When: Late Morning, Day 10 of Month 5, 443
What: Meanwhile, back at the ranch... Adria and Sh'van talk pretty much everyone and everything including: Thread, female riders, the Weyrleaders, Zaorine, M'vari, the Telgari and "people". Who knew?
It's a truly lovely spring day - especially for Fort, with mild temperatures and a sunny sky. As such, many of the weyrfolk are taking advantage by getting outdoors - some even doing work down by the shore. Adria's amongst those killing two birds with one stone - she sits by the water to absently mend straps as she watches Chiyath elegantly twist and swim in the lake proper.
On a lovely day like this, everyone in the Weyr seems to be outside. Children run and play, adults gossip over tubs of washing and other work, and dragonriders congregate at the lake, where the dragons swim and laze about on the beach. Even Sh'van, a face rarely seen of late, can be found a little way away from the other riders. He emerges, dripping, from the lake and heads for his pile of clothing while Lanmith continues to enjoy the water.
Chiyath passes Lanmith with a pleasant rumble of greeting before diving below the water. The green's notice of the bronze causes Adria to glance up and over - first at Lanmith, then to Sh'van himself. Arching a brow, she turns back to her leatherwork as he dresses. A ways away from the others as well, she's close enough to the man to offer, "Good morning, sir."
"Adria," Sh'van replies, sounding pleased, after a moment's identification. A glance toward the dragons and he heads over to join her, pulling his tunic over his head as he walks. With a rumble Lanmith ducks under the water as well. Sh'van continues, "I hadn't the chance to speak with you after Chiyath's last flight. Are you both well?"
If Adria's surprised at the pleased tone to the Weyrsecond's voice, she doesn't betray it - she simply glances up to flash a smile. In the water, Chiyath has yet to surface. "You've been scarce," she comments neutrally - just mentioning that she's noticed. There's the barest flush at the mention of the flight, but - "We're both fine. She's flying well in drills, which makes her happy - just easily tired, even compared to other greens. She's so little."
Sh'van turns to study Chiyath as if he were going to be graded. "Small, but well-proportioned. Very well-proportioned," he adds after a moment. A glance at Adria; he tugs at his damp tunic to get it to lay straighter. "Yes, I've been assigned outside the Weyr for some time." The bland way he delivers it, the statement could me anything. Have he and X'drian had another fight? "Have I missed any excitement?"
Chiyath resurfaces as if she were aware of potential attention, and is still enough while she's regarded. Adria grins a touch, wiggling the needle into a crosspiece. "She appreciates it," she says, sounding amused. "And yes, she's well-proportioned and -fast-. Just not very good at endurance. I would like her to build that a bit, but it will take time and work." Glancing sidelong to Sh'van at the non-explanation, she notes, "A few of us have been wondering what you were up to. And no real excitement. The Weyrleader tried a few new formations, but was displeased by our performance in general."
[DTU] To Lanmith, Chiyath feels she must add that Ianoth was fine with -her-. It was a lot of the others that were - less agile and thoughtful.
Sh'van says "She -is- a green," in case that had slipped past her. "And, as you say, small at that. I don't believe she'll ever have the endurance of even a blue, unless you were to do nothing but straight flights for the next two turns." Another glance sidelong - see how he isn't looking-looking at her? - and he adds, "Mnh, yes. I'd heard about the new formations. One was a two-level cross, yes?"
"Yes, that was one of the first things I noticed about her," Adria says dryly, "Between the shading of her hide, her size, and the fact that she keeps rising to mate. I'm more hoping that she'll just reach the level of one of the larger greens." At the glances, she arches a brow up at Sh'van - noticing both that and the avoidance of any further detail. "Yes. And the circular one as well, flipping between the two - neither was particularly successful."
Sh'van's expression lightens in one of his not-quite smiles at her dry sally. "Perhaps a well-disguised gold." "--Switching between the two?" He squints at the far wall as if visualizing the two disparate formations there, shakes his head. "I wonder why. The circle doesn't seem to be as stable as the double-level cross." Another glance toward his wingmate. "Did he explain why?"
Adria wrinkles her nose as she tries another stitch. "Very well-disguised. So much so that she hasn't clutched. But I suppose that would explain Ianoth." After a moment, she abandons her mending to answer Sh'van, gesturing in a wide donut-type motion. "He didn't explain -much- to me, but if we can get it right, it seems that there will be a lot of flexibility for us down the middle -" She points to the centre of her invisible donut. "Stacked with another wing, we should cover more ground in fall."
It is noon in the late spring. There's not a cloud in sight on this spring day. The spring sun reaches its noon apex in the clear sky. The temperature is about 60F, 16C.
Sh'van still frowns at the invisible formations. Shakes his head. "I'm not seeing it. Double-level to a two-layer vee, perhaps. The transition would be easier..." Another moment and he returns with another headshake, turns definitively away from the wall. "I may speak with him. But he may be right; it could just require more practice. We fly the simpler formations solid. Perhaps he's attempting to stretch our wings, as it were."
"Mm. Perhaps." Adria's expression is thoughtful. "It's some of that, certainly. The Weyrleader -" Always the title with her these days. "Seems to think it will be necessary, since we will have too few riders to do the job." A pause. "He is very hard on himself. There is only so much that can be done in a short period of time. I think we're all doing the best we can."
"All of his riders, certainly." Lanmith starts to haul himself out of the water, then turns and splashes back in. Sh'van had taken a few steps toward his mate, but when the bronze retreats to the water he stops and turns back with a roll of his eyes. "At least there are no drills today. Are we just lucky, in that all of our rest days have happened when it's raining?"
Chiyath has been happily swimming, floating and diving in her graceful, flashy way. She shows no interest in leaving the water. Adria arches a brow as the bronze splashes into the lake again. "Does he do that often? And perhaps it's luck or providence that we get good weather on the occasion we get to 'rest'." She smirks a little as she goes back to her mending. "I usually have far too much to do on supposed rest days."
Sh'van waves an uncaring hand. "Often enough, but never when we truly have work to do." Today, of course, is one of those glorious exceptions. It seems like half of the dragons at Fort are in the water or on the beach. "Ah? Too much 'have to' and 'should' do, and not enough time for 'want to' do?"
"Something like that," Adria agrees, poking at her straps idly, tugging at the reinforced joints. "There's always errands to run, things to take care of when I've free time. And if not that, there's various projects I've been working on that require some little attention. I suppose those are things I 'want' to do, but..." She looks over at Chiyath, still swimming away. "It would be nice to be a little more in the moment at times."
"You should take time to do what you like," Van advises, apparently unaware of the irony of those particular words falling from his lips. "Not all of the time, of course, but often enough so that you don't become tired." He adds a nod for her straps and, "Is that your primary set? Does she have a secondary?"
Adria looks up to ask bluntly, "Do you take that time? And some of what I do -are- things I enjoy. Besides, I was raised at a Hall. I worked a good deal of my time - I am not accustomed to leisure." At the nod to the straps, "Oh - these are the secondary. They're older than the primary set, so I tend to try to reinforce them when I can."
The return question stops him in his tracks for a moment. "Perhaps not as often as I should," he says after a moment, with a nod for the point scored. Abandoning the attempt to coax Lanmith out of the water he retreats back up the beach, there to settle beside Adria with a nod for permission. "May I... ask you what may be a presumptious question?"
Adria gestures easily at the nod, not minding the company in the least. "There are things we all should do, I imagine. The only ones we're not good at working on are the ones that are likely best for us." She shrugs a bit diffidently - she's still too young to worry much. Curious, she answers, "You can always ask."
Sh'van takes his time settling in: a hand's run though his hair, the last of the wrinkles tugged from his shirt, a stray rock tossed toward the lake. "Jasmyth will rise," he finally begins, leaping into the topic with no warning. "Do you..." here he slows. "Do you have any preference for who might catch her?"
There's a question Adria hadn't anticipated. Her gaze follows the rock tossed into the water, amber eyes widening as it splashes into the depths. "Why -" she starts suddenly, then takes a moment to think. "Unless Jasmyth is rising to determine something I am unaware of, I don't see how I would care - beyond her producing a sizeable clutch?" She turns back to Sh'van, brows arched. "Why?"
Sh'van begins casually, "I am," and then stops himself, lips pursing. After a moment he starts again, "Lanmith's name has been suggested as the possible sire. I was merely curious if the... other riders had any preferences."
Amused, Adria notes, "I find it amusing that people feel these things are so easily determined. Impressions, Flights - as if the dragons themselves have so little say." Shaking that off with a toss of dark hair, she continues, "Lanmith would fly an excellent chase and sire a good clutch, I would imagine. I'd wish you both luck - it is not something that everyone gets to do - be partially responsible for eggs."
Drily, "That point had -also- been mentioned." He lets the whole thing go with another opening of his hand, as if to release the idea into the world. "To which it was then argued, to merely give him the chance. Though," he begins, pauses, glances sideways. "I can trust to your discretion? I probably ought not be saying this, but I have already spoken to the ones who should hear it."
"Well, why -not- give him the chance? He deserves that, at least. Unless the Weyrleader intends for Ianoth to catch every gold at Fort." And at least one of the greens too, but let's not go there. Adria wrinkles her nose, then assures, "If there is one thing I am fairly well trained into, it is discretion. Sometimes to my detriment." Leaving that alone too, she counts off on her fingers, "The Weyrleader, Weyrwoman and Zaorine, then? I suppose one of them came up with the idea. Interesting."
"I believe," the Weyrsecond says neutrally, "that it was the Weyrleader's idea. To begin with. The Weyrwoman holds much the same opinion as yourself. Zaorine..." He shrugs at it, at her. "I do not believe that she would prefer anyone but Ianoth chase. However, I also believe that the Weyrleader would consider it an insult to Fedayth were he to allow Ianoth to chase."
Adria considers all that for a time before speaking. "Well. There's certainly enough issues around goldflights that I am rather glad Jasmyth did -not- look to me," she says, with a wry smile. "Were I involved in any of this, I would have suggested that it was kept to fewer people than that. And it's likely that Fedayth herself might be somewhat insulted - but more to the point, people would -talk-."
"They would talk more, you mean." He brings up his left knee, wrapping his fingers around it, and stares glumly out over the lake. "I would be curious to see how some of the other Weyrs have handled this... problem. They have had multiple golds longer than Fort. I do not believe any of them are in the same situation we are," you know, with the junior having a public-secret crush on the Weyrleader, "but perhaps we could learn some things here and there."
"I mean, people -outside- Fort might talk. Might find out all the things that have been talked about here from Day One." Adria takes up her mending, more to have something to fuss with than to actually work. "And I would assume that most Weyrleaders have the sense to limit goldflights to the Senior gold. It's likely not all that difficult to look at the flight records to see how things shook out at the time."
Sh'van's unscarred eyebrow lifts as he turns to regard her. "...I had not thought about the flight records," he says as though this were a personal failing. "The ones for the Senior, of course, but they would not matter, not for this. Thank you." That's probably another thing going onto his lengthy list of Things To Do.
Adria offers a slight smile, nodding. "Records are dull, but you can find alot in them, if you look. Ask Soriane to help - I am sure she might like something productive to do. The archivists let her work there, but she's little specific to do. And not at all."
Sh'van flicks his fingers to negate the casualness of her welcome. "This Soraine... I don't recall her. Didn't she Stand at when Breide Impressed? Is she discreet, do you think, or should I be circumspect?"
"She arrived sometime around then, as I understand. But she did not stand." Adria has a thoughtful look about her, but she shakes it off to continue, "I believe she's some discretion, but is there any need to explain -why- you're looking at flight records? You are the Weyrsecond, after all."
Sh'van says "I would prefer to keep speculation to a minimum." He watches as Lanmith rediscovers that if he ducks his head underwater and flings it abruptly back, the resulting shower makes for a fine show. "I believe I'll do that, though. Thank you." Another moment, another fling. "Anything you would care to unburden from your shoulders? You did mention discretion earlier..."
With a slight smirk, "Little can happen here without speculation." Adria watches Lanmith as well, seeming amused. Chiyath is less so, swimming away. -She- decides when she gets wet, thanks. A pause from her rider before, "There is little that is going on with me that is cause for concern. Though Cayri thinks we all talk too little. I just don't see the point in explaining my decisions to everyone."
"There are things that should remain private," he agrees with a grimace. "Discussion is one thing; constant arguing - constant rehashing - is another. -- Otherwise, how is Cayri? I have to admit I haven't seen as much of her as I feel I should, but perhaps I'm needlessly concerned. I'm sure the Weyrlingmaster is taking good care of her."
"She wanted to know why I wasn't interested in M'vari," Adria says with an air of admission. "I didn't feel it was entirely correct to explain that to a Weyrling - or anyone, really. I don't know that I ought to discuss those reasons. However, she seemed to think the Weyrleader was interested as well, so perhaps it's just something Cayri likes to talk about." Wrinkling her nose, she adds, "She's fine. Maybe a bit lonely in the barracks on her own. She seems a bit frustrated, though - from the aforementioned lack of discussion."
Sh'van gives the admission several long moments of consideration before attempting to reply. "Perhaps it is because she -is- lonely. She has no clutchmates to speak with, and the Weyrlingmaster... M'vari isn't one to sit around and chat. Especially not with a student. She and Aydeth are rather the wherry eggs in the clutch. Not one thing, and not another. I can't imagine her life is particularly comfortable, even allowing for the... strangeness of Aydeth."
Adria gives that theory due consideration. "It's possible - I should tell Geneve to talk to her, if she could promise not to be overly - militant." Good luck with that, greenrider. "Geneve and Kesianth were is a similar situation. You are right, though - she's still doing a lot of adjusting. We all still are, I suppose. Every time I think things are settled in terms of the women - they are not. That uncertainty isn't easy. For Cayri, it must be doubly so, having already been left once."
"Abandoned twice, to hear her tell it," he says with a twist of rue. "She simply cannot -- will not -- accept any explanation for why she was left on the island after she'd been found. I don't care for it myself, but I do understand politics. She simply refuses." He adds after a second, "I don't know if Geneve would be the wisest person to speak with her. I can too easily see that going horribly wrong."
Archly, "I don't blame her for seeing it that way, nor do I agree with how the situation was handled. I suppose if I had been -told-, much as I saw fit to -tell- the Weyrleader, I might have said just that." Adria's still irritated about all that. "Politics always come first with us - come long before concern for our well-being, it seems. As for Geneve, well. She has been in a similar position, and she's about as blunt as they come. It might be a nice change of pace. Just because you don't get on with her doesn't mean Cayri won't."
Sh'van does arch right back at her. "I would prefer not to fly with two Geneves, thank you. Her getting along well with Geneve is precisely what concerns me." A pause and he continues, "I cannot foresee a time when politics is -not- involved with any of you female riders. Geneve, at least, knew that and accepted it before she stepped forward to Kesianth. I believe Cayri is being deliberately blind. Naive, perhaps."
Adria actually laughs at the thought, pointing out, "If proximity to Geneve turned someone -into- her, wouldn't I be shouting about something or the other right now? Perhaps a concern, but I can't really see Cayri becoming anything like Geneve - or me, or Greta, or any of the others." A pause, then, "Cayri sees how things should be - some would say that's naive. Some would say it's visionary. Either way, when thread comes or there's more of us - or both - politics will fall by the wayside." She seems determined enought about that, gripping the straps in her lap briefly. "I don't know how long it will take, but I intend to be around to see it."
Sh'van says "You and the Weyrleader," sounding almost, perhaps, fond. "Tell me, Adria: do you believe someone must share your beliefs in order to share your goals?"
Adria seems a touch surprised at Sh'van's comment and tone both, blinking over at the bronzerider for a moment. Perhaps she desn't think she's got much in common with X'drian, but she takes it all as casually as it's given in the end - with a shrug. There's a moment, then, "They are not mutually exclusive. I feel strongly about myself and the others - it is difficult to hear other beliefs on the subject. However, in terms of thread - I am not the Weyrleader. I was raised to ignore history at my peril. Mine is a quiet acceptance rather than a crusade."
"An inevitability," he agrees, the syllables tripping him up not at all. "Certain signs suggest sooner rather than later, but... But. What we consider 'soon' may not be what Thread does. Who knows what it thinks, if it thinks at all? I could watch my son and his son grow up and grow old before I see the first change in a stone. Who knows what happens with Thread? None of us, certainly."
"There's even some debate amongst Harpers," Adria admits, "Though the general concensus is 'soon'. There's a point that you have, yes - and some say that the cyclical nature is enough indication of both it's return and it's lack of malice." She stops a moment, then points out with some amusement, "X'drian thinks it will come tomorrow and we will not be ready, while you believe 'eventually' is not necessarily in your lifetime. I wonder why no middle ground can be found when there is so much of it."
Sh'van's tone is decidely light. "What, each of us pick a year for its return, you mean? Or lack of return, if that's what we please?" A minor shake of his head. "There are signs, according to the records. Earthquakes, volcanos, larger clutches, the Eye Rock. So far all we've seen are the clutches. Who knows how long before it returns the queens start clutching? If it truly were returning tomorrow, surely Jasymth would have risen by now? Filling this place," he gestures toward the mass of gaping weyrs, "from a single queen, even with thirty eggs at once, will surely take years upon years."
Adria wrinkles her nose at the tone and words both. "More like - More like what you asked me. Can't you agree on both it's return and the need for preparation without specifics? That your goals are the same?" Heh, take -that-. "And again, the records can give some inidication for the time between clutches and actual threadfall - however, the other signs are a better indicator. If we have time, it's only to our benefit."
Sh'van studies her for a moment. "It isn't me you need to convince," he says finally. "The last I spoke to the Weyrleader about this subject, he was of the opinion that if one didn't agree with him on every aspect, there was no agreement whatsoever." Parry and riposte. "Until the other signs are seen... the clutches, yes even occuring at each of the Weyrs, could simply be a fluke. The next queen's clutch could be eight eggs. Or five."
Looking a touch displeased, Adria notes, "Apparently, the Weyrleader needs to be convinced of many things. If I wasn't concerned about running laps and doing dawn watches, I would likely tell him he's being stupid. I don't think I am quite in the position to do that." Or if she -was-, she didn't take advantage. "I doubt it's a fluke. I can see the point, but I doubt it." A pause, then; "If you want me to speak to him in regards to this, I can try. I am occasionally diplomatic."
Sh'van shakes his head no. "Or at least, not yet. For now things seem to be... working. I don't know how many people he's convinced, nor how many he didn't need to convince. Keep... hmn. Keep an eye and an ear out, though? I should be concerned about a rise the other direction. From people who think as M'vari do. Best to know about that well before the storm breaks."
"With the Telgari coming in, there may well be a backlash," Adria muses as Chiyath finally wades on out of the water, dripping wet but happy. "I'll keep an eye on things, as best as I can. I suppose it's best that things remain - as stable as possible for the time being." She begins to pack up her mending, obviously turning this conversation over in her mind already.
"Stable is far preferable to the alternative," he agrees, following the subtle cue by making his own preparations to stand. "Especially given the upheaval ever since Lanmith arrived for Serinath's flight."
Adria gives Sh'van a look. "Political stability is -always- preferable if there is social upheaval," she says, sounding quite like she's quoting someone. After that serious moment, she smiles with a nod as she rises. "Thank you for the talk, sir. It was enlightening."