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Shaking the ants.

Who: Arekoth, H'kon, Miniyal, Peloth
Where: Dragon baths
When: 10:44 on day 22, month 4, turn 4 of the 7th Pass.
What: Peloth puts her foot down. Also, Miniyal tries to goad H'kon into action. He would have been the perfect person for her to manipulate into where she needed someone. Alas. Still, the idea would have been to create a strong Traditionalist group to counter the Instigators at the Weyr. Why? To see who came out on top. And make sure neither group got overly powerful. Like ants in an ant farm. She just wanted to shake it a little.


At High Reaches Weyr, it is 10:44 on day 22, month 4, turn 4 of the 7th Pass.

Late morning finds not very many dragons at all being bathed. Most of them are busy with one thing or another after all. One blue is heading out with his rider, the pair of them dripping with the remains of bath water. That leaves a single gold with the water to herself and she's certainly going to take advantage of it. Miniyal gets a break from the washing as Peloth goes about her splashing. Since the pair are already soaked it doesn't seem to matter overly much. When one large wing comes splashing down and sends a wave towards where the goldrider stands she laughs and brushes wet strands of hair from her eyes. "Brat," is all that is vocalized and it's a fond word.

Indeed, most dragons do have busy schedules. Arekoth's, for his part, has a bath pencilled in at this time in the morning, the result of some activity or other that has left the brown's legs and belly rather muddy. The brown still isn't moving that well, and tends more toward the three-legged-dragon hop-walk for the sake of speed, only on occasion attempting a more normal stride - which never really turns out that normal. Arekoth, however, is in relatively good spirits (you can tell by the fact that H'kon keeps rolling his eyes and looking vexed), and this, of course, only improves when, as he sets toward the pool, he sees splashing. And still gets better when he sees from whom it's coming. << Oh good! >>

<< There you are! >> Peloth stops her splashing and straightens up. At almost a turn old she's lost a lot of that awkward presence she carried through weyrlinghood although she's not quite as regal as she might think. << The others left. Too busy to entertain me. >> Not facing the entrance Miniyal is unaware of who it is that has come in. However, the scrutiny with which Peloth gives those newcomers causes her to turn around. And stare briefly without saying anything.

Arekoth's hopping gets a bit more bump as he hurries now, wasting no time in getting into the water - though, of course, Miniyal is given space enough so he won't bowl her over. If not admitting it consciously, the brown does know he hasn't got the same control of limbs that he did before. << I don't know how anyone could be too busy to entertain you. >> Being hermitted in his weyr or the infirmary has him overflowing with suave, clearly. H'kon, for his part, has to undress, and doesn't get right into the water. He does, however, offer a quick nod of his head to Miniyal, a quick, "Good morning," wish. And Arekoth is head-bumping the gold's shoulder.

"Wingsecond," Miniyal returns as a greeting. Her own clothes have been neatly folded to the side so only the ones she wishes to get wet do so. Her usual shorts and sleeveless top that probably, knowing Peloth's bathing habits, never get truly dry. Since there is someone to play with she's not so interested now in having those last spots cleaned. When head-bumped she does the same back. << That is what I try to tell them. However, they sometimes insist they are. But, you are here now! You are not around so much anymore. It is a shame. >> She does not flirt, it's not really in her to do so, but she speaks with sincerity and there's a touch of something sad in her tone.

<< I know it. I've had to stay inside. He, >> and of course, there's a hint of the accusing on that, << gets all twitterpated about my leg, even when it's doing fine. >> Nevermind that the brown is holding the limb in closer to his chest now that he's in the water. His wading is more graceful; buoyancy. It's not long before H'kon has stripped down to shorts, and, with a quick flick of his fingers to scratch at his chest, the stocky little brownrider is headed for the pool as well, with further pleasantries: "You are both well?"

Peloth is quite pleased to have one of her favorite admirers visiting with her. She snakes her tail under the water to slap against his before splashing backwards away from him. << You do not have to listen to him all the time. I still have tricks I need to learn. >> Not that Peloth would ever go against Miniyal's wishes, but it's perfectly fine for other dragons to go against their riders if it means more fun for the gold. "We're fine thank you. Is his leg any better? Peloth has been quite concerned." When she remembers. Or is reminded.

Arekoth balances himself with a bit more care than he might usually give before turning to give Peloth a tail-thump to the leg in return. << Yeah, but you should see him when I don't. He gets so pouty... >> If dragons could 'tsk'... Then Arekoth is moving forward to brush his (good) shoulder at the gold. << And that's good. I have tricks I still need to teach you. And I can fly just fine still. >> H'kon's introduction to the water is slow, allowing his body to get used to the temperature. "It is better than it was at first." It's not an enthusiastic endorsement. There's a slight nod, then. "It is good of her to... care."

"She likes him," Miniyal answers with a shrug and no concern at all in her tone. Doesn't seem to bother her that it could cause potential trouble down the line. "She says he is one of the best fliers she has seen. When not busy that is all she does is watch others if she is not in the air herself. If it weren't for feeding and baths I'm not sure she'd come down." Cautious of the hurt leg Peloth is not as playful as she might normally be. When she comes forward it is just to give his good shoulder another head bump. << Hurry up and get better. Then he will not care if we spend time together. >>

<< I'm almost better already, >> Arekoth boasts. Reality, make way for the ego. << We could fly together already. You could show me what you've practiced, even if I can't do some of the harder ones yet. >> A moment is then taken so that he can duck his head under water, shaking it when resurfacing to clear excess water droplets. The praise for his dragon, even if coming from Peloth by proxy, is enough to have H'kon smiling. "He does fly well." He's even willing to admit, "So does she."

Weyrling and dragon both watch the brown for a moment. When Miniyal looks away it is to glance at H'kon and nod. "Thank you. She practices. I wish she'd learn she just cannot maneuver like the greens. She's going to wind up hurt." Shaking her head she gives the non-listening gold a fond look. "Ah, well." Peloth preens a bit at the compliment and splashes a bit of water towards Arekoth. << I will show you what I learned. And when you are all better I will show you again so you may practice. It is good you are almost well. We will fly tomorrow. >> Not a request so much as a requirement. She wishes to fly with him tomorrow so he had better be ready.

"Better then to teach her how to manoeuvre as a gold. Familiarise her with her limitations and skills." He glances quickly to the young queen. At whom Arekoth is now blowing bubbles, nose dipped beneath the surface of the water. << I look forward to seeing it. I'm sure you've only gotten better. And you will see that I can fly much better than I can walk. Ground stuff doesn't matter so much. It's in the air that's important anyway. >> This isn't didactic - it's said as though he expects Peloth to know it already.

"Oh, she learns that as well. She just thinks the rules can be changed if she works at it. It keeps her out of trouble." Well, mostly. Miniyal, again, doesn't seem overly concerned with it. Not much to do with her gold really seems to concern her. At least outwardly. "Anyway, enough people are quite happy to inform the both of us of our limitations. If she wants to stretch her wings and try something else I'm not going to stop her unless I need to." Peloth watches the bubble blowing and lifts one leg to claw at those bubbles carefully. << I am the best there is. There are none better than I am. And, of course it is. If the ground were important why would we have wings? >> Of course, she has legs, but that is beside the point.

<< Exactly. >> A breath, and Arekoth starts blowing bubbles faster, a tacit challenge to see if Peloth can keep popping them. His wings can't help but give the slightest stretch, a belated addition to the conversation. H'kon nods a little to Miniyal. "Then I hope she will learn which rules can and cannot be bent." His attention is on his own dragon, now.

Up to the challenge the gold even gives a warble of a challenge to the bubbles before she starts clawing at them again. She cannot, of course, get them all, but she is going to get as many as she can. "Oh, not without getting in trouble, wingsecond. But, that's not a huge deal. I mean, trouble is relative and I imagine we're all in trouble at the moment."

Up to the challenge the gold even gives a warble of a challenge to the bubbles before she starts clawing at them again. She cannot, of course, get them all, but she is going to get as many as she can. "Oh, not without getting in trouble, wingsecond. But, that's not a huge deal. I mean, trouble is relative and I imagine we're all in trouble at the moment." Miniyal watches H'kon watch Arekoth and there's the faintest of smiles that appears before she smooths it away into a more neutral expression. "I imagine everyone has trouble at first convincing their dragons to follow the rules."

H'kon's expression goes a little darker and there's a soft, and downright pensive, "Indeed," to the talk of trouble. Arekoth picks right up on it, and, even while sending forth another bubble assault, a mournful mental nudge is sent to Peloth. << He wants to leave. >> The stresses on that, one would hope, would make it obvious that the dragon isn't meaning leaving the baths for the bowl. Miniyal's second comment does have a bit of a snort, maybe amused, coming from that rider. "I would imagine."

More bubbles escape as Peloth picks up on what is being said. << But I do not want you to leave. >> Poor Arekoth gets hit with enough sadness it draws Miniyal's attention to where the two dragons are. << I will not let you leave. >> See? Simple. << Tell him I will not allow you to leave and so he must forget such a thing. >> Miniyal turns back to the other rider. "Where do you wish to go to?"

Arekoth lifts his head from the water, muzzle dripping, and turns to glance back to the riders. << Just because he wants to does /not/ mean we will. This is our home. >> Peloth gets a soggy head-bump. He's pulling out all stops in reassuring her, clearly. << My leg's fine. >> Another glance at the rider. << And besides, you won't let me leave. >> H'kon looks less than impressed. Loud-minded dragon. "Nothing is decided yet."

<< Exactly. We will make him listen to us. If you wish to stay then you should stay. Why would anywhere else be good? >> Peloth has decided it is decided and so she returns the soggy head-bump with a less than soggy one of her own and a warble of pleasure. Miniyal look at the dragons, shaking her head. "She does not mean to be that way-Well, she does. Why do you want to leave, wingsecond? Have you discussed it with your wingleader? Or the Weyrleader?" Despite whatever conversation she is having with the gold the weyrling weyrwoman has all her attention on the brownrider now.

<< Because things here aren't the way the thinks they should be. But I would hate to leave when there's so many new tricks to teach you, still. >> And it's back to bubbles. "Hm." A glance is spared to the weyrling, and H'kon is quick to cross his arms over his chest, sloshing some water in the process. "I have not yet decided," is repeated with a careful stress to the words. It's only after he's had a moment to consider that he's willing to add, "The cold has not helped his leg." It's not entirely a lie.

"I would think, wingsecond, that as soon as one considered transferring and therefore leaving the Weyr with one less rider that it would be something important enough to discuss. Even if it is not yet decided." Miniyal pauses a moment to tap a finger against her chin. "Well, that is my opinion at least. Not that it is worth much." Shoulders shrug as she looks back at the dragons. << He does not try to change things. That is what she says. She says he is running away. She says if he is only good at running away I should not worry because we are better off without him. However, him being gone means you being gone and I will not stand for that. >> Under the water, in imitation of her rider, Peloth brings one leg down in something like a stomp.

"There is little point in speaking with them before I know if it is necessary," H'kon argues right back, words coming a bit more quickly; defensive. "My duties have not been affected, and we will not leave the Weyr undefended. And it is getting warmer." Arekoth simply snorts, and there's a break in the bubbling. << We do not run. >> The suggestion is offensive enough to bring a certain harshness to the reply. And the brown shifts a little in the water, stretching his leg out a ways before drawing it back in, close.

"That's the biggest load I've seen since I got to stop shoveling, wingsecond." Miniyal lets the dragons work out their own problems so she can focus on the other person present. "If you are /thinking/ of leaving then you should discuss it. There might be other options. Unless you want to leave. If you're just looking for an excuse to run away, by all means, take it and run. High Reaches has no use for those who will not stand up something and instead turn tail." Peloth, this time, is the one who says, << We are leaving. She is very mad. She is afraid of saying the wrong thing. >> Despite the harshness she still shuffles closer and nudges his shoulder with her head. << We will fly tomorrow. You said so. I will see you then. >>

"I do not want to leave my home, but there are things that /must/ be done, weyrling. Any rider should know that the well-being of their dragon is first in all things." Words are all but spat out, though voice stays quite quiet. Miniyal gets a glare for the suggestion. Arekoth's little fit is much quicker to pass than his rider's, and he returns the nudge, the atmosphere of reunion recaptured. << Yes, you will. >>

"Then don't leave. Explore other options of helping him out, wingsecond." Miniyal begins to wade up out of the pool and a moment later, after a final nudge, Peloth follows after her. "It's your decision. Run away or fight to change things. At least have the decency to not lay the blame on Arekoth." She doesn't bother to change, but she does take up her other clothes and head out. Peloth follows along, right close to her rider, although before stepping into the bowl she looks back at Arekoth and sends him a final little burst of affection.