Clutches and Riders

Central Bowl (#876J)
Although Ista is smaller than the other Weyrs, the bowl still stretches over 3000 feet in length. To the north and east, you can see the jagged rock fingers towering thousands of feet above you. On the tip of the most northern finger lay the Star Stones, the heralds of the coming of thread. The Queens' Weyrs and the Hatching Grounds lay to the northeast, while the Weyrling Training Grounds and Barracks lie to the north. To the northwest lies the waterfall, where the weyrlings and full-grown dragons alike are bathed, and the weyrfolk can enjoy a swim. Due east, you will find both the Living and Lower Caverns, and to the west is the Feeding Corrals and the Plateau on the edge of the Bay. Great gaping maws dot the inner mountainside and occasionally you can see dragons swooping gracefully in and out of their rocky homes.
It is a winter late night. Cool winter air touches the world with ice.
You see Khast, Rhyolith, Rhett, and Birgith here.
Taini and Aadi are here.
Obvious exits:
Eastern Bowl Southern Bowl Training Grounds Feeding Pens (Beach)

"You'd think, eh?" Aadi chuckles and shifts her weight, letting her arms sit folded across her chest for comfort. "I dunno. Could be that all they're sensin' is what's left of m'family's." She turns away to spit in the dirt. "But, no use borrowin' trouble. How're things up at home?"

Taini shrugs. "More of the same. Got me following the juniors around, which is taking more of my time, so I'm not over here as much." She grins. "But I have gotten to go over to Boll once in awhile. Momma finally got to meet Bee." She says, glancing that way. "She was kind of unsure. You'd think having three dragonrider kids she'd have gotten used to it. But I guess that's a sign of how much time we spend with her." She frowns. "Can they sense that, do you think?"

Mika slips out of the cavern, a little at loose ends. Chores and classes are done, and they've given the task of introducing the young and hold bred to weyr ways to someone who is less likely to be pushed around by her charges. She's not really looking where she's going, at least until she's practically on top of Taini and Aadi. "Oh… sorry. I didn't mean to intrude."

Aadi shrugs. "Y'know, for all my turns livin' at Fort, I still don't know near t'everythin' I'd like to about 'em." She glances at the emerging Mika, offering a nod and a blank look before turning back to Taini. "It would explain all th' Impressionless Searchings." Gaze wanders back to Mika, trying to place that face…

Taini shrugs. "No intrusion here. She smiles, and glances toward the lake. "How are the spiderclaws, Mika?" Finally, after a couple moments of thinking, she remembers the candidate's name.

Mika bobs a little. "Weyrwoman… ma'am…" She greets politely. She doesn't care if Taini is still a weyrling, in her mind she'll always be 'weyrwoman'. She's seen Aadi around in the candidate barracks but hasn't spoken much to her. "The spiderclaws aren't nearly as common these days, but they are getting tastier…" Perhaps because of the winter scarcity.

Aadi takes a moment to think…and then suddenly it hits her. "You're th'girl Em wants to set up with R'ki!" She beams. "Sure don't feel sorry for you. That girl's persistant."

"Still on that, is she?" Taini's even heard of that. She frowns. "It'd be good for him to find someone, maybe he'd feel like he's got friends. Dunno." She shrugs. "Greetings. Still getting used to that 'weyrwoman' business. I don't wonder if Grandpappy Tru isn't rolling in his grave right now." She chuckles. "I bet. Maybe there's something in the colder water…" She has no idea, but it sounds good, doesn't it?

Mika shakes her head and deflates a little. "The harder she keeps trying the less he'll listen." Mika murmurs mostly to herself. "I doubt he'd notice me anyway. Not like that…" They've been friends since their first candidacy.

"Ah, R'ki's a good sort. He n' Seiketh're the ones that Searched me." Aadi cracks her neck twice and sighs with relief. "Much better." Beat. "He's a bit shy, though. Got mad't me once for talkin' 'bout sex on th'beach…"

Taini laughs, as she remembers that. "You'd think he was holdbred or something." Tai says, shrugging. "He Searched you? That's cool." She glances over at Mika. "Seems like that's a common failing. I know /I've/ run into it before." She says of R'ki's stubbornness. "Think I'm a bit guilty of it myself at times."

"Most people are… stubborn in one way or another," Mika agrees. "Just depends on what about…" She shakes her head, "Looking forward to standing here?" She asks of Aadi.

"Aye, I am." Aadi grins at Mika. "It's an adventure all it's own—and without new folk out for m'blood, like I told Tai." She chuckles then. "Is he? Holdbred, I mean?" That would explain a lot. "I don't remember him from before Kabrielle's last clutch." She frowns in thought. "You know 'im, Tai?"

Taini shakes her head. "I know him a little, but I don't know his background or anything. I just know he was a really good friend of Kabrielle's." She says with a little bit of sadness. "So, he was dealing with that." She frowns. "How many times have you stood now, Aadi?" She asks.

Mika shakes her head. "No, he grew up here, same as I did…" Mika explains to Aadi. She grimaces as Taini mentions R'ki's relationship to Kabrielle, but she refrains from comment on it. She looks to Aadi for the answer as much as Taini does. "How many turns have you been a candidate?" She hadn't realized that Aadi had actually stood before.

"Whoosh." Aadi blows out a breath of air as she thinks about that. "Ma's green Brikabreth Searched me m'first time, so that was…" She chews her lower lip. "Eleven turns ago—for me. S'only been nine in this timeline. So in eleven turns, including the times from backwhen…" She glances up at Bee. "This will be my tenth time." Said slowly, almost to herself.

Taini raises her eyebrows. "I hadn't realized it was that many times, Aadi." She says, shaking her head. "That's a lot of years." She turns to Mika. "So, you grew up together?" Ah. Okay.

"Sort of. We didn't really get to know each other until we both stood for the last clutch." Mika shrugs. She's been a candidate three turns but there's only been one clutch in that time frame. "Good luck."

Shaking herself out of whatever thoughts pulled her back, Aadi nods to Taini. "Remember when I told you that th'dragons /were/ m'life? I wasn't kiddin'." To Mika she nods. "And t'you as well." Then with a nod to Mika, she steps in to give her sister another hug. "I've got t'run. Chores comin' out m'ears n'all. Glad t'see you. Tell th'boys t'come down n'say hello?"

As Taini reaches out to hug her 'sister' again, she grins. "I'll tell them. But will they listen?" She nods to Mika. "Ah. I guess I'm not used to having such a large place to live in. Only people I know /really/ well from that time are my brothers. Said 'boys.' " She grins at Aadi, releases her, and nods. "Have fun, my friend."

Mika nods, "It helps if you're shy. Which I don't think is common in your family." Mika's tone is simply observational. "Have a good evening," Is Mika's fairwell to Aadi. She doesn't know the other girl well enough to be any less formal.

Taini nods. "You're right about that." She says, shrugging. "No shyness here." She grins. "I think Thadd's the shyest of the bunch, and he's not shy."

Taini pauses, though, remembering. "Tahira might've been the shyest." She frowns. "But… I haven't seen her in Turns."

"I sometimes wish I wasn't so shy…" Mika admits. "But it's the only way I know how to be. Who's Tahira?" She asks the last innocently. There were pleanty of reasons why someone might not have seen a relative in turns.

Taini looks a little sad. "My twin sister. Although I'm older than she would be now." She considers Tahira gone. "The pirates, I think. That's the last we'd heard of her, anyway." She looks away, and Birgith comes near her, to nuzzle her from behind in reassurance. "Sorry. It's still tough to think about."

Mika grimaces and nods. "I'm sorry… I didn't know. I heard a little about the pirates. You're all braver than I'll ever be. How do you actually do this? Get through that… and still manage to be out spoken and…" She trails off trying to find the right words and failing.

Taini shrugs. "I don't know. I just am. Sometimes, my mouth gets me in trouble, but I wouldn't be myself if I didn't speak out. You know?" She smiles sadly at the candidate. "It's okay. I'm dealing with it."

"At least it doesn't get you stepped on," Mika points out, actually raising her eyes. "I'm not sure if it's worth not getting into trouble… It's just different kinds of trouble."

"No, but it does the stepping, which might be just as bad." Taini says frowning. "At least at times, if you're not careful."

"The ones that worry about whether or not they're stepping on others are usually not the ones doing the stepping," Mika points out. "Same trouble… different kind I guess?" She asks just a little uncertainly.

Taini nods. "Yeah. Probably. I never thought of it like that, but it must be." She shrugs, and then changes the topic. "So, they're gathering in folks a little earlier than usual, huh? Before they know how many eggs there are?" She frowns. "That's a little different, isn't it?"

Mika shrugs, "Not really. there hasn't been a clutch in three turns. They're going to need more than the half-dozen candidates that stuck it out." Like Mika. "Istan dragons seem to prefer new blood anyway. Even if it's three to one ratio, Is that really too many?"

"Like i was telling Aadi," Taini says with a shrug. "I don't know that much about it." She looks over towar Birgith. "I wasn't even a candidate when I Impressed Bee, so I have no idea…" She looks back at Mika. "Maybe we'll figure it out after she's had a few clutches. Although I'm not holding my breath." A snort of laughter. "No, Bee." She says, chuckling. "It's an expression."

Mika nodds. "I mostly remember from when I was little… and I think R'ki was the only candidate that grew up at Ista who actually impressed last time, but Naomith's never had a clutch before so…" Mika shrugs.

"And Naomith is from Telgar, right, I mean, her egg was, so you never know how it's going to turn out." Taini says, pondering. "N'lon won again, which is a good thing, but that means no gold egg." She says, tilting her head in thought. "Unless they buy another one."

Mika shrugs, "I doubt they will, we have Quinn's gold and Wullan's though Isabeth hasn't risen in a while." Two golds mean at least a few more chances before she's too old to try again.

Taini nods. "Well, whatever they do, it should be interesting." She says, smiling. "Good luck to you, then." She looks around. "I probably should get home soon. I just stopped by to see how Aadi was." She smiles. "Nice talking to you."

Mika bobs down into a little bow. "You are welcome here any time…" Mika actually smiles. "And thank you." Though she doesn't specify for what.

"Anytime." Taini may not know what service she rendered, but it was a service, so she's glad to help. "Let's go, Bee." She says, patting the gold as she mounts.

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