Not Safe

Who: Isolwyn, Emily, Eosyth, Hanath
When: Month 9, 208 AT
Where: Weyrleaders’ Weyr, Fort Weyr
What: Emily visits a recovering Isolwyn.

When Hanath learns that Eosyth and Isolwyn have returned to Fort, she and Emily take themselves Between to the familiar skies of their first home. Hanath hails Eosyth and Daeserath with a friendly trumpet before she drops Emily off close to the Weyrwoman’s ledge. Emily pats her queen’s hide and leaves her with straps on in case their visit is short due to Isolwyn’s fatigue from her injuries. She comes inside the weyr and calls out, “Isolwyn?” as she moves through the rooms to the back bedroom where Isolwyn and C’aol sleep. She knocks on the door and waits to be called inside.

Isolwyn is not one who has historically taken well to rest, but, in this, even she has to surrender to what her body simply refuses to allow her to do and an over-vigilance of Healers determined that she not injure herself further or get any worse on their watch. She still looks washed out, her complexion not what it should be, yet she at least seems alert where she lies, her rarely seen firelizards both taking the opportunity to huddle against her good side for comfort and affection. The gold lifts her head at the knock at the door, shortly mirrored by Isolwyn, who drawls, “If you’ve brought a Healer, you can tell them I’m still breathing,” in a manner not as strong as she might wish, though she clings to defensive humour all the same.

Emily enters the bedroom with a large bouquet in her hands of a variety of blooms. She has a small smile for Isolwyn as she strides through the door and moves to set the flowers on the nearest surface rather than hand them directly to Isolwyn. “I’ve brought no Healers, though Hanath is quite sure you need another kitten to keep you company while you are stuck in your bed. I’ve kept her from finding you one but I can’t promise she won’t scout the area of Fort while we visit.” She moves closer to the bed and then finds a nearby chair to draw up and sit in. “I would’ve come sooner,” she begins, folding her hands in her lap, “I only thought C’aol would prefer we didn’t disturb you right away. You’re healing alright?” she asks, looking searchingly at Isolwyn’s complexion. “Is Safiye alright handling affairs here on her own? I can postpone Telgar… I’m sure they’ll understand that you needed me more.”

“Oh, they’re beautiful,” Isolwyn says of the flowers, letting her gaze linger on them even if she daren’t reach. “Thank you. And, well… //I// wouldn’t mind a kitten, and I’m sure Casi wouldn’t either, but C’aol likes to pretend that he doesn’t like the other we’ve got, and he’s going to be herding Casi himself now as it is.” Her tiny smirk is not unkind. “Though I’d be lying if I said I’m not going to enjoy seeing them together like that.” She plainly has to think about it as she does it, but she carefully lifts her uninjured arm to briefly catch at Emily’s fingers. “You need to be at Telgar, especially as it’s to be yours. I don’t believe the Headwoman and her staff will let Safiye struggle or fail; they were protective of her when she was much younger and won’t see her fall now.” She gives a twitch of the toes of her right foot and utters, “And this? Well, I don’t recommend it. Hurts like anything and the Healers keep knocking me out. You’d think I’d tried to escape or something, but I’m not that stupid.”

“Fort is still our home,” Emily protests, “If you need us, we should come here first. Telgar can be mine another time. Or not at all. I want to do what’s right for you,” she adds with a sigh and then quiets herself as she listens to Isolwyn’s explanation. “Safiye is sixteen now? She’s always been too old for her age. I know she won’t fail you. It’s not that I don’t trust her competence as a junior.. I just, worry about you.” She glances down at Isolwyn’s wiggling feet and offers her a wry smile. “You’re trying to make light of a very scary situation. Have they — do they know the reason for the attack yet?” she focuses in on Isolwyn’s face.

“The other option is to lie here and dwell on the fact that someone – or a lot of someones – wants me dead. I can promise you I’m doing my fair share of that too, but it’s not something to occupy a full day with.” Isolwyn gently casts her right arm back out so that the firelizards at her side can snuggle in against her ribcage again, resting their heads on her chest. “…They’ve suggested the disquiet at Honshu over the liberties of Crafters is the reason. I suppose they could blame for me for Priska being there, but then I don’t know the extent of what she and B’lian have been doing.” Her smile is a little tight. “So, you see, if you don’t take Telgar and that //is// the reason, they’ll think they’ve won and scared you and me both into hiding and doing as they want. And I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure Eosyth clutches another queen next, just to point the proverbial vulgar gesture towards anyone who thinks this will keep us down.”

“If they were disgruntled with Honshu you would think they’d have attacked Priska or B’lian instead of you,” Emily answers with a frown and a pinching of her brows in thought. She nods her head at the clarity Isolwyn gives, “You’re right. I should continue with Telgar, otherwise whoever is mad at Eosyth’s line, if that is the case, will have thought they cowed us into submission.” She brushes her fingers through her skirts and grows quiet for a second, looking down at her hands before she looks up at Isolwyn. “I need to tell you something,” she announces abruptly, “and I don’t know what you’ll make of it. Echo’s daughter can hear all dragons,” she divulges with a nervous look over her shoulder before she looks back to Isolwyn, concern lining her features, “And she found this little – and I mean //small// bronze – named Veruth. He was riderless. He claims his rider was taken away by a two riders – one green, one bronze – and apparently they were far enough outside of Hanath and Eosyth’s control to fly off with him.” She hesitates, adding, “I believe the bronze is of Inaskashath and Jynth’s line.”

“The girl can hear all dragons?” Isolwyn frowns, her focus straying a touch as the news carries her thoughts off somewhere. “If she’s talking to stray bronzes, I don’t imagine there’ll be much keeping that sort of gift quiet, if you’ll excuse the inadvertent pun. C’aol mentioned something about a girl…” She shakes her head, which only makes her grimace in pain. “I was a bit out of it at the time. All I could think then was that she might end up like Safiye. Or maybe a Weyr will want her for a gold.” Gently, she brushes her thumb over her bronze’s shoulders. “Zinovia’s husband… former husband, I should say, Impressed a small bronze from Inaskashath and Jynth. Almost like he forced the whole thing. I don’t know much of what went on there, but she lost a baby at six months or so gone and he isn’t at the Hold anymore.”

Emily leans back in her chair and folds her arms in front of her as she considers Isolwyn’s petting of the bronze rather than focusing her attention fully on Isolwyn’s face. “Melody already lives in a Weyr and her mother and Kahotaith are very protective of her. As is Hanath. If she wants to use her gifts outside of Impression, we’ll have to teach her restraint. Hanath has talked to children before and had one or two answer… it seems like Melody’s gift is different than being able to hear a dragon that speaks to you first.” She sighs, thinking over Isolwyn’s news. “Veruth did not speak highly of his rider and it almost seems like they aren’t really bonded. I haven’t read anything about a forced bond before, have you?” She looks at Isolwyn then, frowning. “It’s possible that if he forced it – Veruth is barely connected to him. He wasn’t oiled and was itchy when we found him. Echo and Melody are caring for him now at Southern. I don’t think he should stay in Melody’s care alone. What if he accidentally takes her Between? It’s too risky.” And then she adds, frowning, “If Zinovia’s husband isn’t at the Hold anymore, and we have his bronze, where the hell is he?” her cheeks darken and her eyes flash with anger. “He’s endangered his dragon with his careless actions and clearly he didn’t care about his wife!”

“…I wouldn’t know where to start about forcing an Impression. Firelizards who are mistreated have been known to go wild. Whers can take more than one handler, if theirs dies. But a dragon?” Isolwyn flinches. “I can’t really contemplate wanting to not take care of your dragon.” She takes a deep breath and fixes her gaze on the ceiling. “…When I thought was I was… dying… I just didn’t want Eosyth to be afraid. I didn’t want her to die. How can someone not care enough about their dragon that they can leave them all alone?” For a moment, she bites down on the inside of her lip. “If it’s not safe for him to stay with Melody, then he could stay here. I think it would be Daeserath who would have to monitor him. Eosyth is… distracted. She won’t forget what happened for a long time. And if this Veruth is badly treated, maybe it will be a blessing for him to looked after for a while.”

“Hanath has already claimed him as one of her young charges,” Emily admits with a rueful smile, “Though I appreciate the offer. I think Daeserath’s…. dislike of males might not help our situation all that much. I think I’ll take Veruth with me to Telgar now that he’s settled. I don’t feel comfortable with him not having a gold’s control on his mind. Especially if his rider is missing and… might need help? I’d hate for Veruth to Between and get lost on his own. He’s so young,” she adds with a shake of the head, “and feels like his rider never took any training he received to heart. The patchy skin we found when we took him home to bathe him could’ve gotten him very sick Between. Clearly this man does not care.” Her gaze turns thoughtful as she looks to Isolwyn, “Would he have had anything to gain in hurting you?”

“If we’re assuming this is Zinovia’s former husband…” Isolwyn blinks up at the ceiling again. “Her daughter and Casi are half-sisters, but Zaimika is no blood relation to him. In Blooded circles, Zaimika may be a Lady’s daughter and an heiress, but Casi’s bloodlines outrank hers. Would he want it to look like Silverfield was motivated to get rid of me and prevent any further children who’d ‘outshine’ Zaimika or his son?” She wrinkles her nose. “It seems farfetched, unless the aim… Was he hoping I’d have Casi with me? Would he think I’d be expecting another? Make it look like Silverfield wants Casi and me gone to somehow protect their heirs?” Sighing, she mutters, “I’ve already made it quite clear to Zinovia that I’d protect her children as I would Casi. Not that he may be aware of that.”

Emily chews on her lower lip in thought as she listens to Isolwyn’s hypotheticals. “No, none of it sounds right. And I feel like we’re missing another point. Who were the two that took him away? And from his dragon? No Weyr I know of would allow their riders to kidnap another rider… let alone part them from their dragon, no matter how little bond they have with him.” She closes her eyes and tips her chin towards her chest, reaching out to Hanath, who then reaches out to Eosyth. << You have a stronger reach than me, Eosyth. Do you think it would be helpful if you and I spoke to the little Veruth? He would know his rider's intentions, wouldn't he? It is not sitting well with me that the children are at risk. >> Emily opens her eyes and looks to Isolwyn. “I’ve asked Hanath to see if Eosyth and her can get information from Veruth. And after that, I really should let you rest. I didn’t mean to come in here and start investigating everything. I only want to know… how to protect yours and my family. And since Veruth is now in my care… Melody may be at risk if this man is purely evil.”

“Which means they’re not from a Weyr,” Isolwyn utters a little darkly. “Leave that much with me. Or with C’aol, it will likely need to be, but if it’s who I think it could be, then I’d be more worried for Veruth’s rider than I would be for Melody.” There’s a slight delay before Eosyth’s voice reaches Hanath, as though from further away than she truly is. << If you will monitor him, I will… investigate the reaches of his mind. Another day. >> For a moment, her concentration falters, and what’s been keeping her distracted becomes plain enough in the pain that flickers and flares between her mind and Hanath’s, and how Isolwyn unintentionally arches and grits out a savage curse. “…I knew I was thinking too clearly,” she huffs out wryly. “I’ve got to let Eosyth sleep. She keeps taking my pain and she knows I can’t stop her right now.”

Emily rises then without further prompting. “You should rest. And Eosyth. Hanath and I can handle Veruth for now.” She steps close enough to bend down and kiss the top of Isolwyn’s head. “Take care of yourself, Isolwyn. You’re always here for everyone else. Let C’aol take care of you and Casi,” her smile is sly, “it’ll be good for him.” She slips out of the door at that, leaving Isolwyn to rest as Hanath comes to pick her up near the ledge. << I will do what I can with the little one. Keep care of our Weyrwoman >> she shares to Eosyth before she and Emily make their way back into the skies and disappear Between to Telgar.

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