Something Wilson This Way Comes

Day 8 of Month 1 of Turn 2717
Ista Weyr - Docks

This long, wide stretch of planks reaches far out into the clear blue waters of Ista Bay. Many other shorter paths extend right and left of the main dock, the occasional smaller boats nestled in between. The seaward side often has much larger merchant vessels anchored, sailors loading and unloading at all hours. Positioned off the furthermost point is a metal pole curved out to the water with a large bronze bell attached. A thick, knotted rope hangs down into the waves, within reach of any shipfish that approach, as well as for the dolphineers themselves, should they need to alert their partners. Near the Dolphin Bell is a rickety ladder into the ocean. Its weathered and aged wood is slippery from buildup of algae, and lower down barnacles grow - ready to cut an unsuspecting foot or two if one isn't careful. Recent additions suggest construction all along the sandward side of the pier, woodcrafters still sometimes seen working on the Boardwalk, though the colorful place is now open for business, and far more bustling than even dock. Standing apart, opposite all the activity, are several buildings, including the Coastguard Headquarters, keeping vigil over bay and beaches.


Dark clouds loom over head, blocking the early morning light over Ista’s beaches. The docks are quiet and still, with the occasional distant echo of ship bells ringing through the strong winds or the rustle of sails on ships anchored. Winter storms plague the area, but for those that work and live on the sea, it’s business as usual. Most of the morning work can be done indoors… Except one small task. Valeska stands on the docks while Mecahisth keeps himself inland, resting in the warmth of the weyr’s black sands while the firelizards take advantage of the strong breezes. She clears her throat, hands slipping into the big pockets of her leather jacket after she pulls her collar up around her face. There’s a parcel of paperwork that needed to be transferred to the Dolphineers, basic reports and transfer requests, disciplinary policies and Dolphin surveys. A small tinge of annoyance creeps upon her features, the frown becoming more prominent when she doesn’t see the brown dragon she was instructed to look out for.

Only, Valeska isn’t going to see a brown dragon at all. Instead, she’ll be greeted by the distant jingle of tiny bells, each rhythm carried with the pounding of heavy boots across the boards of the dock. A man approaches, leather poncho resting on his shoulders with the hood pulled down. In his hands, is a small wooden crate with a leather satchel resting on top. “I apologize for the delay. My dragon was injured during a run so he’s grounded. Took me longer than I intended to get here. This is the paperwork and the crate is the item we agreed on.” The man’s voice is grave and fatigued, hesitantly, he relinquishes the box to the bluerider’s care. His hands hover for a moment, almost unsure, as though he might change his mind and pull the box back in an instant. His hands are hastily shoved into his pockets to prevent such a thing happening, and he tilts his head back, letting long golden hair float in the breeze. Grey lines the tired man’s eyes, looking sleep deprived with worry lines claiming the edges of his mouth and eyes. “Just… remember everything I told you. It’s not as simple as it… appears to be. It started out that way, I don’t know what happened. It just… It’s something else.”

Valeska’s blue eyes narrow suspiciously. She’s heard the rumors of the boxes contents, and naturally, she’s always combing the world for such atrocities. To finally have one of the many cryptid things in her own hands? She pulls it close to her, almost possessively, and she nods her head. “I won’t let it fall into the wrong hands, S’rorn. Don’t worry.” It’s hers now, after all.

S’rorn takes in a deep breath, his face pale in the grey light. He swallows hard, slowly nodding his head, acquiesced in his decision. “Remember to lock it up at night.”

“I know, Rorn. I know, I have a good place for it,” she assures.

“Locking your room door isn’t going to be enough.”

“I know. Don’t leave it on shelves, don’t take it places in case it’s forgotten, stolen or misplaced. Don’t leave it in public places at all for any reason. Keep it in the box if I have to transport it and don’t have it out of the box if I’m sick or tired. We went over this and I assure you, everything is going to be fine.” At this point, Valeska takes a step closer, looking the older man in the eyes and holding her gaze for a moment.

Once he deflates a little, he takes a step back and nods. A look of pain washes over his face and his fists begin to ball up, even in the comfort of his pockets. S’rorn tightens his jaw, then opens his mouth to speak but only a strangled hesitation slips free. He shakes his head, stepping backwards quickly. “I’m holding you to your word, Val!” he warns as he holds a finger to her before turning away and leaving quicker than he arrived.

The Dolphineer keeps her eyes on the man until he vanishes from sight, feeling the force of the wind beginning to pick up. The bells on ships begin to ring louder and the dock vibrates from the rising waves slamming into the structure. Thunder claps over head and she turns to glance at the darkness looming. “It’s time for us to go home,” she says, cradling the box. The woman turns, making her own way down the docks to return to Half Moon Bay Weyr.

Only time will tell if the storm follows her home.


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