Title: Awakened too early (open)
shadowreine - September 28, 2011 01:59 AM (GMT)
If Kevora bonded a wher, she would have to be used to being a night owl. Which made it fortunate that most of the time she was one.
She had, though, snapped awake in the middle of the night and was now up, yawning, for the first shift breakfast, the one where only those riders who planned dawn sweeps were around. Plus, a couple of wherhandlers, for whom this was evening meal.
The overlap, though, was not heavy. There were not many nocturnal people at the Weyr at the moment, although with a wher clutch...for which Kevora would stand...in the offing, that might increase.
Maybe she should just switch to the nocturnal schedule now. She grabbed, though, breakfast food...rolls and the like, filling her plate and taking it off to one side. She was annoyed with her body and it's insistence on waking up this early.
Very annoyed, in fact, but what could she do? "Grah. Sometimes, I wish I could just..."
Just what? She wasn't sure. At least she was not one of those who had to turn out into the pre-dawn chill.
Dragonfire - October 13, 2011 05:50 AM (GMT)
"Just what, my dear?" The near echo of Kevora's thoughts were realised in a rich baritone, pleasantly carrying over the murmurs and clangs of the early kitchen staff. The speaker, an older-looking man, was seated at one of the small, nearby tables, with neatly stacked cutlery on an empty plate in front of him. Beside him, a bronze firelizard perched upon the table itself, neatly tossing back the contents of a bowl of cubed meat.
Torinar was - had always been - an early riser, up hours before Rukbat breached the horizon. No point in lounging around in bed all day, none at all - there were always chores to take care of, schedules to set, a day's work to start, and all of that had to be taken care of before he could start haranguing the apprentices. Oh, he let them sleep in, just a little bit. Young minds needed the extra sleep. Still, woe betide the apprentice who wasn't up and ready to work two hours after dawn.
For now, though, he had little scheduled. He could afford a little time to digest his breakfast, and wait for Adamant (the lazy thing) to finish his. He steepled his fingers together, eyeing the young woman from under his heavy brows with a mild expression. "Forgive my intrusion, but I couldn't help but overhear... Is something, perchance, the matter?"
shadowreine - October 14, 2011 02:16 AM (GMT)
"Tell my body when to sleep and have it actually obey. Know what I mean?" the young woman grumbled. "But then, I need to think about switching schedules."
If she was going to be a wherhandler, as she planned and hoped, then she needed to train herself to be nocturnal. And it seemed her body was quite happy with that idea.
She finally turned to face the man who had spoken. Nice firelizard, she thought. A bronze. "So...nothing the matter except insomnia and arguments with myself over sleep schedules."
Her eyes sought his knot, although not everyone at Peregrine wore one. Most of the offworlders...well, some had integrated. Some even had dragons...in fact there had been a minor stir at the last Hatching when one of them had Impressed a blue from the Stands. She wondered how he felt about it. It would be odd to Impress a dragon with no warning or preparation and not everyone wanted one. She resolved to avoid the next Hatching if she didn't manage to bond a wher.
She didn't want that to happen to *her*.
Dragonfire - October 16, 2011 06:40 AM (GMT)
"Hmmm." The man considered Kevora and her words for a long couple of moments, before shrugging smoothly and tapping his index fingers together, hands still steepled. "Perhaps if you'd listen to your body, it would be more apt to do as you'd like it to. If you awake before you wish, or cannot sleep, there must be some reason for it. We're well-built machines, just as any good engine or pump. If something is not as it should be, if it is broken, there must be a cause." His lips thinned in a small smile. "But of course, I'm sure you know that." His tone, while kind enough, had an edge that almost suggested that if she didn't know, she was perhaps something of a dimglow.
His knots, looped and tied around his shoulder in a craftmaster's knot with precision, were coloured in the red and white of the Smithcraft. Between that and his talk of machines, chances were pretty fair that he was of the Technicians' hall. And if she managed to guess that, even stodgy old Torinar could hardly begrudge her some brains, at least.
His eyes flicked to his firelizard for a moment, and the little beast stared back at him, almost sneeringly, as he cupped his wings forward over his bowl of meat. Tor had no wanting to get into an argument with Adamant this early in the morning - he'd let it go, for now. "Oh, please. It is not as if I starve you," he spoke, chastising him. ...Let it go after that. He nodded at Kevora again, raising a single eyebrow in query. "Switching schedules, you say. Are you going into a craft requiring odd hours, then?" There were few reasons other than that, after all, that might require a change in the normal Pernese schedule.
Unless she was one of the offworlders - who knew what unnatural habits they had. But she didn't dress like most of them, at least. There was little point in assuming either way, from only that fact.
shadowreine - October 16, 2011 11:05 PM (GMT)
"I'm standing for the wher clutch," Kevora said, quite simply.
And maybe...if there was a reason for it, then that reason might be nerves about the matter. Truthfully, although the hierarchy was not quite what it was with dragons, the color of the wher she bonded would still determine a fair bit about her life. And *that* was up to the wher queen.
Unlike dragons, wher queens matched their offspring...she would be handed an egg and that would be it, that would be what she would get. Of course, she might get nothing, but even if she did...just like with dragons, fifty percent of whers were green.
Anything above that would be an extra bonus, as far as she was concerned. Bonding at all was what she worried about. Bonding a 'higher' color would be icing on a cake she was not sure she was going to be able to partake of.
The technician...such he had to be, surely...must know a *little* bit about whers. Unless he was one of those who thought that they were little more than dumb beasts and anyone who wanted to be a wherhandler was crazy.
Dragonfire - October 18, 2011 03:44 AM (GMT)
Torinar chuckled, a deep rumbling in his chest, and for once it wasn't even tinged with mocking. Just a little touch of rare joviality, perhaps.
It was certainly a good reason to change one's schedule - probably one of the few traditional jobs, aside from runner, night-watch, or drummer that needed a nocturnal mindset. Tor's parents had both been beastcrafters, years and years ago. Although neither had been wherhandlers themselves, he'd still gotten to know the beasts that guarded the herds of beasts that they protected, by virtue of proximity.
"I see. Hm." He let the vocalisation hang in the air for a minute, casting a thoughtful eye on Adamant as the flit continued to hoard his food, nipping down the last chunks before anyone could take it away from him - nevermind that no one would do such a thing. Greedy beast.
He nodded at Kevora, finally, turning his attention back to her. "I've been considering joining your ranks, myself." He'd been mulling it over, since he'd heard that there were soon to be double-clutches hatching around this sharding place. He was not at all interested in the 'hybrids' that he'd overheard some of the snakes speaking of - and could not, in fact, even think of why such a creature might be necessary. The wild wher populations had not been that much of a nuisance to justify a creature bred for killing them.
But whers, on the other hand, were a noble sort of creature. And, besides... "One of our handlers at Landing lost his beast a few months ago," he continued, tapping a fingernail against the table, rhythmically. "An injury sustained from a hunting pair of felines, as I understand. Very sad, of course." His voice affected a sorrowful lowering of pitch for a moment, but the emotion wasn't reflected in the rest of his posture.
shadowreine - October 19, 2011 02:41 AM (GMT)
Wherhandlers had a better chance of surviving the loss of their partner with their sanity intact than dragonriders.
Despite that, Kevora flinched slightly at the unfortunate news. "Sometimes, I think we need a better plan for dealing with the wild felines." They were worse than a nuisance.
Smart, too. And ugly, as far as Kevora was concerned, but then, she thought whers to be kind of attractive. In their own way and as long as you didn't compare them to dragons.
"You could inquire about it. I don't know how many eggs there actually are...the queen is being quite jealous of them." She might be worried that some of her prospective children might be, for want of good candidates here, transferred elsewhere still in the shell. Or she might just be of that personality, protective of her eggs and her territory.
"I still don't know if I will actually bond, but I do know I will at least be given the chance and once somebody has been tapped for one clutch...there will be others." Yes, she was a little nervous about it, but she was doing her level best not to show it.
Dragonfire - October 19, 2011 05:43 AM (GMT)
One good thing about the bond not being quite so strong, eh? Of course, it wouldn't be great. You could hardly have a psychic link severed without some repercussions. But suicide? No. The poor lad who'd lost his wher would recover, and live. Perhaps, one day, would even bond with a second wher. But in the meantime, the College was down a handler, and Torinar did not trust the safety of their repositories and workspaces with these pernicious non-Pernese around.
Of course, now they had a wher-killer on the loose, and more to come. But one more wher who could guard the halls of Landing was at least something.
And perhaps he was a bit old, to be taking up such a commitment - but, much as he hated to admit it, he did not need to be teaching classes so much any more. There were other talented engineers being turned out - not that he would ever let anyone know he thought that - and some of the journeymen he'd taught years ago would be attaining their masterhoods sooner rather than later... Teaching would be the natural progression for at least a couple of them. And they probably wouldn't be awful at the job, really.
So he was replaceable in that. Taking care of a wher would not take up all of his time, so he would still have his usual work of drawing up plans and innovating and tinkering. And it meant they'd not have to hire on some outsider to take the empty position; he would be there anyway. Really, it would work out all 'round.
Of course, he wasn't about to share this all with this girl.
He waved a hand, unconcernedly. "It was just a bad stroke of luck, I'm afraid. They do not often prowl 'round the areas of Landing, nor Southern Hold. Too many people, typically, for their tastes. But, if they are unsuccessful in their usual hunts, they go for what prey they can find, even if it might be as unpalatable as a human... or wher." It was the nature of the things.
He nodded. "Mmph. I may just do that. There is no harm in the asking, after all." And even if he were declined, there would be others, eventually. "I had thought," he continued, "That the eggs were merely distributed once they were close to hatching? I had not heard that there was much of a selection process besides making one's interest known." It was, after all, many years since he'd been around the creatures in more than passing. He'd never thought to pay attention, or ask, as a child.
shadowreine - October 20, 2011 04:17 AM (GMT)
"Oh, I made my interest known soon after arriving at the Weyr, which was about the time the queen ran, but it wasn't confirmed that I'd be allowed to Stand...now I just have to worry about whether she'll trust me with an egg."
And what would be in it, other than a strong partner. She trusted in that much. You didn't really encounter *weak* whers...even from lines with little wild blood.
She wasn't sure what bloodlines went to this clutch, but she knew there were healthy eggs and a queen watching over them.
The gold would decide as she would.
"And I know about bad strokes of luck. We all get them...although seldom quite *that* bad."
Felines in the hold was about as bad as it got...and she rather hoped they had been killed. If felines found out they could get away with preying on humans or whers, they would continue to do so until somebody took them out. They got the taste for it, and then they were too dangerous.
Some people argued that they were too dangerous anyway, that felines should be eliminated wherever possible. Kevora knew that that was a dream, and probably one which should not be pursued.
Dragonfire - October 22, 2011 02:01 AM (GMT)
"Hrrm." Torinar took on a thoughtful frown, brows drawing together to make him look even more thunder-faced than usual. "I do suppose I'll have to find one of these wherhandlers, then, and make an inquiry." Best to speak up before all of the eggs were spoken for, after all - and if there was time to be passing before one's candidacy was approved, well, he'd best get on that right away.
He nodded at her last statement, while rising from the table with a brisk motion. Adamant had finally finished gorging himself, and swept himself up with a lazy flap of his wings to perch on the man's shoulder. "A tragedy, indeed. But I am afraid I must be off, miss. Breakfast has sat long enough; it is time to get down to my day's work." He pushed the chair back in to the table, nodded at her, and paused only a moment longer. "And my thanks for the information. I wish you luck with the whers."
With that, he strode off in his quick, firm step. Time to get work started, indeed... and find himself a wherhandler.