Trials and Tribulations

Summer in the South - Month 3 of Turn 2716
Xanadu Weyr - Garden
An arch woven from the tendrils of a willow tree stretches overhead lightly creeping with ivy as one steps in from the meadow into this sanctuary of green. Cool gray flagstone carefully spaced enables a soft velvety moss to thrive within the cracks, and creates a single wide pathway that fluidly breaks off into two paths of stone once free of the natural arbor. It is a wonder this place, and meticulously tended from the way it seems not a single leaf is out of place.

On either side of the main path expansive grassy patches are trimmed short and edged behind with natural tan colored stone selectively chosen to stack just right. Beyond these are a line of fine puffed shrubberies in vibrant green intermingled with flowering bushes of brilliant pinks varying in hue from the very light to the very dark, which causes the occasional snowy white blossoms of other scattered here and there without worry to simply pop out of the scenery.

Directly in the center of the garden is another wall of intricately stacked stone, this of muted grays, creating what from the air would prove to be a perfect circle. It's been set high for safety, but not so much as one would not be able to lean over it to admire what lies beyond, either standing or sitting at the smattering of benches whose backs are set every four feet along it. Flush to the ground inside it's protective stone outcropping, is an enormous twenty foot wide fish pond. Within one can glean the metallic glint of playful goldfish, the unhurried cruise of fat koi, and even a frog or three among pale yellow and white flowering water lilies and their thick green pads.

The trees surrounding the entire garden were planted to give the impression that they had always been here, not only lending to a rustic look, but also alluding to the beauty that can be found among the wilds if only one might just look for it. Species vary from the ordinary Birch and Pine, but the flaming red capsules of the Indian Shot to the robust orange spokes of the Firewheel tree suggest the spice of the exotic.


Of course S'van was called. He has been her 'search buddy' and has known her concerns in the past over search and she has witnessed his own progression from candidate to full rider. So she now sits in the garden, isolated from the world as best she can yet in the full light of day with the sights and scents of the beautiful garden around her. She has a familiar notebook in her hand that she is writing in at present. Her little green firelizard is in the air cavorting with a couple of male firelizards. Their interest in her no doubt not making things any easier for the young woman.

And of course, S'van came. Just as soon as he could get away, he ducked on down to Xanadu Weyr and went looking for the healer-turned-candidate. Of course it was the infirmary that he checked first. But when that yields no results, he's off to explore various nooks and crannies and ask around until he's either pointed in the proper direction or stumbles upon it by chance. The garden, where heavy boots seem inappropriate and yet he's wearing them anyways, walking through the fragrance of exotic flowers and around topiaries and fish-ponds until he finds Kelani with her notebook. "Hey," offered once he's close enough to do so without yelling, an easy greeting that comes with an easy smile, though there's a heaviness in those grey eyes; searching. Assessing. Looking for signs of distress so that he can act on it. Down he goes, claiming a spot beside her and tossing his jacket to the side. "How are you?"

There is a jerk of her head up as she hears the clomp of heavy boots on the path and there is a look of relief as she jumps up and goes over to him. "Oh, I am so glad you came." She says. Yes its going THAT good. "Are they always that bad? It was horrible touching them…and I embaressed myself in front of the weyrwoman and there was darkness and it asked me so many questions untilI felt smaller and smaller." The words come out in a rush as if pent up. Should he touch her he would even find her trembling slightly just to think upon the eggs. "And she…has gone crazy." She says with a look up at the green.

And… there goes that smile; right on into something concerned, mouth pulled down at the corners as grey eyes darken. S'van does, indeed, reach out; two hands winding gently around the tops of Kelani's arms for no reason that is vocalized; just contact established during the barrage of words. The trembling though, that gets more reaction than what she's saying as suddenly he's drawing her in against him and wrapping arms around her and just holding because that is what Sev does when people are in distress. He hugs them. A murmured, "it's alright. They can't actually hurt you," that's meant to be reassurance, not a dismissal of her fears or belittling of the experience. A deep breath, and his arms relax to let her stand on her own once again, putting distance between if only so they can better talk. "I'm not sure," he answers honestly for the first question of 'always that bad.' "But it sounds like you started off pretty rough. Aede's group was pretty um… challenging too." Understatement of the century.
A glance up for the green in the air, a frown of confusion. "I'm not sure I can help you there… I don't have one."

Those strong arms wrapping her in embrace is clearly just what the healer ordered. The trembling remains for a time and some tears shed in silence as she takes comfort and healing from that simple expression of friendship. Finally she looks up to his words and she nods slightly. "There is a rational side of myself that knows that. What causes creatures who have never experienced the world to hold so much pain of it? I managed to touch a second one but I barely got through that." There is a sad little smile, "Reciting the bones of the human body at least worked to keep me from completely drowning in it at the time. Still I laid awake all night wondering if they were true? Am I worthy enough , why I am here, has everything I worked for to this point for nothing? How did you get through it?"

A motion of his hand in a 'sit?' sort of gesture. Whether or not it's taken will determine whether S'van remains standing or sitting. Her choice, clearly. "It's like a nightmare," decides the bronzerider, frowning as he continues the analogy. "When you're in it, you don't know that it's not real. You see, and hear, and feel everything. It IS real in that moment. And then you wake up, and your body is still dealing with the fright, even though your brain understands that what happened… didn't actually happen." As for how, or why, unborn creatures appear to know more about the horrors of the world than some adults do? "No clue. But I wondered if maybe they pull it from us, and then project it back…" A shrug for that, though; as if to dismiss his own idea. "At least you had a way to cope with it…" and a shiver rolls down his back at some memory or another. "And the more… trauma you've had, the worse it seems to be. They certainly have a way of calling up your personal experience… Fascath's egg was the worse in Aede's group. It was… it was like touching death," recalled after a moment's pause. It has been several turns since that event, and yet he can still remember. "Aede's egg just made me dizzy, and another one reminded me of J'en. Abstractly." A measured look, a hint of a frown pulling at his mouth even though it never really faded in the first place. "Worthy enough for what? Impression?" As for getting through it? "I just… did I guess. I don't know. Time helps. And talk to the other candidates. That can help, too."

Kelani nods to the gesture and returns to sitting on the bench, a little better for being able to just release the tension she has been feeling with someone she knew and felt safe with. SOmeone who HAD experienced it. There is a nod of agreement to the comparison of a nightmare. "Yes…the first egg was nice to start with then…it changed and I felt trapped in it. I was frozen in fear of it and it took the weyrwoman to call me back. I can only imagine what they think of me now." She says with a sigh as she leans back in the chair. A dual insult of the horror of the egg and the embaressment of her reaction. There is a faint shake of her head, "Of anything..to be loved, to be a healer, to be..just to be." There is a cant of her head up to him at the last, "But what if they think I am silly? How can they look at me as a healer if I feel so broken.."

Settled, Sev drapes an arm along the back of the bench and stretches out long legs in front of him. It's an expression of relaxation that he doesn't necessarily feel, judging by the tightness of his expression. "They won't think anything negative of you," he says confidently. "All dragonriders experienced at least one egg touching; and I'm coming to understand that in each clutch, at least one of them rattles the candidates. Some, more than others. Like I said, it seems to depend on your own experiences. Catwin had a panic attack, I felt disturbed, and another candidate was nothing but fascinated, and we were all touching the same egg. Trust me. They aren't going to think any less of you. Considering that you stayed after the first one shook you so bad? That's what they'll remember." If they remember at all, though he doesn't say that part. But as she worries over worth, his head tips back and he glances down at her at an angle, assessment that morphs into comfort with the drop of his arm from the bench to her shoulders. "Kelani. Of course you're worthy. You are a Healer. A journeyman, in fact," he reminds her with a bit of a grin. "Clearly, you've proven yourself there. And everyone is worthy of love. And life… Hey," and there's a bit of a squeeze with that arm, as if to get her attention. "I think you're really over thinking things. And I guarantee there are other candidates in your class that are just as freaked out about them as you are. Some, maybe more so."

Kelani settles against him as the arm is draped over her. There is comfort in that little gesture. Quiet as he speaks of his own touching and as he speaks he may feel some of the tenseness easing in her shoulders. She is NOT alone. It is something he has experienced, others have experienced. Still before she would have heard them speak of it, but it felt so abstract then. Now she has the experience to back up those thoughts. She cants her head as she reaffirms her as a healer and worthy and some of the pain has at least faded from her features. The other words at least draw a hint of a smile to her lips, "I keep hearing that." The overthinking part. Then a slow nod to the last. "I suppose I could talk with the others…at least the dragonhealer. I have felt comfortable with her…"

It was, admittedly, a long time ago now that Sev stood on the sands and put his palm to an eggshell. But perhaps the conversation is enough to bring him right back to it. A roll of his shoulders for the memory, and then a long exhale. "Hmm, gee, I wonder why?" he teases. "Maybe it's because you do over think? We can't all be wrong, you know." But it's gentle, and affectionate, and comes with another squeeze of his arm. "The best advice I can give on those eggs, and with most things that… can be… difficult to think about, is to try and not think about them. Now, I don't mean you should ignore it, just that… well…" and he sighs again, this time for the inability to accurately describe what it is he's trying to explain. "Basically it's like this; if you can't do anything about it, either because it's imaginary or it's too late, then try not to dwell on it. Don't let it eat you up. Acknowledge it, and then move on with the things that matter." A hesitation before he confesses, "It's easier said than done, believe me I know. But you can do it." Mention of the dragonhealer at least brings him back out of his head a little. "Good. And maybe she can offer some insight? I mean, I don't know how far along she is, but don't dragonhealers study the eggs?"

(not finished, but oh well XD)


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