An Offer That Can't Be Refused

Fort Weyr - Feeding Grounds
Milling herdbeasts dot this lightly grassy section of the southern end of the bowl. Fences keep them neatly secured on all sides, even extending into the lake, allowing the beasts ample drinking water without granting them an escape. Dragons young and old come here to hunt on a fairly regular basis, though not all come at once of course. From here you can easily make out the entirety of the Weyr's lake as it spreads out south and southwest to the tumbled rubble of the far shore, while the rest of the bowl lies beyond the fences to the southeast, east and northeast.

It's sometime before the morning meal, with Rukbat just starting to make it's daily crawl across a green Pernese sky. One would think that no one would be about, not only because of the time, but also because it's snowing. Thankfully it's not another blizard, so that's something. Previous snowfall has already covered everything in a soft muffling layer of fluffy white stuff, deadening any ambient noise that otherwise would have given the scene some sort of ambience. Presently, it's just depressing, and so appears to be the completely bundled up figure leaning over the railing of the fence surrounding the feeding grounds. Narry a distinguishing feature can be seen to even distinguish gender, what with scarf, and hat and puffy coat. The arms of the person are folding one over the other, snarffed chin resting ontop, attention more or less focused on the contents of the pen, nice big fat looking wherries.

Overhead, a mottled brown dragon pops out of *between* and bellows his greeting to the watchdragon. Pralayth wings down in a graceful spiral, landing just long enough for his rider to dismount, only to take flight yet again. Y'see those wherries? He wants those wherries. Well, one of them, at any rate. His rider is just as bundled up, but in riderly gear of course - helmet, goggles, and all. It's not the height that suggests it's a she, though; it's the slight sway to her stride that gives her dead away. Rezia crunches through the snow cautiously and it's clear that she's taking her time to maneuver. "Oh! Oh, this is just- nope. No! You terrible creature! Why are we here again? Oh! Right, that green. Wait, that green? Or the other that green?" She's either talking to herself or- oh, no, the brown seems to be chuckling, in as much as dragon can make that kind of mirthful sound. She is, for the moment, utterly oblivious to the bundled figure just over there - and the brown only has eyes for food.

Odd golden eyes train their way towards the sudden burst of motion, as the wherries had previously just been rather staying as still as possible, because it was sharding cold! It's not the landing of the dragon that got the darkness-clad figure's attention, but rather the dragon and his intentions. The brownrider herself? Well, she's ignored. Rude right? No, the bundle of blackness pays her no mind as apparently the squeel and scurry of wherries were far more entertaining. The figure scrunches down further into its scarf, as a particularly icy gust of wind howls across the flatness of the feeding grounds without much around to block its torment. A soft young tenor rises up from the bundle, but the words that are muttered are anything but language that should come from a young man. It's almost enough to make even the most seasoned sailor blush. Poor Fort Weyr, why would it want to do that to anyone's mother?

"The other-other that green," is what Rezia settles on, scant moments before that fresh howl of icy wind blows past. She doesn't swear, though she does stop and brace herself until it passes. She huffs out a breath and closes the distance to the fence, only to clamber up on it - carefully! - so she can sit while she watches. Pralayth, for his part, is singularly uncaring of the wind. He adjusts for it like the smooth operator that he is and uses the wind to his advantage. The bovine-patterned brown angles this way, then that, and finally catches one of the wherries unawares while the others scatter away. The kill is neat and the brown keeps up that neat appearance while he feeds, right down to keeping a wing unfurled to fend off the wind so he doesn't accidentally get splattered with sprayed blood. At the fence, Rezia finally seems to take notice of the source of those obscenities - and she laughs. The sound is muffled by the helmet and leathers, but she's definitely laughing. Oh dear.

It's only when Rezia comes to perch on the fence that those golden eyes flicker momentarily towards her, more than likely this is because her climb of the fence in that section makes some of the beams wiggle as she mounts. The eyes are just as quick to move away and back to the carnage, neat or no, that wherry there does not like being killed and the short-sharp squeel it emits before it dies has the figure scrutching up just a little bit tighter. Dark lashes lower, and despite the spraying of blood and gore that ensuses as is the norm when a dragon feeds (even if its neat), the gaze remains otherwise unphased. The laughter of the rider, however, garners another fleeting grab of the young man's attention. As far as Rezia can tell, there is no expression in those eyes to be seen, merely reguarding her quietly before Pralayth is once more the obect of his attention.

The brown is quick about it, too; once he's picked the carcass as clean as he can, he utters a satisfied rumble and moves away from the mess. A quartet of 'lizards blip out of *between* - gold, brown, and two blues - and they descend on their prize with chirrups of utter delight. As for Pralayth? He takes wing again, but only long enough to carry him over the fence and to a spot where he can rub his muzzle and claws in the snow to clean up. Rezia tracks his progress and swings around on the fence, coincidentally ending up so she's kinda-sorta facing vaguely at the bundled lad's front. She pulls up her goggles and squints against a fresh rush of wind, then the squinting intensifies as she studies him. "Oh, hey! Hi!" Her smile is practically audible. "That's something, eh? Watching them take down a wherry like that? Do you watch the dragons often?" The rush of questions comes without shame or pretense - or, really, even the expectation that they'll be answered, frankly. Where there's silence, she'll fill it loudly and with words.

There is no disappoint, or surpsise when Pralayth finishes quickly. There is no anything in fact, just the continued vauge interest, which is transfered unto the firelizards are they appear to finish the job. The golden eyes remain there, even when the brown reloates to clean himself up, as if enormous creatures winging about so nearby was a natural as breathing. Though, then his view is obstruced by a particularly blinding ray of Perenese sunshine, called Rezia. There is another soft sound, more of a grunt than anything before his gaze drops off and away to no where in particular. Anywhere really, other than the bright slice of happiness standing before him. "Hey," comes the soft, toneless reply. It probably sounds flat and lifeless, if anything at all. "Yeah." Hooray for one word answers! Which question was he answering? One of them? All of them? Who knows, because he's not currently clarifying.

The firelizards, for their part, seem pretty content to eat on their own part of the wherry. No bickering for them! And when Pralayth finishes his cleaning ritual, the brown preens a bit and lumbers over to the fence to settle somewhere nearby in a posture that's dignified - but not exactly noble. He cocks his great head to one side, chuffs once, and Rezia leans over to give the beast's foreleg a solid, playful, cuffing. "Oh! Oh, you're the worst. Stop. He's being nice." Her gaze skips from dragon to lad with another of those might-as-well-be-audible smiles. "Aren't you?" Not that she'll give much time for him to answer, the poor fellow. "It's really something to watch them up in the air and flying around, you know? Or feeding. Or- oh, I guess chasing," cue a side-eye to the brown who has managed to open his maw in a cheeky dragon-smile. "What do you like to watch them do best?" She leans forward, hands on her knees, and looks at the lad with rapt attention. No pressure!

Once Pralayth comes back into the mix, the figure's eyes find him again, but drop back to the snow somewhere a little ways off as he's apparently discussed. At Rezia's question, shoulders shrug slightly. "I guess." Two whole words! Man, someone is on a roll this morning. Someone might think the child rude, not making eye contact and not really engadging, but it appears that Rezia is that exception to the rule. Even if her dragon, is not. The boy doesn't appear to mind that his soft short answer may have been gobbled up in the rest that follows, finding that particular collection of ice crystals very enthralling. Yes, look at them! Look at them! "Everything." he says, when asked what he likes best about dragon watching. So, we're back to one word answers again. Joy. Though at least this time with Rezia leaning in as she does, those golden orbs find her actual face and settle like a sun upon the pools of her blue eyes. There is nothing there from the looks of it, as if all the happiness and life had been sucked out of him and left behind little more than an empty shell.

"See? He is being nice!" He said it, so it counts! Rezia giggles softly, the sound utterly effervescent, and she'll reach out to try to put a gloved hand on the lad's shoulder if he doesn't duck or move. "Oh. Oh! See? And that's what I thought, too, when I first saw them." Her smile cannot be contained! She tugs the leather collar down just a touch, enough so her words aren't muffled and the plumes of condensation formed by her breathing and speech can properly escape. "I never actually thought a dragon would pick me, but it was just such a wonderful fantasy all the time, you know?" She scoots down from her perch and goes to lean against the brown, arms stretched around a foreleg. "Oh! Oh, I'm sorry! I've forgotten my manners," that's after a look angled down at her from Pralayth. "I'm Rezia and this is Pralayth. We're- oh, well, we're from Igen Weyr, but we fly for Half Moon Bay Weyr. What's your name? Are you from here?" So what if the youth is so hollow-seeming? It appears that she seems fully intent on filling him with warmth and light and sweetness - by force, if she must!

The figure does not duck, shrug away or move, but the hand to his shoulder makes his entire body go absolutely ridgid for several seconds and she had his undivided attention during that time. There is nothing searching or inquisitive about the way he looks at her, but rather as if he was merely waiting for something. Whatever that something was, apparently doesn't come, because while some tension obviously remains - the preparedness gathered up in a blink of an eye begins to diminish rapidly. His gaze drops off too, finding perhaps that same patch of snow to look at as if it was worthy of so much of his time. "Not really." No, he probably wouldn't know about wonderful fantasies by the sounds of it. Lashes lower again, he seems to tune Rezia out a bit, as if something she had just said was not as happy rainbows as she might of intended it to be. He doesn't even twitch when she slips from the fence and goes to lean against Pralayth, but her apology gets a nod at least. So he was at least listening, despite appearances. "Jaelyn," he says quietly when asked his name, scrunching down fractionally, "No. I was born in Ista Weyr." Maybe that explains his current state of misery? Fort Weyr was a far cry from the tropical beaches of Ista. Rezia might try to fill an empty cup, but it's seeming rather bottomless at the moment.

The mottled brown drops his head a bit more and sort of leans in, muzzle aimed at the youth with a strange sort of intensity. If he could narrow his eyes, he surely would, but he can't, so the particular cock of his head and partial gape of his jaw will just have to do. "Oh, stop that," Rezia huffs and socks the brown again, for all that he probably doesn't even feel it. "And you-" to Jaelyn, then, her mood brightening, "-would you like to go for a ride, Jaelyn? Maybe that'll help! This place is just so awful and dreary and cold! I'd be miserable, too, if I ended up here for any length of time." She reaches out with a hand, wiggling gloved fingers at Jaelyn. "Oh! I know! Would you like to see the little squiddles at Half Moon? They're the best!"

It would be rather diffiuclt to miss the looming head of a dragon hovering over you, even without the heat and the smell. Oh yes, the smell. Jaelyn doesn't budge though, stubborn as he is, not so much as lifting a finger as he's aimed at with stange intensity. "I ain't bein' rude, 'ight?" he grumbles minutely, taking one step closer to scruching up within himself completely like a pillbug. At mention of a ride, golden eyes drift unhurriedly towards the brownrider, and despite his eyebrows being covered by the beanie he wears, they lift just a little. "I dun think I'm allowed to leave, and I dun know ya from Farnath." Yeah, taking rides from strangers? Probably a big ol' negative there engrained in him from a baby like most children. "Thanks for the offer though." While his words fail to impose any sort of emtional content, the words are soft and gentle. So, Rezia's earlier assumption that Jaelyn wasn't being rude seems to be correct.

There's a definite snort from Pralayth at that grumble, though it sounds amused, somehow. The brown extricates his leg from his rider - who pouts terribly at the loss of her leaning post - and moves just a short distance away. Rezia stamps a foot at the beast, then huffs a bit and looks back to Jaelyn while he speaks. "Why can't you leave? Are they forcing you to stay? Are you actually chained here?" All of these possibilities are both horrifying and real to her, for some reason. "Oh! Oh, no." Her brightness starts to dim, her eyes going wide and a bit wet with tears. Maybe it's the wind? Hopefully? "Oh, you wanted to show him-" to Pralayth, that, with her gaze going right back to Jaelyn. "There are eggs there, you know! At Half Moon, I mean. He really wants you to look at those, at least." As if that will change the lad's mind!

"I was sent here," Jaelyn says blandly, his tone of voice about as interesting as dry toast, but at least it's kept at a quiet volume. Good thing everything was so silent all around them, otherwise he might not even be heard. "Exsiled, more like." This second clarification is more of a hushed grumble, as he snuggles into the scarf that was hiding the lower portion of his face from the bridge of his nose and down. Still, all that could be seen is his eyes, which regard the suddenly dimming Rezia with about as much interest as he'd given the snow moments ago. Even her sudden teary expression is unable to move him. "Yeah, I know." he says about the eggs, "Guy I know got searched couple days ago." Then it clicks, and Jaelyn is standing instead of drapping himself over the railing like a peice of discarded laundry, "Wait." A gloved hand comes up and he pulls the darkness of the scarf he wears down to expose the rest of his face, and reveals of all things, a facial piercing right there on the left corner of his bottom lip. He simply stares at Rezia and then golden eyes are sent immediately over to Pralayth, "There somethin' wrong with what yer sniffin'. I ain't candidate material." Weyrbred, and weyr-raised. At least he's not quiet and stupid.

"Well, being exiled shouldn't mean you can't go anywhere you like," Rezia notes with obvious confusion. "I'd think that means you can go anywhere you like without being beholden to a soul. That's how the traders are, you know? I should know. I was one once. I still am, really. We're in a great wing that lets us do that!" She laughs softly and beams over at Pralayth, then that sunny smile is tilted right back to Jaelyn. And then, impossibly, her smile widens and deepens. "He gets it!" That's for the brown, clearly. "See? He is a smart one. Cunning - a puzzler! Just like you, Pral." Playfully accusatory, that. "Oh, but I do hope you aren't the type to go snooping in Janja's things. We already know Feyruth won't actually eat Candidates, don't we?" But that's all a bunch of inside baseball, or whatever passes for it in Pern. She seems to catch herself and fixes Jaelyn with a friendly look. "He knows what he's talking about. Trust me. I know you don't know us from Faranth, but Pralayth knows the smell of a Candidate a hundred dragonlengths away. And he smells you! Er. Well. Sees you. You smell clean, so." Derailment! "But, oh! Won't you stand? You won't know until you try!"

Jaelyn shrugs a bit, though one might get the feeling that he's still apprehensive about going against whomeever it was that 'exsiled' him in the froze wasteland that is Fort Weyr. He doesn't really seem to have much more to add there. Instead he just allows Rezia to prattle on with her explination, without a single word of protest interjected. Reserved, and accomidating he is. The widening and deepening of that smile may of flattened normal people, but as the brownrider might be starting to suspect, Jae was anything but what would be considered normal by anyone's standards. He also appears to have nothing to say about his personal view of his own intelligence or how it might compare to Pralayth, after all, he doesn't know him and unlikely ever would at least to the degree his rider did. Instead, he focuses on the main topic on the current agenda, "I dunno who Janja is, but I'm pretty sure I ain't gunna go rifflin' through no one's stuff." he says, tucking his face back behind his scarf again, as another nasty howl of a wind threatens to tear his lips off. Nasty coldness. "Ugh. Fuck it. Get me outta here." he says, shuddering in the winter's cruel embrace. Well, he didn't take much convincing now did he?

"Oh, Janja's great. She's one of the best," Rezia enthuses. "She's- oh, rather like my aunt, I suppose? Her gold and my uncle's bronze are out there on those sands now and it's just- oh! It'll be so grand. I'm so happy you're going to Stand!" Clapping ensues, even though the sound is, sadly, quite muffled. It's the heart that counts, though, right? Right. She laughs softly and motions at Jaelyn, her merry mood finally bolstered enough that she'll even brave the most dreadful of winds. "Come on, then! Do you need help getting up? He's a dear about getting nice and low to the ground." And Pralayth is precisely that, hunkered down nice and flat as he can to get those straps within grabbing range. And, yet, it's only when the almost-Candidate is close enough to mount the brown that the mask slips, just a little. Her voice drops, tone soft rather than bright; perhaps a touch heavy at the edges. "You'll be safe with us, Jaelyn. I promise it with my heart - and he promises with all of his. Whatever you did to get exiled? It doesn't matter now, you know?" A shard of seriousness, a touch of darkness, and then she's quickly all smiles again, as if it didn't happen. But it's there, now, if he looks; a shadow in her eyes that's always been, but never quite caught before. "Up you go!"

All the happiness and merriment shown to Jaelyn in the wake of his hasty acceptance goes right over the boy's head. He's standing there like he just signed his own death warrent and is on his way to the firing squad. A look of 'what the hell did I just do' as plain as day there in his eyes. His shoulders slump a bit, perhaps under all the joy that Rezia was piling on top of him, and he all but trudges towards the brown dragon. "No." comes his simple reply when asked if he needed help, reaching out for the straps but pausing when the brownrider's mask dips to reveal a peek at what lies beneath. Even then, Jae is unwavering, as if he'd already peered into the abyss and was no worse the wear for it. "I was born." he tells her straight out, when reason for his exsile is brought up, and without further ado he shows her he has no trouble at all climbing up. He misses the shadow in her eye, but then again, it might not have mattered even if he had.

"I was born, too," is offered up with a tip-tilted smile. Wry, that. "It happens. But, it'll get better. It always does." Rezia waits until Jaelyn's mounted, then it's up she goes - and then Pralayth, gets up and away they go, the brown's flight positively liquid-smooth. To Half Moon Bay - and, er, well, maybe not beyond, but still!

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