Survival

Who: Jet, M’tan, Kyramith, Sirhyth
When: Month 9, 208 AT
Where: Hideaway Home, High Reaches
What: Jet and M’tan deal with Akio’s recklessness.


M’tan slams open the door to their High Reaches home and storms inside, tearing off his riding gear and throwing it down without a single thought to the mess he is leaving in his wake. Sirhyth remains on the ledge outside, eyes still flickering red as he watches the world around them. “Of all the sharding, idiotic things!” M’tan shouts out as he turns, eyes blazing, to look at Jet. “He was only on a trial period with us at the Court. How could he be so brazen as to //sell// his weapons without consulting us? And then to have it used on Isolwyn!” He turns and slams his fist into the nearest wall and snarls as he shakes already bruised knuckles from the beating he gave Akio before he dumped him in the snow far below the mountain range their home is stationed on.

Kyramith’s take on the trouble that Akio has caused them has been that he doesn’t deserve her acknowledgement as anything or anyone of importance, to the extent that she hasn’t gone so far as anger, but has seemed to dismiss his existence entirely. << It will be no loss to us if such a being does not have the intellect to survive. >> And, with that, she turns from the ledge and heads into what serves as their weyr to examine the state of the metal goods she’s stashed there. “If she dies, there’ll be no stopping C’aol,” Jet responds, one of the rare times that she’s actually used his name, unbuckling her belt to cast her sword onto the couch. “He’ll tear both continents apart until he finds the root of it. And I don’t think Safiye will forgive us either.” She starts to unbutton her jacket. “It would be better if he dies now. He’s already shown he can’t be trusted. Even his bronze doesn’t seem to care for him.”

<< Do you not find it odd that his dragon did not even scream or try to follow us? >> Sirhyth muses as he lifts his head to look to Kyramith. << No queen compelled him to stay behind, I don't think. But perhaps we got lucky in that the strong queen did not reach us where we grabbed him. >> He watches his mate disappear inside and remains outside, still on alert for the little bronze to follow them. M’tan storms past Jet towards their small kitchen where he rummages around for a bottle of whiskey and glasses. “That in itself is odd behavior. I’ve never known a dragon not to care at all for their person. I knew something was off about them when he came calling again. I should’ve denied him access to us. But there was potential there… with all his titles.” He shakes his head and pours himself a glass, looking to Jet to see if she wishes one. “You should go and check on Safiye as soon as the aftermath plays out. There is no sense in risking us going to her until we know Isolwyn lives. I won’t have C’aol attempt on our lives thinking it was us.”

<< There are different kinds of relationships. I managed to survive without her. >> Even if Kyramith can no longer remember for just how long it was, or why, the memory remains so much a part of her formative months that it cannot be shaken loose. << I would not endure it again. >> That’s as much as she’s willing to admit about it, a ripple of disquiet shaking through the dust of her mental landscape. “Impression binds a dragon to live through whatever their rider inflicts on them. The bronze requires him alive to live, but if he doesn’t care about him, you have to wonder what exactly his dragon has survived.” Jet nods in answer to the offer of a drink. “We still don’t know exactly why he and the bronze were on their own in the first place. Some dragonriders live independently, but he didn’t even seem to have a home base. If he lives through this, he can’t have access to the forges. Not if it means he’ll sell more of those things.”

Sirhyth moves inside to curl about Kyramith about the reminder of the times before. << I had forgotten that she did. Still, her bond to you is strong. You fought to find her. This bronze stayed and was more entertained by a young child not of his own. It is bizarre. >> M’tan pours Jet a glass and then walks towards her to pass it over before he takes a sip of his own. “His excuse for being on their own was ridicule for the size of his bronze being of blue heritage and not brown or bronze. I don’t know Honshu’s leaders well enough to think that would be something they would do. But then, look at how Fort treated Arlet all those years ago. It would not be too surprising if he was ostracized for it.” He moves to flop back on their couch, tipping his head towards the ceiling. “I had thought he was vetted enough to begin to trust him. That he used his craft to make something so deadly and not consult us… if he does survive the snow with no gear and only his flight jacket to keep him warm,” he looks to Jet, anger flashing in his gaze, “even then I am not sure we will welcome him back.”

Jet doesn’t bother taking a sip from her glass, but accepts it and knocks the whole thing back in one before she finds a place to set it down. “If the Smith Hall discovers that someone is making them again, it won’t only be C’aol on the warpath.” She strips off her jacket and settles it over the back of a chair, then folds her arms and leans back against the nearest wall. “I say that if Isolwyn dies, the idiot whose fault it will be dies. If the Harpers find out it was him, they won’t let him live, and if C’aol finds out first, I imagine he’ll rightly make him suffer before letting him die. If she dies, we dump him at the door of one or the other.” Muttering a curse under her breath, she goes on, “I don’t know that we can ever trust him after this. I’d quite like to go out there and end him myself. He’s risked all of us and pissed off the Weyrleaders that I don’t think anyone but us has ever dared to properly provoke.”

“I didn’t want to end his life and also end his dragons. It’s why I beat him into unconsciousness and dumped him into the coldest mountains on Pern,” M’tan answers darkly, brows furrowed and gaze hardening as he finishes off his whiskey. “He claims he didn’t know what the people were going to use the gun for. He thought if he could bring his technology back to the North he’d make us a profit. The arrogance of that man is astounding. How he ever earned his Master’s knot is beyond me. He had to have pissed off more than a few in his Hall.” He sighs and scrubs his hand over his face and looks to Jet. “What I need to know is the motive behind the attack on Isolwyn. Crafters from Honshu? Not dragonriders. So, is Honshu’s crafting complex that large that they’d feel threatened by Fortian Weyrleaders?”

“You’re a better person than I am. If it had just been me, he would be dead by now, and his dragon too.” Jet remains at her post by the wall for a moment longer, then pushes away from it to claim her glass and moves to refill it. “Maybe his Hall was afraid of him. If he can make those weapons, I find it unlikely that he’s not willing to use them against those who’d oppose him or block his advancement. Which means I think it’s also unlikely that he wouldn’t use them against us, given half a chance.” Having poured another measure, this one she sips at as she strolls back across the room. “If I were Honshu’s Weyrleaders, I’d send every single one of them back to their Halls and renegotiate new postings. If they’re that against their own Weyr and want to murder another Weyrwoman, then they don’t deserve to remain there. It isn’t as if it’s only Honshu that would suffer: the Halls need Weyrs to employ their people and buy their goods and services.” She shrugs. “Honshu’s leaders were trained by Fort. They don’t like them; they don’t like Fort?”

“It could be that simple, actually,” M’tan answers as he looks to his now empty glass and sighs again as he sets it down. “Fort has now placed how many goldriders? Though in theory, the gold at Honshu is of Amorenth’s descent so it should make sense she took on that knot.” He shakes his head and smirks at Jet, “We’ve never been the sort to truly understand the ins and outs of Weyr politics. Too little action, far too much backstabbing, and zero creativity when it comes to solving their problems.” He tosses his arm over the back of the couch and looks towards their front door. “We have to decide how much involvement we want from here. If Akio gets tied back to us at all, we’ve put Safiye and our people at risk. That we’ve already moved to punish him should show our disagreement with his actions. Still, we’ll have to take action more than that I imagine to appease C’aol.”

“If C’aol believes that we had any knowledge of what that idiot was going to do, then I don’t think there will be much at all we can do to appease him,” Jet declares over the rim of her glass. “And I don’t think Safiye will necessarily be safe at Fort in that eventuality. It’d be different if Vesoviath could push back against attempts to order her, but she can’t.” Her eyes narrow slightly. “Assuming Isolwyn survives, I wonder if he realises that Safiye is the only functional weyrwoman he has now? At least for a while. Is he going to let her run Fort?” She lowers her glass, cradling it before her. “If C’aol gets his hands on Akio in any eventuality, I don’t fancy his chances of survival if he knows he made the weapon that hurt or killed his weyrmate. I’m quite certain that Isolwyn would murder me if she could, for what I did to him.”

“Safiye is only sixteen,” M’tan answers, brows lifting towards his hairline. “To expect her to run an entire Weyr is insanity. They’ll have to call in another junior.” He smirks then, looking at Jet, “Though, haven’t they placed yet another one of their former juniors to Telgar? Looks like Safiye will be their only solution.” He shakes his head and rises from the couch as he heads to go refill his whiskey. “I had thought you made peace with them,” he offers to Jet as he ambles back to the couch after having enjoyed one shot before pouring himself another. The tension of the last few hours is slowly fading as the drink takes its hold on him. “Still, someone is going to come looking for him. Who else knows but our immediate people at the Court that we took him in?”

“I’ve made peace with them in the sense that I know that attempting to hurt either of them wouldn’t be a wise move for us or for Safiye, and we seem to work better together than with opposing intentions.” Jet drains the last of her drink. “But am I ever going to completely trust him? No. Would I or have I ever forgiven anyone who’s hurt you? No. If I judge Isolwyn’s mind by my own, she’s never going to forgive me for hurting him. Not that I seek it.” She finally trails over the couch and sits herself down. “And it’s better for Safiye to believe I harbour no ill-will, especially when she chose Fort over us.” As for Akio, she can only shrug. “Anyone who knows his dragon well enough could find him. That girl you’re saying his bronze stayed with could, for one. Whether anyone knows where he is or not… a known dragon is… locatable.”

“I certainly don’t want nor need their forgiveness. I need what they’ve done – guarantee Safiye a safe home where she’s clearly thriving.” He eases his arm around Jet’s shoulders, gently saying, “She chose a life that makes her happy. We never needed our children to follow in our steps. I want to see them happy and healthy – she clearly is. She’s made friends. And their reputable as far as I can tell,” he adds with his half-smile. His smile disappears as the added reality of Veruth knowing their location weighs on his mind. “It was bound to happen that one that we trusted would turn against us. I suppose we’ve had more over them before. We could see if Eosyth, if Isowlyn recovers, can ban Veruth from telling. But still… it may mean we do end him.” He looks at Jet. “How can a child command a bronze that isn’t hers? Maybe the risk is smaller than we think.”

“I doubt a child can command any dragon that has no true link to them, but it’s odd that he favoured her company over that of a rider beaten and currently potentially freezing to death.” Leaning into M’tan, Jet drops her head down to his chest. “…If Isolwyn dies, the price will be heavy. I don’t think anyone who decided that this was a good idea has truly thought about this. C’aol won’t let it rest. There’re former Fort juniors about to be ruling two other Weyrs. If they choose to, and if those queens are anything like their mother, then they could unleash chaos. Never mind Amorenth.” She lifts her head to meet her husband’s gaze. “If Akio survives, he goes nowhere without guards. He has no access to the forges or stores. No visitors. Nothing.”

“We’ll have to have our people build us a larger cell than we currently use. I wouldn’t deny him is dragon indefinitely. And I won’t trust him to be placed on some of the renegade islands. Not with a dragon capable of removing him from it, no matter that they’ve done the same with others. He’s proven he is far too meddlesome than he should be,” M’tan sighs out and then he shakes his head. “Even then, the effort put in to keeping the man alive is larger than I feel we should be doing. If he lives, we’ll decide what next steps to take. If he dies, it’s decided for us. He looks too soft to me to survive where we dumped him. It’s a good month on foot to the nearest cothold,” he muses, tugging Jet closer to hug her into his side.

“Maybe his dragon will rescue him out of self-preservation,” Jet mutters, sighing sharply. She kicks her boots off and tucks her feet up onto the couch. “As much as I’d like to, we shouldn’t stay here too long. If there’s keening for Eosyth, we’re going to have to be at the Court and prepared to make sure people know they’re safe, even if we know it may well be otherwise.” She presses a kiss to his cheek. “We’ll be back here soon, anyway. No matter what else is going on in the world, I doubt it’ll be long before Kyramith rises again. And if we have some idiot’s upstart bronze around, small as he is, I’m not taking any chances.”

M’tan sighs and rises, looking down at Jet. “Let’s go and take a moment to bathe and change ourselves. We’ll warm up before the fire and then head back. Eosyth hasn’t keened yet. I’d like to take the time to settle our nerves before we go and talk to our people.” He tugs at Jet and draws her towards their master bedroom, where he takes the time to undress her, and then bathe her in a soft, silent way. The days events have ruined any chance that it’s more than just a need to be close to her. He’ll bundle her before the hearth and serve her some food before they both take their leave on their dragons. To face whatever they face, together.

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