Drake's Lake Area - High Plains
The high plains here rise to the Southern Barrier Range from the shores of Drake's Lake, which can be seen shimmering in the distance to the north. Wild and rough, somewhat arid, the rocks, scrub brush and waist-high grasses whispering dryly in the prevailing winds do little to obscure the untamed beauty of the shining snow-clad mountains rising to the south. Numerous beasts, those native to Pern an well as those brought by the colonists, flourish here. Bovine, both wild and feral graze the plentiful grasses along with feral runners, shaggy-haired porcine root the hard ground with deadly tusks, turning over the soil for new growth, which is inturn picked over by flocks of wherries. Overhead solitary raptors ride the wind while in hidden ravines, rocky streams, winding around boulders provide water and shelter for other creatures.

It's been only a day and a bit since the showdown in Fort Weyr that led to a double exile. Seems a popular thing up north! Only this time it's two bronzeriders, though one technically is free to go wherever he pleases. Th'ero has come to the Drake's Lake area (because he can) for reasons of his own. He's near one of the docks, while Velokraeth sleeps in a clearing some ways off, soaking up the sun. No one else is about, save for a few fishermen working about their boat moored some distance away. Pausing in what appears to be aimless wandering, Th'ero sits on some empty wooden crates and pulls out his dagger and a small whetting stone to work on sharpening the blade. What else is there for him to do?

Have a conversation. Nyalle is finally healed and rested enough to go between, and with Kayeth very eager to stretch her wings, the pair emerged over the far coastline and flew over the water to the island. Circling once, the fiery queen lands a short distance away to let her rider dismount. Moving slowly, Nyalle approaches.

Velokraeth isn't hard to miss, given even for a stunted bronze, he's still out of place in the clearing he's holed up in. There's no greeting yet for Kayeth's arrival, though it's difficult to say if the pale bronze truly is sleeping or he's still sore about being turfed from the Weyr. Give it a day or two more — he'll forget (though wonder were all the pretty ladies are). Th'ero isn't like his bronze though. He'll catch Kayeth gliding in and he'll pause long enough with his work that once he's certain the Weyrwoman has landed and is, indeed, coming towards him, he'll sheath the blade and stand. "Afternoon, Weyrwoman. You're looking well."

Nyalle dips her head a bit, before giving him a once over. "As are you, Th'ero," she answers softly. "Please, don't let me interrupt." Even though she came here to do just that.

Th'ero nods his head in a polite manner to Nyalle, though he's going to call her on that last bit. "Interrupt?" Because dagger sharpening is such an important thing. "You're not interrupting. What brings you here?" Or would the better question be: 'who'?

Nyalle dips her head slight and moves forward to sit on one of the crates. She doesn't even dust it off first. Progress! "I'm…sorry," she says, quietly, and looking down at her hands folded neatly in her lap.

Th'ero could have offered her to go elsewhere or at least walk but as she decides to sit before the thought even crosses his mind he doesn't push the matter. Her apology has him frowning but not in annoyance. "You don't have to be." This wasn't her fault?

Nyalle sighs. "But I am. It…was…unfortunate." Understatement. "The entire situation. I should have been…" Stronger? More of a leader?

That is an understatement but Th'ero's not about to be a bastard to her and rub it in. She seems to be struggling enough with it as it stands. "It's hard, to see how much someone you care about can change. You want to believe in the good," Or are deluded enough to think it can't be as bad as it is. He shakes his head, "Mr'az has his faults. He is not Weyrleader material." Not now, maybe not ever. "But that doesn't make him a terrible man. You shouldn't take the blame onto your shoulders."

Nyalle sighs. "I should have done more. I am the Senior. I should have…" But…baby? Still. She should have. "I guess," she says slowly, "I never realized how good you were until you weren't there anymore."

"Being Senior has nothing to do with it. You had your own concerns to attend to. He is also your partner… and it can be twice as difficult to speak up against the ones you love." Th'ero points out, oddly gentle and not so much scolding. He'll settle himself down on the crate beside her but well enough away to give Nyalle her space. Her next comment has him chuckling dryly. "I suppose I'll take that as a compliment? At least there is someone willing to take Mr'az's place for now. Shame it wasn't D'ani." Too bad it was Ha'ze.

Nyalle frowns a little bit, tightening her fingers against each other. "That is a shame. But. I think Ha'ze will do well…in that he'll not do much." Hands off, that's his approach. That's what Fort needs to recover.

Th'ero doesn't seem so keen to agree but he'll nod his head, "Perhaps." Cue an awkward silence, as truthfully he's not sure what else to say to the Weyrwoman. It was one thing when they were of equal rank but now? Not so much. "Will you be visiting him?" Probably not the best thing to ask, but he asks it anyways. Maybe he knows where Mr'az has gone — or if it's wise to visit the bronzerider right now.

Nyalle dips her head down. "No," she says quietly. "He needs to be by himself right now. But. When he comes back to Fort…" She'll be there for him.

Th'ero frowns now. "Are you certain that's what he needs?" he asks, prying only a little further into her private life.

Nyalle shakes her head. "I'm not certain, but." She pauses for a long moment. "It's what I need."

Th'ero is silent, not for lack of anything to say but because he's politely waiting to see if Nyalle elaborates. He even gives her a look, as if to say it's alright if she wants to open up a little. Who else does she have to turn to, at this time?

Her Juniors, but that's not really appropriate either. "I am…disappointed in his behavior. I was so sure he would do…so much better."

Th'ero sighs heavily, "I think many of us are. He isn't a bad rider or a bad man, but the pressures of Weyrleader can easily break a person. Fort wasn't in a good way even before he stepped up. Not that it excuses all that he's said and done but…" He can only shrug his shoulders and spread his hands in a helpless gesture. "Done is done. Mr'az will have to atone for much. I don't envy him, but perhaps this was what he needed." Talk about a wake up call! "At least he did not fight the exile. He took that graciously."

Nyalle nods. "That's true." She slowly stands, brushing her hands against her skirt. "I just wanted to apologize. I…am looking forward to Kayeth's next flight."

Th'ero shakes his head again with a faint but bemused smile, "Apology accepted, even though I've said it's unnecessary. And I'm sure many are." Which is his way of saying that yes, he is too, but without openly admitting it. He'll stand now as well and, as he would have in Fort, offers her his arm. So what if he's not her Weyrleader anymore? He can at least be a proper gentleman and walk her back to Kayeth. "I am not always here in Drake's Lake, but if anything should happen… if I — we're needed, you know we'll return. Kayeth has but to say the word." Since it was never really enforced, was it?

Nyalle slips her arm through his and she smiles, her shoulders relaxing a bit. This. This is right. This is how it's supposed to be, Fort's Leadership. "We'll call if we need you, Th'ero. Until then, enjoy the vacation?"

"I plan to," Th'ero admits with a hint of humour behind his words. Truth be told, the exile really IS a sort of vacation. Ha'ze may have been looking for revenge but in all honesty, Th'ero's kind of enjoying it — now that he's not pissed off. Seeing Nyalle to Kayeth's side and stepping back as the Weyrwoman mounts up, he'll give his farewells before turning away and walking to where Velokraeth is "sleeping" still in the clearing. Where to go from here? Who knows. There's plenty of time to kill.

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