Who: Jet and M’tan
When: Month 5, 204 AT
Where: Court of Shadows, Honshu Territory
What: Following deaths among Fort’s leadership, Jet and M’tan are forced to bring Arlet Between to the Court, bringing on early labour and the birth of their grandson. Time travel is, once again, a bitch.
It started as a mess and ended in one, Fort’s Senior queen dead and three bronzes gone to join her, queens from other Weyrs injured in the process of trying to calm the chaos in the skies. For Akanyth’s part, he did not try to chase when his mate flew, already barred even from his own rider by the teeth and claws of bronzes as others blooded and waited on the presence of their queen. By the time she truly rose, her rider had already lost control, as unable to keep her from tearing bronzes from the sky as she was to reunite her Weyrleader with her brown, the presence of other queens trying desperately to stop the fall of doomed bronzes something that only spurred further fury. It was as one bronze battled on to try and catch Fort’s Senior that she attacked him as she had the others, misplaced claws tearing through hide to rend vital ichor; his jump Between that dragged her to her death too.
Arlet may never have reached Akanyth, but green and bronze wings found her, a trip Between just as he finally found air beneath his wings separating them and leaving him to trust an image not his own to reach the Court. And Arlet may never agree that it was worth it, for now she lies unconscious and recovering from the sudden onset of early labour, her baby born a month and more too soon. The end of it all finds Jet in one of the Hold’s many sitting rooms, huddled by the fire with the tiny baby that is her grandson cradled in her arms. Fort may lie in proverbial ruins and much must be done to restore order, but she thinks not on it, nor cares, her focus only on the child.
The Weyr Council will have blood on their hands now in the wake of their declaration to try and limit goldflights to bronzes, their bid to rip control from women at the cost of too many lives. Fort’s utter chaos at the loss of their top bronzes (those with the political weight behind them of the other Northern Weyrs) and their Senior gold, their Weyrleader gone in a blink by unknown dragons, has left dragons keening and riders clinging to each other for solace. There are none to step in until C’aol and Daeserath are sent by O’rlen from Honshu, and the Weyrleader of Ierne. The implications of that help sent will be discussed in the future, but for today, those at Fort are brought to order quickly by the bronze whose red-tinted gaze holds no rebuke. Between Daeserath’s mental whip, and C’aol’s quick and decisive action, Fort is brought from chaos to pained silence.
Sirhyth and Kyramith are no bronze and gold pair, but their combined minds are always a force to be reckoned with. Sirhyth remains awake, guarding his mate, as his eyes remain held on Akanyth. For all that they have called him to the Court, the bronze does not trust him. The flickering forms of firelizards popping in and out on guard of human and dragon alike, also showcase the tentative truce that has been given to the foreign dragon. No other has ever stepped on to their land. << She will live >> Sirhyth’s voice is a subtle ripple of darkness, << Be thankful. >> He is mindful of the brown’s loss of his mate and leaves his commentary at that. There is enough threat in his attention. M’tan is unable to find Jet for some hours, having left her to the care of Arlet, while he saw to their dragons and Arlet’s brown, then on to their own people. It is an hour or more before he’s able to locate Jet, by way of Fleet, who has located her and the baby for him. He walks in and Fleet blinks away Between, off to locate a bluerider at Fort, and call in a long overdo favor with the note tied to his leg. M’tan walks slowly over to Jet and then drops to his knees at her side, looking towards the babe and then up at his wife. “Boy or girl?” he asks, not caring at all for any other detail.
Akanyth is bitter in his savage silence, his world narrowed to the heartbeat of his sleeping rider, the force of his distress already beginning to ease memories of Fort and what he has lost from the short nature of his draconic memory. He’s found the highest point he possibly can to perch on, as distant from Sirhyth and Kyramith as he can make himself, any gratitude lost to the howling wind and dead, dried up leaves of mate gone and rider almost following after. As for Kyramith, she’s almost arrogant in how laid back she is about the foreign brown’s presence, deeming him not at all a threat or simply one without a chance of hurting her or those she holds dear. Perhaps it’s her hold on her emotions that allows Jet to let the softer side of hers flicker through, tears silently slipping free as she blinks and murmurs, “A boy.” A boy who sleeps on, oblivious to study and the concern of the Healers. She turns her head to press her forehead to M’tan’s temple, sighing out, “We are entirely too young to be grandparents,” with an edge of tired hysteria. “…The Healers aren’t sure he will live. He seems strong, but… babies are all fragile and early ones more so.”
“A boy,” M’tan’s enthusiasm is there in his voice, yet it’s subdued enough from fatigue from the events of the day. “He’ll live,” he murmurs, moving to gently brush his fingers along the babe’s soft cheek. “Can I hold him?” he asks, waiting until the newborn is carefully transferred into his arms. He remains standing, rocking slightly as he cradles the small newborn in his arms. “Does Arlet truly even call us her parents?” he wonders, looking briefly up from studying the features of the baby. “If she chooses not to, we don’t have to fuss about being grandparents. I’m content to be a doting uncle.” He looks to the still present Healers and gestures with his head for them to leave, giving them the privacy that they need. There are murmurs of returning in a short time, but soon the room is clear of all save for the Court’s leaders and their newest charge. “Fort has a long road ahead of it to recover,” he tells Jet, continuing to rock the newborn gently, even as he focuses on the harder conversation to be had. “The Council will have much to answer to for it’s chosen actions. I imagine Honshu and perhaps some of the other, more forward thinking, Weyrs will need allies.” His eyes flicker as he looks to Jet. “And I already have J’kson at Fort and others. Is it time… we reach out and make our offer to Honshu more formal? Maybe there are a few others on the Council who need to be dropped Between.” His eyes are hard as he says that. “For their recklessness.”
Jet carefully sees the baby into M’tan’s arms and then knots her own around her middle in a hunched and defensive gesture that she catches only after she’s done it, thankfully just as the Healers begin to file out of the room. “He’s our grandson, no matter what she calls us,” she quietly insists, once they’re alone. “I should’ve insisted and claimed her before this happened. She said she wanted it. A family. But she still wouldn’t leave Fort. I thought it was the right thing to let her make her own decision. She’s been through too much in too short a time and I should have realised it.” She darts a quick look to the baby, guilt lining her features, yet that look becomes a solid, weighted stare as her husband speaks of the council, her gaze gone unseeing as fury rushes forth. “I have no compunctions about tearing the Council to pieces,” she utters lowly. “If Arlet or her child dies, then so do they. Start formalities with Honshu. Their blood already runs through Fort; they have the foothold they should realise they need to use.”
“Don’t fall down the ‘what ifs’ and ‘should’ve’s’,” M’tan chides gently, rocking the babe a bit more before he presses a kiss to the slumbering infant’s forehead and moves to transfer him back into his grandmother’s care. “When I meet with O’rlen, it goes without saying, that we are going to have //harsh// words. It was //us// who pulled Arlet from that, not the people who let her go into the feline’s den without care to check in on the situation enough.” He exhales, shaking his arms to rid them of the tension that’s starting to climb up his spine. “Aerishani and O’rlen are young, yes. They’ve suffered hardship. But they best step up… or they become another problem of ours.” He moves to rest his hand on his mate’s shoulder, giving solace in the firmness of the grip he places there. “Giving her space to find herself was not a bad thing, Jet. We could not force our help on her. But we were also the first to come to her aide. It is done.” He moves his hand to press against her cheek, encouraging her face up to meet his. “There is time yet to plot. I will handle Honshu. Let’s focus on our grandson and his mother.”
“I’m proud of her for not backing down and standing her ground, but I’m not proud of /me/ for thinking that way,” Jet has to admit, carefully tucking the tiny baby back in against her, unable to keep the pained edge to her gaze as she watches him. She looks up as M’tan touches her cheek and manages to nod just the once as she lifts her eyes to his, her jaw clenched against anything she might say of Honshu or the Council that are no fit things for a baby to hear and never remember in their first hours. “If you go to Honshu, I will go to Fort for Arlet’s things. They’ve no right to keep anything that belongs to her. There might be some possessions she’s brought forward with her and can’t replace.” As much as it seems she might wish to hold on to Arlet’s son, the healers return soon enough and she reluctantly surrenders him, threading her arm through M’tan’s to return to their quarters and try to get some sleep. It’s a restless night, Jet absent from their bed more than once as she slips downstairs to reassure herself that Arlet and the baby are still breathing, but, come morning, the Hold numbers the same residents as it did the evening before. And everyone seems determined to keep it that way.