Rumour and Power

Who: Isolwyn, J’kson, Eosyth, Malynth
When: Month 2, 204 AT
Where: Lake Shore, Fort Weyr
What: Neither Eosyth nor Malnyth are what the Weyrlingmasters can handle.

Time has passed and dragons have grown, some better than others, and yet even Malynth is flourishing under the Fortian sky. He seems immune to the knowledge that his sole wing may never bear him skyward, his resolute and solid take on it shared with more than J’kson, << We will fly >> and that is that to the blue. J’kson’s been a semi-attentive weyrling, following through the motions of the tasks put to him without too much trouble. Some days are better than others and it’s often on the worst days that the man finds access to a bottle and takes himself down to the lake to contemplate his life. He’s down there this afternoon, having had a particularly frustrating time sitting through the lessons that were designed to teach his peers to fly on their dragons. He’s deep in the bottle, Malynth a quiet, sleepy, form at his side as the man uses his blue’s chest as a couch.

In the weeks that have gone by, Eosyth has already earned herself a reputation for being precocious and putting others ahead of herself, her having managed to wrap two of the Weyr’s grown bronzes around her proverbial finger without a second thought of understanding of what she’d done something that has only added to concern about just what kind of queen Honshu has left in Fort’s midst. Add to that a screaming fit in the middle of the night from Isolwyn, certain Eosyth was about to jump Between, and the weyrlingmasters haven’t been entirely sure what to do with them today, releasing them from the duty of lessons partly just to avoid dealing with the young queen. When Isolwyn turns up at the shore of the lake, minus Eosyth, she tugs the bottle from J’kson’s hand and takes a long drink before returning it to him. “You know that he’s tired because you’re half-cut, right? So says Eosyth, anyway.”

J’kson takes one glance at his half-full bottle of whiskey and gives a glance back at the dozing blue. “Hadn’t thought of it,” he admits to Isolwyn, slow and uncertain as he looks back to her. “Not my intention, you realize.” He reaches a hand out for the bottle, not to beg, or demand, but because it’s his. “Ask Eosyth how older riders keep it from affecting their dragons, because I’ve certainly witnessed dragonriders tossed three-shades to the wind before and never heard mention their dragons took the brunt of it.” He’s not the sort to comment in general about others work, especially not in reflection on the goldrider, but he has to ask, or doesn’t filter with the drink thick in his blood. “So they dismissed you today? I’m tired of that,” he tells her, “the lack of their understanding or trying. Tired as //shit// of the judgement.” His hand remains outstretched, waiting, his eyes sparking as he tells her, “Take a nip yourself and sit down.”

“She could be bending the truth just to get you to stop,” Isolwyn states, folding herself down to the sand. “Or she could be right and they become less influenced by our own mental states when they’re adults themselves. I don’t think I’m going to get clarification, either way.” Indeed, across the bowl, Eosyth has commandeered one of the ledges meant for junior queens and sits there swamped in space, observing the world before her. “They don’t know what to do with her,” she murmurs. “She’s a law unto herself. It’s not that she disobeys, she’s just several steps ahead of them – and me – all the time. They’re not equipped to contain her. I’ve felt her on the cusp of going somewhere else more than once and I don’t know where she wants to go or why.” Glancing at J’kson, she supposes, “Maybe the only way to change the Weyr’s ways is to be the people giving the orders.”

J’kson stretches his legs out in front of him and angles his head back as he settles against Malynth’s chest. He turns his head and lifts a brow, hand again held in a ‘give it to me’ gesture, though he seems inclined to wait her out – in hopes that Isolwyn would take the nip he suggested was her due. “I came here to change things,” he admits, a spark of something in his gaze and then it’s gone as he closes his eyes and huffs out a laugh. “It’s… far more complicated now with Malynth. Maybe it would’ve been different had I gotten a brown or a bronze or, shit, to be honest? Not fucking Impressed at all.” He rests a hand back against blue hide and looks to Isolwyn. “Despite it all, despite //them//, Eosyth will do great things and so will Malynth. It’s so clear to me now, though I knew it when I was sent,” he slips on that, a hint at something more to his story, but that’s easily blamed on the whiskey. “To help these hidebound fools but… she’s //better// than their golds. I wish someone could help her not reach too far too fast,” a pause, “is there anyone?” He looks to her and pauses. “I realize all you ever talk about is her. And how are things with your Uncle and the fact you are no longer a pawn?” he’s more than interested in her answer as he angles himself to focus more clearly on her.

Isolwyn briefly takes the bottle back, but with the drink she’s already taken apt to fuzz her senses soon enough, she only eyes it and returns it to J’kson, her focus straying to Malynth as he claims it might have been better had he not Impressed at all. “I thought things might be different here with a woman as Weyrleader, but with the ban on browns chasing queens I doubt she’ll last beyond the next few months if the Senior rises again.” Her head tilts for the word ‘sent’, this probed with, “Did someone want you here as someone wanted me? Not that I was meant to Impress at all.” She sets the question out there without looking directly at J’kson, applying no pressure to answer if he wishes not to, the distance to her focus allowing her a decent enough stretch of silence on the subject of her lifemate. “…Maybe her dam is the only one who could,” she murmurs. “It’s just as well my uncle will never comprehend her strength the way a rider might. He has no say in my life now. He robbed me of a family of my own; my own hold. I loved getting Fort the advantage over other Bloods, don’t misunderstand me. I just realised too late what it had cost me.”

“Fort’s been toxic for a long time,” J’kson muses as he takes that bottle and sips from it before he tucks it behind him – out of sight, perhaps out of mind. “I don’t think a woman finding herself in the role of a Weyrleader so soon after the last pair were sent to be dust Between would change hearts and minds.” He considers Isolwyn as he tips his head up and eyes the young goldrider. “Your uncle sent you, hm? Figured as much from the look of him.” As to who might have sent him he shrugs a shoulder in nonchalance, “It is who I am to be sent where others want. Wasn’t ‘til Malynth that I realized I could… find my own way.” He reaches a hand up to pat at the blue’s chest. “But then again people sending me here helped me get him, y’know? Dunno how it all will end up. But Fort being Fort,” a shrug, “perhaps it goes to shit and I end up being Betweened.” A sigh and then he’s reaching back for that bottle, giving a pause only as he tilts his face towards the now sleeping blue. “She really says it effects him?” he asks, quietly, concern knitting his brow. Then he catches on to her words and he’s sipping from the bottle again. “Fuck it, ‘Wyn,” he taps his own nickname on her, “Seriously. //Fuck// it. You can find a family now, have one. Or not. With her. Your whole life is //yours//.”

“Fort might always be toxic.” Having refused to cut her hair, Isolwyn’s falls in a dark sheet down her back, today woven into a braid that she draws forward to idly play with the very ends of. “Eosyth won’t permit you or Malynth to be Betweened,” is a dark and definite statement, quite as if the little gold has claimed control of her voice, though she’s immediately a measure lighter when she speaks again. “…I think it’s your mental state that affects him more than the drink itself,” she says slowly. “Whether she’s telling white lies or not. But if you want to find your own way, I have to agree with her and tell you that way’s probably not at the bottom of a bottle.” As for the matter of her own dream of a family and life of her own, she rolls her shoulders and exhales slowly. “You can see how they’re treating her already. Imagine when she’s bigger. And stronger. Mentally. If they’re afraid of her now, they’ll be terrified when she’s grown.” And yet she’s so matter of fact about it that is cannot be denied that some undercurrent betrays the thrill of the thought. “No man will trust me. Want me. There are rumours enough about me in the Holds as it is.”

“Been my way for a long time,” J’kson admits with a rueful shrug and an almost embarrassed smile as he looks down at his hands. “Can’t imagine it’ll change like that,” he snaps a finger, “but… for Malynth I’d try.” He tips his head back against blue hide and huffs a laugh. “Funny, to think I’d think that I’d go dry.” He lifts his neck up to peer at Isolwyn again and then lurches forward to grab her hand and tug her to sit beside him. “Tired of looking up,” he tells her with a wink, making sure she’s comfortable beside Malynth once he’s forced her to join him on the ground. “From what I gather, they’re terrified of another Amorenth. Who took more than one queen with her mind and control. People always fear what they can’t control,” he supposes, nudging her with his shoulder in a friendly gesture. “Hate to say it, darling, but I can’t see you that way. Malynth’s all ‘sister’ this and ‘sister’ that with Eosyth and I’ve never quite been able to look at your beautiful face and see anything but a //sibling//.” He laughs, raking his fingers through his hair that somehow has yet to be shorn down like his fellow male riders. Defiant in that alongside Isolwyn. “Rumors fade. And who wants a sodding Holderbred man anyway? They’re a waste of space.” He flicks his thumb and middle finger together and then makes a rude gesture. “Screw’m.”

“Holdbred or otherwise, I think any man is going to have trouble seeing past Eosyth. I love her and if the price of that is never letting any man close enough to want to even consider marrying me, I would still choose her every time.” Isolwyn peers over towards that ledge, where Eosyth has now curled herself up and snoozes with her tail draped over her nose. “It’s neither here nor there until she’s grown, anyway. And by then it might be too late.” She rakes her fingers through the sand and sighs, shifting to rest her head against J’kson’s shoulder. “If Malynth can get enough height to get off the ground, I’d think they’ll still want to train him for Between. You can’t be half in the bottle for that. I’m not going to lose the both of you to a misjudged jump. I’ll start slapping drinks from your hands if I have to, just to piss you off.” Her smirk is brief. “Maybe we should take over one of the junior weyrs to get away from the kids in this class.”

J’kson’s surprisingly solemn at her offer to help him gain sobriety and for the offer to move out of the barracks. “Alright,” he tells her to both without specifying, handing over his bottle and then he nudges her with his shoulder. “Get me away from the teenagers, please, sister. I can’t take it.” He winks at her and tips his head back against Malynth, falling into contemplative silence. He reaches for her hand to hold and pat before he settles it against his knee. “You’re a good person, ‘Wyn. Thanks for looking out for us. You’ll make a hell of a Weyrwoman someday, I’m sure.” He lapses again into silence and then he asks abruptly, “Tell me about your childhood?” He looks to her and smiles, shrugging and then looking out at the world again. “To compare my shitty upbringing too, of course.”

Isolwyn parks the bottle in the sand a couple of feet away from one hip, leaning to do so before she settles back again J’kson and Malynth. “I doubt they’ll object to us claiming a weyr. If they’re not willing to teach Eosyth, I doubt they’ll be willing to fight her.” She keeps her hand curled at the bluerider’s knee, her focus fading as he asks after her childhood. “As soon as I was old enough, they put me in the path of suitors. They weren’t going to let any of them marry me, of course – and I can’t say that I wanted them, really. It was my job to get information out of them. When the other Holds realised what my uncle was doing, I had to lie low for a while, then he sent me out on a tour of any Blooded residence that would have me.” Her fingers twitch as she supposes, “I can’t say that I ever wanted for anything. I only had to ask and what I wished was mine. Payment, it must have been.” Gently, she nudges him with her elbow. “Your turn. Shitty upbringing, please.”

“Sure, it was the usual – father came to ruin, drank too much, beat me. Older brother made something of himself, so when my father died he took me in. Fell to gambling and the darker ways to make money,” J’kson drawls all this and then claps his hand on her leg. “Shitty upbringing by shitty men led me here though, yah? Can’t complain.” He rests himself back against Malynth and falls into telling her one of his favorite stories of when he was fourteen and how he managed to outwit a group of young lords for all their money with nothing more than an eye for card counting and a courage fueled by alcohol. Later, after more stories have been swapped, he rises and holds his hand out to help her up. “Thank you,” he tells her without warning as they both begin to walk back to the Weyr. How it might all turn out – the junior weyr, his sobriety, will have to wait. At least for tonight when he and Isolwyn go their separate ways, he’s sobered up. It’s a start.

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