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 The World Turned On Its End

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Sevillalost



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PostSubject: The World Turned On Its End   Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:53 pm

Aliseth. My rider would come speak to yours and tells me I must ask permission. Is this because we are Weyrlings yet? Or because you shelled me? Such distinctions seem so arbitrary and pointless. We are queens, surely we ought to be as one? Nevertheless, may she come?


Zillath's words floated out into the night, causing Melieste to snort a slight laugh. That wasn't, perhaps, the most diplomatic way of going about it, but her lovely (if a bit rotund) charcoal queen had gotten the point across. Melieste might have favored a more sweetened approach, but she could appreciate Zillath's tactic of demonstrating that she at least, felt not at all inferior to the older shadow, even if Aliseth was her dam.

In anticipation of an affirmative response, Melieste wrapped herself in the lovely, warm cloak her parents had recently sent and strolled out of the weyrling barracks. For a moment, she considered stopping to talk to Kalabria and K'zariel, but it was rather late, and either or both might be sleeping. She'd tell them the gist of the conversation in the morning, during feeding time. And it wouldn't hurt to establish a personal relationship with the Weyrsenior Second. Even as... nontradtional... as E'zen tended to be.
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weyrwolf



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PostSubject: Re: The World Turned On Its End   Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:08 pm

You ask so I don't react poorly to a sudden visitor, Aliseth replied, amusement twisting through her tone just enough to indicate it wasn't a threat. Which it wasn't. But it was neither, exactly, a tease. Still, it was far gentler of an answer than most would get from the shadow, and so, perhaps, spoke in some way to Zillath's question about queens being as one. Perhaps. And yes, she may visit.

E'zen, it seemed, didn't get a vote. But he did, at least, get a heads up, so he was able to throw scattered clothes out of the main area (he would likely have done so before Asteriel came home, anyway), and fold the harness he'd been staring at rather than working on away. A distraction wouldn't be poorly taken, just now.
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Sevillalost



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PostSubject: Re: The World Turned On Its End   Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:16 pm

"I hope I'm not disturbing you, Weyrsenior Second," Melieste said smoothly when she entered the weyr. A bit of polite fiction, that. She was relatively certain she wasn't disturbing him. Aliseth wouldn't have let her in, otherwise, and the lack of a smoke dragon on the ledge indicated that Asteriel wasn't even home. But it seemed the best way to begin.

"I do appreciate you seeing me so late. I am... troubled, I suppose. Today's events... well. The return of Lady Teagan is amazing and wonderful... but so strange! I wonder, could we talk it through for a few moments? This is a turn of events I wouldn't have imagined possible, and I find I'm at a loss to know just what to think and do. I mean, the implications alone... and certainly this fundamentally changes so many things about our political situation!"

She gave a little laugh and removed her cloak.

"Forgive me. I'm babbling. It's just... well. Might we talk it through? You are my teacher, after all. I thought you might help me understand a little bit of what's going on."
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PostSubject: Re: The World Turned On Its End   Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:29 pm

E'zen's noise in reply was not his usual grunt - something between grunt and wry laugh, that. "Course we can talk through. Not sure how much I have to teach anyone on timing, though." He gestured for her to sit, and considered what they might have tucked away in the weyr (they being Asteriel, of course, who was a much more gracious hostess than he would ever be a host). "Do you need something to drink?"
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Sevillalost



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PostSubject: Re: The World Turned On Its End   Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:35 pm

"Perhaps, if you don't think it unwise... a little wine? Not that horrid stuff they make here. Real wine? To settle my nerves, if nothing else."

Oh, she knew the rules, of course, but Zillath was four months old and as large as if she were eight. Two more months and she'd rise, if Aliseth were any indication. A single glass of wine couldn't possibly hurt either of them. Especially not if it were good wine, rather than the rotgut poison that Avidian's distillers created.


"Lady Teagan's the most experienced queenrider we have now, isn't she?" Melieste said then, as her whirling thoughts burst forth. "I mean, Eniseth has laid six clutches! Six! Does that mean...? Surely she won't take the 'seniorship from Br'son, will she?"
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PostSubject: Re: The World Turned On Its End   Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:54 pm

It took him a moment, to remember where there was proper wine, which was well enough - gave him time to consider beyond his immediate rejection of the idea. His instinctive reactions, turned out, weren't always enough to be going on with, and he knew this would be one of those time.

So as he poured into a surprisingly well-made set of glasses, he considered. "It's not just age or number of clutches - if it were numbers, Aliseth'll probably outstrip Yllaveth there before long, and then someone'd want to count it by number of eggs, and that's just a mess. Besides, Teagan might have been - will be - is now a rider longer than anyone else, but she has less Falls, and we're not at the Pass yet." He shrugged, handed her a half-pour and sat down with his own.

He also didn't think an older Br'son sent an older Teagan back to take over from his younger self, but that made his thoughts twist to consider, so he left it for now.
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PostSubject: Re: The World Turned On Its End   Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:16 pm

"Thank you," Melieste murmured, and took a sip of the wine. She closed her eyes in pleasure and took a moment to savor the full-bodied taste as it caressed the inside of her mouth. She swallowed with something like reverence before opening her eyes. "Oh, thank you. This is... delicious."

Then she laughed. "I used to be such a wine snob, what with my father being the Mastervintner and all. Now I'm just grateful for anything I can get. But this is quite good, sir, thank you."

Another sip, and then she set the glass down and considered E'zen's points.

"True," she said. "And when it comes to it, that isn't how it works anyway. Tradition holds that it isn't the oldest queen, or most experienced, or best leader or any of that who is senior. The Senior is the first to rise when the position comes open. That was Yllaveth, because none of the others were shelled yet. And I can't imagine Br'son setting you aside, as he invoked the same tradition in naming you his 'second. So none of that really changes. And Eniseth will be rising soon. Do you think she'll choose a traditional mate, as Yllaveth did? I suppose Manticath would fill that billet, and it seems they've history... or future... whatever is the case."
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PostSubject: Re: The World Turned On Its End   Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:40 pm

He had a moment to feel relieved that he'd fielded that well enough - being a teacher was still far from second nature to him - when she asked a follow up that made Aliseth stir, ever so slightly, on her ledge. "Likely as not, though if Manticath were certain to catch her they could have come back after Eniseth's flight." The slightest of shrugs - far be it from him to critique a rider's choice around her dragon's flights. "I'd say it's not likely Aliseth's first flight says anything about shadows' preferences, or even her own. It was...a different moment, even if it wasn't that long ago. Are you thinking about where Zillath might lean?" He couldn't blame her, if so; more likely than not too long from now, after all.
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PostSubject: Re: The World Turned On Its End   Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:50 pm

She shrugged.

"Sometimes. I'd hardly be doing my job if I didn't consider it, after all. Zillath seems to be driven by unity more than anything else. Though how that will manifest in her case, I've no idea. Especially because I'm not certain that her version of unity is the same as anyone else's. Do you think... is there a danger that Zillath and Aliseth will rise at the same time? Because based on Teagan's history, it would seem that six months is a normal cycle for shadows, and that would put our two in the air around the same time. We will likely be sharing Sands... unless one of us gets shipped North..." she said, and cut her eyes sideways to see how her teacher took this hint.
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PostSubject: Re: The World Turned On Its End   Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:00 pm

"We don't have nearly enough dragons to consider sending anyone north," he said automatically, unaware of the quiet confidence in that statement. He'd been there when Ferrix and Br'son had discussed it, after all, and had made his own agreement with it.

Mostly he didn't notice his own tone because he was deeply considering the question that had come right before that point. What if Zillath and Aliseth did rise at the same time? "I don't know that it's a danger, their rising at once. Zillath wants everyone together, and Aliseth was disappointed when Eniseth left, when she rose." He wouldn't suggest they try it, by any means, but he didn't fear the idea the way any of the weyrbred folks seemed to. Maybe it was his own inexperience, or some deeper sense from Aliseth. Either way.

"Any rate - the sands are big enough for two. For your sake, I'll just hope Zillath'll let you off them at some point."
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PostSubject: Re: The World Turned On Its End   Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:17 pm

"Oh! Me too. Aliseth didn't, did she? Well... perhaps that was simply because it was her first clutch?" Melieste asked hopefully. "At any rate, if we're there together, perhaps one of us can run for the other at times? Though I suppose you probably didn't have any trouble finding minions to run errands for you."

She made a face. Being confined to a cave filled with heated sand for five weeks didn't seem pleasant at all... But worth it, in the end.

"Do you think Kalabria will have to go forward, too?" she asked. "She's the same age as Teagan... was..."
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PostSubject: Re: The World Turned On Its End   Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:26 pm

He paused, remembering the weirdness of sitting across from a Teagan nearly his own age all over again. "I don't know," he said honestly. "Depends on what we need - is it worth the risk for more clutches, if we have three and soon four mature queens rising?" Before today, that answer might have been different, but now... "And, is it worth it if we're not desperate anymore, to lose those five turns with the people you know, the way you know them?"

It was a genuine question, one he didn't know how to answer. E'zen was not much of a philosopher, and this could turn even a clever harper's mind into mental knots.
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PostSubject: Re: The World Turned On Its End   Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:48 pm

Melieste bit her lip.

"We don't really know how it will affect them, do we?" she asked. "I mean, we know that Teagan and Z'ash survived to turn 19, but... we don't know anything else. This is their future. Maybe... maybe something horrible happens to them. Maybe not. But I can't... I can't think it's worth the risk, again. Especially if Zillath and Aliseth and Eniseth rise every six months. Kala can take her time. Surely we can give her that!"

The blonde girl felt the surge of protectiveness that always seemed to come over her at the thought of any of her classmates, but especially Kalabria and K'zariel. They were in this together, after all. She took another sip of her wine, took another moment to appreciate the luxury.

"So," she said. "Just carry on as usual, then? I suppose we can't do much else. Prepare for Zillath's flight in a few months?"
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PostSubject: Re: The World Turned On Its End   Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:16 pm

He caught himself smiling a little at the clear passion in her voice, watching out for her fellow shadowrider, and covered it by drinking his wine.

"Carry on as usual," he agreed, maybe more than a little trying to convince himself. "See what tomorrow brings." It wasn't nearly as whimsical as it might have sounded, having heard what he heard at the council earlier in the day. "And, I'd say, get ready for Teagan to join some more of our lessons."

Only make sense, that. Teagan undoubtedly had more experience than he, now (and how weird was that, as he'd long been used to a tiny sprite of a girl having just as much knowledge as him, and now it was all upended in an unexpected way), and it made sense to get some of that in queenrider lessons with the three younger (at being) riders.

Especially if shadows had any more tricks up their sleeves - who else could possibly know other than her?
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PostSubject: Re: The World Turned On Its End   Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:32 pm

"Oh! I didn't think of that!" Melieste said, pleased at the prospect. Well... mostly. "I liked our Teagan. I hope that this older Teagan is as... kind," she said finally, after fishing for the right word for a while. "But I will be very interested to hear what she has to say. Especially about the shadows, as they continue to grow."
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PostSubject: Re: The World Turned On Its End   Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:52 am

Hopefully she could let them know, if there were any more surprises. "She's still Teagan," he said, meaning it to be reassuring but not having quite the depth of feeling-language to say her fundamentals were there, or something sweet and thoughtful. Especially when he was still feeling a bit wrong-footed, about the whole thing.

And then he drank his wine, because, in E'zen style, he wasn't sure what else to say.
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