'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) 1967, 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.

Fort Weyr - Feeding Grounds
Milling herdbeasts dot this lightly grassy section of the southern end of the bowl. Fences keep them neatly secured on all sides, even extending into the lake, allowing the beasts ample drinking water without granting them an escape. Dragons young and old come here to hunt on a fairly regular basis, though not all come at once of course. From here you can easily make out the entirety of the Weyr's lake as it spreads out south and southwest to the tumbled rubble of the far shore, while the rest of the bowl lies beyond the fences to the southeast, east and northeast.

No matter how late you stay up on Turnover, no matter how much you promise yourself that this Turn you'll be sensible and in bed just after the main celebration, there is always the temptation to just stay up for one more drink, or one more hour, or one more dance. When that one more dance turns into five more dances, then another drink, then you forget about bed completely, the message that you might want to sleep late never filters through to the dragons. It's fairly obvious from the hunching of her shoulders and the hastily donned thick coat that reaches to her knees, that Melze hasn't even made it to her weyr yet, never mind bed. As the sky lightens and snow gently drifts to the ground it's accompanied by the happy crunching of a little green dragon that appears to be dancing in the feeding pens rather than eating.

Amazingly there are some others that are night owls and most generally don't wander outside much at nights, except generally riders and well… guards on duty. And this is the case for Chrystyne and it finds her in the southwest bowl. She wanders over as she notices someone in the pens with one of the dragons and decides to go say hello. Of course generally she avoids going directly into the grounds. She raises her voice a bit. "Glad to see I'm not the only one awake at this hour."

Melze's eyes had just been on the verge of closing when Chrystyne speaks and jolts her back to awakedness. "It's not through choice, believe me." She does manage a grin though, hinting she's not perhaps as mad as she could be. "Unfortunately when you need a lift home and your lift decides to go dancing, you're slightly stuck." From behind her there comes a rumble of feet as Ronareoth gets a little too close to the beasts and sends them scattering. Neither seems to pay it much attention. "Pull up a bit of fence and have a lean?"

Chrystyne nods and smiles. "Yeah I can understand that. Of course, it was either by dragon or trader caravan that I did most of my travelling and such before coming back home to Northern continent." She leans on the fence at least dressed warmly enough for the weather. "Yeah sounds rather inconvenient for sure." She looks over as she watches the green dragon. "Well sounds like she had more fun than you did."

Melze tilts her head to the side as curiosity wins over tiredness, "You're from the South?" Her feet shuffle, trying to get a little warmth back in them as she glances behind her, "Still is, though I think I do beat her on fun. No dancing on tables this Turn though." As if that were an achievement in itself. "Did you have much work tonight?" Though she may not be good with names, she can always figure out a uniform.

Chrystyne shakes her head as she replies. "Actually from Fort Hold, just spent a fair bit of time travelling between places with traders and such since I was left on the sands at Telgar Weyr. Always wanted to explore Pern and doing odd jobs for some time helped me to do that." She smiles. "Not a lot, been a fairly quiet night if you ask me. Glad I wasn't stuck to the Gemstone and Shenanigans." She blushes. "Oh forgive me, I'm Chrystyne, been here about a month, was a guard before that at Ierne Weyrhold."

Melze nods, "Sounds like a good thing to do, I just used to terrorise the Weaverhall." Smiling happy memories are tempered slightly by a squeal from the pens behind, a thunder of feet, then a sickening crunch that could only mean dinner (or possibly breakfast) is finally happening. "They probably wish they could have sent me off travelling, though I suppose if they had then I probably wouldn't have ended up here. In the cold. Again." This time she laughs, shaking her head as she glances behind her with a very fond look on her face. One hand is quickly dug out from up a huge sleeve, offered over, "Melze. Supposedly Weyrlingmaster, but tonight I'm very off duty as the bartender at the Gemstone can confirm."

Chrystyne smiles as she says softly. "I'm not sure I could have settled to a craft. It was so much easier to pick up and go. I think my parents knew I'd do that since I was little, of course, it constantly worried them that I was taking too many risks and such because I liked to climb rocks and all too or potentially get lost." She yawns a little. "Oh pardon me Weyrlingmaster for being so informal." She says. "I came to Fort Weyr, my best friend lives here, we stood together at Telgar Weyr. I've missed her a lot since then, she's kinda like a sister I guess."

Melze waves a hand quickly, "Off duty! No formal. Please, it drives me crazy at the moment. Hadn't even had the knot a day and people were already ma'am-ing me and I wanted to scream." There's a pause follows as she rewinds the conversation in her head to pick up earlier threads, "I wasn't in the craft. Lived with my grandmother, but pretty much the only thing I could sew was my fingers to the fabric. I used to knit though, that was about as close as I got to doing anything actually craftworthy. I would have rather," She grins and nods, "Climbed rocks and got lost." Another pause, this time to check on Ronareoth who seems to be happily munching away. "Who's your friend?"

Chrystyne smile as she listens. "Ah ok, makes sense, I guess in some ways that I was probably thought a terror around Fort Hold, parents complained I was too much of a tomboy." She looks over in the direction of the dragon and says quietly. "Nice green coloring she has. Oh my friend is Marissa, she's a Junior Journeyman Healer. She's been here a few turns, has family here."

Melze laughs, "Like being a tomboy is a bad thing." She pauses, thinking. "Marissa." The lightbulb comes on at the mention of healering, "Oh, sure, I've met her. it's good you've got people here you know and get on with. I had my cousin. Well… cousin-ish. She'd had a baby, I got sent to 'help'." Her hands lift, presumably doing the airquotes to add to her audible dislike of that idea. Another glance to the eating Ronareoth brings about another smile, "Don't let her hear you say that, she's more of a tomboy than I ever was."

Chrystyne laughs as she glances towards the dragon. "I like the way I am. Not all do but that's their problem I guess not mine. Marissa's the more feminine of the two of us. She looks beautiful in the dresses and such, I feel awkward in them." She says softly. "She's also always been more outgoing than I am." She glances around. "So what is your lifemate's name?"

"Good." Melze nods, "Always best to like yourself, because if you don't then you can't expect other people to." Such a profound comment at this time of day could likely be put down to alcohol. "Dresses have their part. I got interested in boys and then I realised what dresses were for. Annnnnd that probably counts as oversharing." A distraction is quickly found in the little green who appears to be intent on ripping her dinner's neck in half, grunting awkwardly in the process. "Her name's Ronareoth, though most of the time she's fine with just Rona. Or Pest."

Chrystyne blushes as she says quietly. "Boys are ok as friends. Never been really more with them." She looks a little awkward as she says it though. "That's such a nice name. Not too hard to pronounce either, have met riders with some lifemates that I couldn't pronounce the names to save my life." She giggles softly as she looks over towards the green. "She's some petite."

Melze opens her mouth to reply about men, but is stalled by the compliments, "There's one at Ista, I think it is, honestly sounds like a sneeze when you hear it. Shouldn't be funny, but it really is." Her head quickly jerks round at the mention of petite, just in time to see said petite green rip the head off her dinner. "Small tip. Best to not say that around her. She was barely three months and she stood up to Zephryth when he dared to call her small. Threatened to bite his tail off." She can't help it, there's a giggle escapes. "Tiny little green, marching up to full grown bronze to tell him off. You should have seen it." Knowing she's being talked about, or just simply trying to invade the conversation, Ronareoth stomps over, herdbeast head still hanging from her mouth, to loom over the two humans. LOOM!

Chrystyne looks at Ronareoth as she gets closer to her as she listens to Melze. "I can imagine it to be quite the sight honestly. I think she's brought over an offering perhaps?" She sees the head of the herdbeast hanging from the green's mouth. "Does she do that often?"

If there's one thing that's certain about a freshly killed beast it's that parts of it are drippy. And parts of it when carried by a green dragon on a mission are drippy in the wrong place. "Rona!" Despite Melze's obvious disgust, the head is thrust towards Chrystyne, sending a little spray of blood as it does, and leaving Melze only able to mutter a quiet, "Sorry."

Chrystyne winces a little seeing the dripping blood and notices Melze's disgust. Only when the green moves its head forward to look at her and sprays a bit of blood does she gulp and look a bit pale. "It's ok… I suppose it could be worse…"

The rumbling chuckle that Ronareoth gives outwardly hardly matches the thundering whoop of laughter inside Melze's head at both of their reactions. Melze, for her part, is speechless for once, eyes wide. "Did it get you? I'm so sorry." Ronareoth's gift is dropped near Chrystyne, though thankfully the little green does lower her own head before doing so so there's no more splatter, but it only serves to make it easier for dragon to eyeball guard. And for Weyrlingmaster to catch up with what's happening. "Oh shells, okay. Okay." A deep breath is taken before she tries to make herself sound official, which is quite hard when you have a heardbeast head staring up at you. "She doesn't think you'd make much of a warrior, but since you didn't scream she thinks you'd make a good rider. So… how about it? Stand for Zuhth's clutch?"

Chrystyne looks a bit worried as she sees the head dropped near her feet. "Um… thanks Ronareaoth, it's a nice… gift." She glances towards Melze, "It's ok. Not much one can do about a dragon wanting to do something I suppose." She figures the poor female rider must be a bit embarassed as she watches her take a deep breath. She's busy wiping the blood off when she hears the question from Melze. "Yeah… sure. Tell her though it's ok to keep her gift, I don't have anywhere adequate to put it right now…" She smiles a bit.

Ronareoth huffs out a warm breath at Chrystyne as the gift is accepted, but it's not until the offer to stand is accepted also that she finally backs off a little. The present remains until Melze comments, "She's sure. Really." At which point the little green carefully leans over the fence to pick up the head again and move it out of the way. "Um… we'd better move before she decides to keep it for you. Do you want to get cleaned up or anything?" She pauses then laughs, "You know, it's been so long I'm not even sure what I need to do other than take you to the barracks and then tell the Headwoman. My Search was a bit… well it wasn't your normal Search." She glances over her shoulder then adds, "Not that I think beast heads are entirely normal either."

Chrystyne nods in reply. "Yeah that might be nice, not sure being smelly and stained with blood would be too nice of a sight." She giggles a bit. "I understand. The last dragon only tried to lick me." She smiles. "I told it I don't taste that great, she disagreed."

Melze laughs! "Definitely preferable to get a gift instead of licked. Me, I got locked up, but that's a story for another day. Come on, we'll get you some fresh clothes from the stores and then you can go choose a cot." With a shove she moves away from the fence, leaving Ronareoth to eat the last of her dinner in smug silence.

Chrystyne nods as she says quietly. "That would be some story to hear for sure then. Thanks. Rona, I won't hold it against you I promise, you're still cute even if well… you might want to bring a less messy gift." She giggles.

Melze grins, leading the way up the bowl. "Careful, next time she might bring you a whole one." With laughter echoing in her head and spilling from her at the same time she moves off in the direction of the stores.