Room for Improvement

Who: Priska, Emily, Yedrith, Hanath
Where: Honshu Weyrhold
What: Emily visits Priska.

Emily has been visiting more and more of the Southern continent and much of her visits have been to a certain brownrider at Southern Weyr. Today Hanath enters Honshu’s skies with a delighted touch to her mind as she announces herself to Yedrith. Emily is dropped off near the Weyrwoman’s office before she takes herself towards the nearest place where she might find a young creature to play with. Emily knocks at Priska’s door and then enters, holding a package in front of her. “I brought you some things!” she announces.

Yedrith remains sat curled up on her ledge, as if she might somehow make herself look smaller than she’s become if she sits precisely so, and, while she watches her sister, she knows her temper well enough to understand that she would not be good company in entertaining little ones at present. Across the way, in the chambers that house Honshu’s administration offices, Priska has gathered tomes and records in piles on her desk, some open, others closed, and almost has to look over the nearest one to see Emily when she arrives. “This once, if it’s a book, I might just cry,” she greets dryly.

“Oh no,” Emily looks absolutely distressed at Priska’s dry greeting, the package glanced down at. “It is a book. I’m so sorry. Please don’t cry.” She makes her way further into the office and then sets the package down on Priska’s desk. “I was reading it with Echo the other night and I thought you’d enjoy it. So I bought you a copy.” She looks to all of the tomes and records. “Though if this is all you’ve been doing, I imagine reading is the furthest thing from your mind. Want to go for a walk?”

Priska lets out a laugh and sits back in her chair, shaking her head. “I won’t cry, I promise,” she assures her. “I’m trying to teach myself more than the basics of dragonhealing that all weyrlings and weyrwomen seem to get. I want to know more than how Yedrith should take away another dragon’s pain.” She closes the volume in-front of her, using a spare piece of paper as a bookmark. “I’m sure I’ll love the book,” she tells Emily, rising to her feet. “Though I feel more compelled to ask about the ‘other night’, I admit.” Fishing a key from her pocket, she moves for the door, ready to lock it closed behind the both of them.

“I agree with you that we should always strive to learn more than what is directly expected of us,” Emily comments, nodding her head as she strides forward to set the package on the desk and looks at the titles of the volumes Priska was reading. “I’d be interested to know what you learn. I wonder if I should also tell Safiye to find a way to apply herself in a similar fashion. When she returns to her home, she may need the extra layers of understanding to help her family and people.” She tugs at her jacket briefly and blushes, looking away from Priska and then finally says, “Yes, well. It was a fun night.”

“If you and Safiye want to visit and learn with me, I’ll try and find a good dragonhealer who might help too,” Priska suggests, checking the door handle until she’s satisfied that it won’t shift. “I’d say Isolwyn too, but I don’t know how much she knows and I wouldn’t want her to think trying to learn more is an affront to everything we’ve done at Fort.” She flings an arm around Emily’s shoulders as she blushes, and leans to press a kiss to her cheek. “Well, firstly, thank you for the book,” she says, moving off through the corridor. “Who’s Echo and when did you start spending nights with… Are they a him or a her? Not that it matters, but I don’t want to go making assumptions.”

“I’ll have to talk to Isolwyn. I think it would be good for Safiye’s and Vesoviath’s independence to come here to learn as well. We have to find a way for them to start having more freedom, as we enjoy.” Emily smiles at Priska as she gets hugged and the little peck on the cheek. “Um, it’s very recent,” she says to Priska as she moves to loop her arm through hers. She heads out of the office and continues talking. “We met rather randomly and we chatted over tea. Then we started seeing more of each other. Hanath loves her daughter, Melody. You know how Hanath is about little ones. And then I started… well, I liked her more than a friend? And she’s really pretty. And smart. She’s a wing leader at Southern.” She laughs suddenly. “I’m sorry, I’m talking too much about. How are //you// and B’lian doing?”

Priska leads through the caverns and out into the light of day, where she rakes her gaze over Yedrith and lets a tiny frown knit her brow. “A wingleader! Not bad!” She gives Emily’s ribs a gentle nudge with her elbow. “Echo and Melody, though… If it were anyone else, I’d think you were telling a fanciful tale, with those names.” Making to hug her to her side once more, she says, “I’m glad you’ve found someone you like. Oh! And you can bring her to the Hatching! I really was only kidding about it, but it seems too good an opportunity to pass up to meet her now.” Her head tilts and she waves a hand, “Me and B’lian are okay. I should’ve trusted that we would be, really, though it’s only a few months in. It’s Yedrith I’m… concerned about. If she gets any bigger, I’ll have to roll her to the hatching cavern.” From across the way, there’s an audible scrape of claws.

“Why would someone make up a story about finding someone to make love to?” Emily asks, genuinely shocked at the idea of someone doing so. She shakes her head and gives Priska’s hand a pat. “I rather like their names. Melody is a sweet little girl and Echo is a fantastic mother. It’s really nice, you know. To be close to someone like this. I hadn’t realized what I was missing out on until now.” She smiles at Priska’s mention of B’lian, “I knew you’d be alright with him. He is a good man and someone you deserve. If Yedrith is as large as you say, she must have a large clutch ahead of her. She’s otherwise well though?” she queries as they walk along.

“They’re nice names,” Priska agrees easily enough. “They’re just… quite obviously not named in the way that people in the Weyrs normally name their children. Then again…” she wrinkles her nose, “thinking about it, if B’lian and I ever have to name one, I don’t think we could have a more awkward collection of letters between us.” She slides another look over to Yedrith, who does nothing more than flick the end of her tail in annoyance. “I think my darling queen is more worried about the dent to her pride than anything. She can’t exactly be termed ‘graceful’ at present. Though I’m not sure exactly why she should produce a large clutch when the records suggest otherwise.”

“I don’t know how you’d go about combining your names to create a unique one. The idea of doing that for my own future children frightens me a little. What if I were to give them some horrible name trying to combine both sets of parents into their name? It’s not as if Emily gives one a lot of room to play with the letters.” She glances at Yedrith and nods with a faint smile. “Well, whether or not records say one thing, looking at our lovely Yedrith gives me reason to believe she may have more than we are anticipating. What are your dragon healers suggesting?” She pats Priska’s hand. “Hopefully they’ve gotten skilled at guessing?”

“They don’t seem any the wiser about why she should have a large clutch, but that’s what they’ve decided it has to be,” Priska replies, giving a twitch of her shoulders. “Maybe that means there’s no queen? If it was many eggs //and// a queen, I think she and Imahdth might just be quietly insufferable for a while.” She starts to head from what serves as Honshu’s bowl and down towards the farmlands. “I’d like to say that we don’t need a queen, but the fact is that we can’t exactly term Inaskashath a breeding gold. Putting Candidates to her eggs is risky, and as lovely as Vesoviath is, there’s no knowing if it’s even safe for her, as far as her own health, to breed.”

Emily is quiet as they walk along and Priska’s point about Vesoviath’s breeding is broached. “It would be best if she is given a select group of suitors when she does fly. Blues, for instance. Ones that are already known to be small. Perhaps that would ensure she would have a small clutch. I would hate to see her get egg bound. We don’t talk about that reality nearly enough. It’s in some of the records, you know. At Fort. That a gold was unable to clutch due to the size of the eggs within her. And back then, they didn’t have nearly the technology we do. It is something we should discuss more with the dragon healers’. On what would happen if we faced that.” She glances around as they walk, appreciating the farmlands as they approach them. “Have you considered requesting another junior?”

“A bronze catching her could be a disaster. We don’t know exactly how she’s gold in the first place, with a blue sire, and her clutching something like a true gold egg because a bronze flew her could very well end her life.” Priska takes a deep breath in before adding, “And Safiye’s,” under her breath. “She’s gone through much of her early formative changes with Vesoviath. I’m… I don’t know that she’d want to try and live without her.” She squares her shoulders. “I intend to have the dragonhealers around for Yedrith, if only because we don’t know why she’d clutch so many, if she does. It might just be down to Imahdth.” On the matter of another junior, she wrinkles her nose and gives an audible sigh. “It would be an insult to Rori to ask for another queenrider. Her work is fine, even if I have to doubt the… strength of her will, sometimes. And there’s nowhere else for Inaskashath to go if she did take offense.”

“I would argue that having two juniors would allow you all to have more work to share, rather than take on the bulk yourselves. I know I miss having you as another junior at Fort. Granted, you were really only there for training purposes. You learn quickly and you were a good addition to our team.” Emily pauses in their walk, looking to Priska. “You’re limiting yourselves to only Yedrith’s eggs. Were she to hatch another gold, you’d have two juniors. Maybe we can think it as a… training opportunity. To have another junior come here to learn how you run Honshu. I don’t know. I don’t want you limiting yourself, is all I’m saying.” She shakes her head and keeps walking forward. “It is unfair to be frustrated by Rori and Inaskashath. I wouldn’t want to force her to have to mate with a bronze. Perhaps one will catch her someday.”

“I don’t think there’s really much choice open to me at the moment,” Priska answers, reaching to loop her arm through Emily’s. “Rori has given up any right to be a Weyrwoman, provided she doesn’t have to have Inaskashath flown by any but the mate she’s chosen. To even suggest to cast her aside would invite someone, somewhere to insist a bronze should be forced on her, and if I refuse to let the rest of keep suffering the risk of being made to have a mate of someone else’s choosing, I can hardly sleep soundly at night if I invite any threat towards her.” Her shoulders hunch slightly. “I want to trust her, but… before I became Senior here, I met with her and she insisted S’ven’s behaviour wasn’t enough to warrant concern. Her judgement was faulty. I don’t want to condemn her for her queen’s choice of mate or the matter with S’ven, but… I guess all I can do is try to keep her safe and keep my own counsel.”

“Well, it would speak to her inability to lead, if her judgement is that faulty. I wonder what shaped her decision to keep quiet on S’ven. Trying to have autonomy of Weyrs certainly leads to these isolated issues having larger impact once other views are brought in. This is a good reason for us to keep having our Weyrwomen meeting. That way, we can share information more freely, and frequently, to ensure all of our safety.” Emily pats Priska’s hand as it once more loops in her arm and then she continues to stride forward. She takes a moment to look out at the farmlands as they approach the fields and lifts a hand to those who acknowledge them with a cheerful smile. “There’s a lot of room for improvement, Priska. I’m excited for you.”

“Improvement, yes… Not sure about excited right now, to be honest. ‘Exhausted’ is probably a more accurate description.” Priska smirks and nods towards one of the far fields. “I’m told there’re some new lambs down that way. They jump quite high, I hear. I imagine we won’t find Hanath far off.” She drops her head down to Emily’s shoulder for a few moments as they walk. “Then you can carry me home and I’ll get one of the cooks to bring out the good cake I know they hide.” Watch the pair as they move into the distance though she does, Yedrith still stubbornly refuses to move, ostensibly watching over her Weyrhold in Priska’s absence.

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