Who: Safiye, Theo, Vesoviath, Theosk
When: Month 9, 208 AT
Where: Lake Shore, Fort Weyr
What: Safiye and Vesoviath meet some of the new wher guard.
The days following Isolwyn’s attack has seen quite a bit of action at Fort Weyr. With their Weyrwoman recuperating, C’aol has relied solely on Safiye and the Headwoman to handle the tasks that normally fall to Isolwyn. He’s focused his efforts on bringing in new resources to the Weyr – one of those being a specialized wher-handler and her golden wher to lead and train the new addition to the Weyr by way of a wher-guard. Theo and his Theosk are of the small group that has settled into candidate barracks while their own barracks are constructed. The lanky youth has taken his bronze wher down to the lake to allow the creature to sniff along and explore their new home. Theo’s parked at the lake’s edge, tossing in stones to skip along the water. Other than the wher-pair, there seems to be no activity down at the water today.
“Vesoviath, no—That’s really not the way to—“ Before anyone, notably Safiye, can stop her, Vesoviath doesn’t precisely sneak up on the pair, but she stalks her way along the shore of the lake in fits and starts until she can lean down and nudge her nose in against Theosk by way of hello. A little way off, her rider covers her face with one hand and mutters an unladylike curse into her palm, then adjusts the strap of the heavy satchel she carries across her shoulders and hurries after her dragon. “I’m sorry,” she starts to say, “she’s not met a wher before, I mean not up-close or that she can really remember. She usually has better //manners// than this.” Vesoviath briefly lifts her head when she registers such pointed chastisement, but swiftly returns to nosing at Thesk. “You must be one of the new handlers.” Safiye offers a hand to Theo. “I’m Safiye and this Vesoviath.”
The bronze wher stares up at Vesoviath with a jerk back of his head to indicate his surprise. Theo turns to look, catching the brief rush of dismay from the wher. He has a friendly, if somewhat shy, smile for Safiye as she approaches. “Her manners are fine. Theosk is still adjusting to being around so many dragons.” He offers out a hand to Safiye, “Yes, I’m one of the new handlers. Apparently, our usefulness has been noted by your Weyrleader. I’m hopeful we can find a new opportunity for us here.” He shakes his head and his grin turns abashed as he adds, “I’m Theo and that’s Theosk. Safiye… so you’re the acting Weyrwoman then?” He bobs a quick bow. Theosk tilts his head to peer up at Vesoviath with a comical glance before he bumps his own nose against her side.
“Oh, I wouldn’t call it anything so grand as that. I’m just standing in while Isolwyn recovers.” Safiye steps back just as Vesoviath does, giving the other two back some space in tandem. “I’m hoping she’ll let me look after the baby one evening,” she admits. “I haven’t seen my brothers and sisters in a while and it’d be nice to spend some time with Casi.” Carefully, Vesoviath folds in all her soft edges and settles into an indentation of her own making in the sand, offering her muzzle to Theosk once more. “It’ll be good knowing we have whers watching over the Weyr in the night. I know Eosyth’s distracted and… I figure Daeserath’s on high alert still, but they have to sleep and dragonsight isn’t as good as a wher’s in the dark.”
Theosk does not quite know what to do about the little gold before him and he imitates her positioning, settling his head down on his forearms as he keeps his eyes on Vesoviath. “He thinks she’s pretty,” Theo offers to Safiye as he considers his wher and the gold dragon. “I know we’re out a bit early today but sometimes it’s nice for me to see the sun too. That’s why he wears those,” he flicks his fingers at the set of shaded goggles that rest over Theosk’s eyes. “So the sun doesn’t hurt him.” He looks back to Safiye and quiets himself as he listens to her. He flashes a smile at her. “No need to worry at all, ma’am. Our team will keep watch at night. Wher’s love to patrol. It’s a game to them to sniff out people that are around that shouldn’t be there. Theosk’s favorite reward for finding a snoop is to play chase with me when he’s completed his task. They’re simpler than dragons I guess but they’re still loads of fun. We’re happy to be here rather than in a mine assignment. Did that our first year together,” he whistles and shakes his head, “I hope to never see a tunnel any time soon, ma’am. Honestly.”
“Does he have any further growing to do?” Safiye asks of Theosk, her cheeks colouring a little as she adds, “I’m afraid Vesoviath doesn’t. Not that I mean I’m disappointed by it, I just mean that I know she’s tiny compared to Eosyth – and even she’s not big for a queen – and, well, she’s not a weyrling.” She grimaces and has to adjust the strap again, then gives up and lifts it over her head to drop her satchel at her feet. “I figure what you do with your day is just as much your choice as what we do with our nights, in reverse as it kind of is. I can’t say I envy you, spending all that time in a mine. I know we have some tunnels here, but I wouldn’t call them proper tunnels… more like corridors. And the worst thing you’ll probably find there is some stray feline or other.” Bending down, she scrabbles for a notebook and pen in the satchel she’s set down. “I’ll have to schedule a meeting with your leader. I know C’aol has things sorted, but I ought to hear it all for myself.”
“Dunno, I think he’s done,” Theo answers easily as he looks at Vesoviath in an unbiased way. “So you all want them to be the same size as their dam and sires? Can’t say that makes much sense to me. Theosk is about middling for his size, probably smaller than some other bronzes, but it let us do tasks the larger ones couldn’t. And their are tasks they do we can’t.” He shrugs and looks back to Safiye, his brown eyes warm and friendly. “Nighttime is rather fun, so long as you don’t fuss at weird noises. Seen some people chicken out of our training because they couldn’t handle the bumps in the night.” His grin is playful as he listens to her. “Well sure, you can schedule a meeting with my captain. I mean, leader. Is that what you’ll all call her now? Funny things, Weyrs. Holds that use us try and stay away from us. Might be nice to be on friendlier terms. Ain’t that right Theosk?” he calls to the bronze who rumbles his agreement.
“No, but it’s easier to get the ‘yes, I know she’s small’ conversation out of the way before you hear it from elsewhere, along with the less than pleasant commentary that people like to pair with it when they’re feeling uncharitable or annoyed that I’m in a position to tell them what to do.” Safiye looks away and down at her notepad for the few moments it takes her to write her reminder, then she stows the lot away again. “For the sake of manners, I’ll call your leader whatever she wants, within reason. The final say will be with the Weyrleaders, though. And I don’t see why you shouldn’t be a part of the Weyr’s community. Dragons and whers are related, aren’t they?” She tilts her head, looking to Theosk, to Theo and back again. “And why would you be invested in protecting people who don’t want anything to do with you? That makes no sense. Unless your pay is astronomical.” Her smirk teases rather than mocks. “I’ve seen the books. It’s not.”
“Well that’s awfully stupid if you ask me,” Theo answers with a shake of his head and a snort. “What use is it to them to care what size she is? Clearly you’re doing your work right, otherwise your ‘leaders wouldn’t let you do it, right? People got no common sense.” He whistles through his teeth and grins at her as she makes mention of the nearness of whers and dragons. “Careful there, ma’am. I’m sure some of your folk wouldn’t like to have us compared to them. Whers are less picky about that sort of stuff. But I’ve heard of stories where someone upset a dragonrider and got into an argument claiming similar blood n’all.” He blinks at her mention of pay. “Well, no. Pay’s alright. I can send some home to my folks and help them out, so that’s good. But we go where we’re needed, Theosk n’me. And we’re needed here.” Another shrug. He grins at her reminder of the books. “Can’t say we all aren’t hopeful we’ll get a raise sometime. But we gotta prove our worth first.”
“Well, that’s the point: people don’t have any common sense, especially if they’re not willing to see that whers and dragons are linked and both serve their own purposes. They even both Impress. How can anyone who’s Impressed look down on someone else’s bond just because it’s not to the same kind of creature as theirs?” Safiye rolls her eyes and reaches out a hand towards Vesoviath, then sidesteps to lean back against her. “If anyone from Fort wants to think in that backwards way, they can go and live at Benden for all I care. They’d probably find more people who share their views. Besides, you’re all very clearly here to do a job. It isn’t as if we’ve moved you in as a novelty. I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up blooding a wher to the Weyrleaders and their daughter.”
As Safiye leans against Vesoviath, Theosky creeps forward, keeping his body low enough to the ground to look unthreatening as he reaches himself closer to Safiye to give her a good sniff and examination. “He’s a bit of a flirt,” Theo offers with a lifted brow at Theosk that sends the wher sitting back and looking innocently up at the sky. “No one speaks well of work in Benden,” he offers to Safiye with a glance to her. “I suppose Hold and Weyr are the same in that way?” He blinks at her mention of blooding a wher and then shrugs. “If it suits them, can’t hurt. I’ve never heard of folks having a wher and dragon bond though. Guess it can’t be too different?”
Safiye freely offers her hands for Theosk to explore, seemingly quite at ease with him. “I guess it’d be like they blood whers to their Holds? There was one where I lived a long time ago… I mean, I knew of her and that she’d been blooded to the family, but I never saw the wher with anyone but her handler. Kask? Kadsk? Something like that.” She shrugs. “I don’t know if it’d work for riders. The most anyone had at the Hold was a firelizard. But I don’t think the Weyrleader is going to be content until the Weyr is absolutely secure. They’ll likely have you guarding the Sands at night when the next queen is on them.” Something in that comment makes Vesoviath huff out a sigh, yet nothing else of her alters. “That’ll probably be Eosyth. Daeserath’d never let anything happen to her, but, like I said, even he has to sleep sometime.”
“Huh,” Theo offers by way of comment before he looks to Vesoviath and then to Safiye. “Uh, are you the ones that’ll be on the Sands next? Don’t y’all take turns?” he queries, clearly unfamiliar with how the dragon queens breeding cycle works. “Oh, Eosyth then.” He nods, taking that answer in stride as he looks to Theosk. “He keeps sending me feelings of pride. He’s excited that we’re here to make a difference and keep your people safe. Like I said, anythings better’n the mines.” He rubs at his neck briefly and then gives a whistle that sends Theosk marching away from Safiye and Vesoviath’s side to go and plop at Theo’s feet. Theo leans over his wher, resting his elbows on the bronze’s back, lounging at his ease. “Seems like all we’ve done is talk about work and your ‘leaders and mine,” he drawls out with a playful smile. “What do y’all do for fun around here? Can’t say I’ve seen more than the children running about laughing.”
“Um… Usually, it’s about a year, maybe a year and a half, that a queen rises, but they’re all on different… timers?” Safiye shakes her head. “Emily’d explain this better than me, but she’s at Telgar now. And anyway, Vesoviath hasn’t… It’s not been us yet, and I don’t think it will be for a long time.” She lightly brushes her fingers over gold hide as she speaks, meaning to soothe away whatever slights her dragon may perceive. “Fun?” //That// she blushes at, yet not the former subject. “I’m… maybe not the right person to ask about that. I’ve been in training since I got here and I like the work. I guess I don’t… have much of a life outside of it.” Holding up both hands, she hastens to add, “Not that I’m complaining. Being busy is good. You’ll have to find out for me. You’ll blend in better, anyhow. People here tend to either want to look after me or think I’m keeping tabs on them.”
“//Really//?” Theo’s clearly surprised at her blush and her admittance. “We can’t have that, can we Theosk?” he asks his wher with a friendly slap on the shoulder as he pushes back from his lounging. “Some of my classmates and me used to play dice games and poker,” he offers, once more rubbing at his neck with a furrowed brow in thought. “Can’t say I’ve got a hand for crafts though this one gal, Viv – she’s bonded to a brown wher, she’s awful good at painting and making things with clay. Figurines she calls it.” He taps his thigh for a second, considering his bronze as if he might have the answers. He blinks for a second and looks up at Safiye’s admittance. “Well, that’s just stupid of them. Just because your knot says one thing doesn’t mean you’re not a person. Want to try fishing?” he asks suddenly, grinning at Theosk and then looking to Safiye and Vesoviath.
“I can use a sword,” Safiye utters absently, as if it’s something perfectly normal. “And some of the smaller blades. And dance. But I’m not sure they were ever… things done just for fun. And there’s only so much dancing you can do on your own.” She inclines her head a little as she says, “Fishing might be nice. I’ve not really done anything like crafting before, outside things for Vesoviath. Anything we catch would be useful too…” Her eyes widen a touch and she reaches to swipe her satchel back up, casting the loop over her head to rest on her shoulder. “Let me know when? I ought to get on with the rest of my list and I don’t want C’aol thinking he has to do anything to make sure everything’s in order.”
“Can’t say I’ve tried fishing with a sword,” Theo answers with a blink as he considers Safiye a little more critically at her absent delivery of that. “Sure, it’s my time off, not yours. We’ll fish in the evening sometime, before my shift starts and yours ends.” He watches her with a bemused smile as he steps back and Theosk rises to his feet. “We’ll be seeing you around, Weyrwoman.” He gives her a smart salute and then turns, heading towards the wher barracks without another glance back. Theosk does look back, tilting his head in a contemplative way as he watches Vesoviath and Safiye for a moment before Theo’s whistle has him trotting to catch up to his handler.