... now they must watch their abundance of luxuries fall away, making room for the tools of survival, and witness this time of relative peace wither into the same fears that harper's ballads had warned them about for generations.
 
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 A Golden Opportunity

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Vivid

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PostSubject: A Golden Opportunity    Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:19 pm



Is it not just the most beautiful day, I'ver? The sun is shinning, the sky is as blue as a gemstone and the lake looks so inviting. Oh, can we go down and bask in the sunlight with our fellows? Can we? Oh do say we can!

I'ver smiled, a good and lazy smile, at his blue dragon that, though a large adult blue, seemed to shiver nose to tail with excitement at the mere thought of water and the social hour. He slammed the blue firmly on his muscular leg and the blue moved down toward the water, leaving his gold haired rider in his wake. It was a good day indeed, I'ver reckoned. The had gone out early on Search and had come back with some promising lads. The eager way the boys pelted up to Kiloreth, staring up in amazement at his size or his friendly purring. Pleasure crossed the face of most, envy the face of some and all who were deemed fitted want to go. I'ver was happy to take them and it always pleased him when a young man or the rare young woman would shake his hand and thank him for the service.

'As long as you Impress' he would silently think as he shook the teenager's hand. 'You'll be doing me and Kiloreth a service in turn.'

Kiloreth hit the water with all manner of pleasure, splashing in the shallows as happy as the day he was hatched. I'ver watched him, a smug look on his face. Naturally, he had the best looking blue in all of Fort Weyr, in all of Pern really. Everyone knew the best dragons came from Fort Weyr and Kiloreth was from the same clutch as their senior queen. That clutch had fine beasts in it and I'ver relished the memory of his Impression day.

A sparkle caught the corner of his eye and he turned a green gaze up toward the ledge of the senior queen. Kiloreth, as if sensing his rider's attention had shifted, lifted his dripping, blueberry head to issue a bugle that rang off the fire heights.

Galadrieth, you are looking radiant this morning!

If only blues could fly queens. You would be the most popular Weyrleader's dragon of them all. We could charm the Holders right out of their shirts if we wished. I'ver said with a smug chuckle.

'I wonder where our fine and beautiful senior Weyrwoman is this fine morning?' he thought and his blood quickened. Thoughts of Karene always did that to him, ever since he had been a boy.


Last edited by Vivid on Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: A Golden Opportunity    Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:42 pm


Karene was copying information on tithes into a Record while Galadrieth sunned on her ledge. Her dragon made a point of being visible to the other dragons as much as possible. There was nothing the Gold enjoyed more than being admired. Karene would tell them not to encourage her but it would take a lot of the fun out of the Queen’s day. Besides the male dragons were happy to admire Galadrieth, why should she ruin all the happiness flying around. Now that Galadrieth had to share attention with Jeneveth, the Queen had become much more aware of her suitors.

Where the Gold seemed perfectly happy with the Bronze dragons of the Weyr, Karene always found fault with their riders. Either they were too ambitious, too cocky, completely without drive, or incapable of leadership, etc etc. There really was no way for any man who wanted to be Weyrleader to get on her good side. She liked being in control of the Weyr. She wanted to be the one making the important decisions and not just where it concerned their domestic chores. She was going to be famous across Pern for reinstating Igen Weyr and in doing so, saving thousands of lives.

Even Weyrwomen could get ahead of themselves as she had just proven to herself today. These Records should have been done two months ago. Sighing, she thought she might need to delegate some of this to Belisse, if the young woman felt ready. Karene was not convinced that was the case and since Jeneveth had yet to rise, she wondered if it had something to do with Belisse’s own inhibitions. She was a hold-bred girl and perhaps the idea of flight made her nervous. She needed to make a note to speak with the girl in private soon.

At the blue’s compliment Galadrieth began to preen on her ledge, catching her rider’s attention. What is going on dearest? Kiloreth. Ah. Karene had known I’ver since Impression day because they Impressed in the same clutch. As such, Galadrieth enjoyed the company of the blue. And the blue did do his best to flirt with the Queen. Karene really did not mind. Blues were much more tolerable than Bronzes and often times had riders who were more easy going.

I’ver however was an ambitious bluerider which had always made her more cautious in her actions around him. Still there had been a matter she wanted to discuss with him. Maybe it would be beneficial if she took a break and went down there. Galadrieth seemed quite excited to go Karene thought as she rubbed her eyes. Yes, a break from all the paperwork would be good, she would have time for all of it later after she gave her eyes a rest and her brain time to refresh.

Kiloreth, may we join you and your I’ver? Karene sometimes rode the Queen short distances without straps. The dragon was so large there was very little risk of the woman falling off of her. Galadrieth stretched out her foreleg for Karene to climb up. It only took a couple of minutes before the Queen and her rider were on their way to the lake.


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PostSubject: Re: A Golden Opportunity    Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:03 am




Kiloreth shivered in delight, from nose to tail tip, and his sing song whistle could be heard across the fire heights. I've couldn't help but smile in spite of himself. There wasn't a thing in the world that got Kiloreth down and it was good to see that he was still in the senior queen's good graces.

We would be honored, Galadrieth. Kiloreth said, coming out of the water and the droplets made his blueberry colored hide twinkle, wet and luscious. He looked like warm pie filling to I'ver, who looked up when a flash of gold caught his eye.

Ah, wonderful. They are coming down to socialize?he asked Kiloreth. The blue swung his gaze on his rider, his faceted eyes whirling bright greens and blues.

More specifically, they wish to speak with us! and Kiloreth's voice was saturated with flattered pride.

You don't say. I'ver drawled, his green eyes following queen and rider. He began to walk slowly, watching the gold as he did so.

'Now what could she want to talk to me about? Or maybe, a social call?' he thought and he rubbed the stubble of his chin. The thought of Karene made his blood warm and he raised his arm in greeting and then flourish a half bow at the waist. I'ver knew his manners around a senior queen, classmate or not.

Good day, amazing Galadrieth. and Kiloreth dipped his head respectfully. He was so proud to be from the same clutch as the mighty senior of Fort Weyr.


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PostSubject: Re: A Golden Opportunity    Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:30 am


The Gold moved smoothly through the air as the pair headed for the Lake. Despite or perhaps in spite of the season, the sun’s warmth radiated down on them. Karene felt no chill. Golds were rather remarkable in that they seemed too big to pull off the whole flexible flight and landing thing. Galadrieth was not the largest Queen on Pern but rather average and still Karene did wonder at her abilities. When the Queen landed far enough away so as not to cover the others in a cloud of sand, Karene dismounted with a practiced precision.

It is a very good day, Kiloreth. Were you swimming? The Queen noted his hide was wet. Her tone did not suggest that this was something unpleasant. Instead she was thinking that maybe she would like a swim herself.

Meanwhile, Karene approached the bowing Bluerider. “Enjoying the nice weather, I’ver?” She was actually surprised he was enjoying the weather alone. Perfect opportunity really for her to ask him about some things that concerned his current rank. Not that she was going to tell the man how to do his job, he didn’t need anyone butting in there. Instead she had more of a proposition for him concerning his job.

“I’m afraid this is not entirely a social call.” With Karene that was more often than not the case. She was constantly plotting and planning for the future. Even now, she had not bothered to change into more leisurely clothes, still in her riding leathers and boots. Her red hair was held back in a long French braid. Karene sat down on the sandy shore of the lake.

“You and Kiloreth are by far the best Searching Pair we have at Fort Weyr.” She said, although it wasn’t flattery to her, it was pure honesty. She always wanted to have the best of the best on her side. Especially where it concerned Igen Weyr and his job was going to have more to do with establishing Igen Weyr than perhaps he even realized. Although I’ver was very quick witted, she wasn’t sure if he knew that she was starting to get the Holder’s feathers ruffled with talk of increased Searches.

“When either, Jeneveth or Galadrieth next flies, we need to double the Searches. Anyone who has a desire to come to the Weyr and is not necessarily suited for a dragon should be brought here.” She paused, “We don’t need them all to Impress. We need to train support staff here to get Igen Weyr up and running. If we start Searching extra people now, we should be ready to send support staff over in a couple of Turns or even more quickly.” She brought her knees up to her chest and hugged them.

“I’ver, since you are the best, I’m putting you in charge of training new potential Searchriders. I’m going to be giving you orders directly about Searches and you get to relay them to the others. This is a position that could lead you to a position such as Wing Third or Weyrlingmaster.” It was a way to test his abilities as a leader without putting him in charge of a whole wing of men and women or in charge of the young ones on the whole.

It would be a lie to say she was not devastated by the most recent Weyrling Accident. She was only glad Jeneveth had not been responsible for the deaths. The young Gold’s group had all survived. They had not had such loss of Weyrlings in Turns. It might be that the current Weyrlingmaster needed help.


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PostSubject: Re: A Golden Opportunity    Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:55 pm



"Yes, Senior, I am though a great deal more now." I'ver said with a respectful nod of his head and no small amoung of appreciation in his glance over. He pivoted slightly to honor Galadrieth with a half bow at the waist. He listened to her carefully, weighing his words. Karene was an intelligent woman, her mind seemed to constantly be at work. Attentive and acute, not unlike himself really. He felt a flush of pleasure at her words and straightened himself.

"It will be my pleasure to take on the task. I know the territory intimately and I will make sure that you have the finest Search Riders in all the territory, my Weyrwoman.." I've smiled but his eyes were serious. He would stake his personal honor on that promise.

'She said Wingthird or Weyrling Master.' he thought and I'vers chest flooded with warm. He could taste victory on the tip of his tongue and his eyes gleamed with an equal mix of ambition, pride and no small amount of lust.

"I won't let you down, Karene." he said, reaching out for her hand. His voice melted slightly into a purr as it slide over her name and he gave her a charming smile.

I was, most glorious Galadrieth. The water is very fine. It it pleases you, would you honor me with a swim. I would be most flattered. Kiloreth said, ducking his head and his eyes whirled bright lime and kiwi shades of green. The water felt good over his back and he purred low in the back of his throat.
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PostSubject: Re: A Golden Opportunity    Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:39 am



The Gold moved forward, letting her clawed feet touch the water, A swim would be very nice.The Queen admitted before wading into the water more. It was a little cool in comparison to the warm air but it was not an unpleasant feeling. She was quite happy to get in and swim around with another dragon.

Karene was well past her flushing face, innocence turns. It was almost sad that she was so used to flattery that she almost didn’t even notice. Finally someone could see the importance of the opportunities she was giving them. Karene looked out for certain people, made sure they got the positions she needed them to have to be supportive. There were reasons behind offers like the one she made for I’ver. Of course if he were not as talented as he was, he wouldn’t be offered this and he saw the compliment in it that other people seemed to miss. He had earned it as much as she had given him the chance to move forward.

“I’m glad we are on the same page.” She paused, mulling over the last thing she wanted to mention before talking, “The Weyrlings were given more time to mature this time around and I think there might be a green or even the blue might be okay for Searching. I’ll get you their names. I’d like you to test their abilities and see if you can begin private training if any of them have the personality and drive we require of our Search riders.”

Karene smiled, “I have complete faith in your abilities I’ver. Your track record says it all, you have never let me down before, and you won’t in the future.” Hopefully that would never change. She needed riders she could at least semi-trust around her. Unlike Bronzeriders, she found brown and blue riders much less likely to use her for their own purposes. Although certainly, it paid off to have friends in high places.

“Have you had any difficulties with the Holder’s lately at all?” The political climate was freezing at the moment, one wrong move and she might create a situation where the Weyrs were having to deal with more than just tithing distribution.


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PostSubject: Re: A Golden Opportunity    Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:16 pm



Kiloreth made sure he moved to give her all the space that was her due and his rich, blueberry hide glistened as he moved through the water. His eyes whirled back and forth between the spectrum of green and blue. When he was sure his position would not interfere with Galadrieth's swim, he raised his head to look at her.

I have always enjoyed the cool sensation of the water after a long soak in the sun. My hide is such a dark shade of blue, it seems to drink up the sun. The lake provides as welcome relief. How do you fare, Senior? Is all well in your domain?

"I'll scrutinize them well." I'ver said, then pressed on. "It is important that Searchriders be ambitious riders and attentive. I've kept my own tabs on the Weyrlings soon to graduate and I'm confident there is a Searchrider or two in that group."

He paused to consider her next question and rubbed his chin.

"The Holders have been resistant but with some I have been able to press not only the need for new blood for Hatchlings and their duty to the Weyr but the prestige that comes with having a dragon. I must admit, my name has gotten around as the rider who Searched Belisse, who did go on to Impress a gold. I do not blatantly promise anything but I do assure them there is much glory in a child Impressing a dragon, especially if that dragon happens to be a metallic. Many a father has been turned cooperative by that line of thinking. Sometimes it pays to play to a man's pride like that. The fact of the matter is, any Impression will bring honor to a family."

I'ver watched her with bright, gem green eyes and the intensity in his gaze increased. "Of course, everything is on a knife's edge. I have done my best to be extremely diplomatic of course but some of the Holders are growing adament. They don't like their women being taken on what they view as a pretext of a queen egg and Impressing to greens and blues. There is nothing for that, of course. The dragon knows. Personally, Karene, I am torn. The Weyr has the right to the Search and Tithe; it has always been like that. So on one hand, I cannot blame the younger dragonriders if their minds turn to the thought of raiding Holds for supplies. It is our due, after all. We protect Pern from Thread. On the other hand, I know how dependent we are on the Holds. We cannot afford to offend the Lord's Holder but I cannot abide the idea of my most esteemed Weyrwoman being expected to grovel before some of those Lords, poor and bickering excuses for authority."

He rubbed his chin again, harder now, and his eyes narrowed to verdant slits as he concentrated. A balancing act of major stakes.

"My Senior, it may be too bold for me to say. I know I ride blue and yet I cannot help but think a Conclave might be necessary if the Lords persist in this resistance. It is a hard thing to think about but if they also turn the Crafthalls against us...." he let the ominous thought hang in the air.

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PostSubject: Re: A Golden Opportunity    Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:29 pm

The sun warms me perfectly. It must be difficult to feel so warm during drills without the lake to cool you. She paused, dipping her head under the deep water. Water was nice, it was like the air, so easy to move around in. Walking was the most troublesome thing. All is as it should be. And now mine has more people to help with Igen Weyr. It should all be even better. Jeneveth is going to Igen where it is hot and sandy. I wouldn’t like it there. Galadrieth rarely allowed her life to be anything but orderly. Everything in its perfect place at the perfect time, she was quite determined that her life should be well organized. Rarely did she ever feel something was missing and never had she been unhappy except when a clutch was on the sands and she felt threatened.

Nodding Karene answered, “I’m sure of it.” The Weyrlings in that class were very few in number from the accident and other problems throughout their training, ending in one of the smallest Graduating classes in the last several Turns. It was sad and also a bit unnerving for her and also for Galadrieth. She thought perhaps the Queen would get over it but the last clutch she laid she was extremely possessive over, barely allowing Karene to come near the eggs. Accidents were nothing compared to the losses they would have if thread returned and the Weyrs were not at full capacity. It was what drove Karene to see Igen reinstated.

While she appreciated the Searchrider being completed honest with her, she knew more about the political climate with the Lords and the Holds than he might expect. She had a Conclave already explaining to the Holds the need for the extra tithes and increased number of Searches. “It is bold but I’m used to you speaking your mind.” Matter of fact she preferred when people were honest and to the point with her. It saved her a lot of grief and time.

“I’ve already spoken with the Lord and Lady Holders at a Conclave I held here at the Weyr. They were less than happy about the changes.” She looked over at him for a brief moment, trying to convey that she understood the difficulties he must be having. She had to deal with the Lords much more than she liked to but she had been raised a diplomat. She knew how to handle them for the most part. Sometimes though, she ignored their rules and did things her own way. Like calling a Conclave at the Weyr rather than whichever Hold it should have been held at next.

“I am sorry that it is difficult for you to Search right now in the current conditions. I have made great strides with some of the Holds but with others it will be a struggle. Igen Hold is being most cooperative since I helped arrange the marriage of their daughter to the Lord Holder of Telgar’s heir. Southern Telgar should be no trouble for similar reasons. Keroon is neutral, I can see them being either or depending on the situation. Handle things with charm and finesse and I think most people there will be obliging.” She was allowing him to Search Igen territory as well as Fort’s. “I will reach out to the Fort Holder’s once again but I’m afraid that bridge might have been burned since before my birth.”

She smiled, she actually found the Holder’s little problems with each other quite amusing. “Fort Hold and Southern Boll Hold don’t see eye to eye much but they do agree on one thing.” She looked out at the Lake, watching Galadrieth swim. “And that one thing is their mutual feeling of distrust towards me.” I’ver knew her well enough to know her father had never permitted her to reconcile with her family. Lord Holders were incredibly stubborn and thought they knew what was best for everyone.

“I will try again with Fort. Southern Boll Hold will never appreciate our presence as long as my father refuses to reconcile our differences. Of course should he die, my brother will inherit and he won’t ever reconcile with me. We’ve been at eachother's throats as long as I care to remember. ”

She laughed. “One would naturally assume the opposite. Most families would probably support their kinswoman but not mine. Of course Fort Hold hates me because I’m the daughter of their enemy.” She took a moment to think about the Fort Holders, maybe if she could at least get on good terms with the general populace… at least the Harper and Healer Halls allowed Searches readily. They had impressed a few Harpers in more recent clutches.

“And this is why I say its better never to get involved in Hold politics. However I have no real choice being born into it so I might as well play the game as best I can.” As much as she might pretend she didn’t enjoy it, she loved watching the Holder’s squirm when she gave them news that she had to Search more, she needed more tithes and they needed to stop being so greedy.


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