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Tall Tales; Tag: Ira's Syrsha
Topic Started: Sep 8 2017, 03:11 PM (171 Views)
Tesla
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There was a rumor going around the weyrling barracks; N'din hoped it wasn't true. But he wasn't the sort of person that made assumptions, or took anything at face value, so he was going to go directly to the source. Well, to one source in particular - there were as many as three Candidates who had been suspended on Disaster Day, and supposedly Syrsha was among them.

He couldn't imagine it being true. Syrsha was a model Candidate: hardworking, helpful, nondisruptive. It seemed pretty unlikely that she'd done something - on that day of all days - that the Candidatemasters had noticed, much less decided was deserving of punishment.

Back when he'd worked in the kitchens, he'd been tapped directly into the Vaioa grapevine, whether he'd wanted to be or not. Cooks and caverns workers were avid gossips, and while he might not be much of a talker, he was a pretty good listener. He'd heard all sorts of scuttlebutt back then. None of it had been any of his business, and the things that he hadn't doubted were true had mostly just made him uncomfortable to hear. Now, for the first time, he missed the rumors and the chatty coworkers.

Weyrlings, especially those with young dragons, had very little time on their hands to go fishing for information, and many of his classmates didn't have the connections in the Weyr that he did. Which was weird to acknowledge, after spending so many turns feeling isolated and out-of-place.

In any case, three long and difficult days had now passed since the Fort Eruption, and he was only just feeling up to snooping. And to be honest, the snooping was mostly just an excuse to seek out Syrsha. Ingalath was miserable and heartsick, he was exhausted and stressed, and they were both in need of a distraction. Besides, he missed his friend.

His time as a caverns worker had another benefit, which was that he was intimately familiar with all of the passages that ran through the Weyr. He had Ingalath, curled into a tight little ball, cradled to his chest, and a canvas bag thrown over his shoulder as he crept down a narrow hallway that he knew, eventually, emptied out into the infirmary.

Once there, it didn't take him long to spot her. The hair was a bit of a giveaway, even at a distance, and he leaned around a dimly-lit corner to whisper:
"Psst!"
Ingalath huffed out a reluctantly amused sigh, before turning and tucking her nose into his collar; N'din tried not to jostle her as he waved down his friend. Once she was close enough to hear him clearly, speaking in a low voice, he said:
"It's time for a break. You can take one'a those, right? There's no emergencies goin on?"

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Elmi & Garnet Basteth | Az'riel & Copper Liyanth
Singrid & Copper Wiliath | J'nai & Brown Elokith
Caylan & Grey Parath | El'jir & Blue Morrith
Savka & Blue Ripariath | N'din & Green Ingalath
J'phel & Black Davoth | I'vend & Graphite Rerioth
Sankal & Black Sansk | Avry & Blue Ask

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Iradial
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All things considered, Syrsha was lucky—even if she was overworked and exhausted all the time and hardly ever had a moment to herself. Since her suspension, her usual free time was filled with more chores, and now it became apparent just how much she had taken those precious hours for granted. The prospect of working long hours every day for an indeterminate amount of time—months, probably—had her fantasizing about taking the broom in her hand and snapping it over her knee. She kept sweeping, though, venting her negative energy by muttering imprecations at the ash on the ground instead. Couldn't people sharding stomp their boots before they walked in?

At least she could still say she was a candidate.

Psst.

Syrsha went still. Frowning, she turned, and the expression evaporated into a smile at once. There was N'din, hiding behind a corner as if he could ever be sneaky, beckoning her to him. Glancing about—there was no one watching, not at the moment—she crossed to him, feeling very conspiratorial indeed. She nearly groaned longingly at his suggestion. A break. A rest. Faranth, she needed one. And seeing N'din was like a balm on her frustrated and weary heart.

"I—I think I can," she whispered back. "I should. Faranth." It was nearly lunch time, after all. Early to leave, early to return—she could do that. If anyone asked questions, she would have a solid argument.

"No emergencies. Just a lot of work, what with everyone coming in..." She cast a troubled glance over her shoulder. "But I'm not doing anything important. Just sweeping."

What if someone did ask questions? What if she got in trouble for leaving early, even if she made up the time later? What if the candidatemasters took that as the last straw and expelled her from candidacy for good?

Just as she had the last few months, Syrsha found, after a moment's thought, that she didn't really care. Fardle it. She was tired. Whatever happened would happen.

"Yeah. Okay. Let's go." Leaning her broom against the wall, she scurried around the corner and grinned up at her friend.
O'zen : Bronze Lenth
Lowen : Beryllium Lerriloth
Jerund : Brown Jerusk
Hama : Green Hamask
Eevai : Garnet Iopeth
Sh'ol : Graphite Hellioth
Kh'sev : Grey Saiyeth
Bervaidi : Blue Bervask
Syrsha : Brown Kalayth
Rosinthew : Candidate
Khola : Weyrfolk
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Tesla
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Fortunately, Syrsha was considerably better at sneaking around than he was. Ducking back into the dimly-lit hall, so that they'd both be out of sight of any infirmary staff who happened by, he answered her smile with a bright grin of his own. Ingalath, for her part, slid a curious look the Candidate's way, though for the time being she kept her nose buried in N'din's shirt collar.

"Hey, even Candidates have to eat," he agreed cheerfully. But though he'd whispered, the words echoed loudly in the small passageway, and his shoulders hunched in embarrassment.

Somehow, it hadn't really occurred to him that she might not be able to join him for lunch, and he was briefly anxious, watching her come to a decision. But she agreed, and he turned away from the infirmary immediately, shuffling down the hall. The sooner they escaped supervision, the better; Syrsha didn't seem thrilled with her task, and he couldn't blame her.

"One of the cooks put something together for us," he said, shrugging the shoulder from which the rucksack was hanging. "I think I saw sandwiches? Not sure what else is in there, if I'm honest. I thought maybe we could eat in the Hold - less of a racket that way?" The Weyr had been thrown into chaos following the eruption, and even the holders and wherhandlers seemed to be congregating in Vaioa's dining hall and weyrbowl - sharing news, looking for ways to make themselves useful, waiting anxiously for the 'other shoe' to drop. As though the first shoe hadn't been bad enough.

In any case, the Hold might be the only place they'd be able to find some peace and quiet. The passage they were in skirted around the water cavern and herdbeast pens, and let out conveniently on the side of the weyrbowl that bordered the Hold. Before long, he was leading Syrhsa down the well-worn path, confident in navigating the Weyr if not in most other areas of his life. He rocked Ingalath unconsciously as he went, a soothing habit he'd picked up following the Fort disaster. She was still so light - carrying her wasn't a burden at all. It was hard to imagine, sometimes, that she'd grow much bigger than this.

"Ingalath hasn't seen the Hold, yet," he added belatedly, turning to smile at Syrsha. The smile was smaller, now, but no less sincere, and his voice was still quiet. "It'd be nice to let her have a look around. I haven't been over this way since I became a Candidate, I don't think..."
Maybe they'd even spot a wher or two. That might be fun, to introduce Inga to one of her cousins. A nice distraction for her, maybe - Faranth knew she could use one.

But, remembering the rumors circulating about Candidates and suspensions, he quickly (and hesitantly) changed the subject to ask:
"How have you been?"

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Elmi & Garnet Basteth | Az'riel & Copper Liyanth
Singrid & Copper Wiliath | J'nai & Brown Elokith
Caylan & Grey Parath | El'jir & Blue Morrith
Savka & Blue Ripariath | N'din & Green Ingalath
J'phel & Black Davoth | I'vend & Graphite Rerioth
Sankal & Black Sansk | Avry & Blue Ask

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"The hold sounds fine," Syrsha replied, falling into step beside him. She had to stretch her legs a little to keep up with N'din's longer stride, but there was a spring to her step that wasn't there before. He led her through the warren of tunnels with a confidence she so rarely saw from him, and as they walked together, she frequently stole glances to examine her friend.

N'din was still new to weyrlinghood—he could still carry Ingalath with no apparent strain—but he looked well. Happy. His new occupation suited him—though perhaps he was still riding the euphoria that followed Impression. Young as Ingalath was, most of N'din's day probably revolved around her care, and what a joy that must be. Syrsha sighed wistfully.

Either way, she was pleased to see N'din in such high spirits. And simply pleased to see N'din.

"I haven't been to the hold much at all," Syrsha said. "It would be nice to explore a little." She hadn't the heart to tell him she would much rather sit and rest her aching feet, not with Ingalath looking so darling in his arms.

Then—the question. Nothing unusual, but one she dreaded anyway. The air she drew in felt heavy in her lungs, and she released it with a gusty sigh.

"Honestly? Terrible." Syrsha looked away from N'din, down at her feet. She crossed her arms and hunched her shoulders as they walked, a sort of convulsive shrug, as if the explanation for her answer were fighting its way out of her chest and doing its best to break every rib along the way.

She simply did not know how to say it, her shame and fury was so great.

With effort, she spat out the words. "I was suspended from candidacy. I did one thing wrong, and they suspended me for it." Her voice was harsh, fraught with ill-suppressed rancor. "It was the day of the eruption. I just wanted to check on my brother. I sent Harah to check on him, and Hellioth was shrieking, and he wasn't moving—"

Syrsha shook her head with a grimace. Her fingers dug into her arms. "Eveline wouldn't let any of us leave. I left anyway. So now I'm suspended, and I'm working all the fardling time"—Faranth, it felt good to cuss—"and if I do anything else wrong, that's it. I'm done!"

Syrsha stopped and wheeled to face N'din, flinging her arms to her sides in a moment of violent frustration. She was hardly aware her voice had been steadily rising in volume and pitch, and breaking like waves against rocks. "I don't even get to stand for the next hatching! Not unless I prove myself somehow!"
O'zen : Bronze Lenth
Lowen : Beryllium Lerriloth
Jerund : Brown Jerusk
Hama : Green Hamask
Eevai : Garnet Iopeth
Sh'ol : Graphite Hellioth
Kh'sev : Grey Saiyeth
Bervaidi : Blue Bervask
Syrsha : Brown Kalayth
Rosinthew : Candidate
Khola : Weyrfolk
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Tesla
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N'din was completely ignorant of the looks Syrsha frequently slid his way; Ingalath was not. With her nose tucked under the collar of his shirt, the green peered down at the girl from over the top of N'din's shoulder, though she did her best to be subtle about it.

She was much more curious now than she'd been on the night of the Feast, when N'din had first introduced them. Scant days after the disaster at Fort, the green wasn't feeling quite like her usual, chipper self, but she wanted to know everything about Syrsha. It wasn't enough to know that N'din was fond of her, anymore - Ingalath needed to form an opinion for herself. Therefore, as Syrsha watched N'din, Ingalath would watch Syrsha.

She was pleased with what she had observed so far, and was reluctant to intrude on their conversation, even when it took a turn for the worse.

"Terrible?" N'din echoed, puzzled and dismayed, and his long strides slowed. Could the rumors be true, then? His brows pinched in confusion, and his expression fell when he turned to look down at Syrsha. She looked... well, miserable might be an understatement.

Her explanation, when it came, shocked him into outraged silence, and brought him up short. Her obvious upset was enough to make him upset, all by itself, but this? This was... cruel of the Candidatemasters. It didn't make any sense.

It was difficult to find words, around the anger that was suddenly boiling in his chest. Ingalath pressed her nose more forcefully against his neck, and he ran a soothing hand between her shoulder blades, but his voice was tight with rage when he stuttered out:
"That's... They can't do that. It isn't right. Did they. Did they offer to send someone, to check on your brother? Or were they just going to let-"
He bit off the end of that sentence; it wouldn't have gone anywhere good. There had been quite a few riders who had betweened to their deaths that day. He had felt each life snuffed out, through his bond with Ingalath. Thank Faranth her brother hadn't been one of them - but all it would have taken was a second. Of course she'd gone to him, of course she wouldn't have listened to the sharding Candidatemasters...

"You haven't done anything wrong," he insisted, voice quiet but steely. "They can't. They have to let you Stand. You don't have anything to prove, that's not- It isn't right."
His hands twitched with the desire to reach out - place a hand on her shoulder, offer her a hug, something. But he had his arms full with Ingalath, and so it ended up being the green who turned and reached for Syrsha, stretching her neck out towards the Candidate with a dismayed warble.
Yours will find you whether they let you Stand or not, she said after a moment, hesitant though she was to bespeak someone who was not her rider. But this was important, and it would cost her nothing to share her easy certainty and optimism with Syrsha. She was the dragon among them, after all; she knew how these things worked. My sister left the Sands and cried until her rider came down and fetched her. No one could keep them apart, and they didn't try. That is how it would be, for you.

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Elmi & Garnet Basteth | Az'riel & Copper Liyanth
Singrid & Copper Wiliath | J'nai & Brown Elokith
Caylan & Grey Parath | El'jir & Blue Morrith
Savka & Blue Ripariath | N'din & Green Ingalath
J'phel & Black Davoth | I'vend & Graphite Rerioth
Sankal & Black Sansk | Avry & Blue Ask

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"Well, they did," Syrsha cried out, and the next moment she felt her eyes fill with tears. At once, she ducked her head, face burning with shame, and one hand rose to hide her eyes. She wouldn't cry in front of N'din, she wouldn't. But even though she couldn't see him, his indignant response shot right through her, and she felt her throat close and her face contort. "No. They—they didn't do anything," she managed, her voice thick. With a sniff, she rubbed at her eyes and dropped her hand, then cast a wretched look at N'din.

The look on his face was startling. She didn't think she'd ever seen her gentle friend look so angry. Or, well, angry at all.

That line of thought was interrupted the next moment, when Ingalath stretched out her little neck and warbled. And then her voice was in Syrsha's head. For a moment, surprise was enough to make her forget her misery. Just for a moment. Syrsha took in Ingalath's words, and when the green finished, Syrsha resumed the same posture she had before, arms crossed and hunched, fingers digging into her skin. She looked down.

"What if—what if I'm not right for a dragon, though? Kari said—the Candidate Master said that dragonriders need to put their duty above family. It's not just that I disobeyed orders—it's that I prioritized my brother over the weyr. But I can't—" Her face scrunched up again. "I can't make that kind of sacrifice! I won't." She turned on N'din as if he were the one accusing her, though it was simply anger and frustration with no place to go, and not directed at him. "If I had the chance to do it over, I would have done the same thing! I'll pick my family over the weyr every time. I'm not qualified to be a dragonrider. I don't—I don't—" Her voice broke; her shoulders sagged. "I don't deserve to be here."
O'zen : Bronze Lenth
Lowen : Beryllium Lerriloth
Jerund : Brown Jerusk
Hama : Green Hamask
Eevai : Garnet Iopeth
Sh'ol : Graphite Hellioth
Kh'sev : Grey Saiyeth
Bervaidi : Blue Bervask
Syrsha : Brown Kalayth
Rosinthew : Candidate
Khola : Weyrfolk
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