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M'an vs Dagmar

Round one - fight!

 
6/14/2008

Autumn's onset hasn't diminished the heat, or the dryness, so it's no surprise to find M'an in the coolest corner of the caverns with a tall glass of tea in which a hunk of ice floats. Parts of his posse lounge with him, a loose cadre of older riders whose devotion to the Weyr is just above their devotion to the ex-Weyrleader. Once upon a time these were the kings of the Weyr; now they're a bunch of aging riders who tend to gripe and moan about 'back in the day.' A
Autumn's onset hasn't diminished the heat, or the dryness, so it's no surprise to find M'an in the coolest corner of the caverns with a tall glass of tea in which a hunk of ice floats. Parts of his posse lounge with him, a loose cadre of older riders whose devotion to the Weyr is just above their devotion to the ex-Weyrleader. Once upon a time these were the kings of the Weyr; now they're a bunch of aging riders who tend to gripe and moan about 'back in the day.' As'tor, brown Gheddeth's lifemate, currently engages in a lively bout of such venting with bronzerider L'hone. The M'an himself remains absently silent, brooding into the depths of his drink.
 
"Shaffit, it's hot." Dagmar, looking wilted, traipses in from the bowl entrance, her flight jacket already half-peeled to reveal a cream-colored shift beneath. Parts of the shirt have turned translucent with sweat, but that doesn't seem to be stopping her from stripping down to as close as her skivvies as possible. A few folks turn to give her a bored look as she states the obvious. Her eyes coast the room casually as she aims for the beverages, stuttering over M'an's group but moving past just as quickly as she notes a lack of blue knots. No K'stral.
 
The group of golden oldies enjoys a momentary lull in conversation at the greenrider's entrance. L'hone's nod is civil enough, but As'tor - one of E'verin's mentors back in the day - gives a deliberate cold shoulder to the woman who broke his friend's heart. A new voice breaks the silence, R'esk leaning in from his position to the rear of the group to murmur something that raises brows all around and sends a few searching glances towards the greenrider. M'an? Quiet still, though his eyes travel over Dagmar briefly before he turns his attention ostensibly back towards his tea.
 
>> Cairth's woodsmoke hangs low in the still air, even its pine-pitch notes failing to perk the atmosphere. Not invasive, but obvious. It has a way of creeping in the cracks. <<

There's clattering and tinkling over by the cold drinks while Dagmar fixes herself a juice cocktail. Her shoulders twitch a bit, like a runner besieged by flies, her back to the group. When she turns around, there's a long moment spent contemplating the Zephyr table before she crosses the cavern with very deliberate steps towards the gaggle of old men. Her eyes lock with As'tor's as she moves and the possibility of a smile lurks in her features. "Mind if I join you, gentlemen?"

>>  Micafeth strikes back with immediate redwort astringency, her typical henhouse banter banished in the face of clinical silence. <<

As'tor averts his eyes, grunting. It's L'hone left to translate in his scratchy baritone: "Have a seat, Dragonhealer." R'esk's the one who stands to grab a chair for her, surely Vibrith's courtly influence on his rather retiring rider.
M'an lifts his head to take a swallow of the icy tea. Drawing a hand across the back of his mouth, he clears his throat. "What news from sweeps, Dagmar?"

"Why thank you, R'esk." Dagmar smiles sweetly at the brownrider, slithering into the seat with an overly delighted stretch. "Mic doesn't want me to tell you that Vibrith's hide is looking especially velvety lately." Her lashes lower as she sips from her frothy glass of chilled juice, and from beneath them she sweeps the group with a surreptitious glance. Her eyes end up pinned on M'an. More specifically, on M'an's knot, and they linger there as she answers. "Dry. Dry as a bone left in the Igen deserts for a decade. h won't be much harvest this year, if the fields we flew over were any indication." The side of her mouth slides into a half-smile that's not terribly kind.

There's a snort from someone at the back of the group after the greenrider's commentary on Vibrith's hide, but it gets overridden as As'tor leans in and snidely fires off his own comment. "Funny, K'stral was telling me the same thing about Micafeth's hide just yesterday." The resentful brownrider watches Dagmar's face closely, eager to see her reaction to the jibe.

>>  Cairth presents a polite face, genteel tisane steam and relaxation. << He would see the things you have seen today, on your sweeps. Show us them. >> His mild voice cannot wholly dispel the undertaste of M'an's distrust of the greenrider's opinion. <<

Dagmar doesn't disappoint when the other rider pokes her most sensitive spot, hissing a viperish retort. "K'stral doesn't know a damn thing about my dragon." It's a lie, a big fat ugly lie and they all know it - why else has Sparrohath won more of the green's flights than any dragon since E'verin's Forveth?

The inaccuracy of her statement elicits a round of ill-muffled laughter, and for a moment it seems as if there's going to be a row. Then M'an straightens, taking advantage of his longer torso to loom even whilst sitting, and lifts his hand for silence. His attention's on Dagmar as well, for sure, but he couldn't care less about her personal life. "Did you see or speak to any Holder?" Still pleasant, but hardly just conversation. His voice has a sharp edge to it.

>> Micafeth resists, not just for the sake of resisting, either. Dagmar resents all of these intrusions into her life and it shows through in the lack of answer. All he gets is a sporadic beep. <<

"Yes." Short, but earnest; Dagmar recognizes a saving moment and grasps at it. "I saw a few in fields south of the SeaHold. We waved." There's a pause wherein she glances from M'an to the others and then back to her juice. "They didn't wave back. And I know they saw us."

>>  Smoke creeps close again, rolls in like a fog and becomes implacable and inescapable. << Show us. >> This hand, seldom played, also seldom proves ineffective. Rank works with dragons in a way humans will never truly fathom. <<

>> Micafeth resists still, at first, walling out the smoke as best she can, but it sneaks in cracks and slivers and soon comes pouring in, flushing the truth out. Images spill forth, a surprisingly well-organized pan of the Fort Sweep Area to the east. Only the forests show green, and even that's searing; the fields bear the burnt tan of drought, not the harvest's wheaten gold. The faces on the Holders, magnified by a dragon's far-reaching gaze, are drawn, dirty, and not at all welcoming. <<

"Ah." M'an does not sound surprised by this revelation, nor unduly perturbed. The circle of faces around him reflect varying degrees of concern, several of the younger (and that's a relative term) men still engaged in staring at the greenrider; most of the very experienced riders (and that's a euphemistic term!) keep their attention on their de facto leader.

Dagmar blanches, fingers white-knuckling their grip on her glass. She draws back from M'an, her firm jaw clenched and chestnut eyes sparking like mad. "You bastard." The words fly, with spittle, in a forced hiss, even as she squeezes her eyes tightly shut and shakes her head. "Bastard!" again, and she shoves her chair away from the group to spring to her feet. After shooting the bronzerider a venemous glare, she whirls and stalks away towards the lower caverns.

The woman's abrupt and incongruous departure raises another rumble of concern and bewilderment among the group, although it's not all that much of a ruckus. Proddy greenrider, and all. They are, however, quite curious as to what the laconic M'an did to raise her ire so thoroughly and swiftly. The bronzerider does nothing to assuage their curiosity, however, merely returning from whatever faraway place had his attention to nod sagely to himself. "Our young weyrleaders will have their hands full this tithing season," he intones quietly, taking another sip of tea. "We shall have to do our utmost to aid them."

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