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 There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)

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Apollotrigger



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PostSubject: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:07 am

Jah'vi swallowed another large gulp of wine, eyes trained on the pair that were currently the center of attention in the larger office that they used when the Wingleaders and queen riders were included in a meeting. He could barely believe his eyes.

Just earlier that day he had watched a tiny girl and scrawny boy leave the Weyr with Yllaveth. The Weyrsenior had been adamant that the was a test run, and that there was no reason to gather everyone for this.

The little girl with the irresistible grin and brilliant green eyes was now a woman, complete with the maturity that she had gained during her five Turn adventure. She was currently devouring a plate of fresh fruits and vegetables, having already made short work of the sweet bread that was one of the chefs secret recipe. She had already drank two cups of fresh, spiced klah.

But his mind couldn't help but wonder to the young man seated next to the queenrider, someone he knew quite well. Z'ash had been instrumental in helping him keep the peace at Eastern, and he'd known the boy was meant for great things. But now he had an additional five Turns of experience under his belt, and Nolinth was no longer the oldest or largest bronze.

Beyond an enthusiastic greeting when he'd first arrived, Z'ash had been eating with as much gusto as his queenrider. And Teagan was obviously HIS queenrider, he thought, watching the young woman lean over to chuckle throatly and press an unashamed kiss against his lips. The pair was obviously smitten with each other, and had no problem with public displays of affection.

There had been a quick explanation about timing and it's effects. Apparently the hunger was normal, though he cursed silently, impressed, when Teagan started in on the assorted desserts.

At least that hasn't changed.

The stragglers were beginning to file in, some looking confused and realization dawning on them. The silence was becoming too much, so he eyed the former youngest queenrider.

"Can you tell me this?" he asked, a plaintive note to his voice. "Do I lose my hair in the future?"

Teagan snorted, finishing off the sticky bun in her hand. Her smile was unmistakably Teagan, but that low chuckle was something entirely new. "No, it's as glorious and thick as ever," she assured him before her attention was distracted by something small that Z'ash had done, and she murmured something back under her breath. The wicked little smile on her face made him glad he couldn't hear, and made him shift a little uncomfortably. It was difficult to reconcile this woman with the little girl he'd seen just a few hours ago.

Ensieth will be rising soon, Nolinth rumbled in his mind, with too much interest for his own tastes. He couldn't quite imagine pursuing Teagan during a mating flight.

Not that everyone had that problem, he thought, noticing and recognizing the look on Z'ashs face. The shadow and bronze had been on the cliff face earlier, soaking up the warmth of the sun together. Manticath had exhibited signs of possessiveness, and Ensieth was obviously very pleased with herself.

By now everyone had arrived, and like many in the room, he looked to Br'son to begin the meeting. He couldn't help but wonder what was going on in the titan riders head. Nolinth had taken a hit with Manticath and his maturity. How would Br'son react to his formerly youngest charge now his age, and more experience to boot.

Well, it should be interesting regardless.
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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:00 pm

"And Nolinth is as fit as ever." Z'ash added after washing his next bite of steak down with watered wine. He had put away two steaks already and the third would soon join them. He had cleared his mashed tubers and beef gravy, cleaned his beans and roast beets before starting in on the meat that he savored despite his rapid pace. The bronzerider reached for his cup again and pulled deep. It was over the rim of the earthenware mug that he saw the two distinct figures surge up behind Jah'vi. One was Wingleader Casriel, eyes icy cool but sharply attentive and...a touch relieved?

'I wouldn't have expected that.' Z'ash mused silently. He would have expected that more from Ashrah, in fact would expect her to be on the brink of a shouting and crying all at once. However, as Z'ash looked over at the Weyrling Master who was his mother, hysterics was not what he found.

Ashrah beamed in quiet but obvious pride, only a little glassy eyed. The corner of Z'ashs mouth could not help but quirk a little into a soft smile. She didn't look at him like a lost child sudden found but as a man return from long voyage. It surprised and pleased him in a single stroke.


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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:31 pm

Br'son watched as the two...prodigal children, he'd been calling them silently in his mind... consumed nearly their own body weights in food before finally starting to slow down. Once they did, he cleared his throat softly for attention.

"Well, now that we're all here, and you both have had a chance to refresh yourselves, I think we need to answer some questions. For the council's benefit, I'll start. We went out to the bluff, just as planned. Teagan and Z'ash and I said goodbye, Yllaveth checked their coordinates, and they jumped. We waited... an inordinate amount of time, I'll admit. I was just starting to give thought to the idea that we'd lost them when they returned. Only, apparently, at some point in the future, I changed the plan."

He looked over at Teagan and invited her to jump in with a gesture. Then he picked up his wineglass and took a deep sip. He felt certain he was about to need it. Who knew how the others would react?

This troubles him. This whole thing troubles him, though he cannot say why, Yllaveth said, unbeknownst to her rider, into Gaveth's mind. What are your rider's thoughts?

Gaveth may no longer have been her mate, but Yllaveth clearly valued the Cobalt's counsel. Br'son might have been pleased, had he known.

Then again, maybe not.
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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:02 pm

E'zen's normal expression had been replaced by something like a gape, every time his eyes snagged on Teagan. He hadn't realized how much he'd come to rely on (or appreciate, or value, or some combination of all he was hardly introspective enough to parse) his relationship with Teagan until she was, effectively, gone.

This woman had her smile, and Aliseth's deep connection to Eniseth hadn't so much as shivered, but E'zen couldn't wrap his head around it. NotTeagan sat across the table, and maybe she'd be less NotTeagan and more Teagan once he had a chance to talk to her...but.

*
She wants to know what could have changed to make your rider shift. But she trusts his now and then judgment, so she is off balance but not unsure. Gaveth said it bluntly, his faith in his former mate clearly unshaken, his read of his rider's mental state probably more accurate than her own, at the moment.

Because Sidran rarely found herself off balance, but these confident young people in front of her - both so like and unlike the much younger versions she'd spent time with only minutes or days before - made her feel as though she'd missed a step running down stairs she'd known her whole life.
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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:42 pm

Teagan had made a show out of seeming unfazed by the sudden changes, but inside her thoughts roiled. Yes, to all of them, she was older. But to her they were all younger. Br'son had spent five Turns protecting her, taking care of everything. And now suddenly all of them were looking at her for an explanation. Suddenly she was the one who was supposed to have the answers. This was a different Br'son than had trained her, she was realizing, someone who needed her help. Her mouth went dry and she quickly covered her discomfort with a sip of her wine glass, a trick that Br'son had taught her.

Would teach her?

She finally stood and made her way to the sand table. After a quick glance to ensure she wasn't wiping away anything important, she smoothed the sand and drew a long line.

"This is this moment, us right now," she said, making a dash at the left end of the line. Above she wrote present. Slightly further down she made another mark, and wrote +3 above it. "Br'son gave us coordinates to three Turns in the future today. When we arrived, we were met by an older version of Br'son." She made another mark, further away away and large. Here she wrote Interval, +5.

"That Br'son was from this time period here, 5 Turns from now, after the Pass is finished." She paused to let that information sink in. Not only had Br'son been out of his timezone, she had just given them definitive proof that they would survive the rest of this Pass. "He took us forward to the first year of the Interval, and that's where Z'ash and I trained for the past five Turns from our perspective." That deserved another pause. She'd seen their looks, knew that their appearances were surprising. But they needed to understand that the two of them had lived those five Turns fully. For them, the trip to the meadow with Br'son had happened over five Turns ago.

"Ensieth produced six healthy clutches during that time, a wide spread of colors and all healthy, hearty dragons. When it became obvious she was close to rising again, Br'son said it was time for us to return. We got the timing off slightly, we never meant to worry you with how long we were gone," she continued, shooting a glance at Br'son. "But we've both seen 19 turns now, and Ensieth and Manticath 5 full extra Turns."

She laid the stylus down, hoping that she had explained it well. She was used to Br'son explaining, though he had ran her through this speech a million times. She looked at the Weyrsenior and swallowed. Br'son, but not Br'son, stared back at her, and she felt very lost for a moment.

After clearing her voice, she finally continued. "When the Pass ends, Z'ash and I will leave and return to the moment we left earlier today for us. The 14 Turn old versions of us will show up shortly after that."

She didn't mention the loneliness that both of them had and would face. It was obvious, not to mention impractical to bring up. But Teagan had to clear her throat of emotion before she finished. "There are certain things we can tell you, and some things we can't. Please understand that our orders do in fact come from many of you." She finished speaking, hands clasped as she waited for any questions.
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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:51 pm

"We have done as we have been instructed.: Z'ash added and he reached out to take Tegan's hand and give her a gentle squeeze. He glanced at her and his eyes were bright.

"You did well, love." he said and then turned back to the others.

Casriel listened in rapt attention. This was so much more than the Ancients had thought to write down and so much of Timing had been secret until need had pressed the disclosure of knowledge. It had been a skill trusted only to bronze and gold riders in the past.

'Moreta and Lessa made their heroic runs. Now Teagan and Shards, it all worked!' Casriel thought.

Ashrah cleared her throat and said calmly. "I think I can speak for all here when I say we are grateful for your actions and very proud of your achievements."


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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Thu Dec 29, 2016 6:28 pm

A great deal of her nerves melted away when Z'ash took her hand, and she smiled, the expression almost second nature. No, they didn't have their Weyrsenior to tell them what to do now, but they had each other. Together, they had done this already, she reminded herself. It had worked, and the planet and dragon kind were safe.

She clutched at Z'ashs hand a little tighter when Ashrah spoke. She was her Weyrlingmaster, yes, but she was Z'ashs mother. She knew how much her words would mean to the bronzerider, and she squeezed his hand to remind him that she was at his side.
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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:29 pm

Sidran nodded in agreement with Ashrah, but her eyes moved back to the diagram, and she cocked her head, trying to put it together. But in the end, only one question truly mattered, "Why?" She looked up from the drawing, meeting both queen- and bronzerider's eyes, clearly very much interested in the answer.
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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:54 pm

"Because..." Br'son said, his eyes distant as he worked it out for himself. "Because if we send the class forward, as we originally planned, we only get the benefit of one class... but if we get an adult Eniseth, we get the benefit of all of her clutches... and the clutches of her daughters, and Aliseth's daughters, as well as Yllaveth's... and so on. In five turns, we could have thousands of dragons... but we need them now." He turned to look at the woman who sat where a girl had belonged,

"There's more to my plan, isn't there?"
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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:20 am

She'd been warned about this, the mind blanking, especially in the first day or two. Br'son had jumped in before she could recover from letting something so important slip, and she took a moment to sip at her wine to calm her nerves.

"Of course," she replied when Br'son addressed her, a smirk crossing her face. No, this wasn't the man she had spent the last five Turns learning from, but he was still smart. "In two days the Weyrs we've filled through ten Turns will appear in their respective homes, with a full compliment of wings and ready to defend their territories. You were the one that suggested the waiting period in fact," she continued, "because you had concerns regarding how everyone would react to that many dragons appearing without warning."

She took another sip of wine, trying to make sure she wasn't forgetting anything. With an imperceptible nod, she continued. "For the next ten Turns we are a weyrling factor," she said wryly. "We're going to need a lot of candidates, and soon." She smiled broadly at E'zen, more than aware he'd been watching her like she'd grown a second head since he walked in. Then she leveled her eyes on Br'son, making sure to capture his gaze.

"No more as young as me," she murmured, for his ears only, that hint of resentment from earlier back, along with well deserved anger at herself. After all, Br'son hadn't shoved her onto the Sands unwilling. She'd practically begged to be allowed to Stand. And while she wouldn't give Ensieth up for the world, she'd come to realize that having your entire life planned for you at such a young age was not ideal.

Once again she was struck by the knowledge that she'd been a child this morning to these people. No matter how strange things might seem to her, they were just as if not more for the others. At least she had known what she was coming back to. She finished off her glass of wine, trying not to sigh. Br'son had warned them how hard this would be from the beginning. That was the one part of the plan that had never changed. At least there had been that one constant.
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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:59 am

Something at the root of her eased, and Sidran (very briefly, easily missed) closed her eyes. It didn't matter to her, in that moment, who had been in charge, or how it happened, just the fact of it. They had succeeded. Dragonkind was not wiped out, Pern didn't lie in ruins from the last turns of an unattended Pass.

Just a moment, because then of course her busy mind leapt to the next steps - they still had to do that work, and would likely make as many missteps as they would have successes.

They'd filled the Weyrs. Filled! She made a note, glanced at Br'son and Sh'lor, and decided it might be better to wait on telling Ferrix until the wings appeared. And then, though countless thoughts crowded against her lips, she waited to give one of the Weyrleaders time to reply, if they chose, before she spoke again.

**
E'zen, still blinking, made a silent promise that they would ensure all the candidates were properly Searched, not highjacked from their lives (for the record, Aliseth didn't agree. Where could be better, for tiny, flightless humans, then in a place they had a chance for one of her kind?).
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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:41 pm

"How many Weyrs?" Br'son asked, his heart in his throat. Weyrs, she'd said. Plural. Not just one, then. Maybe... maybe they'd make it, after all. Maybe Pern would survive the end of this Pass.

Weyrling factory. Ten Turns. That meant the five that this Teagan was here for, and then the next five when young Teagan showed back up. How many dragons had to be laid in that time? How many candidates collected? How were they going to make this work, logistically?

Br'son's eyes cut to Sh'lor. Was the brownrider going to be up for this? Or would he be out of his depth? He had promised unity, but would this turn of events aid in that endeavor? Or make things worse?
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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:07 pm

"Several," Teagan replied succinctly, a smirky little grin on her face. Anyone who had been paying attention would have noticed that was the look she got when they were dangerously close to asking something she wouldn't, or couldn't, answer.
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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:41 pm

Br'son's eyes went dark for just a moment, before he realized that she wasn't just being coy. She must not be able to say, for some reason.

"I see," he said. "What else do we need to know about these Weyrs, then?"
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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:09 pm

She looked at Br'son sharply, irritation rising in her. How could he be so brilliant and so dense at the same time, she thought tersely. "The only areas that we need to worry about are Tarza and our immediate area. Southern, Eastern, and all the Northern territories will be covered and taken care of."

She took a deep breath before plunging on; she'd been warned this would be difficult. "Yvalleth also needs to order all of the dragons aside from Ensieth and Manticath to stay away from the other Weyrs. We're the designated go betweens for White Lightning and the rest of the Weyrs. Too much knowledge of the future is dangerous."
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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:50 pm

Br'son pursed his lips. He didn't like that at all. But... she did have a point. Shards and shells, this conversation alone was making his head hurt.

"Fine," he said. "But I want reassurances that they're in place, that they have what they need... messages sent through you or Z'ash are fine, I just can't think that it's a good idea to hole up here and pretend the rest of the world doesn't exist. However you need to make that happen, Teagan, please do make it happen. Is there anything else you need from us? Other than lots and lots of eggs and candidates?"
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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:23 pm

Sidran shook her head, very slightly, and leaned forward to indicate she was going to interrupt. "Will they interact with holders, then, these future dragons? Because that seems like something that could get dangerous, quickly, with so many moving pieces." It seemed safer for a contingent of White Lightning, present company, to own - if they couldn't be trusted to meet the future dragonriders, having them running about with northern Holders seemed equally ill advised.
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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:18 pm

Z'ash met Sidran's eyes and gave the slightest incline of his head toward Teagan, as if to say all would become clear through the Queenrider. He didn't wish for all assembled to think he was only her muscle but Z'ash placed great trust in the woman of his heart. She knew her business and his expression was that of patient respect. When she wanted him to share his own information, he would do so. His thoughts and expressions were still his own and he looked thoughtful. After a moment, he gently squeeze Teagan's hand and met her eye.

"If I may, beloved." he began.


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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:15 pm

Br'son didn't miss the way Z'ash looked to Teagan. He couldn't have said why it irritated him, other than that he was already on edge from the shock of everything.

But it did irritate him. So when he spoke, his words held a sharpness.

"By all means, Bronzerider, if you have anything to add, add it." The Weyrsenior snapped. This was, after all, his meeting. Teagan was not senior here, and it would behoove everyone to remember that.
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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Tue Jan 03, 2017 8:40 pm

When so many began talking at once, Teagan had to close her eyes and take a deep breath. Her head hurt, trying to explain something that she had spent five Turns learning to understand in such a short time to people that just didn't seem to trust her for some reason. Br'son had warned her this would be hard, but he'd neglected to mention that it would involve this much convincing when it wasn't even her plan.

So when Z'ash squeezed her hand and offered to take over, she'd smiled gratefully and nodded. She had time to take one relaxing breath before Br'son snapped at Z'ash.

Ensieth stirred in the back of her head, not sure why her rider was suddenly so angry. All she knew was Teagan was upset, and she let out a deep growl that resonated with the queenriders' annoyance.

"It's your plan," she snapped at the Weyrsenior, eyes narrowed at him. "We're trying to explain it as you trained us to."
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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Tue Jan 03, 2017 8:50 pm

"Then as I said, please. Explain. It." Br'son said, biting each word off at the end and staring levelly at the woman in Teagan's place. "Wingleader Sidran's points are valid. I imagine I came up with some way of addressing them. Enlighten us."

Yllaveth, too, stirred on her ledge. Not much, for she slept the deep sleep of the gravid mother, but enough.
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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:57 pm

Manticath added his own troubled voice and the chamber reverberated with the mingling of the Bronze and Shadow's tones. Z'ash looked back at Br'son, his brown eyes narrowing only slightly. He didn't like the Weyrsenior's tone but if the last five Turns had taught the bronzerider anything, it was to pick one's battles carefully and how to cultivate a thick skin. He dipped his head slightly.

"Weyrsenior," he began and cleared his throat before continuing. "We have laid the plans to make the transition of those who follow us back as with as much as can be managed. We had help. Events will unfold as we act accordingly." it was clear he was picking his words very carefully.

"Let me just say that all will become very clear once Teagan and Eniseth are installed at Eastern Weyr as Senior. I have given certain directions to my Wingriders, well briefed, who will act in accordance to the plan in relation to Eastern Hold in a way that will not cause paradox."


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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:36 pm

Br'son blinked, then raised his eyebrows. Outside, Yllaveth came fully awake with a roar of rage.

"Excuse me?" He asked softly. "Once Teagan is 'installed at Eastern as Senior?' And this is my plan? I think not. You can ask the Weyrleader and the other 'leaders in this room. We've considered sending a Shadow queen to lead one of the other Weyrs and determined that now was not the time. I cannot imagine that I would have agreed to such a plan, knowing the political climate as I do."

He leaned forward, and his voice dropped in a manner that those who knew him well would recognize as dangers.

"What I can imagine, however, is that the two of you have returned here with some agenda of your own. This morning, I would have said that was out of character for both Teagan and Z'ash, but manifestly, neither of you is acting like the Teagan or the Z'ash that I know and trust. Rather, you are acting like ambitious power-grabbers who see an opportunity and have decided to capitalize upon it. I don't know what I've done to you in this future to make you feel that you have to grab at power in this way, but here is the result: I no longer know either of you. And as I don't know either of you, I can't really trust either of you, can I?"

"Yet we are at an impasse, for I need the dragons you say are coming back. And I can recognize a need for avoiding paradox. So, clearly you two are the only logical individuals to act as liaisons between the other Weyrs and us... but you can hardly do that if you're a Senior at Eastern, Teagan. You've overplayed your hand and shown that you're not ready for that kind of responsibility. Personal ambition must come after Pern's needs for us. I've taught you that since day one!"

Yllaveth roared again, making the air inside the cavern reverberate as Br'son fought to control his anger.

"I think this meeting is over," he said, closing his eyes. "Emotions are running high. Let us speak again tomorrow, after we have all had some rest."
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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:48 pm

Z'ash shrugged slightly and slipping his hands into his pocket, removed it's contents. The knots shimmered as he placed them on the table, cables run in White Lightning's colors and corded with bronze thread, tied in the Wingleader's style.

"You told me expect this sort of reaction upon our return but let me assure everyone present that what we do we do for Pern. As you command, Weyrsenior." he said, bowing slightly at the waist at the dismissal. He offered Teagan his arm as he rose.

---------
Casriel's eyesbrows shot up but she said nothing. How very canny of the boy; she had never thought he, of all people, would attempt to play such a hand.

'With merit if risky. There is no way for us to call him a liar without impugning his honor. Those are Wingleader knots.' Casriel thought, touching her own. Identical, except were the dragon's color was notated.


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PostSubject: Re: There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)   Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:11 pm

Teagan looked at Z'ash with complete shock in her eyes. She grabbed his arm, wondering if he'd lost his sharding mind, when Br'son came out of his seat and Yvalleth let out a piercing roar that quieted even Ensieth and sent a chill straight down her spine.

She slumped back in her chair as Br'son dressed them down as if they were newly hatched weyrlings, torn between confusion, anger, and a hint of betrayal. This was not the plan. What was Z'ash thinking? There had barely been any mention of Eastern in particular before, and definitely nothing regarding her being a Weyrwoman there.

She sat silently, her face burning with embarrassment, until Br'son dismissed them coldly. Before she could even move, though, Z'ash had thrown Wingleader cords on the table and her breath hitched.

Definitely not part of the plan.

Before there could be another blow up, she stood and very purposefully pushed his arm away. She gave him a look that spoke volumes, anger and betrayal and pain. If she tried to speak to him now, she knew she would explode in a fury, so she forced herself to glance around the room at the distrustful eyes on the pair of them.

"Thank you, Weyrsenior," she said stiffly.

Jah'vi, who had managed to stay out of the line of fire, couldn't help but curse when Z'ash threw the rank cords on the table. He instantly regretted making any noise, and tried to fade back into the background.

Br'son was right. These weren't the same Teagan and Z'ash as before.
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There's a reason these tables are numbered.. (attn: council members)
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