After a fairly strange day of misty rain and simultaneous sunshine, the evening has turned rather humid. Not that the little brown dragon - and he's still enormous, you know, because he /is/ a dragon after all - not that he minds at all. From the decorations on his straps, he's from nearby Fort Weyr, and he's settled comfortably in the courtyard against a wall, soaking in some of the heat remaining in the stones. He's pale in color, almost sandy, with reddish brown freckles on his face and shoulders and haunches, and darker brown on the tops of his wings. He… kind of reminds one of a snickerdoodle, actually. Right now his jeweled eyes are slitted and whirling in placid sapphire hues. His rider is nowhere to be found just at the moment. There is a little flowering bush not too far from him, and he seems to be taking a lazy sort of pleasure in making it dance around with every exhalation.

The humid evening may have driven some of the Fort Hold residents indoors, but it holds a special kind of enchantment and allure for one particular hold resident. The brunette young woman is skipping, yes skipping, her way out of the Great Hall with a chipper grin. Titia by name, smith by trade, she's got that happy glow of youth or it could just be the sweat clinging to her form. Regardless, the sudden burst into the humid evening doesn't seem to bother nor slow her steps. She's about half way through the courtyard, and not that far off from the resting brown, when the sharp twang of metal hitting the ground sounds and brings her to a sliding stop. She stops. The bag over her shoulder does not. The metal on the ground is joined by a small heap of scraps and followed by Tia as she kneels to scoop up the fallen pieces.

The dragon cranes his neck around - a movement that isn't slow but looks it, just because he's so big. He peers inquisitively at the scraps of metal on the ground, and at the girl scooping them up. Then around comes his tail, and deftly he uses the forked tip to sweep a few of the pieces closer to her, careful and gentle so that none of them fly too far or too fast. He rumbles at her, the sound so low it can be felt through her feet. Then he looks at the metal, then at her, the metal, her again, and tilts his head. He looks rather obviously curious.

Titia slips her bag from her back to her side, reloading it with deft movements. One hand reaches for a far piece of metal but the piece is swept closer to her without her noticing. She pats the ground with that hand while the other loads still other pieces into the bag. When there are no more pieces under one hand and the other hand has yet to come into contact with the tell-tale cold of scrap metal, she turns to examine the situation. Except that now it includes a dragon tail and a curious pair of bejeweled eyes looking at her. The pieces closer to her form are quickly picked up and arranged into her bag and the dragon earns himself a smile. "Thanks. I'm terrible about dropping the small pieces." Indeed, at least one mark sized piece has escaped her gaze.

The dragon's tail taps the piece she missed, and he nods his great big head at her thanks. Then he peels back his lips and bares his teeth - green gums, copious amounts of drool, little bits of meat stuck between his otherwise gleaming white teeth, and a smell that's indescribable as it blasts over her. But… he's not doing this to look fierce. He's mimicking a human /smile/. In a horrible way, one might actually think of it as funny. Especially since it's accompanied by beautiful opalescent ripples that wash against her mind - a gentle, happy telepathic laughter. He relaxes his lips again. «Irelanth. Mine is M'lo. He is busy.»

Titia's line of sight follows the dragon tail to the missing piece and she collects it up into her bag with the rest. Tia covers a giggle at the dragon's nodding but the hand over her mouth becomes a sudden and unexpected protection from dragon breath needlessly inflicted upon her poor person. She keeps her hand firmly clamped over both her mouth and nose, even as her eyes water. His smile may not be having the originally intended effect. A retreat to a safer distance may be in order for the Smith. Followed closely by a toothbrushing to beat all toothbrushing that has come before. She scrambles to standing, her hand finally lowering from her mouth to aid in the struggle to her feet but whatever she may have had ready to say is cut off. Dragon communication is more than enough to shut up even her. "Titia. Nice to meet you. Is your rider visiting the Hold?"

Irelanth watches her retreat, and pulls back his tail to curl it around his paws, cat-like. He considers her for a long moment, and then he nods his head, down, up, down, up. Affirmative. «He is busy.» The dragon's voice is… multi-layered. It sounds like a man's, on the one hand, but it feels warm, and as if she were reading his words, too, but instead of text there is color - little fizzes of radiant golds and sedate sepias. «What are you doing?»

"So you've said." Titia slings the heavy bag back into place across her back. It jangles and twangs and makes all kinds of assorted sounds as it settles back into it's original place. Between the noise behind her, the mind voice of the dragon in front of her, Tia's head tilts in a mimic of the dragon's earlier posture, smell and sight of his smile quickly forgotten. She takes in the unique feeling of his mind voice with briefly closed eyes before responding. "I'm heading for my workshop. My brother dropped off this bag for me. It's good all the good stuff in it! He even brought me quartz!" The last is said on a high note of a squeal as she drags the bag back to her front to hug.

«So I said,» Irelanth agrees. He focuses an eye on the jangling bag. «Workshop?» His head comes a bit closer as if he could see through into the contents. «Quartz?» And he sends her a picture, fuzzy around the edges, of a single perfect quartz stone, catching light and scattering a prism of colors. «What will you do with it?»

Titia specializes in adding more questions than answers but she deems to answer the brown since he appears to be amusing her. "I'm a Smith. I have a workshop. Well, it's a part of da's workshop but he doesn't mind." There's a fond suggestion hidden in her words that even if he did, he probably wouldn't say anything to the teen. His vision of a quartz crystal brings her to laughter again. She digs into the bag in her arms and produces a rather ordinary looking dull stone, not yet cut. "Nothing so grand I'm afraid. I'll have to ask someone to cut it for me before I use it. I'm making a wind chime."

Irelanth regards the stone for a moment. He is unimpressed. He snorts life-scented breath from his nostrils. Unfortunately, nostril-breath is often accompanied by nostril-snot, and if she's not quick, she might find herself rather liberally speckled with the stuff. Out flicks a kelly-green tongue to lick his chops. Clean up, dragon-style. «You are better than windchimes,» he tells her matter-of-factly.

Titia holds the stone aloft for the dragon's inspection. Since she's holding it, she isn't paying attention. "EWWWW!" The cheerful young Smith is replaced temporarily by a vain teen who dances away from the dragon on feet moving sheerly because they have no other way to express their displeasure. The worse of the green goo is kept to her lower half but the small stone has been lightly covered along with the hand holding it. She rubs the hand viciously on her pants. The stone and the hand are finally wiped clean to her satisifaction and the stone is returned to it's bag for safe keeping. "You could have just said it's not exciting." Tia grouses. But the compliment takes the sting out of her. "Thanks. Why? Chimes are nice. They make beautiful sound and look pretty. So far to you, I don't think I've managed to live up to that."

And out of thin air - not really but it seems like that because he approaches silently and steps into the little area just when Titia's not looking - appears a man. Tall and black-haired, dressed in shades of brown and cream, this must be Irelanth's rider. It must, because he places a familiar hand on the great creature's nose. "Lived up to what, now?" he asks, glancing back and forth between his dragon and the girl.

Titia lets out a yip at the unexpected appearance. She makes just all kinds of interesting sounds. So does her bag as she drapes it back into place. It would seem her fun time is over with the arrival of the rider. "He said I was better than windchimes. I was trying to figure out if he just flatters every woman he meets or if he had an actual reason behind saying it." Tia admits honestly as she picks at the dragon mess left at her waist and below. Her face travels through all kinds of expressions but settles on 'ewww'. "I'm Titia, if he hasn't said as much. You must be M'lo."

M'lo takes in the snot covering her from the waist down, and grimaces sympathetically. "That's… gross," he drawls. "But hey, I've been there. Gimme a second, I have a towel." He clambers up the straps to the bags dangling at Irelanth's shoulders and fishes out a fuzzy absorbant cloth. Then he lets go and free-falls about seven feet to the ground, landing with a solid thump. He hands her the towel. "I am," he confirms. "Fort Weyr's Weyrsecond." There's a glance for the cookie-colored brown dragon, some silent communication. "Did he /sneeze/ on you?" M'lo asks incredulously.

"I noticed." Titia states as she makes an effort at clean up that simply doesn't do the mess justice. When he offers a towel, her eyes get big. He may be her new official hero. As he lands back to the ground and hands her the towel, she accepts it in a hurry (more like rips it out of his grip if he's too slow to let go) and leans over to wipe away what she can. "Fort Hold's duties to the Weyr." The more formal greeting is muffled as she's still all but on her head cleaning up. Her posture changes at the question and she peers up to frown at him from under a fall of brunette hair. "No, this is the look I was going for. Green speckled." She grumbles drily.

«I did /not/ sneeze,» Irelanth tells them both, the colors tinging his mind voice making it clear that he is displeased at the thought. «I /snorted/. Because she is too good for windchimes.» M'lo nods placatingly at his lifemate. "Alright," he says, patting the air with his hands. "Irelanth likes the ladies, it's true, but usually only the green ones," he tells Titia. «Tell her,» butts in the dragon. M'lo chuckles. "He wants you to make something for my weyrmate's lifemate, Maglinoth. Something 'pretty.' Mags likes pretty things."

"My apologies. I'm not well versed in dragon bodily functions. Do let me know when you sneeze. If this is a snort, I plan to be on the opposite of the hold when you sneeze." Tia tells the dragon although there's a hint of good natured ribbing for the brown rather than malice. "Too good for chimes?" Titia lets the subject drop with a shrug even though she sounds unconvinced. "I'm throughly flattered by his attentions then. Thank you Irelanth." When the talk turns to commissions, she's standing up straight and the mess is forgotten. "I can do pretty. Any idea what she would want? Or do you want me to just wing it, no pun intended."

M'lo sticks his hands in his pockets. "Apparently, I'm to pay for this pretty little gift," he sighs. "And Irelanth thinks that Maglinoth might like…" he scrunches up his face. "A… set of rings?" He glances side-ways at his dragon. "For her head-knobs," he clarifies. "Shiny ones. With pretty stones." Irelanth nods his head firmly. M'lo finally just gives in and laughs. "What do you think?" he asks Titia. "How much would you charge for something like that?"

Titia grins even brighter, there might be marks in her eyes if you look close enough but since the rider isn't that close it'll probably just come off as eager. "He has a girl with expensive taste, I call tell." Very expensive once the mention of rings is made. Confusion marrs her brow but fades as he explains a little further. "I think I could arrange that. I'd need to measure her head-knobs, or at least someone will have to, to ensure they fit properly. Is this a surprise gift?" Tia asks even as she's all but rubbing her hands together. A price, expensive but not to the point of out-pricing the rider, is suggested. "Of course, it depends on the dragon's final size for the rings as well."

"She's the smallest green I've ever seen," M'lo says quickly. "Oh, here. If you're going to come to the Weyr to measure her knobs - don't see how this will be a secret - you might want this." In his hand is a white Candidate's knot.

As caught up in this new commision as Titia is, the knot and it's color don't escape her notice. "That's a candidate knot." She's quick on the up take at least. "Do I get to take commissions, even as a candidate?" That seems to be an important piece of information even as she offers out a hand out for the knot.

"I… don't think so?" M'lo says uncertainly. "But Candidacy doesn't last forever. You can certainly take measurements and draw and plan during your off-hours, if you accept. And either you'll Impress, and finish it up after Weyrlinghood, or you won't, so you'll finish it up sooner." He wiggles the knot again.

"I guess I'll have to live without for a while. I hope they have enough paper for all my plans." And enough things to do to keep the Smith busy but Tia doesn't voice this or whatever else comes to her mind. "Either way, it'll be an interesting project to undertake. Maybe I could start a business. Dragon accessories." A moments more consideration and Tia is decided. "I accept. Thank you."

"There's plenty of paper," M'lo assures Titia. He passes over the knot to her. "I'll give you a few minutes to bring your things. Only what can fit into a foot locker about… this big." He describes a box in the air with his hands. "And don't thank me, Irelanth is the one who decided you were too good for windchimes." He laughs a bit.

Titia accepts the knot and is gone as soon as he's finished talking. He doesn't have to tell her twice. She reappears only a few minutes later but the bag over her shoulder doesn't appear to have have much in the way of clothing. It's lumpy, it clangs and it might fit into the locker, if organized right. "I've got everything."

M'lo takes the time to inspect the straps while he waits for Titia to reappear with her things. He's just finishing up when she rematerializes. He takes the bag from her and climbs up the straps, pausing to attach it carefully. He makes sure there is plenty of padding between her bag and his dragon's hide. "Come on up," he invites. "Have you ever ridden a dragon before?"

Titia hovers off to one side, pacing a fair bit nervously as her bag is secured. Once it's found a safe location for the ride, she nods and then hurries up the dragon's side at his invitation. Her trip up the dragon isn't exactly coordinated but she makes it up never the less. "A few times. I get buyers at the weyr pretty regularly. I can't say I'm used to it but I think it's fun."

"I'll go easy on you and fly straight," M'lo says. "/Between/ is quicker, but you're not exactly dressed for it." He gives his dragon a signal, and the pale little brown steps into the center of the courtyard, crouches, and then with a teeth-clattering jump, springs into the air. His great wings beat the air, forcing them up and up in a dizzying spiral. And off to Fort Weyr they go!

'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.