Western Weyr - Lagoon Shore
A sandy beach running along the edge of the lagoon, between the sparkling waters and the bowl. Sometimes riders and dragons are seen playing in the water nearby or a dolphin can be seen cavorting. At other times seacraft can be seen coming in under the arch to dock. The lagoon is large enough to fill a quarter of the length of the bowl. A path winds out along a ledge out to the docks to the southwest, the lagoon to the west and the bowl to the east.
Electric lights light the entrances as those on night duty come out to take over, moving quietly in the night so as not to disturb those sleeping about the Weyr.Summer is upon the Western Isles, longer days and shorter nights making for a restless feeling that seems to invade every resident and urge them towards the beaches.

It's summer at Western. And that means it's nice and hot and sticky. There were only a couple of good places to get out of the heat, and one was in the caverns where the sun didn't go, and the other was down at the beach! In the water, specifically. Zi'on has been there and done that though, apparently. Now he's laying out on the beach in his trunks and making his already tanned skin even tanner, and maybe taking a nap. Zi'on's gotten a bit lazy with his beard, apparently. Now it's getting into a big bushy manbeard. Suldith is resting with his eyes open someplace behind the bronzer.

Even with spring arriving at Fort and the cold of winter slowly easing off, Western's summer warmth was too inviting to ignore any further. Th'ero isn't going to hide in the caverns either it seems, though he's not at all prepared for the hot and sticky weather. So as the Weyrleader tromps down the sands of the lagoon shore, he is barefoot, his pants rolled up to his knees and his boots in one hand and his flight jacket is slung over his other shoulder. And while Zi'on is working on his tan, Th'ero is paler by comparison, but still sports his longer mess of curly hair and not much else as changed. Velokraeth comes waddling after Th'ero and the moment the young bronze rumbles warmly, the Weyrleader shakes himself from his thoughts long enough to spot out Zi'on and the hard-to miss Suldith not far. Smiling crookedly, he changes his path and wanders close, setting his boots down not far from where the Western bronzerider rests. "What's with the beard this time?" he teases Zi'on, though some good it'll do if he's actually napping!

"I'm not shaving it until my son is born." Zi'on says plainly about his beard. Clearly a rehearsed line, and he doesn't realize who is asking the question. Not until Suldith goes into an excited trilling in greeting to Velokraeth that he looks up to spot Th'ero. There's a grin then. "I'm waiting for Enka to shave it off while I'm asleep, actually." Suldith wiggles his tail about in the sand, then scampers around the other bronze and then out towards the water. Meanwhile his rider sits up. "How's it going, weyrleader?"

Velokraeth chuffs in obvious amusement when Suldith scampers around him and follows the older bronze out to the waters, though at a much more subdued pace, though from his rumbles, he's just as pleased to see a familiar friend. Th'ero looks pleased as well, though soon his smile vanishes the moment Zi'on speaks and the look he shoots the bronzerider is one of pure surprise. "Your /son/?" The Weyrleader exclaims, blinking a little as he slowly settles himself to the sands. Now there's a way to find out! Surprise wears off though and Th'ero grins wryly. "Well, a belated congratulations then. You and Enka must be excited?" When Zi'on mentions that she may sneak attack him by night, he chuckles dryly. "I wouldn't doubt it." He muses, before his grin switches back to a smirk. "Well enough. The eggs hatched, all eight healthy. Means a little more freedom now. Duty brought me here again today, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to let Velokraeth swim a bit."

Suldith will try to goad Velokraeth into a game of chase for a little, before he gets distracted and then heads to the shallows to sun in the warm water. "Well, a man can hope." Zi'on says. Then he adds, "For a son, I mean. Enka is pretty pregnant. I guess maybe I didn't know last time I saw you. I didn't find out until she was about three months along. Excited I guess, sure. In between bouts of being terrified." He grins a bit. "Enka is a little be slower now with the extra belly. I figure one day I'll wake up to her smothering me with it and brandishing a razor." There's a nod about the eggs. "Mm, sounds good. I don't imagine Suldith will be siring too many clutches. He doesn't seem to have much luck with the golds." Zi'on peers at Th'ero, then grins. "Duty? Getting your undershorts back from Raev or something?"

Velokraeth wouldn't be much fun for a game of chase, but he'll try and only be relieved perhaps when Suldith is distracted. He'll join the other bronze in some sunning though, quite talented in that feat. "Excited and terrified? Aren't those the normal emotions?" Th'ero muses as he leans back a little, propping himself up on his hands as he tilts his head a bit to the side. A thoughtful look and then a bit of a sheepish smile are given, before he speaks again. "It has been awhile, hasn't it? And is she that close to her time, then?" He asks, a rather roundabout way concerning Enka's due date. Snorting in amusement and then chuckling heartily, the Weyrleader shakes his head a bit to Zi'on's joke of being smothered by Enka. "I hear it's dangerous to point out how big they've got from the pregnancy." He jokingly warns the bronzerider, before his smirk spreads even wider. "Scary thought, all the same." To the mention of eggs and siring clutches, Th'ero only shrugs, "Never say never. Suldith may yet catch a gold." And then the cat is out of the bag and he glances away for a moment, grinning crookedly. "Funny. News spread that fast, hmm?" Of course it did, it's a Weyr!

Zi'on gives Th'ero an incredulous look. "You might have these 'emotions'. But I don't have them. At least not normally. What do I know about raising kids, anyways? Nothing. I'm worthless. Destined to be a worse father than… my father." He laughs a bit. "She's still a couple months off." There's a blink form the younger bronzer and he looks around. "Well, isn't not like she's within earshot anyways." Zi'on chuckles, then. "It's sort of cute to see her waddling around. Though you can tell she's already feeling the weight." There's a grin about Raev, the subject of Suldith siring a clutch left alone. "I'm sure she was gloating about it. Mostly about how it wasn't stinky old Zi'on this time. Man of the wild."

"I don't have these emotions either! I'm only repeating what I've heard." Th'ero mumbles, a touch defensively though the slight smile he gives takes the edge off. It's his turn to give Zi'on an incredulous look though when he starts putting himself down. "Shells, Zi'on. Don't be so hard on yourself. You're a first time father. And how hard can it be?" Says the non-father Fort Weyrleader. When Zi'on suddenly looks around, Th'ero does as well out of habit and then relaxing again when the coast is clear. "I can't imagine that it'd be easy…" Th'ero agrees while grimacing slightly at the thought and then a long look is given to the bronzerider next to him. Shifting one of his feet, he sends a bit of sand flying in his general direction. Whether or not it hits its mark or falls short is left to decide. "I doubt that's how it is!" he points out, a touch awkwardly as he fumbles for some sort of witty remark in return.

Zi'on gives Th'ero a wry look. "You better not have those emotions. I don't need another woman in my life right now." He laughs a bit. "Of course if Enka has a girl, well then I'm basically stuck with one." There's a shrug from the younger bronzer then. "I suppose that's true. Seems like most everyone is able to keep their kids alive and fed and… all of that. I mostly feel sorry for Enka, really. She'll have to make up for my failures." Then Zi'on is shielding himself and laughing. "Argh! Sand down my shorts! Bleh, sand in my mouth!" He spits a bit to remove said sand. "Suuure it's not." Then he fakes a Raev-voice. "Ohhh I got to sleep with a weyrleader. He's so… uh… handsome and uh… great in bed. Or something!"

"I am no woman." Th'ero almost growls, though it's all in jest as he too is soon laughing softly. "Then I'll pitch in and hope it's a boy along with you." And then a wicked look crosses his features and he grins again. "What if it's twins? You could get one of each that way." Or two of the same, but regardless he sobers once Zi'on speaks again. "Or you'll do just fine as a father and Enka won't have to worry?" Th'ero slips in, trying once again to reassure his friend that not all is lost. The Weyrleader grins when it's clear he's hit his target, "Sorry. I was honestly only aiming to get your shorts." Sure he was. And then the Rave-imitation comes and more sand flies towards Zi'on, followed by a snort from Th'ero. "Stop it." He half chuckles, half mutters at him, looking a touch unsettled but still in good humor all the same. "I doubt it had anything to do with /that/ and just luck of the draw that Velokraeth won at all."

"Good to know. That way I can't somehow make you pregnant, too." He laughs. "Maybe we'll name him Elthero then. After his uncle-ish. My family has this weird thing about names. All of my kids' names have to start with an 'E'. Which works out well, since Enka also starts with 'E'. I guess I shouldn't be all despairing and all. It is kind of exciting. My ma… oh Faranth she was excited. I had to convince her not to up and move to Western. I don't think Enka would like her much up in our business." There's a groan followed by more spitting as more sand is flung his way. "Well, I'm sure catching didn't. But she'll say that just as a way of proving how much she doesn't like me."

Th'ero gives a visible shudder of disgust at the thought before giving Zi'on a bit of a weird look that only lingers on when he suggests a name. "Don't you dare? I'm flattered… but no. I'm sure you and Enka can find a much more suitable name." he says with a crooked smile. Brows knit together then in thought and now the Weyrleader is simply curious. "Why 'E' though, for your family?" Th'ero asks, and then chuckles when Zi'on livens up a little and mentions his mother. "Your mother is the type to do that?" he muses; lapsing into silence while Zi'on recovers from the barrage of sand. No more is sent his way, though Th'ero does give him a long, searching look instead. "Was there something between you and Raev then as well?" he bluntly asks.

Zi'on laughs. "No? You don't want people thinking it's your kid, hm? Wouldn't that be a scandal." There's a shrug about his strange family traditions. "Not sure. You'd have to ask a real Shipton I guess. Well, technically I'm real, but since I didn't grow up at the hold I don't know the family history that well." He laughs and shrugs about his mother. "She's just excited I guess. Grandchildren and all. That's why you have kids, right? So they have kids, and so you can have fun with kids the second time around, and then send them home with their parents." Zi'on rubs out his beard to free it of sand. "Me and Raev? No. Unless you count 'something as me winning her maiden flight. And when I say maiden, I mean… maiden for Raev, too." If Th'ero catches his drift.

"It would be scandal and probably good ripe fodder for the gossip." Th'ero muses with a nod of his head. It's the truth! "Your family seems quite… complex. In a good way, though." He remarks with a bit of a smile, glancing away for a moment to where Velokraeth lounges in the waters. When he glances back to Zi'on, he's still smiling though it's vague and his expression is thoughtful. "Never really put thought into children, to be honest. But I suppose that's one reason?" Though the thought of having to go through with children twice doesn't seem to settle well with Th'ero. Luckily Zi'on doesn't have to explain himself further as the Weyrleader does catch his drift. "Ahh, I see…" he says awkwardly, unsure of what else there is to say on the matter.

Zi'on looks at Th'ero like he's from outer space when he says the Shiptons are complex. In a good way. "Trust me, there's nothing complex about the Shiptons. Most of them are fairly inbred I think. The names were probably to tell who was who. I only get the stories, though. And none of the good ones. Since my da didn't much like the hold." He chuckles a bit. "You plan on having kids though, right? Even if you don't… it's bound to happen anyways probably. They always say they're on the tea. But the tea is a lie sometimes. Just be warned. Now I sound a little like my pop. How's the weyrlady over at Fort?" Zi'on is happy to change the subject away from certain Zi'on-hating greenriders.

Th'ero has no idea how odd his remark was, when it came to the Shiptons, knowing so little of Zi'on's family or past it's bound to happen. "My mistake then?" he says with a chuckle. There's a blink when he mentions them being inbred, though doesn't seem to prod more into the matter. "Why all the bad ones then?" Th'ero asks instead, going for what he hopes is a slightly safer route. On the subject of children again, the Weyrleader looks down at the sand by his feet, silent and thoughtful for a moment. "Not for some time. But…like you said, it's bound to happen eventually regardless." And to judge by Th'ero's tone it's not something he's keen on and the mention of teas failing and lies only has his mouth drawing down into another of his grimaces. "Thanks for the warning?" he says, glancing up again to Zi'on. "Neyuni? She's well and probably glad that Zuhth is no longer tied to the sands." Th'ero muses with a vague shrug of his shoulders.

Zi'on laughs. "I don't really talk about them because I don't really know any of them. I guess maybe some of the things that happened there stuck in my da's craw. Or maybe he just told us a bunch of bad stuff so we'd not get curious." Zi'on lays back down on his towel with his hands behind his head. "Are you and Jey still together? I was expecting you two to get weyrmated. But then you moved. I guess really I ought to be thankful that it was Enka who is pregnant and not some greenrider or something." He looks to Th'ero then. "What's she like, I guess is my real question. She weyrmated? Got kids? How old is she? Er, I ain't interested in chatting her up or anything. But you're kinda stuck with her." Zi'on laughs a bit. "No offense to either of you."

"All logical reasons." Th'ero agrees with a lopsided smile. "And all possible. I hadn't realized you weren't too close to your family." He admits, sounding almost apologetic in his tone. When Zi'on mentions Jeyinshi, the Weyrleader is silent for a heartbeat or two before he speaks up again, leaning back on his hands a little heavier. "We are, though we don't see each other often. She's posted to Fort Sea Hold, which makes it a little easier for her to travel." Th'ero only chuckles and says nothing on the matter of being weyrmated or not. "Why would it matter if you got a greenrider pregnant?" he asks, sounding genuinely curious. He can only shrug at some of the questions Zi'on asks him next and his answers are almost vague, if not uncertain. "Not weyrmated and no kids that I know of. And I am /not/ sharing her age." Th'ero snorts to that, though his smirk is bemused. He's probably not sharing because he actually doesn't know. "I know you're not going to. No offence taken." He sighs a little then, head tilting upwards as he squints a little as he glances to the sky. "Wouldn't say I'm stuck with her. She and I seem to work well enough together. And that's about as far as it goes."

Zi'on shrugs. "Well, they're my extended family. I'm only close with my full-blood family really. And a couple of other half-sisters. You got siblings, right?" He thinks he remembers Th'ero talking about them once. One of those times, where Zi'on wasn't hogging the conversation. It doesn't happen often. "Ah. Well, that's better I guess than her being at Western." Zi'on shrugs, then says in a thick drawl, "Because a father does right by his kids." He presses his lips together for a second. "That's what my da says. Though he can't possibly do right by all his kids since he's got so many. Maybe I can do right by all of mine, though." He laughs a bit. "Well, you don't sound that interested. So either she's old or not that cute."

The concept of extended family seems to elude Th'ero for a moment, so he can only give Zi'on a slightly blank look when he glances from sky to him, as he tries to picture it. Eventually, he only shakes his head. "How do you keep track?" he asks, nodding slightly. "I've two. An older brother and then my younger sister." His glance turns downwards now and his weight shifts so that one hand can idly poke at some clump of sand. "I'm not on good terms with my brother, but you know that already. As for my sister… I may have convinced her to move here." The sudden drawl has Th'ero titling his head, giving the bronzerider a curious look before chuckling dryly. "I'm sure he tried, at least? And I don't doubt that you'll do just fine by your children." He assures again, before giving Zi'on a long, almost incredulous look. "Is there a rule that I have to take her as a weyrmate or a lover?" he smirks, though his tone is amused. "I've my hands full as it is."

Zi'on has a sprawling family that can probably be traced back to the original ancestors. Though you'd have to weave through a rather terrible web of hold inbreeding. The bronzer laughs. "Keep track? I can't. I've got over fifty half siblings. And Faranth knows how many cousins and aunts and uncles. And my kids… they'll be related to half of Pern probably." He nods to Th'ero. "Oh? That'll be fun. Having your sister here, I mean. Maybe. Is she fun? How old is she again?" Zi'on is picturing a little 12 year old girl or something. He laughs to Th'ero. "No. But it might be fun if Jey can't be around all the time. No? No?" He laughs. "Ah… I'm mostly teasing."

"It can't be /that/ bad." Th'ero clearly figures Zi'on is exaggerating. Won't he be in for a surprise! The bronzerider's next questions concerning his sister earn him a long, sideways look that hints at slightly suspicious. Protective much? "I'm not sure. Depends on what you mean by "fun". Kaliena and I haven't seen each other for turns, so she may have changed from the girl I knew once." And Zi'on isn't far off, age wise. "She'd be roughly fifteen or sixteen Turns now." Th'ero looks tempted to throw more sand Zi'on's way for his teasing, but the Weyrleader holds off. "Mostly teasing?" Th'ero echoes while one of his brows quirks upward and a smirk curving along one corner of his mouth. He doesn't deny what Zi'on has implied though and for a moment he looks almost a little guilty. That disappears though, the moment he grins. "Isn't that what flights are for?"

Zi'on laughs. "If you say so." Oh. It's bad. Though Zi'on isn't going to go out of his way to get details on how bad it is. He'd rather his broad vague knowledge about the Shipton clan stay at the level it is. "I dunno. Someone who will join in my pranking! At least for the next few turns. Then my son will be old enough." He also leaves off the bit that if she's sixteen she's only a couple turns younger than himself. Which was closer than he and Enka were in age. Making her fair game! Especially with Th'ero at Fort… hehehe. Zi'on laughs. "Velokraeth wins a flight every day? That's pretty good."

It's very likely that his knowledge of the Shipton clan will stay there forever and unmoving. Th'ero is oblivious it seems to the closeness of age between his sister and Zi'on, whom he considers a good friend. So that can be explanation enough as to why he never senses anything more. "I don't think she'll be too keen on that. But then, who am I to know? I could be wrong." Th'ero then blinks in surprise to Zi'on's next statement and almost bursts out laughing but bites it back at the last moment. Instead, he only chuckles deeply. "Shards no. Not every day. He chases often enough though and doesn't often win." There's a snort from the lagoon waters, where Velokraeth has waddled ashore now to dry and Th'ero only shakes his head. He reaches for his boots then, slowly dusting off his feet before slipping them back on while he talks. "Seems like my time is up and I'm needed elsewhere." The Weyrleader is reluctant to move though, but eventually he does get to his feet, lingering to swipe as much sand from his clothes as possible. "I'll try to visit again soon. Maybe before your child is born. You'll let me know though?"

Zi'on will be a gentleman to Th'ero's little sister! Or at least a friend. He wasn't terrible. "No? Bleh. That's no fun! Maybe I can uh… corrupt her." Zi'on needs more minions to do his bidding. Or to pull his pranks since the headwoman is mindful of him. "Heh. That would get tiring for him I think. It makes me tired, just thinking about all that flying." Zi'on gets to his feet as well, picking up his towel. "I should probably get back as well. Make sure my darling Enka isn't hungry, or in need of a massage. Or the like." He grins. "Sure. I'll make sure to send you a note, Uncle Th'ero. I'll have to get a baby pool together… See ya later."

For a moment, Th'ero's expression darkens when Zi'on suggests corrupting his sister, until the Weyrleader realizes he meant to pranks and then he only laughs. "Good luck." Is all he says to that. "You would think that he'd be tired, but he's not." Velokraeth rumbles from where he stands now. How could he ever be tired? Th'ero pays him no heed for the time being, focused as he is on Zi'on. "Say hello for me then?" he tells him, before grimacing slightly at his new title. "Do you have to call me that?" Th'ero asks, shaking his head a little before giving a slight wave to the other bronzerider. "Thanks and take care, Zi'on." And before his resolve can break, he turns and walks over to where Velokraeth waits for him and the pair then move off to disappear back towards the bowls, making one last quick stop before their trip back to Fort Weyr.

'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.