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Nightwatch Weyr > Edinnu Island > Search the Mountains

Posted by: Blight Apr 3 2012, 11:07 PM
There were no jungles on Edinnu, no vast unexplored remnants of a wilder Pern. That sort of place couldn't survive Edinnu. The only bits of life were the sparse plants that, somehow, against all the odds, managed to poke their way out of the black sand. They tended to be heavy-leafed plants, the sort that could survive decades without water, which didn't bode particularly well.

The large cinder cones of the twin volcanoes were the only things that broke up the rather boring landscape. Calling it a 'mountain range' would have been far too generous, although the volcanoes were clearly doing their best. They looked like knives jutting up from the ground to stab at the sky.

All in all, it looked like a pretty lifeless place. But how lifeless could it really be? The missing whers and handlers had to be around here somewhere, didn't they?


Posted by: Meesh Apr 3 2012, 11:44 PM
M'del and Isith were of the opinion that yes, the mountains did in fact have missing whers. They had been flying towards the mountains for some time now, and only now had reached the base. M'del took a moment to glance around at the riders and dragons around him and Isith before giving the volcanoes the once-over. Pretty he commented to Isith.

The brown gave a snort, wings flapping as he slowly gained altitude, in hopes to spot something along the bare edges of the mountain that would hint as to which direction to go in. Only you would thing a bare slab of nothingness potentially full of things that want to kill us is pretty but his voice sounded admiring, despite this. If Isith respected anything, it was size. And these mountains certainly were large enough to dwarf a brown like him. So we gonna head in or jabber around here all day?

M'del allowed himself a smile, patting his brown on the neck. "This way" he called to whoever dragons and riders might be listening and he and Isith began to fly along the mountainsides, flamethrowers at the ready in case of an attack.

Posted by: Ferret Apr 4 2012, 02:44 PM
Really, after all the build-up of the danger that C'ross, J'ax, and Randaath had given, Doktorr was downright disappointed when the dragons weren't greeted with something. By the looks of things, there wasn't anything to give them a greeting of any sort, Doktorr noted, craning to look over Donnath's neck.

Shouldn't there be something here? Donnath asked, suddenly suspicious. Where are the herdbeast? The caprine? Ovine? Something to feed captive whers besides just rocks?

Yes, and those would require some sort of foliage to consume, Doktorr added, looking at the sparse vegetation. And they would need water. Which... didn't bode particularly well. Keeping whers and their handlers alive would take a lot.

But keeping them dead would be e--

Don't even think that! Donnath snapped, eyes whirling gray and yellow for a brief moment. She flapped alongside Isith, determined to find the whers and handlers alive and well.

Mine says we should be looking for any signs of water. Or plantlife that could sustain a herd, she sent to the Wingsecond.

Posted by: Dragonfire Apr 4 2012, 11:00 PM
Rhea grinned at Desdelle over her shoulder as the other rider settled in, chuckling. "I do hope they remember to conserve most of their ire for the kidnappers, rather than each other, hah." And hopefully not claw each other too badly. Last thing they needed was a wher falling from the sky off Hondath's back.

Brown turned to blue with a solemn nod, as serious as Ixioth ever got. I'll look after her just like I would my Rhea, Valorinoth, you've my word. He looked out for Rhea's Seconds, after all, and Desdelle would sort of be like a more experienced version of those, right? Still, Ixioth could hardly blame the wee-er blue for his worry.

There wasn't much time for else, though, as Randaath transmitted the order to fly. Rhea's hand twitched over her pistol as they came back through between - to an apparently deserted chunk of rock. Huh.

A hasty conference occurred between rider and dragon, and Rhea nodded back to Desdelle. "We're going to leave C'ross the beaches, and go over the mountains." Best to split the experienced browns, perhaps, and keep some of the firepower in each group, if it came to that. "Certainly doesn't look very homey, does it? It's just like one big blob of volcano," she observed, turning her eyes towards the ground, shielding them against the dawning sun to try and catch sight of any movement or - well, anything against the rocks. "Or two blobs of volcano, rather. Hm."

Where in th' world could they be hiding a bunch of whers here? Ixioth remarked to both women. Can't imagine they'd have stuffed the bleeders into the craters - could they have? He paused for a moment, before soaring off towards one of the cones, approaching it on a wide, sweeping curve. We'll scout 'round this one - Donnath, Isith, check 'round the other, wot? We can meet 'twain the two and cover more ground thataway, he suggested.

Posted by: Nozomi Apr 5 2012, 12:20 AM
"It looks like a wasteland."

Even if Warden spoke outloud, he wasn't really talking to anyone. Doktorr lived in his own world, from what Warden could see. People had their own issues with things, like the slightly off his rocker green rider, but he... didn't. He just didn't. If they died, they died, but at least they were trying to do something good while at it.

Shards, if he died, at least he'd be able to get killed in the air. After Yusuth was grounded, he figured he'd never get that chance back.

They'd find the whers in this deserved wasteland of nothingness and volcanos and take them back. People would live. Whatever had taken the whers would die. They killed Deep Ones before. Bandits, rogue whers... Although why wild whers would be stealing or killing tamed whers was beyond him entirely. And... And something meaningful would happen like finding peace or hands that didn't tremble. Or a miracle, but he wasn't aware of the existance of those. He wouldn't approve of them if he was.

His hallucinations of Taavi at least faded to sweeter things. He'd gone to keep them that way and to alleviate his own guilt. Nope. time to keep a look out on things, like the brown swooping this way and that. The grounded brownrider craned his head to stare at the nothingness.

"What way are we going, Doktorr?"

Posted by: Blight Apr 5 2012, 05:19 PM
As Ixioth crested over the lip of the cinder cone, the world changed. Instead of dead gray ash, the ground was a sea of green, broken only by the last few stubborn flowers who hadn't heard that it was summer. Great leafy bunches of cress greeted the sky and the next plot appeared to hold corn.

And they were in plots. Seen from overhead, it was easy to see the neat squares of land, each one partitioned off. There was even a large field of green grass, easily wide enough for dragons to land in.

Something watched from the field, staring up at the dragons with square pupils. Its tail flicked behind it as it struggled to make sense of these strange giant flying whers. "Meh?" it asked.

Being a lamb, that was pretty much all it could say. Perhaps when it was older, it could work its way up to a 'baah'. Curious about these new beings, it briefly chased the shadows of the dragons. The lamb wasn't the only one out. A boy darted out from the soft-fruit trees and grabbed the baby sheep and started to run towards the volcano walls as fast as his legs could carry him.

Since he looked all of five turns old, that wasn't very fast at all, especially as encumbered as he was. The lamb, for its part, was doing its very best to lick the boy's face.

This probably didn't help at all.

Posted by: Zoomy Apr 5 2012, 05:59 PM
(ok. third fucking time writing this damn thing)

“They better,” replied Desdelle with grim seriousness. She highly doubted that they would, though. Eventually some sort of shit would hit the proverbial fan in regards to those two, and as of yet, Desdelle wasn’t sure if she did, or did not, want to be there when it happened. Either way, now was not the time to dwell on the childish antics of others. Adjusting her straps, then her pack, the older woman gave a final mental pat to the scarred Blue, nodding at him rumble before the wind whipped through her hair. She’d come back. In some form or another.

The form you’re in currently, Girl.

I’ll try, Val.

And with that came the cold, dark nothingness of Between, and after was bright rising sun and dancing reflections on salty water. Well, that worked well enough.

“Sounds good.” She nodded towards the back of Rhea’s head. It wasn’t like a whole lot could be done if she really disagreed, anyways. She was the Second here this time, not a rider, not command of anything. She was only party-goer, really, which was quite the weird feeling. But enough with idle thoughts.

Getting her mentality into a more serious state, Desdelle began scanning the incoming twin volcanoes and the slabs of black rock that swam past them as they flew. There really was …nothing, wasn’t there? Some scraggly grasses, a couple of sparse bushes, and maybe something resembling (or trying to) a tree. “They’ve hidden their plots, somehow, I imagine. Might be growing things inside or – Oh.” And suddenly there was greenery. Lush farming areas sitting right there in the calderas. In immediate hindsight, this seemed… obvious. These people were living on a damn volcanic island. Of course there was going to be some sort of fertility in the soil. Somewhere.

“Well, there’s some stuff. And a running thing …Great.” And a caprine, apparently. Or maybe. Desdelle didn’t know what the hell she was seeing, but the running figure was definitely a small person. Who was carrying some white thing.

“Rhea, tell everyone else we’ve been seen.”

Posted by: Dragonfire Apr 7 2012, 01:54 AM
Rider and dragon alike stared, for a good moment, at the verdant cropland that spread beneath them. I, ah, was sort of being facetious, Ixioth said, after that moment, sounding rather dumbfounded. Lucky guess, eh, wot?

Rhea patted his neck, scanning over the crops as he dipped down a little, allowing them to have a better view of the innards of the caldera. "Huh. Well, it makes sense, I suppose. Volcanic ash makes a wonderful fertiliser, once it's been dispersed a bit by rain - lots of nitrates and phosphorus and all sorts of lovely things. Good for explosives, too, of course, but for some reason plants like 'em just as much, and-" Her musing shut off mid-sentence, as Desdelle spotted the running... thing. What was that, anyway? "On it, dearie!"

Heads up, formation! Signs of life in the crater here! Looks like we've been spotted by someone, too. Going to close, see if we can't cut 'em off- Ixioth broadcast to the other dragons, before folding his wings and beginning to stoop into one of his fantastic dives. Rhea, it's a kid - two kids, maybe, even, by the looks of- no, no kabooms, don't even think of it!

She pulled her hand back from her grenade packet as he clarified their target, hooking her hand through the riding strap, instead, ducking low over Ixioth's reddish hide to reduce their drag. "Hold on, now!" she warned the overseer, probably unnecessarily - and then they were swooping over the grassy field. Ixioth snapped his wings open again, backwinging in an effort to slow them to a non-murderising speed, his talons extending forward to make a careful grab towards the boy. C'mere, you little blighter! Don't take a fright, now - ah, well, I know this probably looks downright awful, here, but it's not half as bad as it looks. Come to Ixioth, wot!

Posted by: Meesh Apr 7 2012, 02:09 AM
M'del nodded first at the Isioth's words, angling with Isith to fly in the opposite direction, around the other sides of the mountains. M'del and Isith's frustrations only grew, however, as they found not a sign of life, not a plant or animal or even a cool breeze. Isith snorted in impatience and M'del patted his back reassuringly, though inwardly, he felt like doing the same. How could an island of this size hold absolutely nothing?

"Steady, M'del" he murmured to himself, calming. Fretting over something he had no control over was both useless and fatal. He and Isith proceeded for a few wingbeats more before Ixioth's call came into their heads. Without stopping for pause, Isith uttered a low growl of triupmh- even the young brown was not stupid enough as to roar his arrival to the world- flapping one wing to turn himself around by 180 degrees and then flying, as fast as his wings could carry him, towards Ixioth.

Finally, finally. We have something

Posted by: Nozomi Apr 7 2012, 10:24 AM
So maybe not a wasteland and a foot in the mouth instead. Warden didn't like lying to himself when he was on dragonback, it generally led to death, but he'd deny the gaping as they ran into so much green. So many plants and life everywhere and ... uh. And a goat.

With a kid that wasn't a goat.

"What the fu-" he said. Before Warden even finished his exclaimation of shock, the brown of their group decided to swan dive it towards children he assumed to not be excited to have a dragon grabbing at him. Outside of his nephew, he never knew a child to enjoy being accosted by strange dragons and unfamiliar people. Shit. "Why are you grabbing at him!"

Granted, above the wind and the fact Ixioth was on the ground and in the dirt and busy with kidnapping children too young to even be viable Candidates, Warden's voice rang out small and most likely undheard. Still: What The Fuck.

Posted by: Zoomy Apr 7 2012, 10:40 AM
Well, Warden's voice did go unheard as far as Desdelle was concerned, however the woman herself was thinking the same thing: THE FUCK?

The initial angle to dive had not been bothersome -- maybe a thermal, maybe a required close look. Des wasn't the rider, and she wasn't Ixioth, so how would she know exactly what the dragon needed to perform? But the mere split-seconds that roiled in after said initial dive?

"Rhea, Ixioth! PULL. UP. NOW!" barked Desdelle, her face shoved just above the other woman's shoulder and right at her ear. "DO NOT TOUCH THAT CHILD." She was fuming. Were this volcano active, she'd be having Fuming Contests with it to see who could spew the most steam into the atmosphere. Together they may have even been able to make a SECOND ATMOSPHERE. (Double atmo, all across the skies).

Posted by: Ferret Apr 7 2012, 01:21 PM
"Wellll... no point in all of us going the same way," Doktorr said to his passenger (who he had honestly forgotten about; Warden had a way of sitting there, all quiet, a talent that completely eluded the Greenrider). "Donnath! To the other cinder cone! "

Donnath started veering towards it, but was brought up short by the sudden smell of rotten eggs. Wh... Did you two fart?! she demanded angrily, backwinging furiously.

What?! No, of cou... well, maybe a little. But not this, the rider said, wrinkling his nose. He looked over the volcano suspiciously. There were no signs of fumeroles, no suspiciously billowing clouds of steam or anything but... It must be an active one. Donnath, let's go check out the other with everyone else.

Oh sure! The volcano did it. Like I've never h... actually I never have heard that one before... the bickering between the pair continued unabated, completely unconcerned about their passenger. He ought to be able to look after himself if he was traveling with the Doktorr and Donnath.

And that was when they saw the sheer mass of verdant life that existed in the cinder cone of the other volcano. It was like all the life on the island was concentrated into one area. "Volcanic ash. Awww, that's clever," he said appreciatively. "A... is that a child?"

Ixioth! Be careful! Don't you dare hurt that child! Donnath roared, eyes swirling with red.

"...Well. I see we're making a good impression on the locals. We're here to find whernappers, not terrify a random child."

Posted by: Blight Apr 7 2012, 01:32 PM
If the boy was a bit older----or had parents who were less careful about their language-----he would have no doubt used very foul words when there was suddenly a dragon claw reaching out for him. As it was, he managed to squeak out, "Poop!"

And then he kept running, darting around the reaching Brown's claws. Strangely enough, hearing another voice in his head did absolutely nothing to calm his fears of being eaten by these strange giant flying whers.

In accordance to the law of horror stories everywhere, all it took was one misplaced step. The boy tripped over a small ledge. The lamb bounced a few feet and gave the ground the mildly concussed look of all baby animals. It stood to its feet wobbly and shook itself off carefully.

"Run, Lucky!" the boy yelled.

"...Meh?" the lamb replied before, once again, licking his face.

Lucky was clearly very bad at the whole 'avoid getting eaten by dragons' thing.

Posted by: Meesh Apr 7 2012, 05:27 PM
Holy shards, all this fuss over a kid?

Isith gave a confirming growl of frustration, swinging his head to call out to Ixioth Oy, you! What's the point of getting all riled up over some kid? Hey, don't try and grab him, your claws will skewer him to death Tense as the situation was, M'del couldn't help but let out a laugh. Since when had Isith become an old softie/

Shut up, o rider of mine, before I dump you out of the sky
Righto, buddy. Take us down there, will you?

Isith folded in his wings, and with the ease of years of practice chasing greens fighting deep ones, dove towards the others. Landing with a thump on the ground, he attempted to nose the human Hey you, stop your sniveling, we won't hurt you, alright attempting to give a replica of a human grip by baring all his teeth. Isith may have been trying to help, but he was perhaps going about it in the wrong way.

M'del facepalmed. "Isith, that's not helping at all" projecting his voice to yell at the others, he called "the kid's no older than a baby flit- I think it was a false alarm"

Posted by: Dragonfire Apr 9 2012, 11:42 PM
"Oh, do calm down!" Rhea replied, brightly, apparently not at all fazed by having Desdelle shouting in her ear. She half-turned in her seat, keeping one eye on the proceedings while flashing a quick smile at the overseer. "He'll be fine, Ixioth's made catches like this before - well, on slightly older targets, it is true, but- oh! He's quick, isn't he?" And then she winced, as both lamb and lad spilled. "Oops."

Pfah! Missed. But he was nevertheless halted, at least for the moment - and that was all Ixioth really cared about. He touched down to the ground as lightly as a dragon his size could, not attempting to close the distance between themselves and the child. Ladies - and Isith - please! The very idea that I'd hurt the little tyke! he blustered, clearly offended. And I suppose it'd do to just let him go runnin' off to alert his people to the big flying lizards in the sky. Assuming these are our whernappers, 'course.

...He was also on the ground, now, it was true. Being closer to the soil was probably also another way of alerting the locals to their presence. It was really a damned-either-way situation, wasn't it?

Rhea peered over at the boy, and deftly began unhooking her straps. "Ixioth, report to Randaath - tell him what we've found over here. I'll go make sure he's alri- My word!" For she'd spotted Isith attempting to... well, probably not chew the kid, considering that he wasn't Angeth. Still. They didn't need to be giving the kid a total heart attack at this point - he'd already just been nearly run down by a dragon and very likely didn't need teeth all up in his grill. "Give him a bit of space!"

Ixioth blinked, folded his wings, and proceeded to start relaying details of the crater's contents.

Posted by: Ferret Apr 10 2012, 12:13 AM
Like they haven't already spotted us! Donnath shot right back at Ixioth. The large Green touched down nearby, because, clearly, yelling was better done from the ground. What, did you think a bunch of great big dragons would go unnoticed? We're not exactly trundlebugs! Look around you! Where is everyone? She swept a wing out like an arm, gesturing to the expanse of plantlife around them.

Donnath was far from an expert in the whole 'child-rearing' thing. Doktorr, as far as either knew, didn't have any kids running around and the Green herself was infertile, but she was fairly certain that the child was too young to be on his own. Where were his parents?

The Green wasn't used to questions like this. Not knowing something just made her angry. Donnath snorted and turned her rage on Isith instead. Stop it, you're scaring him! You're not helping! Leave human talking to the humans! She was so angry she was prepared to bite through steel and shit out screws.

"That's a good question, Donnath," Doktorr said out loud as he dismounted. A glance around the are revealed exactly zero people beyond the child. One unwary step further revealed the presence of caprine and ovine dung. Oh. Well... Doktorr's shoes needed to be cleaned anyway.

But surely there was no way a lamb could make that much? There had to be more somewhere. He approached the boy with his usual enthusiasm (which probably didn't help matters at all).

Posted by: Nozomi Apr 10 2012, 12:42 AM
"You all SUCK at this!" Warden all but snarled the words. If it wasn't against the rules to use his weapons against others of his team members... Ugh. But no. No, must not murder wingmates for treating children like something to be terrified and grabbed at. What was wrong with these sharding people? Warden couldn't even get out coherent words until he'd unbuckled himself from the harness and hit the ground.

"You're the one riding the dragon that tried to grab him! And you," Warden glared at Isith and M'del, lips curled. "Put his teeth away. Back away from the kid!"

Shit, seriously?! If this kid had been Rayai or Taanika... He took one of those deep breaths a healer told him to do whenever he felt the urge to break kneecaps and get drunk. Breathe. "Both of you stay away from the boy, you're officially terrifying monsters." Another glare in M'del's direction and a very firm mental note that he'd be speaking to Qu'an and C'tis so very very soon meant he was calm enough to stalk after Doktorr. Another breath and by the time he got into the kids range of vision, Warden would have an expression that was at least neutrel, if not kind.

"Young man?" So very informal.

Posted by: Meesh Apr 10 2012, 06:37 PM
Isith, suddenly finding himself reprimanded from all sides, gave a ";c" face, lowering his haunches until he was sitting on his rump and doing his best to look properly affronted. I was just trying to help he rumbled to his Rider. M'del gave him a look and the brown sighed, lowering himself further to let the Rider slide down. Once M'del was off, Isith took off in the air once more, now proclaiming to the group Whatever you're going to do, do it quickly. I'll circle around and warn y'all if I see trouble.- and one of you dragons who can carry one more, grab M'del if you need to get out of there quickly, will ya? Thus said, the brown began circling the area in ever increasing spirals.

M'del chuckled "Patrolling is Isith's way of sulking" he explained to the others "No worries, with his eyes out there, we'll spot any incomers from miles off. Also, I apologize for his forward behavior with the kid- hasn't sired a clutch yet, that could be the reason" Long speeches. Blarg. Fortunately, M'del was a lot calmer around little kid than his Brown. "Key, kid" he murmured gently, kneeling by the terrified child. "Where's your parents? Mommy and Daddy? Can you tell us?" he gave a shy half-smile

Posted by: Blight Apr 10 2012, 07:24 PM
Surprisingly, Isith's show of teeth, teeth, and ohfaranth, MORE FUCKING TEETH did nothing to calm the boy. But he did end up making the ground under him significantly wetter, as well as his pants. His mother----or possibly father----would have an extra load of laundry now.

The crying certainly didn't stop. If anything, the approach of people made the boy more terrified, his shrieks approaching glass-shattering levels. There were too many people around, too many strangers, and he just wanted to go home now.

"Meh?" said Lucky. Random thoughts collided in her fluffy little brain. Like most young creatures, she was not really used to thoughts more complicated than 'poop', 'suckle milk', 'poop again' and 'sleep'. This was entirely new. But this was an emergency. Her boy was sad.

Her ears flicked a few times and she made her decision and headbutted Doktorr. "MEH!" she bleated again, getting ready for another headbutt, much to the Greenrider's honest confusion. In terms of physical strength, the lamb was... well... a lamb. It was like attacking with wet tissue paper.

Adorable wet tissue paper. The poor kid could've used some dry tissue paper right about now, if only to stop his tears and snot.

"I'm s-sorrrrrrreeeeeee!" the boy cried, managing to get at least two actual words out from the tears. "I p-promise! I won't break the rules again!"

"HEY!" a rock was thrown. It fell far short of the riders, but that didn't matter. The thrower was only just getting started. Another child----judging by the long hair and ribbons, possibly a girl? It was so hard to tell from voices alone----burst from the trees like a little wild thing. She was even armed with a stick. This was presumably less funny when it smacked Warden. "YOU LEAVE HIM ALONE! I---I'm the one who told him it was ok to come outside! Take me instead!"

Although she clearly wouldn't go without a fight, judging by the way she was hefting that stick. Well, really more of a twig. The girl----who couldn't have been more than eight----glared up at the riders, tears in her eyes. Her knees were shaking, but this was HER mess and she was determined to clean it up.

Posted by: Ferret Apr 10 2012, 07:40 PM
Why are you apologizing to us? Donnath said, her anger barely even at scratched at the surface. Apologize to the kid! He's the one you terrified. For her part, the Green stayed a safe distance. Every fiber in her overprotective being told her to get closer, to try and comfort the crying child but that would probably only add to the confusion.

SO MORE YELLING IT WAS. She snorted at M'del's reassurance that Isith was just sulking. Not a one of us was worried, she said nastily.

Donnath, be nice. He is apparently our Wingsecond, as you told me earlier, Doktorr said as he started to search his pockets for some sort of a handkerchief or something. Maybe a little gesture like that would help win the kid's trust? Unfortunately, before he could find one, something rammed into him.

Emphasis on the 'ram'.

"Meh!" went the lamb.

'Headtilt' went the Doktorr as he tried to make sense of this tiny creature headbutting his shin. It might as well have been a stuffed animal. He started to walk away, but found the lamb was following him. And still headbutting.

"Um. Help? Someone? I'm not sure what to do..."

I am not going to call J'ax and Elizabeth just because you can't figure out what to do about a lamb, Donnath said flatly. We have not reached that level. I refuse to let you reach that level. Just ignore it. It'll wander off and attack someone else.

Well! Ignoring it was really the only option Doktorr had. It seemed like the rest of the group had bigger problems anyway, what with the number of crying children suddenly doubling. And one of them had a stick. And was hitting Warden with it.


Honestly, Doktorr was kind of surprised it hadn't happened before. "Let's just try not to upset the children anymore, alright?" he said with a bright smile and a lamb headbutting his ankle. The kids were obviously just terrified. Some talk about rules and what?

Posted by: Zoomy Apr 10 2012, 07:50 PM
Desdelle was so close to physically smacking Rhea that it wasn't even funny. But luckily something in the back of her mind reminded her that hitting a fellow rider was Not Allowed. Calm down? CALM DOWN? Fuck no. Not when a giant dragon was trying to grab an infinitely smaller child with his CLAWS. The Overseer didn't give a damn how many times Ixioth had performed such a thing -- and the realization that this had happened before was disconcerting.

When they landed, Warden's yelling was practically music to Desdelle's ears, though no such feelings showed on her face. She was still glaring daggers at everyone, and her mouth was the thinnest of lines. They were lucky the other grounded rider was the one yelling and not her, because she would be making serious threats about demotion and rank-stripping. Anyways, she let him take the helm in disciplin, while she herself stayed back a bit twist her belt and hide her gun behind her back, lowering her shirt and pack over it. The last thing the kid

now there were three kids... Great. ... Well, the last thing any of them needed was a gun blinking in their faces when she finally walked over.

"All of you, back up away from him. And the farm animal -- what Doktorr said," Des called, trying so hard to eliminate the growls from her voice. "And there's no need to sticks." She grabbed the end of the girl's weapon, but didn't try to actually take it. "We aren't going to take you, or him, so you may put down your guard." There, voice was softer now.

Posted by: Nozomi Apr 10 2012, 07:59 PM
What. WHAT. WHY WAS M'DEL. UGH. For a man made of so much small, Warden had a lot of rage in it and a wonderful ability with a shotgun. His hand had even begun to reach for the gun that didn't happen to be there, lips in a tight line to keep from snarling. Kid there. Do not snarl in front of the kid.

"I will be having words with Qu'an about--" Then the boy started to scream, wailing, apologizing for being scared. Ouch. Just, ouch, and M'del decided to be a fucking moron and getting closer to him and Warden could have rambled in his own head since forever but then there was a yell.

Then a girl. A girl with a stick. A stick hitting him because ow. Kind of. Warden blinked at her a few times and did perhaps a stupid thing - he crouched down, hands level with his shoulders, palms out to the young girl. Desdelle had started talking as well, and took hold of the childs miniature weapon, and he did his best to echo the sentiments of we won't fuck you up.

"Please don't hit me," He said softly, fingers spread out. "My name is V'tya. We aren't going to take you away anywhere, or him. They didn't mean to scare him or ... Lucky? What's your name?"

Posted by: Meesh Apr 10 2012, 08:23 PM
So apparently now everyone was yelling at one another. M'del sighed, and straightened, turning to the rest of his group, ignoring, momentarily, the two human kids and one animal kid. "We." he began, voice carrying out to all the humans in the area "Are a rescue team. Not a fight club. If we can't calm down two terrified children without yelling at one another, there is a serious problem." Okay, that probably meant all angry eyes would turn on him, but M'del had to figure out some way to distract everyone from their yelling at one another. It would only make the kids more terrified.

"Someone- one person, not five- calm the kids. Er, maybe one person per kid. The rest of us, stop yelling and let's figure out what we should be doing" So maybe M'del wasn't technically in charge of the rescue mission. But he doubted anyone would object to common sense. "One more thing" he added as an after thought "Let's not argue like Weyrlings. If you have an objection or want to yell at Isith, me, or anyone else, wait till we're back at Nightwatch and not dead" he kept his voice calm and impassive, speaking with his hands held up in a clear desire not to aggravate anybody. But his eyes were steady and firm, looking from person to dragon with a dare to start arguing.

Isith, flying overhead somewhere, gave a snort. Typical M'del

Posted by: Dragonfire Apr 11 2012, 10:40 PM
Ixioth made a very pained rumble. Donnath, m'dear, I promise I will leave you a very nice patch of my hide to tear strips out of when we get back to the Weyr. But for now, he sighed, Can we focus on the mission at hand, wot? All this arguing and shouting isn't getting any of us closer to finding the whers an' handlers. He was calm. He was calm and not going to be pointed or snarly or ruffled by anyone, Faranth help him. There were things to do. He didn't know what yet, but-

"Just stay put for now," Rhea advised him, feeling that caution was perhaps a better tactic for the moment. If the others were going to blow gaskets, great. Let them get it out of their system now! Better now than when they were in immediate trouble, or something. She finished stowing her gun (safely behind her coat and out of sight) and grenades (likewise in a pouch), and patted him on the foreleg.

Children, huh? Yeah, no, she wasn't going to pretend she understood anything to do with kids at all. Let the others handle that stuff. She hung back, hovering at the edges of things... and noticed Doktorr and the fuzzy white manacle he seemed to have picked up. "...Erm, dearie, pick him up, there. Lambs are cuddly, very non-apt to bite, you know. Or give - Lucky? - back to the lad." She peeked towards the boy, sodden with all sorts of liquids.


"He seems to have been doing a very good job at protecting Lucky, here. Very brave, wouldn't you say?" Rhea clasped her fingers together and smiled what she hoped was approvingly in the general direction of the children. Non-threatening. Right. That.

Posted by: Ferret Apr 11 2012, 11:04 PM
You're not getting off that easily, you overblown wher! When we get back to the Weyr, I am taking more than just a few strips of hide! You'll be lu--

Donnath, stop it. This isn't going to solve anything. Doktorr broke in, trying to calm his, as always, fiery Green.

It makes ME feel better, the Green retorted, red eyes still whirling at Ixioth and Isith. Just where did they get off on that anyway? Talking all high and mighty. Not so different from Browns at other Weyrs, always charging in and thinking that they were in charge just because they were bigger. Isith and M'del in particular received stink-eyes. What. After everything that M'del and Isith had done, the rider was going to pretend that he was in charge? Why the sheer GALL of it...

It's not solving the situation involving crying children. Please, Donnath? You're only going to scare them more. Yes, I know. Really, it seemed... silly to Doktorr to go around issuing orders for things that were already being done but it wasn't worth the argument. None of this was, not when lives were on the line.

I'll listen to you when you're no longer being menaced by barnyard animals.. despite her cranky answer, the Green quieted down to smolder. At least she wasn't yelling any more. For now.

"Oh, yes. Very brave little lamb here," Doktorr agreed with a nod at Rhea, keeping one eye on the crying children. People loved talking about their pets. Maybe that was a nice way in. And it was quite astute of Rhea to think of it. "Very... umm... uncommon in lambs, isn't it?"

Looking over the company, he was pretty sure they'd need all the help with kids they could get.

Posted by: Blight Apr 11 2012, 11:16 PM
"Wh... HEY! That's my stick!" the little girl said, still fierce as ever as Desdelle grabbed the end of her weapon. She tried to tug it away with all her strength which was, quite frankly, at least the strength of two very small girls. What she lacked in physical strength, she made up for in sheer glare. The tears lining her eyes only magnified the effects of the glarebeams.

"Kyla! We're not s'possed to talk to strangers!" the younger boy urged, grabbing his sister's leg for protection. At least the sight of Lucky ruthlessly trying to headbutt someone brought a bit of a giggle to the boy's lips. And the yelling had stopped, yay!

These two people didn't look too scary. Sure, they were old, but lots of people were old. But they were still strangers.

Kyla, the girl, gave V'tyai a very solemn look, glancing at him up and down. Crouched down, he didn't look so big and dangerous. "He told us his name," she reasoned, still eying Warden and Desdelle suspiciously, as though she expected them both to pull dragons out of their pockets at any moment. "Means he's not a stranger anymore. I'm Kyla and this is Desil. And that's Lucky."

"She's the best lamb," Desil piped up, beaming at Doktorr and Rhea.

"Meh?" said the best lamb. She sniffed the Doktorr's fingers but moved on. Perhaps he was no longer a threat but MAYBE THIS PERSON WAS. M'del received the next headbutt to the shin for no apparent reason. Maybe Lucky just figured that, if she headbutted everyone, she'd get the threat eventually. She wasn't in any hurry.

Kyla spoke up next again. "You promise you aren't here to take us away? You can't break promises!" she warned, shaking a finger under Warden's nose. "Ma and Da always said that dragonriders would come to take bad children away, but we aren't bad. We just wanted to play with Lucky before the rest of the flock was out."

Posted by: Nozomi Apr 11 2012, 11:26 PM
"Hello, Kyla. Desil." Warden glanced at the boy and actually smiled before looking back to Kyla. Another smile, the sort of a man too used to keeping upset children from exploding snot and sad all over the place. He kept his hands up in the air. "This is my friend, Des. We aren't here to take bad little children away and even if we were, we wouldn't be taking a fierce warrior girl and her brave little brother away. It's very good to protect your family."

Okay. No one was flipping tits. M'del was off standing to the side, talking about things that had already happened, and Rhea and Doktorr, bless them, seemed to be talking sense.

"Best lamb indeed," He smiled again. Despite all of the crap in the last few years, Warden still looked good when he smiled, bright and warmer than usual, wiping a few years off of him. "We're here just looking for some friends of ours. They've gotten lost and we miss them back at our home where we do not take little girls named Kyla and little boys name Desil and their lamb named Lucky, even if they break rules sometimes. I promise."

His leg had started to cramp. Damnit. Warden let his smile fade to something a little more.. contemplative. Ish. "Is it just you and your family around here, Kyla?"

Posted by: Meesh Apr 11 2012, 11:40 PM
His mini speech seemed to be shrugged off as arrogant, but at least people were no longer yelling at one another. M'del shrugged, unfazed, and turned back to the little kid- just in time to be headbutted in the shin by a tiny lamb. He looked down at it in surprise, blinking owlishly. It was just...headbutting him. M'del took a sidestep away from the lamb, bracing to feet to keep his balance as a shy smile crossed his face. Perhaps this lamb didn't like him much, but lambs in general were nice. Lambs were easier than people.

But it wasn't his job to be playing with animels or fighting them. Hoping the lamb would stop attacking on his own, the man turned his attention back to the girl, Kyla. "Warden" he hesitantly addressed the other man. M'del was not blind to the dark looks being shot towards him- though Faranth knew what was the matter, he was only trying to help- and he spoke quietly as he addressed the other man. "She seems to be okay with you- could you ask her about that last thing she said? About dragonriders carrying you off? It's probably just something to scare the kids with, but I wonder what kind of tales they've been telling about dragons on this island. Any bit of information can do, y'know" he gave a half shrug, keeping his voice low so only Warden and any nearby adults could hear, a little out of the hearing range of the children. M'del liked kids and all he just...didn't really know what to do with them

Posted by: Zoomy Apr 12 2012, 01:46 AM
The fiercest glare in all the land was quite fierce indeed, and Desdelle had to try very hard to contain all her fear, or so she would have said. But Warden was much better with kids than her, and when Kyla began to focus more calmly on him, the older woman softly let go of the young girl's weapon.

Rather not wanting to interrupt their conversation, now that he had the child talking, Desdelle shuffled over to kneel down near the little boy. "Desil, yes?" she asked him, hands in her lap, poofy-haired head tilted. She smiled legitimately this time, though still not as big as Warden had been, and pointed a little at the head-butting lamb. "Did a brave boy such as yourself teach Lucky to be brave as well? She's quite special indeed."

There was no need to ask the boy about the island, or re-remind him about being taken away. He had giggled, attention already having shifted to something that, to him, was much more important. A lamb. Best leave important detail-getting with Warden and the girl; Desdelle would merely preoccupy the boy and --

A small, quick glance was flicked over at M'del as he came close one more, her ears straining to hear what he was saying. Dragonriders carrying off children, a creche trick to scare them -- Desdelle mentally kicked herself for not having caught that earlier, especially because something she had been trying so hard to remember suddenly found its way to the forefront of her memory: Edinnu. The Man.

He left because he pretty much hated dragons.


But maybe she wasn't right? Maybe things were being remembered wrong? A silently, somewhat concerned glance was then cast at Warden, and then at the children. She'd listen, preoccupy Desil for a few minutes more. Hopefully she was wrong, otherwise things may... get ugly if 'parents' decided to arrive.


She looked at Desil, and continued practically where she had left off speaking from before. "I have a pet at home -- he's quite a scaredy feline. Maybe such a special animal trainer like you could give me a few tips?"

Posted by: Blight Apr 14 2012, 04:55 PM
Overhead, Isith would see an interesting sight. All along one wall of the little crater, there were little lights winking in the sun. A closer examination would reveal that the were windows. The entire Hold was carved into the walls of the crater, like the more traditional Weyrs. Silent messages flew at the speed of light. Literally.

People were waking up and taking note of the new intrusion into their home.

As M'del approached, both children clammed up and strained their hearing. Young as they were, they weren't stupid and it was obvious something was being kept from them. Kyla quietly shuffled away from the Brownrider, keeping a wary eye on the man, just in case he suddenly brought out a net and went 'BWAH WE GOT YOU NOW, YOU LITTLE BRATS'.

She was pretty sure this was a thing dragonriders did all the time. They went 'bwah'. She accepted this, just as she accepted that lambs went 'meeh'. "You lost your friends? That's very sad," she observed, frowning very deeply. "Did you look everywhere? One time, we thought we lost Lucky, but then Desil found her sleeping under the bed. Did you check there? And in the closets?"

At the sound of her name, Lucky went, "meh" again and ceased her ruthless attack on M'del. With the endless optimism of a lamb, she attempted to nibble on his clothes, perhaps in search of milk. Finding nothing, she ambled back to the kids and started to nudge Desil until he produced a bottle for her.

The boy beamed at Desdelle's compliments. Like so many pet owners, he was always prepared to jabber on about his beloved animal companion. "Uh-huh. Lucky learned on her own," he said, shaking his head. "Do you want to pet her? She likes being petted. She knows her name too. Um. I just fed her and told her her name until she knew it. Her ma couldn't take care of her, so Da told me and Kyla that we could have her. She's four days old."

If only there was a way to construct a home out of pride. Desil's was so adamant that it could have supported an entire building.

Ky;a giggled at Warden. "No! There are lots of people. There's our family, Eldger's family, Meera and Meers---"

"Nuh-huh! Meersk isn't here anymore. Da said he went off to live on a farm somewhere else," Desil piped up.

Kyla frowned, recognizing the lie parents always told children when a beloved pet had to be put down. "Yeah. Yeah, that's it. But he's not here now. But there are lots of people. And Edinnu and Edan too, but we don't see them much. "

Posted by: Meesh Apr 14 2012, 05:12 PM
Isith hadn't missed the site, alright. The lights went unnoticed for the first few seconds, as the Brown was looking for some sort of giant rawrmonster to come out or something, but as he began to take notice of them, he swooped lower to take a closer look. He was still high enough that the people would be hard pressed to attack him unless they had dragons of their own- something he highly doubted, considering he hadn't seen any as of yet- but now he could get a better view of lights winking in at one another. Doubtless, unless these people were idiots, they would have noticed the shadow of a dragon circling them. The others would kill him for that. Oh well, at least they might think it was only the one.

Guys. We're spotted His voice rumbled out towards the rescue team, sending them an image of the lights. Some dragons would have preferred to speak to their riders directly. Isith didn't really care. Looks like there's a hold or something carved into the crater. Oh, and unless they're idiots, they've seen me. Dragons, don'r take to the skies, and they might think it's only me though. he growled slightly. If they were attacked, he did have firestone in the saddlebags attached to his back. But it wouldn't be doing him much good without a human to detach them. In other words, he just had to hope these people had no long range weapons. I can lead them off in another direction if you want currently, he was circling around the crater, now honing in on the lights below him. But he had no doubt that if he left, others would be quick to follow.

M'del frowned as his dragon sent his more personal worries to him privately. "Isith can't leave now" he explained his dragon's worries to the others. "He'll be followed, no doubt" again this was said in an undertone. At least the lamb wasn't hitting him anymore.

At the child's words, specifically 'Meersk' M'del's head turned toward the kid. "Meersk. Does that mean you have whers here?" he asked Desil directly. Well, the kids didn't seem to like him much, so maybe they wouldn't respond. But it didn't hurt to try. "We have a few at our home too"

Posted by: Nozomi Apr 14 2012, 07:16 PM
Warden noted the clamming up and glanced over his shoulder to M'del. Undertones and children didn't go well together - they typically weren't hard of hearing and knew when adults were talking about them, or trying to keep secrets. It's what kids did. Even the most innocent knew to ask questions, and lots of them. He didn't glare, at any rate, not this time; Warden shot M'del the same flat, impassive Look almost everyone got and no verbal reply before he turned back to Kyla.

"They aren't under the bed. We've looked there, and in the top shelfs of closets. I checked the laundry rooms, but they weren't under the piles of clothes." He sighed heavily, head shaking with the lack of his friends. "What my friend was asking about what sorts of things your parents and the other families say about the dragonriders. I'm curious about Edinnu and Edan too - are they someone important?"

He had no sharding clue who Edinnu was outside of 'name of the Island' but, hey. If they guy had an Island named after him, he had to be worth asking about, right? M'del had a point on that, at the very least.

Posted by: Zoomy Apr 18 2012, 10:48 AM
"I would love to pet Lucky," Desdelle answered, her head nodding as she held out her hand (the one with all the fingers...) for the lamb to sniff. Her attentions were bouncing everywhere, though, and while it may not be obvious to Desil and children in general, her voice obviously had a very distracted tone... though not a particularly worried one.

She still hadn't heard anything about Edinnu, but apparently they had been spotted now by caverns located far above them. How isith knew this, Desdelle had no idea, but regardless of that... she was surprised it hadn't happened sooner. Glancing up, she eyed the rim of the caldera, noting the black prick-holes that could mark rudimentary windows and ledges and open cavern areas, but she couldn't see people, nor did she notice enough reflecting light to think it code. Well, they certainly weren't waving semaphore flags.

Shifting her weight on her knees, Desdelle turned her head to the young boy. "Desil, has Lucky met a lot of strangers before meeting us?" she asked. She highly doubted the children knew anything about the kidnap-ees, and even if they did, she doubted that they would ever be allowed to interact with them. ... But it was worth a shot, and hopefully keeping conversation on Lucky would make the boy want to talk more, and be more truthful. Long shots everywhere -- Warden would probably have better luck.

Posted by: Blight Apr 18 2012, 10:13 PM
Again, the kids gave M'del the sullen untrusting look that children saved for unfavored adults, like a particularly disliked teacher. Now he was a stranger. Supposedly Kyla's logic wouldn't hold for him. All the same, Desil nodded. "Yes, but they usually only come out at night. Ma says it's because light hurts them, but it doesn't hurt anyone else."

As Desdelle offered her hand to the lamb, Lucky gave her fingers a delicate sniff. Then, like most newborn animals, he took them in his mouth, trying to find milk. Nope. None here. His tail wagged anyway. Desil laughed. "Lucky, that's a hand."

He had to really think about Desdelle's other question though. Eventually, he nodded. "Yeah. Ma and Da say it's important for Lucky to be nice and meeting lots of strangers will make him nice so me and Kyla have been introducing him to everyone." And, to a newborn, everyone was a stranger.

Clearly, Warden was the BEST at hide and seek. Kyla could respect the skills of someone who remembered to search UNDER the laundry piles. The man's next question made her falter a little. It was easy to repeat stories about evil dragonriders who scooped up children to other kids, but it was harder to repeat them to an actual rider. "Ma and Da say that dragonriders take bad children away," she parroted. The exact nature of 'badness' wasn't clear. She was at the age where she was beginning to wonder how a dragonrider knew if she snuck out of bed before morning.

Then again, they were here, weren't they? And who was she to question how firebreathing, flying, telepathic lizards worked? "Edinnu is the Lord Ho---"

"Kids! There you are!" a new voice belonging to a woman who approached cautiously. Olive eyes lingered untrustingly over the intruders and her hands held a rather deadly-looking crossbow, already loaded. The shaft of the bolt was marked with red and a quiver at her hip held others. But she smiled. Unfortunately, it was the kind of smile that didn't quite touch her eyes.

The kids didn't seem to notice. Desil immediately ran up to cuddle the woman on the knees while Kyla took a more mature reaction by laughing, "Meera!"

For a second, the woman genuinely smiled. One hand ruffled Desil's hair, even as the other still held that crossbow. "Kids, guess what?" she said, squatting down to look them in the eye. "I just talked to your parents an---"

"Are they mad?" Kyla blurted out.

"No, they're not mad. They're very worried but they told me that your Mom has made a special treat. But here's the catch. You'll only get it if you beat me in a footrace back home."

The promise of treats brought squeals of delight to both kids. Lucky seemed less pleased by this, but mostly because it interrupted her nap. Before long, the trio were shapes running in the distance, leaving Meera behind to glare at the intruders. Any pretenses of smiles were dropped. The kids were safe. No use in pretending to be happy just to keep them from panicking.

"Now, I know all you riders are trained to attack Deep Ones," the woman started calmly. The crossbow temporarily dipped to face the ground, but bounced back up again, pointing securely at Donnath. "That's why I've got this aimed at one of your dragons. So remember, if any of you do something I don't like, you're the ones who will be going home with one less dragon. And you'll have to live with that. What are you doing here?"

Posted by: Nozomi Apr 18 2012, 10:28 PM
For a minute, it was adorable, the girl being all parroting and the mention of... whers, probably. And Edinnu as the lord ho - fucking fantastic. There was a fucking Hold. Fabulous. And a woman, with a crossbow, with her face looking like she needed a stiffdrink somewhere in there. The kids scurried off for snacks. Warden did not scurry, he remained crouched where he was, only shifting in order to face this brand new person.

Really, he'd have been able to observe more things if she didn't put a crossbow straight towards Donnath. When that happened, all of the things disappeared save for the knowledge that things were probably going to get shitty and it would be bad for that to happen.

Why was she pointing the pointing the crossbow at the only dragon whose rider had any intelligence in him?

And the thought of 'Shards, my gun is on that fucking dragon' hit. The number of intelligent riders officially went from three to two - Doktorr and Desdelle would have to fend for themselves at this point.

"You're Meera?" Warden linked his fingers together, doing his best to keep his voice droll instead of the barking snarls he'd grown so fond of. She had a crossbow at Donnath, damnit. "They were just talking about you. If you know who we are, then I'm going to assume you know why we're here. We want our whers and their handlers back now."

Unless they'd been 'sent to a farm'. That would suck.

Posted by: Zoomy Apr 18 2012, 10:44 PM
Lambs, children, cute antics, and some parroted information ranging from useless to rather interesting -- suddenly woman with a crossbow. Automatically Desdelle's face reverted back to its default expression: a stony, calm look, which lacked the stiffness associated with fear. When Desil and Kyla ran off, hands were raised to the level of her shoulders, fingers casually splayed. And unlike Warden, she rose to her feet in a slow, fluid motion, eyes never leaving Meera's form... especially not the crossbow now pointed at Donnath.

Quietly she let Warden speak, head turning just slightly towards his direction. And when he was done, she decided it was her turn. "And now that we've fulfilled one request from you, perhaps you can do one for us," she began, voice quite calm, even, completely unhurried or worried, "and either lower the bow, or point it at me, please." With that she took a few side steps away from the direction Warden was in, along with much of the group. There was some internal debate on whether she should, or needed to, elaborate on the reasoning of why exactly meera should focus on her and not Donnath. She decided to go with a middle ground.

"It would be a better tactic for you."

Posted by: Meesh Apr 19 2012, 01:26 AM
The kids didn't seem to like him. M'del didn't give it more than a moment's thought, eyes half glazed over as he concentrated on his brown, still circling the crater I swear, if anyone at the crater attacks him-

And then the woman showed up. She seemed harmless enough at first. At least, that was before she had a crossbow aimed at one of their dragons, clearly with the intent to kill. M'del only froze at the sight of the weapon, not letting his face betray his clouded thoughts and worries- did she actually intend to shoot? Several miles off into the air, Isith turned his head and snarled, the brown not sharing his rider's inhibitions at all.

Luckily for all of them, Isith was too far away for his snarl to be heard- or probably even to be seen by the group, depending on who was looking. Now the danger was here. Now, shiz got real. Following Desdelle's example, the man raised his hands in the air as well, fingers spread, eyes not even flickering to the pistol where it hung, now uselessly, from his belt. "We don't mean any harm" he said calmly, eyes not leaving the woman. "We're just here to find our whers, then we'll leave."

At Desdelle's offer, M'del twitched, shooting a look at the woman. What did she hope to gain by making such a request? If the woman was pointing the crossbow at a dragon and not a human, it was unlikely she was planning on changing her mind due to a request. But they were on shakey ground, best to show a united front. But still, to sacrifice herself...
You better know what you're doing, Dedselle. I'd hate to go back to Nightwatch missing a dragon. -or- a human

Posted by: Ferret Apr 19 2012, 02:08 AM



How did... why... one second, Doktorr was having a perfectly decent conversation with Rhea and then someone was threatening Donnath. Then again, did it really matter how it came to this? All of the blood drained from the greenrider's face. He wasn't sure how much damage one crossbow bolt could do to a dragon----if it hit somewhere like a leg, surely it would be harmless? And a moving target was harder to hit. Maybe just asking Donnath to take off would be the right choice. Surely she could fly far beyond the reach of the bolt before it could hit.

And then she focuses on someone else. Maybe it would be you. And that is not going to happen, Doktorr, not while I'm here. Not that Donnath was going to throw herself at the crossbow woman or anything. But she wasn't going to budge either.

Then let me make sure that you STAY here. "Hang on just a tick!" he said, holding his hands up in the universal gesture of 'look, I'm not holding a big dangerous weapon'. "There's a perfectly good reason why you shouldn't kill any of us."

Now if only I had a few more seconds to figure it out... his eyes flickered back to Donnath, partly to simply make sure she was there, but also because guess who else left his weapons on the dragon.

And the number of clever riders was officially down to one.

And she just offered herself as a hostage.


Posted by: tuathade Apr 19 2012, 10:45 AM
Sharding fardling shells.

He’d been hit. It wasn’t a serious hit, just a stray bullet, and not so perilous that he couldn’t simply block it out of C’ross’ thoughts – just a small trickle of ichor down his right flank. His rider had plenty of other things to worry about. Like a cave full of whers and people with guns. Randaath would sort himself out without his rider having to know until after it was all over.

He came over the top of the crater just in time to see the blinking of the lights, and two young children and a lamb running away from the dragons – wait. Two children and a lamb. Two children and a lamb?

If they’d been wasting all this time playing around with children while the shore group was getting shot at, Randaath was going to flame every single sharding one of them.

To his credit, he kept his anger contained as he swept in for a landing. There was no outward sign that he was two seconds away from a roaring rampage at all of them, save for the dark red-orange of his eyes; the good thing about telepathy was that the only people who heard you shouting were the people that you wanted to hear you. And then, as he was backwinging in to settle next to Donnath… that was when he spotted the crossbow in Meera’s hand. And that was when he exploded at every dragon in range.

…What the fuck have you idiots been DOING?

Posted by: Blight Apr 19 2012, 05:20 PM
Well, that answered the question of who the Greenrider was. It had to be the woman, right? The one offering herself as a hostage? Only the rider would have that amount of interest in the dragon. Probably. Then again, the slim and foxy guy looked like he was about to have an aneurysm of some sort.

The short guy was talking, attracting her attention briefly. She glanced the short man over, searching for any signs of weapons. She couldn't see any, but that didn't prove anything. Guns could be pretty small. But something he said got her attention: whers. At the word, her eyes briefly flickered over to her right side. It was a single quick movement, nearly invisible, unless someone was watching for it.

"If I knew why you were here I wouldn't be asking, now would I? What about whers? And I can't do that, miss. Any one of you might have weapons that I can't see." Pffff. This whole 'threaten the dragon' tactic was clearly working, or at least it was from Meera's perspective. She was getting answers.

Kind of.

They were just the sort that raised more questions.

Which, quite frankly, annoyed her.

Another man also spoke of whers. Either all the riders, wordlessly, decided to stick to the same story, or there was something to it. "Missing whers. We don't have them. We've h--"

Cut off, once again, by the arrival of another. Another dragon, a large brown, burst from nowhere. Meera cursed under her breath. Of course they could do that. She just... look, you forgot things when you didn't deal with dragons. She waggled the crossbow as threateningly as she could. No rider on the Brown. He probably belonged with one of the people already here then.

"What do you mean 'your whers'?" she demanded.

Posted by: Zoomy Apr 19 2012, 05:41 PM
Well, fine, that plan didn't seem to work, but at least the woman was actually...looking almost flustered now. That could be both good and bad: good, because her focus was solid on any particular person... and bad, because her focus was NOT SOLID. Desdelle had seen many people shoot off a gun by accident because they had become flummoxed and were shifting around a lot.

"Stop waving that thing around, would you?" she commented, voice rising to be heard. ...However suddenly all attentions seemed to turn to the appearance of Randaath. Great. Was that a bad sign too? It was probably a good thing she didn't hear what he yelled at all the dragons... because Des would be snarling right back.

Whatever. Topics seemed to be scattered to the four winds, along with attention spans. Another minute couldn't be spared towards Randaath's arrival, because Meera's confusion was indeed becoming very, very apparent. This made the Overseer almost chuckle -- something that didn't quite make it past her throat but indeed made her shoulders jiggle a bit, her eyes glinting in amusement.

"You have absolutely no idea what's going on in your own home, do you?"

Posted by: Meesh Apr 19 2012, 08:52 PM
At least the woman seemed to relax now. Maybe if they gave her more answers, she would lower her bow. Inching forward and the the side every so slightly- attempting to put himself between the dragon and the crossbow, M'del began to talk, eyes not leaving the threatening woman, "Our whers and wherhandlers have been kidnapped and taken to the island. We don't know much more than that, but we're certain this is where they've been traken" better to not reveal too much. And anyway, if the others wanted to confirm or reject his claim, he would leave that open to them.

The arrival of the other brown brought on a wave of relief. Now they had some heavyweight on their side, Which reminded him. Isith was still hovering over the crater. Sensing his rider's thoughts, the brown looked curiously in his rider's direction, mentally preparing to go between

No M'del called to his brown Wait, we still have the advantage of surprise The dragon growled a moment, before nodding his agreement.

Posted by: Dragonfire Apr 19 2012, 10:13 PM
Attemptin' to find some missing whers, Randaath. Same as you, I do expect, Ixioth answered, rather calmly and blithely, not bothering to move from the crouched, stock-still position he'd taken since the holder woman had trained her bow on Donnath. Haven't found 'em yet. Still working on that. Where's Yours at?

Damnit, Desdelle, stop trying to get shot! Ixioth had promised Valorinoth that he'd bring her back in one piece, grumble-rumble.

Rhea sighed, brought one hand to her forehead to rub at her temple wearily - and laid the other one on her hip, nice and close to where she'd stashed her pistol behind her flight jacket. She probably didn't need to shoot the lady, but it was a comforting thought nonetheless. "I think me we've a very large misunderstanding here, dearies," she said, reasonably. "We just want to find our missing friends. That's all. Is there not a chance that they could be here somewhere? Had any new wherhandlers turn up lately? A green, a blue, a young bronze..." She couldn't remember their names, of course, but she was pretty sure that was at least part of the list.

And, hey, maybe the wherhandlers had gone to the island of their own volition, after all, if you conveniently forgot about the attack that Ianthe had reported. It would have been nice of them to send a note if that was the case, though.

Posted by: Ferret Apr 22 2012, 03:40 PM
Ok. Ok. She hadn't shot anyone yet. Doktorr tentatively chalked that one up for the Win column, on the basis that not being shot now was a good sign. Probably. And the woman seemed to be getting more confused than upset by the questions.

Who brings a crossbow against dragons anyway? a random thought wormed across his mind, related to exactly nothing in the current conversation. There was the ominous red marking on the end of the bolt, but a crossbow was hardly an effective weapon against a group of people.

Not if she only planned on killing one of us, Donnath said, eyes swirling back to orange as Randaath yelled at everyone. Go suck an egg, Randaath! An... are you injured? she focused on the ichor dripping down his flank. Well, not really dripping. That implied a serious flow. This was more of a... a something slow and dripping? Donnath wasn't so good with words that weren't insults.

Well, maybe the other group had been having its own problems.

"Look, we're here in peace. Like the others said, we're just here for our friends and then we'll leave. We just want our friends back," Doktorr said, only aware of half the conversation between the dragons.

Posted by: Blight Apr 22 2012, 04:16 PM
"I'm not waving it around! I'm just keeping it pointed. At the dragon," Meera said, stubbornly putting emphasis on that final point, just in case the woman forgot that it was her dragon at the end of the bolt. Apparently the speaker was forgetting because it almost looked like she was laughing.

At least one of the men was more useful, explaining that the whers and their handlers had been kidnapped. Meera's face froze to a completely impassive expression.

It couldn't have been more obvious if she had screamed out, "OH FARANTH IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW". Other visitors piped in, basically just confirming that they were just here for whers and handlers.

Slowly, the crossbow dipped back down to the ground, but with a distinct feeling that it would be pulled right back up again at the slightest sign of violence. "We don't have your missing whers, I promise you. We wouldn't abduct people. Especially not people who have very large attack beasts at their sides. We've actually had a similar problem: whers just disappearing. Not for a couple of turns though." Nope, now they had a whole new wher problem on their hands.

And missing caprine and ovine. It wasn't like the sheep and goats could just wander on out of the crater on their own. "Right. Here's the deal," she announced. "I'll tell you what I know if you help me figure out what's going on. We don't have a lot of weapons here."

Posted by: Meesh Apr 22 2012, 07:32 PM
The woman's weapon slowly lowered, and M'del couldn't help but heave a sigh of relief. It wasn't a sigh though, really, more like a small breath of air escaping from his lungs. Well, either way he was relieved. Coming home sans one dragon was not very high on his to-do list.

But at his words about the missing Whers, she seemed to freeze. So obviously she knew something about it. Her crossbow lowered, though, and that was a good sign. And then came the surprise, the woman seemed to know about it too. M'del frowned a moment, trying to get his brain around this sudden plot twist. So, someone had been stealing whers, but the entire island wasn't in on it.

Could she be lying? The question replayed itself in M'del's head, but he finally decided she probably wasn't. With the crossbow, she had all the advantages, so there was no real reason to lie. Besides, he reaction to his words seemed like proof enough. So the question remained, could they trust her?

Well, she had already done them one favor by not shooting Donnath. M'del hesitated once, looking at the others, before giving a nod to the lady. "We have a common enemy then, so it seems." he frowned, remembering the briefing he had been given before they had departed "What color were the whers that got taken? We've only been losing green and blues, I think" glancing back to the others for confirmation

Posted by: Dragonfire Apr 26 2012, 11:34 PM
Whoo! Crossbow bolts pointed at the dirt was infinite-times better than crossbow bolts pointed at dragons. Rhea beamed at the holder woman, bobbing her head in a satisfied nod.

Even so, she wasn't quite going to move her hand away from easy distance of her pistol. Not just yet.

Meera's assurances about not being behind the kidnappers caused her a moment of thought, however. "Hum. It is a conundrum, isn't it? How does someone cart off a large man-eating monster and expect to get away with it without being eaten by said monster?" she wondered aloud, not really expecting an answer from anyone. M'del's questioning look was met with a momentary blank one from her, and a shrug of her shoulders. She'd not really been acquainted with any of those missing. "...I daresay if what you know will help us figure out what's going on, we can work together, no? And, hey, it means no one gets shot. That's always a positive mark for the day."

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