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weyrwolf



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PostSubject: Now we know   Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:40 pm

Ferrix had been in this canyon for months. Working with the all-too-young riders, bronze and cobalt, that were all Pern had left. Informally, formally, gruffly all around, eyes never settling on rankcords or dragons for longer than the briefest of breaths (especially, especially the bronzes).

But that was different, a more short-term, pressing mission while...Now...well, now, the rumors were true. White Lightning had more than one queen in truth, the shadows just as capable as their titanium leader, and a few more to join them.

So he'd asked the Weyrleaders and any they saw fit to join him, to put forward his proposal.

Sidran had set them up in her office, and stood quietly thoughtful across the room. He hadn't expected her to listen, about bloodlines, and now half-expected the woman to change her mind now that there were three new queens in play. But ambitious as she was, she had commitment. He'd give her that, as far as he was willing to give anyone anything, these days.
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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:19 pm

Br'son arrived, not-quite-breathless. He'd taken some time for exercise, and had gotten too into the feeling of pushing his body. Yllaveth had helpfully reminded him that he was awaited, and so he'd hustled to the pools, doused himself enough that he didn't (he hoped!) smell too offensive, thrown on some clothes and rushed up to the Weyrleader's office.

A meeting with Ferrix, the dragonless bronzerider. He really had no idea what this could be about. He'd met the man, of course. Welcomed him, but like many, he found the dragonless man unnerving. They hadn't spoken often, but after every exchange, Br'son promised himself anew that he'd never outlive Yllaveth. He couldn't imagine the magnitude of that much loss...

No. That way lay madness. Suffice it to say that he honored Ferrix for his courage, and leave it at that.

"Weyrleader, Ferrix," Br'son greeted them as he walked in. Then he mentally kicked himself. Ferrix had been a Weyrleader once, too. "I...ah... Hope you haven't been waiting long," he finished, feeling awkward.

Not much rattled Br'son in a social setting. Ferrix did.
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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:41 pm

The slightest of starts, and Ferrix shoved his hands deeper in his pockets, slouching as usual against the table rather than sitting. "Weyrsenior. We just got here."

Sidran offered a quick smile, then turned her face back toward Ferrix, clearly curious.

"Won't waste your time," he said, not meeting either of their eyes. "I came down here from some rumors. Wasn't actually sure there was a healthy group of dragons anywhere. You know there are still..." a slight pause, "browns, blues, and greens, sick but flying. At some of the Weyrs, at least. It's all that's holding everything together, but barely. Before...I talked with some of the other leaders, whoever was left. They need queens, to help order the flights. You only had Yllaveth, I wouldn't ask."
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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:31 pm

Br'son pressed his lips together. Well. Of all the things he might have expected Ferrix to say... this was not one of them. They wanted a queen? Queens? To go where? Ista, Ferrix's old Weyr?

Not Eastern, that much was certain.

He glanced at Sidran, and then shrugged.

"Are you telling me that you want me to send one of our queens to one of the Northern Weyrs? Who is asking?"
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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:29 am

"All the Weyrs we were still in touch with would ask - Benden, High Reaches, Fort, Telgar, and Ista. We lost touch with Igen early on, and I don't know..." Ferrix shrugged, hunching a little closer to himself for a moment. "There aren't enough wings or queens to justify that. I'd recommend Fort and Telgar to anchor Falls, if you can, and combine who's left."

Sidran's mouth turned down as she thought. Of course they assumed they were immune - the Eastern old colors had survived, the rest had never fallen ill. But who was to say that was true of everyone? Who was to say the young queens were hatched with immunity, young as they were?

She looked at Br'son, a silent question in her expression - she would lead them where ever, but this, this was his call. Not that she wanted to let the world burn, necessarily, but...the queens were his, no question, and she didn't have the wings to cover the planet, regardless (she didn't have the wings to cover a full Weyr territory, either, nevermind five...).
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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:42 pm

Br'son bit his lip as his brain circled in thoughts that echoed those of the Weyrleader.

"Here's the problem, as I see it," he said, his voice pitched low. "And I'll ask the two of you to keep this between the three of us. My gut is telling me that sending a Shadow dragon to be the senior queen of a Weyr would be a bad idea. Yllaveth agrees. They're queens, no doubt, but they're also incredibly volatile compared to the Titans or the old Golden queens. Look at Aliseth's flight, for example. She punished the traditionally colored dragons for our exile by not letting them chase. Eniseth hasn't shown even the slightest whisper of interest in rising, though part of me is relieved about that for Teagan's sake, but what if she never does? Yes, I've five queens, but in truth, I've only two proven queens, and one of those has the potential to be a disaster as a Senior. "

He shook his head in frustration and scrubbed his hands over his eyes.

"How badly do they need the help? Can they hold out for two more turns? Because by that time, Klaroth could go, as senior, and possibly with one of the shadows as her 'second. Plus, we'd have more fighting dragons to send along. And maybe more titanium queens besides...?"
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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:33 pm

Ferrix's eyes darkened, and the hunch seemed more noticeable before he forced himself nearly upright. "Fair, Weyrsenior." The foreign word sat almost naturally, now, in his gruff voice. "But you misunderstand. No one is under any illusions that those Weyrs can survive - I don't know how many of those dragons are still hanging on, and while some may survive...numbers are against them. In a few Turns Thread will have eaten everything up there, and a few after that it will be over. I suggest some temporary postings - there are just browns, blues, and greens left. They need an anchor, even a young queen. At least for Falls, to send them off and bring them home and help when they're hurt."

Of course a queen fully there as senior would be best. And just as of course, Aliseth would be a risky proposition in such an endeavor - he couldn't agree more.
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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:44 pm

Br'son's eyes widened, then closed as he shook his head. His hands balled into fists, then released, then balled up again.

"I can't, won't send a baby queen," he said, opening his eyes. "Especially not a shadow. Untrained, they'd be more of a liability than anything else, anyway. E'zen... again, I don't think it wise to send Aliseth north. I don't think she'd do what you're wanting to do... I just. We just need more time. And more dragonpairs."

He looked at Sidran helplessly.

"Weyrleader? Any ideas?"

Stars above. He'd known it was bad. He had no idea how bad.
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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:41 pm

"You're the only option, if we can't send Aliseth or Eniseth," Sidran replied after a moment. The corner of her mouth turned down, even saying it. "Pick one central Weyr, Fort or Benden, anchor from there for the Falls that will hit the most farmland, and then come home until the next."

Ferrix closed his eyes briefly, but he was already looking down, so who would have noticed?
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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:41 pm

"You're the only option, if we can't send Aliseth or Eniseth," Sidran replied after a moment. The corner of her mouth turned down, even saying it. "Pick one central Weyr, Fort or Benden, anchor from there for the Falls that will hit the most farmland, and then come home until the next."

Ferrix closed his eyes briefly, but he was already looking down, so who would have noticed?
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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:02 pm

Br'son scrubbed his hands over his face.

"Perhaps when Eniseth rises..." he said, but he couldn't even finish the thought. Teagan was only twelve. Surely he could be forgiven for not wishing for Eniseth to rise too soon. One's first flight was difficult enough, but it shouldn't be traumatic. And it would be, for a rider that young and innocent.

"Or one of the new shadows, even," he added. "Kalabria is nearly as young as Teagan, but Melieste is older... perhaps Zillath will follow suit and rise early. And... maybe we can do as the Weyrleader says. But we have so few dragons ourselves. How are we to keep our wings in the air as well?"
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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:31 pm

After a long moment, Br'son came to a decision and let his breath out in a huff.

"Weyrleader, Ferrix... I don't think this is a problem we can solve alone. I will have Yllaveth call a few others to join our conference. Aliseth, Nolinth..." he cut his eyes to Sidran briefly, and then away. "Maraxith. Their riders can be trusted, and are creative thinkers. Perhaps they will see a solution where I see none."

Aliseth, Nolinth, Maraxith. Your riders are needed in the office for a conference. We require your quick attendance... and your discretion.

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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:55 pm

Yvalleth has requested you attend the Weyrsenior, Nolinth told his rider, tone almost... formal. Jah'vi looked up from the straps he was triple checking before hanging up, his brow furrowed.

This is important.

"Got it," he murmured, standing up and then shaking his head. If it was important, he should look the part. He quickly changed into one of his bether sets of leathers and splashed water on his face.

Better, he thought, slipping his rank cord over his shoulder. He didn't run into anyone who wanted his attention, and was able to make it to the office in good time. He squared his shoulders before entering, and nearly lost his breath still. He felt there was tension between him and the dragonless man, and he wished his rank cords weren't so obvious now.
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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:04 pm

We come, my queen.

In moments, she was at the enterence. Casriel knocked once and then slowly step through,  taking in the faces of everyone present as she passed.  The older man she did not recognize and as he wore no rider's  knots, she was not likely to mark him as worthy of remembering.  She took the first available seat she found and pushed back a curl of golden hair.

"Weyrsenior. Weyrleader. How may I be of assistance?" The Wingleader asked,  folding in her hands atop one knee, crossed over the other.  The room felt tense to Casriel and she wondered what could have caused Br'son to summon her,  especially in the presence of Sidran, as well as cursed Jah'vi.

Her face was an expression of cool professionalism,  though in the well of her eye, the cogs were already turning.  She was a woman who ever had her gaze turned to the horizon.  Staying three steps ahead of the game was always important to Casriel.  That was how she had been able to climb so quickly up the ranks, even as a woman and a cobalt rider.


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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:22 pm

Sidran's frown hadn't deepened at adding additional people, but she didn't smooth it, either. What could they do, besides forget the entirety of the Northern Continent?

***
Aliseth's assent was pleased, mostly because it meant interrupting endless drills. She veered off with barely a word, depositing her temporarily-resigned rider on Yllaveth's ledge before diving off again. He paused upon seeing the assembly there (Aliseth hadn't found it necessary to tell him), recovered mostly well, and moved to the side away from Ferrix. His path had crossed the dragonless man's enough times, even though male queenriders weren't the focus, and it was disorienting enough that distance felt right.
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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:02 pm

"Thank you for joining us," Br'son said as E'zen, Casriel, and Jah'vi joined them. "I think at least some of you know Ferrix, formerly Weyrleader of Ista." He said the words quickly but unflinchingly, without inflection. Ferrix's perspective was important, and so it was important that everyone knew who, exactly, he was.

"He has come to us with a... proposal. Or a plea. It seems... well. The plague swept across the North as well, as you know. All the queens are gone, and the bronzes and most of the browns. And the smaller dragons that linger dwindle with every passing day. I have told Ferrix that I cannot spare either Yllaveth or Aliseth, but the others are too young, save only Teagan. But she's unproven, and Teagan, too, is so young..." frustration leaked into the Weyrsenior's tone and he shoved his hands through his hair, mussing it.

"I am out of ideas. We have barely enough dragons to fly our own Falls, and yet we cannot let the entirety of the North burn. The death rate would be staggering... Help us find a solution."
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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:51 pm

Jah'vi frowned, shaking his head at the thought of the North burning. No, that could never happen. "Dragon men must fly when Thread is in the sky," he murmured, his left hand moving to his pocket to rub at the worry rock he'd started carrying when the dragons first started to get sick.

It was quite smooth by this point.

"Perhaps our assumption that Teagan is too unproven and young is the reason Ensieth hasn't Risen," he said aloud, the frown still creasing his brow. "Aliseth proved the shadows can lay impressive clutches. As... distasteful as the idea might be, perhaps we need to be encouraging them."

Even saying it left a bad taste in his mouth, and he immediately wished he hadn't suggested it. He definitely wouldn't allow Nolinth to chase, and doubted any of the others would feel differently. He shook his head again, dismissing his own idea before anyone could say anything.
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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Sat Oct 01, 2016 11:58 am

Br'son sent Jah'vi a glare, even though he knew the other man felt as he did.

"No," he said. "She's a child. It would traumatize her, and a traumatized queenrider is not something any of us want or can afford... especially not on a queen with the potential to be so volatile. No offense intended to you, E'zen, but you know better than anyone. Aliseth banned traditional colors from her flight. What might Eniseth do if we allowed her rider to..." he couldn't even say it. He just shook his head and spoke with the steely will of a senior queenrider.

"No. I will not allow that. There has to be another solution."
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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Sat Oct 01, 2016 2:49 pm

Casriel repressed the urge to sneer openly at Jah'vi. Instead she touched her chin with her right hand and her brow furrowed as she thought. Everything they did now carried with it some amount of risk. Some half forgotten Harper ballad came back to her and she turned her mine back to all the evenings she had hidden in a corner of the mess hall , listening to the speculation to the bronze riders when she had been a young girl . She had thought that they had some kind of advantage in luring a dragon so powerful to them as a bronze . She had always kept her ear low to the ground and she had learned things long ago. So much of the talk had been coached in speculation and hypothetical phrases but little things had given credit to some of the stories.

Casriel took a long, deep breath and closed her eyes for a second. He went perfectly still for a moment and then, as she opened them, she began.

" Since the beginning of Pern, when the dragons first came into being, it was said that bronzes and gold's had special abilities. Special abilities that they could teach to dragons of other colors. Queens have always been able to do one particular ability. We have no time, so we must make it. By sending Teagan and Eniseth forward Between time, with a detachment of young bronze and cobalt riders, in the future she could be older and bring Eniseth's clutch back as fully graduate weyrlings. There is a risk and I would not ask you to do this if I thought there was any other good option. We cannot risk traumatizing a young queen right and therefore risking her queen with what we know will fail. The ancients did this once, we can do it now!"


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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Sat Oct 01, 2016 2:56 pm

Sidran would have scoffed at the ridiculousness of it, old tales or no, if not for one, very specific truth. Person, rather. The goldrider who'd started all of this, somehow, even before she knew she'd done so.

"Firene," she said softly, looking first at Casriel and then at Br'son, eyes widening slightly. Their former Weyrwoman had gone back. Surely then, they could go forward?
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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:54 pm

Jah'vi blinked a few times, then his mouth fell open slightly. Of course, so much made sense now. Towards the... end, he shuddered just thinking about it, the Weyrwoman had been off. And not just from the dragons dropping dead all around them, or the pressing threat of defending the territory. He'd been wrapped up in his own struggles at the time, suddenly the Weyrleader and not even understanding how they would make it through the next day.

He looked at Br'son with narrowed eyes, annoyance flashing through him. The sharded cobalt riders may hate him, but they were clutch sibs. How could the titanium rider keep this from him? Firene had been just as dear to him.
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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Sat Oct 01, 2016 6:17 pm

Br'son blinked, then looked at Sidran, Casriel, and Jah'vi each in turn.  

"So we... what?  Send Teagan forward with the weyrlings, and then have them come back after they've grown?  What if they never make it back?  Maybe Firene was timing it... maybe" he said, stressing the qualifier and looking squarely at Jah'vi.  "But we've all been taught the consequences of such actions.  So much could go wrong!  I can't... I can't risk all of our weyrlings... plus three queens!  Four, counting Eniseth!"  

Eniseth is the only one who would need to be put at risk, Yllaveth said quietly into the turmoil of Br'son's mind.  Her rider is the youngest, therefore Eniseth must wait the longest.  Perhaps Ohanith as well, but perhaps we do not want to risk so many.  You could send just Eniseth forward first, past the turn of the Red Star, and let them find a safe place.  She is a queen.  She will have the best chance of timing it properly.  Then, once she's determined that it is safe, she can come back and bring the rest of the young ones forward to age...

Br'son turned toward the ledge where Yllaveth rested, her head angled so that she could see into the room.  

"You can't be serious," he said out loud, though he was clearly addressing his queen.  "You think this is even a... a... possibility?!"
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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:50 pm

"Not all the weyrlings. Just Teagan, with Wingrider Z'ash and I would suggest Wingrider R'fariel as well. At very least the idea should be poised to them; we cannot force them to make such a risk. The strain of such a direct order, as needful as it may be, could distract them as they made their jump, if it was under duress. Unconventional times call for unconventional methods." Casriel said quietly. Her eyes didn't leave Br'sons face.

Eniseth is a strong willed queen. She is of Yllaveth; she will find her way. Maraxith said to both Casriel and Br'son. His great voice was an echoing thunder; a masculine version of his rider's. To Yllaveth, he turned his mind and his voice went soft.

Casriel and I would not suggest this if we were not also willing to lead them forth. We are not afraid. Maraxith told his senior queen.

"If you do not think Eniseth can make the jump Between without a guide, Maraxith and I will go forward with them. This may well be the only way to ensure Thread does not dominate Pern." Casriel said and her voice was no louder than a spider weaving it's silken cord.


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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:14 am

"I'd recommend sending a few of the younger males, to give her options well ahead of time." And keep her socialized, Sidran added to herself silently. Eniseth wasn't quite feral as her clutchmate, but both the first shadows had a depth of intensity to them like, and entirely unlike, her own Gaveth's. "Then they all come back more trained."

Shards, maybe the whole weyrling group. If only they had two Ashrah's. If only they knew how well it would work.


Ferrix lifted his head, but didn't look directly at any of them. "After the Pass would be easy enough. They can use the solstice and the star stones from any Weyr. Go north, so they're not close to themselves - maybe the Reaches." It wasn't hope in his voice - he had none of that, to make or build - but a sharpened focus, at least. Something.


E'zen frowned. Not the usual glower, no anger or heat to it, but the thought of sending Teagan anywhere, of Eniseth apart from Aliseth...he didn't like it. And knew that his not liking it didn't matter at all...which made him hate it.
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PostSubject: Re: Now we know   Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:48 am

"Hang on, are we seriously considering this?" Jah'vi asked, eyes wide as he turned between the others in the room. "We're going to risk a queen AND one of the few mature cobalts we have?" He may not have been on overly friendly terms with the two women, but the Weyr needed them and their dragons. Especially if all the new Queens refused the traditional colors.

"We can't risk both of you," he told Casriel, figuring the cobalt rider would take it the wrong way but saying it anyway. "Especially with Yvalleth rising so soon." He gave her a weak smile, hoping she'd understand what he was trying to say despite her dislike of him. "I understand we're in a desperate position but we can't take Yvalleth's mates from her."
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