MOO Time: 2012-06-17 23:15:55
And on Pern …
The time is 21:15.
It is late night of the sixteenth day of autumn.
It is the twenty-fifth Turn of the Tenth Interval.
It is an autumn late night.

Klah Field
Large, bushy topped oak trees circle and shade four rows of growing klah. The klah trees are set in four long, straight lines of fully grown, six feet tall trees. However, small, potted seedlings (labeled to indicate experiments with soil) line the west edge of the field.
The warm, sandy soil looks properly watered, and the newly turned earth clings to the base of each tree.
The healthy green on deep-green leaves hang gracefully like the spread wings of flocking, young birds moving, jumping and soaring in even the slightest breeze.
The crisp smell of autumn floats on the air.
It is an autumn late night.

Left long enough to brush his shoulders, Rocco's soft, pale ash blonde hair is groomed to perfection - but that doesn't stop it from frequently falling in the way of his big, light blue eyes. The finely-chiselled features of his face leave him looking slightly angular, though the formerly refined slope of his narrow nose has been marred by a small bump that pays tribute to a break or two in the past. Along the curve of his narrow jaw, down to his slender chin, Rocco has a neatly-trimmed, fluffy blonde rendition of a beard; nothing more than a thin strip that's clearly tended on a daily basis. The plump curve of his lips, so often found pouted, is coloured a rosebud pink, the perfect complement to his clear complexion - which, of late, has been kissed by Rukbat to a light golden (and often sunburnt) shade, making the freckles on his cheeks stand out a little more. In terms of his figure, Rocco is slender, willowy, standing a very leggy 5'7. He may be a delicate slip of a man by appearances, but his fine-honed limbs and dainty mannerisms are deceptive of the musculature they truly home, cultured by his craft.
Dressed for Ista's warmth, Rocco wears a light, short-sleeved shirt made from white cotton, the first few buttons left loose while the bottom is tucked neatly into his knee-length, khaki-hued shorts. On his feet he wears a sturdy pair of well-worn - yet well cared-for - ankle boots, the brown leather slightly faded with age, white socks showing neatly folded at the top. His shoulder-length blonde hair is tied back with a thin black ribbon, held in a low ponytail at his nape, and the light hues of his outfit complements his sun-kissed (and more often than not sunburnt) skin. Rocco wears a woven bracelet around his wrist.
Rocco's knot is that of a Healer Student, posted to Ista Weyr.
He is a young adult of about 21. He is awake and looks alert.

Ellen is a child that lives under a mess of stringy dirty-blond hair, bound back in a stubby braid plagued by flyways. No part of her bothers for delicacy, she's tall for her age and heavy-built, long bones thick and solid in a build that holds up pretty mannishly. Her shoulders are sturdy, her wrists thick, her skin tone already beaten into a rusty tan that supports a few muddy sun spots on the bridge of her nose. In the middle of it all are a pair of lively half-moon eyes, faded to a gray-green and set under heavy eyelids - makes for a frequent squinted look. Her brows are invisible-blond, their presence known through furrowing.
There's a lot of flagrant disregard in Ellen's clothes; they're mostly meant for girls to wear, white peasant blouses laced up the front with occasional embroidery, halter tops in hotter months to expose some blunt, bony-hard shoulders and a frequent jingle of bracelets that get caught up around her forearms. Her choice in pants are utilitarian, the knees often blasted out and patches on the ass, solid boots trade out at times with sandals that don't stay on for long. The greatest consistent feature is a pervasive sense of sloppy grubbiness. If it's not soiled, stuck through with hay or hung off a shoulder, give her a minute. It will be. A blue firelizard is perched on her shoulder.
She is a child of about 7. She is awake and looks alert.

As the Turns have passed, time has chiseled away most of the softness from Lanti's body, leaving behind angles lean and stark, though not altogether harsh. She is a shade taller than average, but her skinny frame serves to make her look just a bit taller than she really is. Lanti sports the same red-gold hair of her mother, its waves just brushing her shoulders. From her father she has inherited eyes of a clear sky blue with darker flecks of navy, and her pale lips form a generous mouth. The rigors and demands of her profession have given Lanti a muted but harder edge, only strengthened by her intensity.
Dressed for some serious riding, Lanti's outfit is made of leather, and little else. At least, not that the casual observer could see. Her boots and wide riding belt are heavy black leather, against which the metal rings and clips shine like silver. Her trousers and jacket are also leather, dark brown and trimmed in glossy, thick cording of Istan orange. On the back of her jacket, the symbol of Ista Weyr has been embroidered in sleek black and orange thread. If headed Between or colder altitudes, Lanti usually wears a white scarf that peeks from behind the collar of the jacket, and her leather riding helmet with goggles. A blue firelizard is perched on her shoulder.
Orange and black twist and weave in an artful arrangement that shows Lanti's rank to be that of Ista Weyr's Weyrlingmaster, despite the gold thread that also winds its way throughout.
She is an adult of about 45. She is awake and looks alert.

Twilight casts a glow to the sheen of her body, transforming rich gold into platinum. Iridescence coats the delicate features of her face, blending a long, well-shaped nose with round, high cheekbones and an elegant jaw line. Gold specks in the shape of a teardrop rest between her eyes, surrounded by tiny filaments of blue that interlock to create a delicate lattice. The configuration of lines cascades down her neck, across her shoulders and over the backs of her wings, deepening the color without marring the brightness of her hide, the evening-washed gold showing through the mesh. Upon this shimmering backdrop, brighter flecks dot the expanse of her body, appearing at times as crisp pin points or casual traces of light that fade from sight at their ends. They mingle over the bottom side of her wings and chin, gliding across her wingspars and down her throat, erupting brilliant white-gold flares at her wingjoints and breast. Shadows of cobalt wrap around her hips and shoulder joints in a swath of darkness before lightening to gold on her willowy legs.
Dedanseth is 26 Turns, 2 months, and 12 days old.
She is 81 feet (27m) long, with a wingspan of 135 feet (45m).
Dedanseth seems to be listening.

A whisper of phantoms, his father's shadow through and through: the canine dwells in the midnight witching hour, his coat black, blacker, blackest. From whence he comes it is always known, enormous size constructed on powerful lines, sheer muscle well-balanced by tapering length and lithe shape. A true beauty, he is handsome, strong, both ears prone to flop in his general, curious investigations of the world around, but quick to prick straight upon the first signs or scent of alarm. Only at his end does his form pay homage to his dam and betray him for not-his-sire where his tail meets a premature end with its rounded stub.
He is 4 months and 21 days old.

A brisk autumn breeze rustles the leaves of the klah trees, the soft scent of their fragrant foliage carrying far beyond the boundaries of the field they're in. With Rukbat creeping ever closer to the horizon and the sky painted an ever-changing palette of golden-red to star-spangled black, the light beneath the canopy is quickly fading - but the lack of light isn't bothering one particular blonde, who is meandering through the trees, making a haphazard path back in the general direction of Grinstead Hold.

It's a sound before it's a shape, and it's a shadow before it's a sound. Oil-slick black and rushing through the underbrush, the scrape of hurried claws, a branch swinging back into place, leaf litter raining down in kicked-up rooster tails. And in the center of it all, a rounded forehead, two dark eyes and a bright pink tongue, all sounding off the panting engine of a bounding puppy. "Eeeeeeerie!" Pat-pat-pat-pat! Bare feet pound down the trail, Ellen cresting abruptly into sight. Seven turns old and gone astray again, it would seem, her stubby prawn-sized braid has graduated to a jumbo shrimp and her husky body is managing to get some torso length. More than necessary, perhaps. Her cute embroidered halter top encases a child's body built like a railroad tie. "'Scuse me, mister," the black puppy bounds past Rocco's left, Ellen banks for the right, both panting.

Lanti and Dedanseth are just two growing shadows as the sun heads toward the western horizon, though the dragon's hide still makes her conspicuous. The rider is standing in what is left of the sunlight, helmet hanging from the dragon's straps, her gloves clutched tightly in one hand as she stares at one of the local farm crafters. The older man points toward the Hold several times, makes placating gestures, then scoots off as his skinny, knobby knees will allow, soon disappearing into Grinstead Hold. Lanti turns, looking up at Dedanseth's raised head, then off toward Rocco, Ellen and the bounding puppy.

Rocco draws to a halt as there's an Ellen barreling towards him, hands coming up defensively in front of his chest as he pulls a scrunched up face that's all 'shit, don't hit me'. When the pair pass by collision-free he looks over his shoulder at the puppy-chase. His hands lower, splinted fingers resting against his thigh as he tucks one thumb into the pocket of his shorts. Once he's sure he's not about to get puppy/Ellen-ttacked, he continues his limping way towards the Hold, and towards Lanti. "Evening, weyrwoman," he calls out to her before he's quite made it all the way to her, lifting fingers to his temple in a jaunty salute.

The puppy, solid black and glossy with loose skin and a mastiff's variety of stocky muscles, does not get far past Rocco before Ellen manages a flying leap that instantly blows out her knees, locking her arms around the fleeing canine in full grim faced tackle. She lands purposefully with the puppy on /bottom/, and while it had started out with a heart-breaking guilt trip of a yelp, once she has him pinned on his back (where very clearly, it is a /he/) he begins to crazy-wriggle-wag and tries to slap at the underside of Ellen's chin with his tongue. Ellen, however, is looking up from her mini dominance battle at Rocco's hail. Weyrwoman? She mouths the word. "C'mon, Eerie," she hops up and trots along after Rocco, notching in right beside him as though they were here together, "What happened t'/you/, mister?" She asks as they stroll, the puppy orbiting them, and once they near Lanti she pantomimes a little casual curtsey - she has to just pantomime as there's only invisible skirt to pinch - and smiles, "Do ya, lady." A highly archaic greeting, and husky with little puppy teeth of her own.

Lanti unbuttons her riding jacket with a degree of relief, though her gloves continue to flap somewhat from one hand. She nods with some formality in return to Rocco's greeting, while the child's own version tugs half a smile out of her. "Thank you, both," the rider states, allowing the unexpected amusement to relax the ritualistic reply. Dedanseth eases herself down to a prone position, slender forelegs stretched out in front of her, careful to avoid squishing any living creatures, be they human or canine. Large eyes that nearly seem to glow reflect faceted shades of deep, royal blue. Lanti's study shifts from dragon to young man to much younger girl before she tucks her gloves into the hanging riding helmet. "Weyrlingmaster, actually."

"I fell off a runner, Ellen." Rocco looks down at the girl, brow furrowed slightly. "Out in Telgar. Damned thing spooked when it saw a.. well, I don't know /what/ she saw, but it was apparently scary as heck." The blonde shrugs one shoulder, a hint of a wince tweaking the unbruised side of his face. "/Weyrlingmaster/ Lanti?" That catches him by surprise, and he tilts his head at the goldrider curiously. "I'm not sure I've ever heard of a weyrwoman who's also a Weyringmaster. Congratulations on your new knot, though - I was looking at the clutch earlier. They're pretty against the black sand, aren't they?"

"Yikes," Ellen is pretty baldly checking out Rocco's damage, her invisi-blond eyebrows hiked way up. "You see my scab?" It's trading war wound stories, apparently, and she points her elbow at Rocco and then turns to show off to Lanti as well, all flippant and too-cool, "I din' fall /off/ a runner but I was playin' with one. Maybe yours was just a knucklehead like mine, I near got run down by 'im. D'you know my aunt?" This is to Lanti, "She's an assisant weyrlingmaster. Um. Her name's Sienna? She rides Kehemaths?" Yes, she says 'maths'. Like what she doesn't like to learn in Harper lessons. "Can I say hit t'your dragon?" She is scooping up the black puppy while asking this, her hair falling across her face wildly.

Lanti observes the exchange in stillness, only her eyes flicking toward Dedanseth's narrow head briefly before returning to Young and Younger. Finally, those eyes narrow as she takes in Rocco's apparent health, though at the same time she nods her thanks. "First time for everything. So far so good. And to be honest, aside from confirming the tally, I hadn't looked too closely yet. Though I suppose I should." This might be said with a small smile, though in the growing darkness it's likely harder to tell. It's easier to see the flash of vivid green that swirls through Dedanseth's nearest eye. Lanti has a more even smile for Ellen this time as she sticks her hands in her trouser pockets. "I do indeed know Sienna. And say whatever you like! Dedanseth's hide is plenty thick. Who's the puppy?"

Rocco wrinkles his nose at Ellen, peering at her scab. "It's… lovely," he comments, not /really/ looking at the wound. "She might've been a, er, knucklehead. I didn't even get any marks back from the guy I loaned her from, either, even though I turned up to him barely conscious." That's an exaggeration, emphasized by a roll of his big blue eyes as he shakes his head. "Broken fingers," Rocco shows off the two splinted on his right hand, "bruises /everywhere/, concussion, sprained something in my /thigh/, of all things… I could /barely/ sit in a saddle." When Ellen asks to speak to Dedanseth, the beautician-come-Healer's gaze flickers over to the gold's head. "She's looking well, Weyrlingmaster Lanti. I'm sure you'll do a pretty awesome job of it, right? There's always got to be a first for everything."

"You should report him t'the Herders," Ellen advises in all her worldliness, though she isn't joking; a hard moment of frown comes forward, "Momma'd snatch that man baldheaded, 'f he's lettin' his runners throw folk. My dad got thrown once. He said he /ate/ the runner for it. I think he was pullin' my leg. This is /Eerie/," she hoists up the canine higher (he keeps slipping down in his own loose skin, if one could judge by paws and head, this canine is destined to get monsterous when he's grown), "Y'know the Chadey? They had a canine die. Um. His name was Sinister? And Sinister was kinda my friend, and this is one of his babies. He made'm before he died. So I named Eerie, 'cause eerie is just a /little/ sinister, y'know?" She drops the puppy again, as it's easier than contending with the bicycling paws, and they trot forward to murmur to the gold dragon, "Gosh you're /big/… Hi. I'm Ellen! Um. I'm a Herderbrat, okay?"

"And sometimes a second," Lanti says in a quieter, musing tone. She stares hard at Rocco for a moment, then glances up at Dedanseth where the staring shifts, intensifies, then shifts again. Evening in the deepening dusk, the scrutiny is likely obvious. The stark study abates somewhat as Eerie is presented in all his puppy glory. Ever the soft (if awkward) spot for children (even the ugly ones), Lanti relaxes enough to give Ellen a brief nod that comes close to the shallowest of bows. Mostly just acknowledgement, but she might be off her game at the moment. "If there are more puppies…" The diversion is shaken off, however, with a toss of her head. There is business at hand. She focuses on Rocco while Dedanesth lifts her own head. The better to see you all, my dears. With some distraction in her tone, Lanti informs Ellen that "big" is a purely relative term. To Rocco the weyrlingmaster adds, "You're broken. But Des is insisting that I ask. Would you consider standing for for Jeyth's clutch?"

Snorting softly, Rocco shakes his head at Ellen. "It wasn't his fault the runner got scared. Wasn't the runner's fault either, she didn't know any better. It was /my/ fault for… not paying attention." Whatever he was going to say is censored, a softer alternative put into its place, given current company. "I wouldn't put it past your dad to eat a runner, either. But your puppy's cute.. he'll be bloody /huge/, if he's got Sinister's blood." Because even Rocco knew the Chadey canine! The scrutinising look from Lanti is met with curiosity, one blonde brow arched questioningly above the fading bruise of his black eye. When he's questioned, his expression shifts to pure surprise. "That's… unexpected." He looks from the weyrlingmaster to her dragon, then to Ellen, then back to Lanti again. "Y'know… /sure/. That… that'd be pretty awesome, actually."

Ellen is pondering all the manners in which 'big' could be defined, seeming intent on taking Lanti's wise words on board. Indeed, Rocco's contribution gets a murmur, "…guess so, yeah. If Eerie's big, an' then your, uh, gold's big, they're both /big/ but it's a different kinda big - woah, really?" She turns around, her pouchy face all screwed around an excited grin, "You're gettin' Searched, guy? S'/pretty/ cool. You want some luck?" She extends her fist. There's nothing /in/ her fist, she's just offering a knuckletap. "I'm a lucky, y'know. Y'don't bet against me." She taps the side of her nose while saying it.

"It's nothing personal," Lanti says as an afterthought toward Ellen. "Youth, while also relative, is far easier to define. And therefore has more definitive rules. With good reason." This might seem to amuse her for all of a moment, but there are distractions afoot, and she needs to chase them down before Rukbat is good and gone for the night. "You stood at 'Reaches, yes?" Lanti has memories of such, it seems. "So you know the rules? Ista may embrace the island life in some ways, but if I find any candidate breaking the rules, your ass is going to hurt for a Turn after my boot rearranges it. Got it? Still want to Stand?"

"I did stand back home, yeah. That's a turn or so back now, I think? Those rules are still pretty well stuck in here, though." Rocco taps his splinted fingers gently against his temple, nodding his head. "It'd be an honour to stand, Weyrlingmaster Lanti, and trust me, I've had my fill of a sore ass for the time being - it's just no /fun/." He grins, winking at the rider, before holding out his uninjured hand for Ellen's knuckletap. "I /always/ need a bit of luck, kid. A little bit of luck can go a long, long way…" That grin gets bigger as he looks back to Lanti. "No booze, no sex? Not gonna be a problem… I promise."

"Sure, lady," Ellen, being seven, has the odds against her that she entirely understands what Lanti said, but she has a genuine smile for it all the same, tossing her bread behind her while giving Rocco a rather gentle fistbump. You'd think she knew how to behave around injured men. "Say, listen. I gotta scoot. I gotta get back before aunt Sienna finds I'm gone or I'ma get my ass in a sling, sure bet. I'll see ya, okay?" She turns and over-enthuses a double-handed salute to Lanti, which means she looks like she's directing air traffic, "Catch ya later, lady. And dragon… lady. Ladygolddragon. I forgot your name!" She says this last part while RUNNING AWAY. And laughing while doing it. Eerie accidentally runs after his tail for a full rotation before managing to figure out how to follow. He's got fast legs, he'll catch up.

Lanti takes a slow, deep breath, eyes usually blue now nearly black in the twilight. "If those are the only rules you gleaned…" There is a low, rolling sound from Dedanseth that interrupts the rider just as Ellen and Eerie beat their retreat. The dragon's sound is quite a growl, but not a hum either. It is insistent, and Lanti gives in with a hand held against against the gold's hide. "We'll talk about it on the way." The details will be left to the imagination.

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