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Sevillalost



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PostSubject: Fulfilling Our Promises   Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:26 pm

Siona leaned against Lolath's forearm, careful to stay in the shadows.  A glance at the sky told her that it was almost the appointed time for meeting.  She'd wanted to be early, mostly because she hated being late, but also so that Lolath could get a sense of their companions for the evening.  Tonight's adventures had the great potential to be... interesting, to say the least.  If nothing else, it would be useful to know as much as possible about the night's crew.  

And if that thought wasn't an amusing one?  Who would have predicted that when Eastern cast them out, they'd have been taken in by a group of holdless smugglers.  Oh, Br'son and his Cobaltriders were quick to throw around words like "partnership" and "teamwork", but Siona could see what was what.  The smugglers had so far given the dragonriders far more than the dragonriders had given in return.  Tonight was about evening that score, at least a little bit.  

I hope that Divisk and his person come, Lolath put in.  For some reason, she found the brown wher fascinating.  Siona smiled smugly.  

"I'm certain he will, lovely girl," she said.  "This is, after all, his stake in finding a mate and siring clutches of his own.  And something tells me that Dividia is not one to be left out of any action that is to be had."
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weyrwolf



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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sat Jul 04, 2015 5:17 pm

Where is everyone? Night is properly dark. Divisk wasn't sure why they needed so many others to accomplish this, but he was grudgingly approving of some of the dragons.

Some. This, actually, was one of them, though no way to know that from the standard abruptness of his tone. But then, he didn't growl at the quartz's human, so there was that.

Dividia stepped out as well, just ahead of Divisk's emergence from the cliffside. "You said something about action?" she asked, with a half-smile that could easily have been lost in the dark.
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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sat Jul 04, 2015 5:47 pm

"And she has timing like something out of a Harper's tale," Siona said, turning with a smile to greet the wherhandler.  "Just reassuring Lolath that her favorite wher wasn't likely to be left out of this one.  How are you, Dividia?"  Siona held out her hand in welcome.  

I think the others will come, Lolath told Divisk, her tone light and friendly.  Or they will possibly meet us at the location of the raid.  It is rather exciting, is it not?  Going on a raid.  One feels so... underhanded.  

Siona snorted softly, but refrained from passing this dialogue on to Dividia.  If the wher wanted to tell his handler what Lolath had said, he would do so.
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weyrwolf



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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:46 pm

"Looking forward to the evening. And you, Siona?" The half smile turned into a full smile as Dividia reached out to complete the gesture.

Underhanded? No. Right. Exciting. A snort, but still no snarl or growl. Intent on the hunt ahead, to be sure, and perhaps his good mood was influencing Dividia, or the other way around. We will sneak, and we will be successful.

The excitement was clear in his tone, beneath that intensity.
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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:02 am

"We're well," Siona replied. "Excited, I suppose. Lolath is enchanted by the romance of it all. Do you know how many others we're expecting?"
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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sun Jul 05, 2015 1:23 am

"One last hurrah, right?" Fleur said to Dividia, sliding out of out of the darkness. Her hair was constrained by a tight scarf, showing off the incredibly high cheek bones it usually hid. She had a wry smile on her. Dividia knew of the plan, she was certain, but no need to explain the inside joke to the rider.

"How are we looking, Divisk?" she said, addressing the wher directly. So far it had been easy to charm the dragonriders, with her already being used to Divisk, even if she hadn't yet chosen the one she'd claim for her own. She crouched down, a bit further back than the other two. They had large creatures to protect them after all: she had only her knives.
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weyrwolf



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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sun Jul 05, 2015 2:49 pm

Divisk growled in reply, but as he didn't make any other threatening gesture. Maybe the dragons were a good influence after all.

Dividia must have thought that a bit too loudly, because he turned on her, stubby wings mantling, and gave a low, rippling snarl that made her lips curl up again (there was a thread of amusement in the wher's mind, which kept them all safe).

Deliberately turning away from him (he made a noise deep in his throat that was partially threatening and deeply entertained), she touched Fleur's arm. "Only for now. Glad to have you on this one. We should have a handful more - plenty of hands and eyes to go around."


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Sevillalost



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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:53 pm

"So what's the plan, then?" Siona asked, feeling Lolath's amusement at the wher's posturing. Siona was feeling a bit of amusement of her own, truth be told. Divisk was obviously a dangerous force of nature, with all of the brute destructive potential of a dragon and none of the manners or restraint imposed by the Impression bond. Well, mostly none. But maybe that was due to his handler being a ruthless killer, and therefore not his fault.

The quartzrider smiled at Dividia again. Ruthless killer or not, she was definitely in charge for this adventure... at least until the point when Siona felt she or Lolath were in danger. But that went without saying. For Siona, at least.
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weyrwolf



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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:36 pm

"Pretty straightforward. We draw the wher out, you and your lovely distract, and the runners run. Lolath will have a bit of back up, and the goal is three eggs." Dividia'd be happy with two, if they could get a clutching wher, but no need to be too low or too high with expectations. This one was for testing partnerships - not like this first raid would be the last. Not by a long shot.

"Ready to get moving?"
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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:02 pm

"Whenever you are," Siona said with a smile.

***

A bit later, Siona crouched in the shadows next to Lolath's head, awaiting Divisk's signal that it was time to put on their show. The quartzrider found herself grinning in the darkness. Crazy this may be, but it was certainly fun!
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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:02 pm

Now, Divisk sent to the quartz, once his person and the extra she had brought were in place. The people would get in and out. He would call and then keep watch (this dissatisfied him; he and Dividia could do all of it, perhaps with Lolath and her person).

And then he moved into clear sight of the wher's den, stretching up to his full height and breadth, and sent (to Dividia's deep amusement) Who's home?
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Sevillalost



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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:38 pm

Silence rang in response to Divisk's call, and then:

Me, a voice came out of the darkness. A golden head came forward, gnarled and grey with age. Want a fight? The subtext was clear. The old queen would give as good as she got, if a fight was Divisk's aim. If it wasn't, however... well. She had always enjoyed browns. They knew their places, most of the time.
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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:46 pm

He did - oh, how very much he did. He yearned for it, all the time. But not here, not her. Not a fight, he said after a moment, turning his head ever so slightly from her, the faintest baring of his neck. He said nothing else, letting the mystery provide interest.

Where were her people? Hold whers had people. It's how Dividia had convinced him to bring so many extras for this trip.
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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:56 pm

Person dead. She said, her tone too matter-of-fact not to be masking an ache. New person weak. Killed him. Have eggs. Too old to leave. Can fight still, but only once, she added with a bit of wry humor.

Why brown here? With people? You have name? Person? she asked, interest coloring her tone.
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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:05 pm

His stubby wings folded back, and he crouched down a little closer to the ground. This was not what he had expected. Steal eggs from stupid humans, fine. From a queen who knew the strength and lack thereof, who had a person and now did without? Well, it'd be a fun fight, to be sure, but less satisfying.

Yes. Divisk. My person is, a pause, words didn't work. Smart, mean, clever, violent, all and more. Equal, his thoughts said finally. Have dragons now. Want whers, not just dragons.

Another pause. Would they fight? He was willing, if not eager.

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Sevillalost



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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:22 pm

The old queen tilted her head to the side, her thick neck catching the dim light. Want whers. Want eggs? Fight me, win, take my eggs. Do not want weak people to have them anyway. But you must win, she added with a hint of laughing menace. Do not want weak browns to have them either.

The exchange hadn't taken long, but Siona realized something was happening with Divisk. Lolath didn't know, so she nudged Dividia. "Well?" she breathed.
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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:37 pm

Divisk had come here with the hope of crushing something - multiple somethings. Weak people. Not a queen - old yes, but wily, and fierce.

But her point was solid. He would win the whers, no help needed from dragons, or people. Even his person. New plan, he said, and before Dividia could do more than process, he was low to the ground, wings tight to his body, talons biting into the ground.

No weakness. No fury, just ferocious drive. He would win. She was bigger, and older, stronger, but he had never been leashed, and he had turns of battles alongside Dividia at his back. Let her attack first, so he could gauge her ability to move, and then it would be short and fierce and done.

Dividia's hand clamped down on Siona's arm, just for a moment. "Tell Lolath new plan. He's fighting the queen for the eggs." She thought about where all her weapons were, and prepared herself to dive in if the moment presented itself. Divisk didn't want her help, but that didn't matter. He had it if it became needed.
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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:43 pm

The queen let out a gurgle that could have been a laugh, and then, quicker than should have been possible for one so old, she sprung.  Her powerful hind legs carried her toward her brown challenger.  The intent was to take him off guard if she could, bowl him over with her heavier mass, pin him to the ground and take his throat.  

A fierce type of joy surged through her.  It had been so long since she'd had a real, good battle.  Past time.  Past time indeed.

***

Alarm surged through Siona and Lolath both. But then the quartz picked up on something, and whispered it to her rider's mind.

"Ohhhh," Siona said, forgetting that Dividia didn't know of her quartz's talent. "Lolath says that the wher queen wants to be bested. She'll fight hard, but she'd rather die in battle than in her sleep. And she really doesn't want the people here to have her eggs..."
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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:03 am

Divisk made no noise - the time for growling had passed, and she didn't leave any room for such things anyway. He pivoted to the left - against another challenger he would have been unscathed, but she was faster than he'd expected. She couldn't pin him but her claws raked his side, opening old scars, likely creating new ones. He was bleeding, but he'd had worse - Dividia hadn't even stepped in his direction.

Good. A real fight, then. He used his momentum, aided by her strike, to quickly push off again, staying low to the ground but fast, his entire bulk fronted by teeth and talons as he came back around, hopefully while she was still off balance from her blunted attack.

Wings folded back, he aimed for her head. There was no way he could bear her to the ground or even hope to fully knock her over. He could daze her though, blind her, get to her throat. Maybe she'd submit.

But the bloodlust rose, and he didn't know that he'd care if she did.

*
If Dividia could have looked away from the fight, she would have glanced sidelong at the rider beside her. Instead she took the information and ensured Divisk knew it (he didn't need encouragement, she could feel the fury bubbling through even now, but if he had any hesitation in fighting a queen he would otherwise respect, that would help), and filed the fact that Siona - and Lolath - had had the information at all for later.
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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:13 am

Balance the old queen had. It was stamina that time had stripped slowly away. So if she was going to win, she was going to have to do it quickly. And death wish or not, the old queen would never dishonor a fight by not trying to win.

She caught Divisk's attack with her face, one eye exploding in flashes of blinding light as his talons raked it apart. Hurt. Yes, it hurt, but when did that ever matter? The important thing was that the brown's belly was within reach of her hind claws.

The queen allowed his momentum to carry her over onto her back, while she raked at his underside with talons the size of a person's dagger
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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:32 am

Divisk hadn't expected her to go over, but went with it, rearing up before her claws could sink all the way through his belly and into the vital organs inside. Dividia moved, and for the first time he snarled.

He didn't need her help, nor want it. Taking more wounds, he dug his talons against the larger wher's, or locked them in the soft fold where leg met midsection. If he could secure her legs, he'd be clear for her throat.
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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:53 am

Ah.  He was strong, and clever.  If she were younger, and it was mating time, he'd have won the right to her body by now.  As it was, he and his people (and dragons, though the queen found that idea amazing) would be excellent caretakers for her last offspring.  Her strength began to lag, and she found that she couldn't stop him from pinning her legs down.  

Outside, Siona froze.  Lolath said that someone was coming toward them, from inside the hold.

"Dividia..." she whispered, though the wherhandler looked as if she were too absorbed in the fight to hear.  

The queen heard them, too.  Stupid, cruel, weak people.  Nothing like her lost person.  She held his name, and her own deep in her heart as she bared her throat in grateful surrender to the magnificently vicious brown.  

Take blood.  Take eggs.  Thank you for fight.  Good way to die.  Not at hands of people who come to hit me with sticks.  Weak people, not like yours.  Kill them for me, now that eggs are safe, Divisk, she said, using the brown's name for the first time.  It was a mark of her deep respect.  

The door from the hold rattled as someone fumbled at the chain.
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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sun Aug 02, 2015 1:13 am

Respect, and rage, sudden and breathlessly powerful. Dividia, long used to furies of her partner, had never felt this from Divisk.

Kill them all, he said, and it was a promise. He would have let her watch, but she knew it would happen, and this fight could end only one way. Almost reverently, he made the final motion, his jaws clamping onto her throat, and with a precise movement, tore it out.

Long enough for the door to open from the hold.

Hit her with sticks, he said to Dividia and Lolath, his huge head turning on its heavily muscled neck, ichor bright against the dark brown of his hide. Made a promise.

Dividia put her hands on her knives, but didn't think she'd need them. "You might want to look away," she whispered, thinking Lolath would pass on Divisk's intent. Dragons could eat messily, to be sure, but this...

The door opened. Divisk launched, all teeth and talon and ravening murder. The humans coming out, with no way of knowing what was on the other side of their door, coming at them out of the dark...

They didn't stand a chance.
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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sun Aug 02, 2015 1:25 am

In the end, Siona hadn't looked away, nor had Lolath. Because Divisk had been right. One didn't treat a queen that way. One didn't treat anyone that way. And now, these never would, again.

Afterward, the people in the party entered the queen's den to find a total of four eggs, one of which gleamed when they brought it out into the moonlight. They were all soft and leathery to the touch, and smaller than dragon eggs. Bigger than firelizard eggs, though. Siona had brought her largest pack harness with the biggest saddlebags and many, many furs. They wrapped each of the eggs and carefully inserted them in the bags while Lolath and Divisk watched. Divisk stood over the body of the fallen queen, his stance protective. The carnage from his attack on the hapless holders stained the room and himself, but he didn't seem to care.

When all was in readiness, Siona carefully approached the brown wher. "Divisk, may I take her? Dividia can help me. We will bring her out to Lolath, and she will take her between with us. It only seems right."

Lolath sent the equivalent of this speech to her wher friend in images and feelings. The night had gone beyond words for the quartz dragon. The gleeful desire to hurt she'd felt in the dead people had bothered her. Bothered her so much that she'd been glad Divisk was the way he was. They all had their talents, the quartz dragon realized, violence was Divisk's
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PostSubject: Re: Fulfilling Our Promises   Sun Aug 02, 2015 1:36 am

Divisk tensed, his head slewing around to regard the quartz for a moment. It was an honor, meant as one.

Dividia came closer, not wary or cautious, but careful, and that soothed him slightly more. He stepped away from the queen, toward his person, and allowed her hands against his side. She cared about his wounds, but didn't worry, and not a bit about the ichor and blood all over his hide.

That soothed him too. Yes. Satisfied, by the work, by Lolath's ability to be a partner in this, by Lolath's person's ability to see what was important and honor the valued dead, he didn't need to answer any more than that.

It was done.
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