no fingers crossed this time) at the goldrider. "You can have him." HAND OUT FOR KNOTS.

"Maybe I already have," Thys replies tartly, smooshing the knot down into Leimna's hand. Mud and all. And a glare. "Congratulations, Candidate." There's a 'you're mine now' somewhere unspoken in that, and in the sly grin that follows.

"I did," Sygni confirms again, but she at least has some sense, as thumb and pointer fingers come close together, leaving only centimeters between them. "Only a little though. Just a tad." A beat. "I should probably find him." She owes Am'ry and/or his family a handful of marks at least. The thought is quickly abandoned though, eyes brightening for the continuation of the tail, pausing only long enough to put up a stopping hand and say, "Wait-wait-wait, Ibby is here?" Ah, so she didn't know the story behind A'ster's first terrible search, and worse, she is very very excited by the news that Ibreily is somewhere presently. Bless. Bless this poor weyr. "Faranth. Just stop. I need you both and we need to go over everything." And then Leimna is off to freaking tackle A'ster to the mud because he is not allowed to have nice things, and Sygni is an Encourager of Chaos and laughs because that's the kind of person she is, hands clapping together enthusiastically when Leimna regains her feet and takes Thys's deals and joins her in illustrious Fortian candidacy. "Oh, this is going to be great fun."

AND BELIEVE ME YOU. Leima doesn't mind BEING UNDER THE INTIMIDATING EYE of a goldrider. The woman takes the offered knot, sings thank you in a way that's just as ridiculous as it is obnoxious, and then makes a pterodactyl screech as she throws both hands up in the air, does an odd slow-mo spin to face her cousin with face frozen in Chris Pratt levels of surprised delight (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/8b/22/69/8b2269f75d131dc0abe1c5109e044400.jpg - just in case you need the visual) before she gives a little one-legged hop up in the air. Probably right on top of A'ster. Poor man. "SYGNI DID YOU SEEEEEE?" Of course she saw, but Leimna is ALL A-SCRAMBLE back to her cousin anyway for half-dance, crazed-wiggle-jumps in a circle with her muddied knot being SHAKEN TOWARDS THE SKIES every now and again.

There are moments, in a man's life, where he can see every terrible thing about to happen to him laid out in perfect clarity, and is so stricken by cumulative domino rube goldbergian horror that he can do nothing to stop it. A'ster? A'ster experiences several of those moments in blinding succession; the sky, above his head, is the same color as his eyes. It's entirely probable that there is not a single soul present to observe the comparison, because he has them squeezed shut. His hands are — out, away from him, primed for pushing — but also propriety-panic frozen because, "I never," is hissed through teeth clenched tight enough to keep it from becoming away. Frozen, because in the wake of that where is safe to put his hands. But A'ster is a good man, a kind man, a man whose entire measure of wickedness is in his humor rather than his heart — and just this once, the universe takes this into account: Leia is launching herself away, and the only thing improper there is the haste with which the guard-rider launches himself bodily from the ground the moment she is away. "You," could be for any of the assembled present, but it's Akleteyth he rounds on to jab a muddy finger toward, "are a menace. This is on you, Stumpy. Hwharglbagh." Oh. The emphatic jabbing? Yeah, totally just flung grody practice-grounded mud into his mouth. That's. That's what that sound was. That was also the sound of A'ster's last french duck leaving the room; he exits on its heels, without another word. Unless you count, "Asgkthp" as a word.

And the girls have scared poor A'ster off. Thys watches him storm off, brows raised beneath her shaggy, mud-streaked bangs. She picks up his abandoned long staff, holding it in one hand and her own in the other. She's armed, girls. "You two," and Rhenesath is looming overhead now, breathing hotly down on them, "come with me. Now. And you will write a written apology to Sergeant A'ster, Leimna." Thys smacks one of the long staffs down into the mud, causing it to spatter. At the girls? Maybe. Definitely up her own already-muddy leg. "Barracks. Now. March." The way is pointed with one staff, and Rhenesath, on Thys's orders most likely, arches her neck so her head comes in behind the girls to herd them along.

Akleteyth senses that Rhenesath shares a voice that is not hers, even if it has the warmth behind it that's typical of the clucky queen. It's undoubtedly Thys's. « My weyr. Now. » It's a request when posed in Rhenesath's mind, but the flicker of black that comes with it - harder than the gold's usual feather softness, suggests it might not be.

By the time Leimna bounces around to face her, Sygni has regained her feet, bouncing excitedly on the balls of her toes, equally-obnoxious clapping resuming along with a bright smile. "I did, I did! Just wait 'til we tell Ibby. She's going to lay an egg." And then there's A'ster. Poor A'ster. There isn't an ounce of sympathy for the poor man, or at least none that Sygni outwardly portrays, the woman issuing a manic little giggle for jabs at his dragon and the immediate karma that follows after when mud hits his mouth, and then she's waggling her fingers at him as he passes with a spritely, "Bye, Blondie!" What? she could have said 'you've got a little something right there, did you know?' but she didn't. Look at how good she is. When he's good and gone, her gaze rounds back to Thys, not at all frightened by the staff-thwapping or the threat of more mud, but… Again. Some sense. "Yes, Boss," Sygni drawls with a snappy salute for the goldrider, gifting the woman a nickname of her own. Granted, it might be short for Bossyface McGoldriderpants but… Take what you can get. "C'mon, Lei. We'll write letters together," she drawls, aiming to link arms with the redhead before shooting Thys a look as they go. "Hey, d'you know the name of the guy with the starry blue dragon? Real pretty, tall, nice eyes, has a greenrider friend that's a straight-up puppy made human?" Ah, the trials of giving people nicknames - she never knows how to find the people they belong to after, even if names hadn't been given beyond hers and Beauxth's anyways.

What a good man, A'ster, taking so much abuse in stride with such gra-OHP. THERE GOES THE GRACE, RIGHT OUT THE WINDOW. Possibly in the form of mud, /possibly/ in the form of him retreating with almost-words that Leia can't hear /anyway/ because she is dancing in circles, making WIDE SWEEPS with her arms, striking Yoga poses, twirling-twirling-twirling — /stopping/ as the bronzerider goes past. /Unlike/ Sygni, she has zero qualms (or filters) about saying /the wrong thing/, and so her hands cup around her lips to make sure A'ster can hear her shout of, "YOU'VE GOT SOMETHING JUST THERE, DID YOU KNOW?" She would mime /where/, but it would be /EVERYWHERE/, and anyway the brownrider probably isn't going to turn back anyway. Cue Thys, to whom Leia has the good sense to /listen/, but not the good grace to look even /remotely/ apologetic. "Yes, Boss/lady/," she amends her cousin's nickname, because TRULY Bossyface McGoldriderpants would just mean scrubbing latrines until the end of time, and possibly sabotage on the sands in the form of MAUL HAPPY BABY DRAGONS. She has had enough hatching-tragedy for a lifetime, thank you. /Enough/. Leia tilts her head to smile at the mother-hen gold who asserts herself (and her authority), but pauses long enough to link arms with Sygni and patpatpat her on the hand. "Do you think if I start mine out with, 'Oh, ye of whom the world cannot take within the confines of law for your looks are too goodeth', he'll forgive me?" And then a deviant look between rider and Sygni as they converse about RIDER SANDWICHES and the ladies head their way towards the barracks arm-in-arm, threatening goldrider and her dam in accompaniment.

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