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Agenothree's Atrocities

A place to put drabbles, one-shots, theme challenges, letters to other characters, and other assorted in-character bits.
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Agenothree
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Mon Nov 08, 2021 4:10 pm

Agenothree's Atrocities

Table of Contents

1: The "Lady" and The Grackle - Candidate Eloise - Fort Weyr - Late Fall 2772
2: What Would I Be Without You? - Weyrling Adelais of Garnet Katzenjath - Fort Weyr - Early Spring 2773
3: A Moonlit Melody; Just For Us; To Dance Amongst the Stars - P'tyr of Blue Inikoth - Fort Weyr - Early Spring 2773
4: The Five Stages of Grief - Part I: Denial - Rhaadys of Garnet Dysk - Fort Weyr - Early Spring 2773
5: The Five Stages of Grief - Part II: Anger - Rhaadys of Garnet Dysk - Fort Weyr - Early Spring 2773
6: I Miss You, More Than You Could Possibly Know - Whercandidate Mackenzie - Fort Weyr - Early Summer 2773
7: Triumph by Starlight - K'ora of Brown Tokugath - High Reaches Weyr - Early Summer 2773
8: The Five Stages of Grief - Part III: Bargaining - Rhaadys of Garnet Dysk - Fort Weyr - Late Spring 2773
9: The Five Stages of Grief - Part IV: Depression - Rhaadys of Garnet Dysk - Fort Weyr - Late Spring 2773
10: To Climb The Ladder - P'tyr of Blue Inikoth - Fort Weyr - Early Autumn 2773
11: The Five Stages of Grief - Part V: Acceptance... - Rhaadys of Garnet Dysk - Fort Weyr - Early Summer 2773 - coming soon!
Last edited by Agenothree on Mon Jun 20, 2022 3:20 pm, edited 16 times in total.
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Agenothree
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Wed Nov 24, 2021 6:48 pm

The "Lady" and The GrackleRoads and Skies Around the Weyr
Eloise found herself venturing from the sanctuary of her quarters during her free-time, drawn out by the allure of a trader stopping in the Weyr to sell their wares. For this was the first occurrence of a trader in the Weyr for her, Eloise decided she ought to see if any goods appealed to her. She was in need of sturdier garb to wear around the Weyr as she went about her duties. The garments she'd brought from home, excluding her best Gather wear, wouldn't last the rigors of life in the Weyr for much longer.

Eloise ran her fingers along this pair of pants and that good skirt, mentally tallying what marks she'd allotted to her spending budget. What could she buy? What did she need? What would be truly useful, and what would be mere trivial indulgences? A loud squawk caught her attention, drawing her gaze to a large iridescent bird in a cage, sitting on a stand all of its own. The bird ruffled its feathers and squawked again, bobbing its head up and down. Giving a soft snort of amusement, the Candidate wandered over.

The bird eyed her, then cawed at her while bobbing its head up and down in some odd little dance. Eloise couldn't help but chuckle, continuing to observe the creature, intrigued. She'd never seen a bird of its kind before, yet another thing the life of a Holder didn't give her...and yet another facet of life to explore. Eloise gently greeted the animal, a gentle tone to her voice. "Hello there." The bird mimicked the drawl of the "O" in the word "hello", burbling the sound deep in his throat.

Eloise laughed at the bird's antics. She was thoroughly charmed, and unashamed to admit it. Many a Holder would likely be horrified to see her, a refined young lady of good Holder breeding, with a plain looking bird such as this creature on her arm. Well, she wasn't known for breaking the norm for nothing. "How much for this delightful creature?" the Candidate asked the vendor. She'd have this bird for a companion, for she found him to be quite a lovely animal, and well-trained, if his humorous antics and friendliness were anything to go by.

In the end, Eloise walked away with the bird, his cage, and everything he could ever need and want...and without a mark to spare. Those clothes from home could get worn out for all she cared. They were just clothes, and she'd already set aside her favorites to be worn sparingly. Clothes were replaceable, material goods. This Candidate had what she wanted here in her hands.
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Thu Mar 10, 2022 8:30 pm

What Would I Be Without You?Weyrling Barracks
TW: mentions of illness and death/loss

Adelais sat in his favorite seat in his quarters, a blanket draped over his shoulders, tucked cozily among the many cushions with a scroll in hand. The parchment remained blank, as it had been for some time, untouched by the charcoal stick held loosely in Adelais' other hand. A small frown creased Adelais' brow, persistent and unwavering. Since Katzenjath's emergence from her egg and subsequent Impression to them, the Harper had produced several works of both the musical and poetic nature, all inspired by the garnet...yet now it seemed the well has run dry... How annoying! the weyrling huffed to himself, scowling at the innocent slip of paper in his hands as though it offended him on a personal level for the crime of being blank; to be left wordless had Adelais sorely vexed!

Adelais turned his gaze to the garnet herself, his view unobstructed by weyr shape or furniture. Katzenjath drowsed on her couch, content after a good feed and thorough oiling. She was healthy and happy, nearing her full size. It wouldn't be long now until she was an adult dragon, and the two of them would graduate from their training to become fully-fledged wingriders. A smile crossed Adelais' face, unguarded and tender, as they reflected on...well, everything! Katzenjath had so many things in common in Adelais. Both were confident, adventurous, and both sought something more than themselves in this life - though it was much harder to parse that in Adelais than in Katzenjath. Katzenjath was just so...open. She had this aura to her that was nearly impossible to ignore, for anyone. Whenever the garnet was around, Adelais thought it made the world around her just a tiny bit brighter for everyone.

Katzenjath had certainly made Adelais' world brighter. Ever since she'd selected him out of all the available Candidates, he'd been happier than he ever remembered being. The last time they'd ever felt so content...had been with their mother, before the sickness came and took her away from him. The weyrling saddened at that...but in a bittersweet way. Tears welled in his eyes, which he hastily wiped away before they could fall. Adelais? Katzenjath murmured blearily, stirring from her rest, roused by her rider's emotional change. It's nothing, my dearest Kat, Adelais replied softly as he soothed her. I'm sorry to have disturbed you. It's nothing, truly. Just a small case of blocked muse for my work. T'is but a minor nuisance. Go back to sleep. The garnet hummed her affection for her bonded before settling once more into a light doze, sighing deeply as she relaxed.

Adelais' musing didn't halt in the slightest with the near awakening of their Katzenjath. In fact, once the garnet had returned to sleep, his thoughts kicked into overdrive. Adelais' thoughts turned to what he'd become after his mother slipped away. He'd put his flair for the dramatics and his talents for performance toward being a Harper, formally training at the Harperhall at Fort. But he'd gone nowhere except to the Master's office for "troublesome behavior." More than once, in fact. It seemed that they'd never graduate to Journeyman, doomed to forever be an Apprentice. But then Kreta and her blue Eseath dropped out of the skies with his lost hat that blustery winter day, declaring their intentions to Search for Candidates, and his life turned onto its head. Life at the Weyr was a whirlwind of change, being a Candidate and preparing himself to Stand and Impress a dragon. And what luck he'd had, to be selected at his very first Hatching...and to the garnet that gave him a brighter future.

There. Adelais knew what to write.

Pencil poised, Adelais carefully wrote across the top of the scroll, handwriting flowing and graceful, a title to his work: "What Would I Be Without You?"

From there, it was a breeze to fill the page full to bursting with the words to a heartfelt poem, centered not on how amazing Katzenjath was to the world, but how wonderful Adelais found her to be; how she'd changed his life for the better merely by choosing him to be hers. This poem was to be all about that... All about Katzenjath; Adelais' garnet.
Last edited by Agenothree on Fri Apr 22, 2022 10:18 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Thu Mar 17, 2022 7:50 am

A Moonlit Melody; Just For Us; To Dance Amongst the StarsRoads and Skies Around the Weyr
The moon hung like a lantern in the sky, shedding its dim light over Fort Weyr. A bluerider stood at the entrance to his weyr, looking up at the ivory sphere above. A soft sigh escaped P'tyr, the only outward hint of his longing. What did he long for? To touch the sky where no-one could see. To distance himself from the necessities of Weyr-life, if but for the briefest of moments. To be alone with his blue and their thoughts. An odd thing for a rider to desire, he had to admit, but there was quite the difference between flying against Thread or performing other such duties expected of riders and flying...just for the sake of flying; to feel the wind kiss his skin and ruffle his hair. Would that be such a hardship to ask for; a moment's peace? P'tyr thought not.

Inikoth himself rumbled from his couch before rising, stretching languidly. As the blue padded to the weyr's mouth, P'tyr turned his gaze from the moon Timor to his bonded. The faint glimmer in the rider's eyes showed just how deeply the affection he felt for his blue ran within him; he had no need of words or even a smile to express it. You feel confined once more, mine? Inikoth asked simply of his rider. You could put it that way, I suppose, came the rider's reply. We shall fly, then. The blue strode onto his ledge completely now, lifting his head high to catch the scents of spring, responding with a pleased rumble before ducking to allow his rider an easy time of mounting him. P'tyr merely smiled as he leapt to Inikoth's neck with a practiced leap, securing himself deftly even as Inikoth loped to the edge and dove into a steep dive, extending his wings and letting the warm breeze fill his wingsails.

Inikoth soon soared to the highest level that would prove comfortable to both man and dragon, leveling into an easy glide. The night sky proved itself to be Inikoth's brethren and kin, the darkness of skies at midnight and the dark denim of the blue's hide melding as one. The only sign that the blue passed were the pale circles of ice tracing Inikoth's lean body. Even then, the clouds lended itself to their camouflage. It seemed as though Inikoth were not born of dragons, but of the night sky itself. It felt like it as well, in moments like these. And even if the sturdy riding straps weren't present to hold P'tyr secure to Inikoth, he felt perfectly secure in his place astride his bonded. Breathing deeply, P'tyr extended his arms into the cool air as Inikoth banked into a gentle curve, wings cutting through the stillness of the clouds.

Moments like these...it brought a sense of peace to both man and dragon. Away from the Weyr and all her occupants; away from the demands of their lives as a fully-fledged and experienced bluepair. Moments like these found P'tyr letting his guard down, albeit briefly. It saw Inikoth relaxing from his never ceasing vigilance from threats to himself and his P'tyr. Nights like these...it seemed as though the moon and stars sang to them, weaving a melody for them to dance to, Inikoth's wings adding a gentle cirrus to the harmony and stillness of the night. The wind rippled through the bluerider's long and billowing sleeves, setting a percussive beat to the song they danced to.

In moments like these...there was nothing more P'tyr could ever want.
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Tue Mar 22, 2022 11:35 pm

The Five Stages of Grief - Part I: DenialWherhandler Barracks
Rhaadys stumbled into his quarters like a man blindly drunk after a night of revelry, head still spinning from...everything. The door was shut with a firm hand, palm pressed against the unyielding wood...and only then, in the private sanctuary of his quarters, did he left his hands begin to shake. It only spread from there, until his entire body trembled. Emotions ran wild through his mind, leaving him reeling. It left his body hot and cold all at once, sweat beading his brow as his muscles ached with the chill. The wherhandler's stomach churned with nausea at his unrest, yet he felt so full of energy like the boldest of warriors. Rhaadys' mind was no better. In fact, it seemed worse in his mind. Thoughts ran faster than a dragon could dive, completely aimless. One thought was gone before he could follow it down its trail, to be replaced by five more thoughts in its stead. It was...a cacophony of unnerving sensations, to say the least. Rhaadys had never felt so intensely in his life...but he'd never had reason to before.

Tonight had changed his life forever. Just not for the better.

Rhaenys - sister and rider of the white Cosmiath - had borne to him news that had completely changed all he'd known about life as a member of the Weyr - any Weyr! The age limit for Candidacy had been raised. Those who had once had no hope to Impress or were on the edge of aging out now had another chance to emerge successful. Now...Candidates could Stand to the age of 30. It struck Rhaadys like a bolt of lightning, tickling down his spine like the coldest of caresses, bringing him to shudder anew. Had I not left the Weyr to walk with the caravan and bonded to Dysk so hastily after...I could still Stand to this day... I...I could've Stood at this Hatching. I...could have Impressed to a dragon! Rhaadys deflated into a seat and hid his face in his hands, a trembling breath escaping his lungs, despite the heavy feeling crushing his chest.

It was here that Dysk padded carefully into their shared quarters, eyes like embers burning in the darkness of the den, the only light shed by the single glow on the nearby table to allow Rhaadys and human visitors - as rare as they were, with Rhaady's temperament - sight. The garnet settled nearby and simply observed her handler in contemplative silence. After scouring the halls to ensure he was not there, she returned to their quarters, only to find the man there...so lost. The Hatching may have been over...but its aftermath had yet to come, at least for this garnethandler. Rhaadys' mind was in turmoil. It worried Dysk deeply. Never had she seen her handler so disturbed before...but she had expected this reaction all the same. While she herself had not known of this change to the ages of Candidates, Dysk knew Rhaadys on such a deep and personal level to find his current state perfectly normal for him... But that didn't stop her from worrying and fretting over him.

Rhaadys? Dysk gently murmured, beseeching him to give him his attention, if only for a moment. "It's impossible..." Rhaadys muttered under his breath, shaking his head in refusal. What impossible? Dysk carefully probed. "All of this..." came the soft reply. "There is absolutely no way that the Weyr would raise the Candidate age limit!" The wherhandler heaved from his chair and paced around his quarters, running his hands through his hair, distraught. "Rhaenys... Yes, Rhaenys! She has to be lying to me! That venomous serpent of a woman!" Rhaadys be a fool! Dysk cried. Rhaenys not serpent of any kind! Rhaenys dragonrider. Rhaenys honorable. Rhaenys family. "What other explanation is there?!" Rhaadys' voice was rather shrill in his emotional outburst, so much so that Dysk fell silent. Never had she seen her handler fall apart so much in the Turn or so of their life together. Rhaadys merely stood and stared at Dysk, gaze bitterly firm. The pair simply gazed at each other in silence for some time, regarding each other...until Dysk spoke up and broke the chilly silence between them.

Rhaenys...not lie. Weyrs learn, change follows. Candidacy age raised all over; not just Fort. Dysk...not know much about change Weyrs make. Dysk padded closer to her handler, gazing up to Rhaadys with gentle eyes before resting her head against his side, the action suffused with fondness. But Dysk know change make Rhaadys upset. Dysk here to help. Always at Rhaadys' side. Rhaadys turned his gaze down to the garnet tucked up against him, his eyes growing hard and utterly cold. Scoffing, Rhaadys deliberately strode away, leaving Dysk to watch him go with a sad sigh. As the handler stretched out over his cot, the garnet herself murmured, trying to mask the potential hurt her words might inflict with a gentle tone. Dysk know Rhaadys wanted to be dragonrider. Dreamed of since youngling. But Rhaadys chose to accept invitation to Dysk's hatching. Dysk not dragon. Dysk wher.

Silence was her hard-won answer. Dysk merely sighed once more before plodding to her hollow and settling down to rest. The night was young, but her handler needed her here, now. Duties had to be attended eventually...but for now, Dysk was resigned to let her handler sulk and brood over the events of the evening. Rhaadys needed this time to himself. As Dysk gave a low hum toward her handler - only to receive further silence - she felt that this was merely the first of many struggles Rhaadys must overcome...but Dysk would be there at his side, for every obstacle they would have to navigate.
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Sat Apr 09, 2022 12:25 pm

The Five Stages of Grief - Part II: AngerWherhandler Barracks
TW: hurtful words/language (Rhaadys is a douche)

Comfortably settled in her den, Dysk watched her handler pace like a caged spotty, her eyes reflecting her concern. A storm had been brewing for several sevendays since the latest hatching of dragons - the Vessels, as they'd been dubbed - and now it seemed like to burst forth from Rhaadys like a rain that never ended. And it never did end; not truly. A bitterness and pain haunted Rhaadys, coiled like a serpent around his heart, leaving a dark spot within; deep inside, where Rhaadys hadn't allowed Dysk to see, to reach, to mend. Oh, how she wanted to! All Dysk wanted was to help her handler; to face what troubled him and move forward, together. But Rhaadys...never let her in. Would he ever do so? Dysk wished she knew.

There... the garnet thought privately. A subtle shift in Rhaadys' being alerted Dysk to the imminent explosion. Rhaadys had reached his breaking point. That anger and pain and hurt had built to critical levels. Best for the beast to rear its ugly head here, in their quarters, so as to spare any innocents from Rhaadys' wrath. That, and Rhaadys valued his privacy. To lose his temper in front of others, when he was often rather calm and collected, would only worsen the issue. Filled with shame and humiliation after such a public outburst, Rhaadys would hide within himself, and they would get nowhere. Here was better. Dysk could take the brunt of Rhaadys' wrath. It was what she did, even though she was aware that the relationship between them was quite different from others, in a variety of ways. But that's what every bond between dragon and rider, wher and handler was: individually special and unique.

Rhaadys. Dysk's voice was soft as she called to her handler, and she knew when she'd caught his attention when he stopped dead in his tracks. While he did not face her, she knew he listened...for the moment. Tense and trembling minutely was he; not a good sign. Dysk steeled herself, then snorted. This was her handler, not an enemy. Rhaadys, she said firmly. Anger not good to keep inside forever. Turns into something worse: hate. No response. Dysk sighed internally to herself. After all, she was bonded to Rhaadys completely. Rhaadys' bitter, spiteful thoughts swirled at the forefront of his mind, making it quite easy for Dysk to catch. What she sensed hurt...but it wasn't anything she hadn't heard before.

Rhaadys-

"WHAT?!" Rhaadys roared as he whirled to face his garnet, sudden enough to make Dysk almost jump. "Rhaadys, this! Rhaadys that! You never know when to shut it, do you?!" Dysk regarded him in silence. This was worse than she thought. All his anger, buried deep within, had come boiling to the surface with the events of this latest hatching, she surmised. And now it emerged, directed at her. Typical. Dysk here to guide Rhaadys. Dysk can't do that without Dysk's voice. "I don't need guidance! What I need is a proper wher, not some garnet like you!" Ouch, Dysk bit back at him sarcastically, though unable to truly mask how that had stung. Dysk chosen for Rhaadys by Dysk's mother for reason. Rhaadys needed Dysk, not brown or blue clutch-siblings. Rhaadys scoffed and turned away, returning to his pacing.

Dysk wasn't finished.

Heaving to her feet, the garnet sternly spoke to her handler: Dysk feel necessary to remind Rhaadys of fact: Dysk not dragon. Not only is Dysk not dragon, but Dysk not bronze or brown or even blue. Dysk garnet, and Dysk proud. Dysk proud to be Dysk, and proud to be bonded to Rhaadys...even if Rhaadys act like child. "What did you say to me?" Rhaadys hissed caustically. Rhaadys heard Dysk loud and clear, the garnet replied. Here, Dysk's tone softened to something milder; gentler. Rhaadys...misguided. Rhaadys believe in following Tradition. Dysk not object...but Rhaadys must change as times change. Whites of dragons and whers came long before garnets came. Wondrous unique and mysterious chimera too. One thing to follow Tradition. Another to be stubborn, narrow-minded menace. Rhaadys alone, if so. No friends... Sad, no?

"I don't need friends. I don't need anyone! I am a self-sufficient individual of the Weyr!"

Dysk knows Rhaadys mouth petty words to make Rhaadys feel better.

Rhaadys whipped around to face Dysk once again, only to meet her firm, unwavering gaze. They locked eyes with one another; Rhaadys' brown ones narrowed into malicious slits and Dysk's whirling softly in many colors, indicating her many emotions. "I don't need you," Rhaadys spat softly, though his tone seemed more flat than anything. "I don't need anyone - you especially." Dysk knows, the garnet sighed. "You should've been bronze...or brown." Dysk knows. "Faranth's mercy, say something other than you know!" Rhaadys upset about Candidacy age limit being raised. How this relate to Dysk being garnet and being wher? Rhaadys fell silent, his eyes narrowing further. What? Dysk chuckled at his discontent. Rhaadys ask Dysk to say something else, Dysk provides! Something wrong, Rhaadys darling? "Don't forsking call me that," Rhaadys warned. Or what? Dysk taunted right back. What Rhaadys do?

Rhaadys said nothing, for what could he do? The relationship between himself and Dysk may have been strained - in his eyes, at least - but he'd never do anything to hurt his wher. It went against everything he'd been trained.

Dysk simply sighed. Dysk told Rhaadys before: Rhaadys had no way to know Weyrs change rules of Candidacy. No reason to feel so bitter. Only hurts Rhaadys. Hurts Dysk too... The garnet's subtle entreaty didn't seem to reach Rhaadys, for the man simply turned away from his wher. The trembling began once more, his shoulders tense.

"I should've been a dragonrider!" Rhaadys let out a shrill scream as he lashed out, sending the small table and what lay upon it scattering across their quarters. Rhaadys dropped to his knees among the mess, hands over his face. Dysk padded slowly to his side, tiptoeing amongst the mess. Sitting back on her haunches at his side, she lowered her head to his shoulder and rested her nose against him. It was her way of comforting him. It was refused. Rhaadys nudged her away none-to-gently and rose to his feet, stalking across the room, over the mess, to his cot. With a heavy sigh, he laid down, running his hands through his dark hair.

Dysk looked away. It was clear she'd get nowhere with him. At least now, Rhaadys' anger might not be so violent and explosive, should someone cross him. Dysk knew that Rhaadys had a long way to go...but this was a start. Perhaps behaving in this way was how best to handle Rhaadys; to further temper his bitterness and guide him down an easier path. For now though, Dysk merely nudged the scattered belongings into some semblance of a pile - both to clear up the room a bit and make it easier for Rhaadys to gather up later - before she padded back to her den. The garnet laid down in her warm hollow with a sigh, keeping careful tabs on her handler until she sensed he'd slipped into a restless sleep. Only then did she too allow her weariness to overtake her and carry her into a light doze.

Tomorrow was another day. Rhaadys would soon see that, as Dysk did.
Last edited by Agenothree on Fri Apr 22, 2022 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Sun Apr 10, 2022 8:59 pm

I Miss You, More Than You Could Possibly KnowCandidate Barracks
In the darkness of his quarters sat Mackenzie, alone. Parchment littered the table at which he sat, a leadstick idly held in one hand. It was hard to concentrate anymore. The hatching had come and gone, and garnet Tamisk had deemed Mackenzie...unworthy, in some manner. Garnet Kelsk - on behalf of gold Zansk - had done the same. It was a painful thing; to come to a hatching full of hope, only to walk away disappointed. Yet the last hatching had been such a joyous affair! Even though Mackenzie himself had been passed up, he'd had to privilege to watch his roommate be chosen firsthand! Tamisk had chosen Cassandra for the littlest egg, which contained a brown; Cassask. They were so happy for her! And yet...

Mackenzie turned his attention back to the parchment over the table. Each contained the beginnings of one of the wherlet's Impression; Misun's green tugging playfully at her new handler's sleeve, Zagi's blue tucked against his handler's chest. Yet these other drawings remained undone; hardly touched. Mere blocks and outlines stood for each wher and handler. There was one drawing Mackenzie worked ever so hard on. The whercandidate brought this sketch to the top of his pile. Here, they'd caught Cassandra and Cassask as the pair had left to feed; the tears spilling down Cassandra's face and her beautiful smile coupled to make perhaps the most heartfelt moment Mackenzie had ever seen.

Mackenzie's lip wobbled before tears rolled free and dripped to the paper clutched in his hands. A strangled sound tore its way free of his throat, something akin to a sob. Every time he looked about the room, all he could remember were all the wonderful moments he and Cassandra had shared. Turns spent together, and now they were apart. Cassandra had her wher to tend. Mackenzie had more Candidacy ahead of him. The reminder only served to send another spike of pain lancing through his heart. Cassandra might have only been a small distance away, in another part of the Weyr, but it might as well have been on the other side of the sea. That's how it felt to Mackenzie. They were of different worlds now. Cassandra was a wherling, and Mackenzie a Candidate.

It could be denied no longer: Mackenzie missed Cassandra. The way she'd insist everything be in order, even as Mackenzie agreed. The way she seemed to make their room a tiny bit brighter simply be being there. The way she was always there when he was feeling down, and he there for her. The way she always called him Kenz... Another whimper broke the silence of the dark barrack. What was he to do now? Not only were they passed up to be a wherhandler by Tamisk and Kelsk both, but they were now without one of their closest friends by their side. And it wasn't only Cassandra... Cole and Benedict were wherhandlers too. The only one of his friends that remained a Candidate with him was Miilo, and she'd already expressed the intention to purchase a wher egg. Such an option remained unavailable to Mackenzie.

The question remained, marching through his mind on a loop: what did Mackenzie do now? Yet what could he do but wait? But wait for what? To be passed up by yet another wher mother? The answer, it seemed, was yes.

Mackenzie simply sighed and pushed back from the table, crossing to his cot and curling under the covers, leaving the sketches behind. Trying to concentrate was a lost cause anyway. The tears came slower now, yet they came all the same.
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Wed Apr 27, 2022 5:40 pm

Triumph by StarlightWeyrbowl
"Tokugath, you great big lumbering beast, you did it!

K'ora whooped and shouted her excited exultation as she dashed across the Weyrbowl toward Tokugath as her dragon backwinged to land after the flight had drawn to its conclusion. The brown's paws met the earth with a steady thump, his wings kicking up dust. K'ora ignored it entirely. All that mattered was getting to her Tokugath. And that's exactly what she did, colliding with his huge chest with a solid whump, laughing breathlessly. Tokugath rumbled wordlessly, gently nosing at the small woman that was his rider. You are so happy! he observed elatedly. I am so delighted you feel so! "Of course I'm happy!" she shouted in reply, as though she sought to speak to someone on the other side of the Weyrbowl. The truth was that K'ora was simply a loud woman to begin with, and she only grew in volume with the intensity of her emotions. "I'm so forsking happy, I could fly!" And I would fly at your side, now and forever! Tokugath bugled.

K'ora took a step back so she might look upon Tokugath's face, though her hands remained pressed against his sandy hide. "You don't even realize it, do you, buddy?" Tokugath gave a warble by way of reply, mild confusion evident in his tone. "YOU'RE GONNA BE A DAD!" The words seemed to burst out of K'ora like they'd been held back for Turns instead of seconds, only to be followed by a volley of excited squeals and snorting giggles. "A dad!" she continued to exclaim. "My Tokugath, a DAD! Oh Faranth, those eggs are gonna be beautiful, I'll bet. No, I know they'll be beautiful, because look at you, big guy! You're the handsomest brown to ever grace Pern! Those dragonets will be lucky to have you as a dad. They'll never be lonely or left wanting for nothing with you around!" Yes! he chimed in, lifting his head to roar to the skies, wings lifted. It is as you say, he added, returning his gaze to K'ora, eyes whirling with warm. Oveceth chose me to be the sire of her clutch, and it shall be a most joyous occasion when the eggs hatch! Yet you cannot forget Oveceth herself, mine. "Huh?" came the brownrider's confused reply.

Yes, Tokugath hummed, fanning his wings. Oveceth saw me to a dutiful, steadfast friend. At least, that is what I hoped she saw of me. F-For that is what I am! I am Tokugath, a friend to all! With this proclamation, he arched his wings boldly, eliciting a laugh from K'ora. For the entirety of the time she must spend upon the Sands to tend her clutch, I will be there to provide aid. The brown lowered his head to gently rest against his rider's chest. I must add as well that I would've been lost without your insight. Thanks to you, I remembered that I must correct my trajectory early, lest I have a rather embarrassing meeting with the mountain peaks! Though perhaps such a thing might have amused Oveceth... "Pshaw," K'ora replied, waving a hand dismissively. It is true! Tokugath insisted. Before he said anything further however, he sighed deeply; wearily.

I know the hour is late, he murmured. But might I have a bath, mine? Chasing Oveceth was so much fun, but I am tired now. At the pleading tone in his entreaty, K'ora chuckled and nudged him toward the lake. "Get on, you big galoot," she said with deep fondness effusing her tone. The brown warbled his joy and trotted right into the lake's water. As Tokugath wallowed in the water with a pleased sigh, the look upon his rider's face softened and became even more visibly fond. K'ora smiled and gave a chortle as she rolled up her sleeves, striding up to Tokugath's side to give her brown his bath, well-earned and hard-won. The stars twinkled above as K'ora vigorously scrubbed Tokugath's sandy hide, as though they celebrated right alongside the dragon and woman. Alas, the stars were secure in their lofty palaces in the heavens, and they looked down upon K'ora and Tokugath. The brown himself looked up to those stars now, as his rider hummed a jolly tune. The stars were a wonderful thing to Tokugath. To him, each one represented a friend. Whether they were friends long past, friends present, or friends yet to come remained a mystery.

The now was enough.
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Agenothree
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Thu May 12, 2022 10:50 am

The Five Stages of Grief - Part III: BargainingWherhandler Barracks
Dysk lifted her head from her paws as Rhaadys strode into the room like a whirlwind, the door slamming behind him with a bang. Dysk could sense how agitated Rhaadys was; as though she couldn't see it too, in every erratic movement he made. With a deep sigh, as though to say "here we go again," the garnet got to her feet and padded toward her handler, as Rhaadys sat at the edge of his bed and ran his fingers through his hair. Spill beans, Dysk said, both her tone and gaze curt. There was no use hiding the obvious, and Dysk's patience was wearing thin - a shocking concept to even consider. Could it be that even Dysk was growing tired of Rhaadys' obnoxious behavior? It had persisted since the Vessels' hatching, into the latter part of the spring season.

"I..." What could he say? To speak to what was on his mind would only cement how weak he was. No-one would get to know how weak Rhaadys felt, and especially not Dysk. Rhaadys think too hard. Dysk's voice held a hint of its usual warm humor, as though she smiled as she spoke. Dysk can feel Rhaadys' headache. Rhaadys bit back a bitter retort, and stubbornly clicked his jaw shut. Come now, Dysk only teases! Dysk thought Rhaadys knew this by now. Rhaadys huffed even as he slid his gaze elsewhere; anywhere else but Dysk. Dysk seemed entirely unwilling to allow Rhaadys to skirt the subject, moving to cross his view wherever he looked. Rhaadys can talk to Dysk. The garnet's voice was soft; an entreaty. Dysk be with Rhaadys. Dysk not judge; only help.

Rhaadys resisted the urge to scoff, even as concern and warmth filled him simultaneously. How could he even consider revealing his shortcomings to this garnet? Had he lost his mind? But he caved, in the end. Might as well try it once. And if Dysk proved to be a terrible listener, he would go back to keeping everything where it belonged: hidden. "I...I can't stop thinking. What did I do wrong to make all those dragons pass me up on the Istan Sands? So many dragons stopped to look at me. A blue even looked into my eyes...and I thought I saw the hint of a rainbow. I was so desperate at that point that I would've even accepted a blue." Dysk elected not to comment on Rhaadys' colorism. Best to let him have it, if only to keep him talking.

And talk Rhaadys did.

"But that blue moved on too. Every single dragonet... Hundreds of them, over so many Turns...and none thought I was worthy..." Rhaadys paused, for he felt that tension in his throat that indicated his voice would crack if he went on. Putting his face in his hands, he sighed deeply, hoping to regain his composure before Dysk decided to say something cruel. Dysk said nothing. This was the most Rhaadys had said in one sitting, and Dysk wasn't about to interrupt. Well, at least, the most he'd said regarding himself. Rhaadys had most certainly said plenty hurtful things in the span of a single interaction. For now, Dysk simply nudged her head under his arm, encouraging him to continue. It seemed to do the trick. "What if I had done something different, Dysk? What if I had applied myself even more to my studies and my training? What if I had done better? If I had been a better Candidate-"

Here, Dysk interrupted. Rhaadys get nowhere by dwelling in past. Future lie ahead. Past is past. Nothing can do to change it. Rhaadys sighed and put his face in his hands once more, running his fingers through his hair. Dysk rumbled. It was clear that Rhaadys was struggling...but perhaps he needed this. Perhaps Rhaadys needed to struggle, to overcome what held him back and move forward. But Rhaadys shook his head, some of his stubbornness returning. "The past is there to learn from. If I analyze my past mistakes, I can better myself for the future." Dysk might have agreed with that, if not for the way Rhaadys spoke. All he was focused on was bettering himself to shore up his own weaknesses, which he believed where present ever since he had aged out. Rhaadys didn't care about bettering himself for others; he would only better himself for himself; to optimize his efficiency while performing his duties to the Weyr.

This true, Dysk conceded. But not good to stay in past. Rhaadys get stuck and struggle; never be free. The garnet padded a little closer and gently rested her head on her handler's knee, expressing her affection. Dysk here for you. Rhaadys' family too. Forget duty to Weyr over family. Weyr be important, but family still be family. Supports each other. Surprisingly, Rhaadys allowed this show of fondness from her, though he didn't reciprocate. Dysk was quite used to getting nothing in return when it came to these offerings of devotion...but the fact that Rhaadys didn't immediately shove her away was quite a surprise - a pleasant one. It was a sign of progress, in her mind. Perhaps he might even be growing fond of her. That was unlikely, given Rhaadys' firm attitude and Traditional outlook, but a garnet could hope. Dysk sighed quietly, only to add, tone gentle: Rhaadys cannot change past...but can look forward to future. So much awaits Rhaadys. Every day be new day, and Dysk be there every step of way.

After a beat of silence, Dysk sensed the walls come back up in Rhaadys' mind and heart, much to her dismay. So much had been said tonight, and Dysk was certain there was something there! The fact Rhaadys had spoken to her of what troubled him pleased her to no end. But it seemed that Rhaadys would always be Rhaadys, at the end of the day. And Dysk didn't want Rhaadys to cease to be Rhaadys. What she wanted was for Rhaadys to perhaps adopt a more...flexible perspective. Dysk wanted Rhaadys to be happy, and she knew he wasn't happy now. Rhaadys had never been even somewhat content, even before they had bonded. So much bothered him...but it seemed he'd reached his limit for conversation for tonight.

Dysk stepped away with fluid grace as Rhaadys rose from his seat, expression shuttered. The garnet offered a quiet hum for her handler, only to receive silence in reply. The "what if" and "if only" questions began swirling in Rhaadys' mind once more, leaving him restless. It was as he said: he couldn't stop thinking about what could've been. Dysk seemed saddened for him as he strode for the door and slipped out once more. Rhaadys would be heading for the training fields, she knew. It was what he always did, whenever he was too energetic to be productive. Any hurt she might've felt as a result of Rhaadys' continued wish to be a dragonrider was muted; even distant.

As sad as it was, Dysk had gotten used to this pain.

With a sigh, the garnet padded to her den and settled once more. Rhaadys would return...sometime. The time to rest was nigh, and Rhaadys was a man of strict habit. It wouldn't be long until he would realize the time and come back. Dysk knew that he wouldn't seek to address her; not in this state. That left Dysk with the opportunity to rest. Even so, she remained alert, her eyes like gems in the darkness.

Even if he didn't find her to be the comfort he needed, Dysk would be there for Rhaadys. Bonded as the two of them were, they were a team. Rhaadys would see that, one day. Dysk had hope. Hope for what? Hope that Rhaadys would see past her bold magenta hide and love her for the being she was. Hope that Rhaadys might warm. Not only to her, but to those around him. So many people - some family - that Rhaadys had around him. Yet he kept everyone at a distance. It was sad... And even if Rhaadys never warmed up to her, Dysk would be glad to remain in the snow, if only to watch others feel Rhaadys' warmth. One last time, Dysk reached out to her handler. Dysk here, when Rhaadys return.

No response. What had she been expecting?
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Agenothree
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Sat May 28, 2022 2:20 pm

The Five Stages of Grief - Part IV: DepressionWherhandler Barracks
TW: depressive words/thoughts/feelings

Dysk regarded the still form of Rhaadys where he lay in his bed. It had been some time since he stirred, and she found herself growing concerned for him. More concerned than usual, at least. There was always a part of her that fretted for Rhaadys and his wellbeing, despite his refusal of any and all of her inquires. Had today been a normal day, she'd be entirely unworried, for while Rhaadys was a light sleeper, he almost always slept soundly. But today was not a normal day. A normal day hadn't befallen them in some time. Dusk was upon them, and the beginning of their daily duties with it. Yet Rhaadys had not even minutely stirred, and it was past the time Rhaadys rose to begin the "day." Rhaadys was one to rise early, even before the standard waking hour most wherhandlers kept. It allowed both himself and his garnet time to prepare themselves and reflect before beginning their "day." To find him still abed was most abnormal.

But to find he was awake and still abed was even more alarming.

Rhaadys lay with his back to Dysk and the room as a whole, gazing at the wall, unseeing. The man didn't move a muscle, and his every breath seemed as loud as a dragon's roar in the silence of the room. For perhaps the first time in his life, Rhaadys didn't wish to rise to face the day. What awaited him? Nothing would be different. Rhaadys, proudly born to riders, was doomed to be a wherhandler, not a dragonrider. To be bonded to a garnet was just adding insult to injury; rubbing salt in a lingering wound. If Dysk had been a dragon, perhaps he might bring himself to overlook her bold magenta hide. Rhaadys let his eyes fall shut. Who was he kidding? All garnets, dragon and wher alike, were abnormal mutations, even more so than whites. How Rhaenys could find the strength to go about her day with such pride, bonded as she was to such a mouthy white dragon, remained a mystery to Rhaadys. One could only hope that the Candidate Timon, obnoxious as he was, would Impress to a beast of actual import; to spare their line further humiliation of Impressing abnormal colors.

Rhaadys. Rhaadys couldn't even find it in him to stiffen at Dysk's voice as she called to him. What he did do was say nothing. Dysk didn't seem to expect a response, and simply continued speaking. Time come to rise. Night awaits Rhaadys and Dysk. Again, nothing; the gentle reminder fell on deaf ears. Dysk sighed, the sound revealing her weariness. Duty not important to Rhaadys any-more? Dysk's tone grew sharper, as though challenging Rhaadys to give a response, a twitch; anything! In response, a heavy sigh. Rhaadys make such big deal of duty, it surprises Dysk to not see Rhaadys out door at this time! "What's the point?" Rhaadys snorted. "We get up, work through the night, only to retreat to this den with the coming of dawn and rise the evening next to do it all over again." Duty to Weyr and Pern important, Dysk retorted. Rhaadys says so, very often. If duty not important any-more, Rhaadys need find new mantra to feel better. That elicited a reaction. Rhaadys' shoulders visibly rippled under the blanket with his tension, and the garnet could sense that familiar tug in his jaw as he grit his teeth.

With an action so quick that it seemed a blur, Rhaadys turned to face Dysk and sat upright at the edge of his cot. "What would you have me do, Dysk?" he demanded of her. Dysk said nothing, too focused on how she might comfort her distressed handler. The raw edge in his voice was hard to miss; one of the only signs of tears held at bay. Elbows on his knees and his face in his hands, Rhaadys took a deep breath, and Dysk made no comment on how shaky said breath was. It was hard to catch, but Rhaadys' low mutterings floated to her. "I could've been a dragonrider... If I had just stayed firm in my resolve, news would've reached me about the changes upon my return to the Weyr and I could've presented myself as a Candidate... I could've even Impressed to one of those bronzes of Serapheth's latest clutch, or one of the browns... But I failed... My resolve wavered, and I accepted the invitation to the caravan queen's clutch." Rhaadys' shoulders rippled again, but this time with a totally different tension. Dysk simply sighed and stepped up to him, gently tucking her head in the space between his elbows.

For Rhaadys' sake, she said nothing of the drops of wetness that spotted her hide.

After what seemed an eternity, Dysk broke the silence. Rhaadys...regrets Dysk? The steel in the garnet's voice demanded an answer. It was an answer Rhaadys did not provide, unsurprisingly. But this silence held no clues for Dysk. Most often, his silences were loaded ones...but this silence conveyed mixed messages. Too overwhelmed with pain and grief, Dysk realized that Rhaadys would not be conveying anything sensible for some time. The garnet gently nuzzled her face against Rhaadys'. Dysk forgives Rhaadys, she murmured. For everything. The tears only began anew, and Rhaadys dragged a shaky breath into his lungs. Dysk here for Rhaadys, no matter what. Even if Rhaadys hates Dysk, Dysk stay at Rhaadys' side. Rhaadys and Dysk team, since Dysk's hatching. Rhaadys' upper arm gave a twitch in response. With a whuff of warm air, Dysk stepped back. Rhaadys stay here. Rest. Dysk tell squadleader Rhaadys not feeling well. Alarm flashed in Rhaadys' mind. Dysk wouldn't... Would she? Dysk know to be discreet, she assured him.

With that, the garnet padded out of the quarters she shared with Rhaadys, leaving him to his thoughts. Rhaadys watched her go, only to bury his face in his hands and tremble. Hardly a moment had passed before he realized how deeply alone he felt. Even Dysk's absence left a monumental gap in the room. Was this how that Elyron had felt? A gold bonded to him had broken their bond, if the talk was true. Even as he sensed Dysk's concern for him, as distant as the depths of the ocean, Rhaadys knew he didn't want to feel like that. Alone. Sweeping his gaze around the room, he noted how dark the place was. And not just out of necessity for Dysk's comfort, and with the place being underground. The air that permeated the quarters that belonged to Dysk and himself seemed as stifling and suffocating as a tomb. Shaking his head in a futile attempt to clear his thoughts, Rhaadys turned over and laid down once again, pulling the blanket up to his chin, feeling like a child; small and vulnerable. And alone.

Dysk returned some time later, to find Rhaadys like this. Again. Rhaadys wasn't asleep, she knew. But she decided to give him some reprieve. Wordlessly, she lay down on the floor directly at the side of Rhaadys' cot, rather than retreat to her den. Rhaadys needed her here; she sensed it. It didn't take long at all for her to fall into a light doze, only to settle into a deeper sleep as she felt Rhaadys drift off into a restless doze too. Yet something awoke her a short time after. Something large and warm pressed against her back, and she lifted her head carefully to investigate. What met her eyes both shocked her and filled her heart with a gentle warmth.

That wasn't a something. It was a someone.

Rhaadys himself had emerged from his bed and moved to the floor, as the moon graced the night sky, far above and out of their sight. Tucked against her broad back, one hand resting upon her side, Rhaadys seemed utterly small; as though he weren't a man grown, but a child. And children were in need of guidance and protection. Both were something Dysk could provide. Yet some of the tension from before had dissipated, leaving his face relaxed; slack with sleep. If he were to find out he'd done such a thing as cuddle close to a garnet wher to share rest, he was like to be mortified, regardless that Dysk was his garnet wher. Dysk gave the softest of hums, and Rhaadys stirred in his sleep, only to press himself even closer to Dysk. Gently, she nosed Rhaadys, her fondness clear, before setting her head back on her paws to rest. While he may refuse to admit it, he needed her. This moment made that clear. When he awoke, Rhaadys was sure to vehemently deny this ever occurring. How dare you even insinuate such a thing, he'd spit, eyes filled with such cold malice and spite. Such a prideful man, even in his darkest hour; when he was at his lowest.

Would Rhaadys ever realize that Dysk was here to help him?
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