Dreams and Dragons

Characters K'zre, Oddisa
Synopsis K'zre and Oddisa talk about eggs, dream and dragons.
Out-of-Character Date February 5, 2020

Igen Weyr - Hydroponic Gardens
Vibrant sights and smells greet visitors to a lush desert oasis that oughtn't exist here in the crater of Igen Weyr. Everywhere one looks, lush greenery waves lazily, hiding growing lights and the fixtures which give off the subtle lighting. The cavern, a natural bubble in the rock, is mostly round - there is no closure to the outside, and there's a tapering off at the back before exploding into another bubble further back. One can just see that the next "room" leads to yet another room even further back.

There is no set aisle through the plants. Walkways meander here and there, sand heaped along the floor and kept warm by whatever device gives the Hatching Grounds their warmth. The heat is not as intense here, but the mist generated by clever automatic sprayers lends humidity to the air. Tubs of various depths and sizes are scattered higgeldy piggeldy, and the plants in them seem to have no rhyme or reason. Aromatic scents give the hint that kitchen herbs and useful vegetables have been scattered among the decorative flowers and trees.

The chain of rooms are obviously a newer addition, perhaps onyl a few decades old. Insects buzz about everywhere, and there is a quiet twitter of avains and firelizards, who seem quite at home here among the vegetation. Near the door, a wooden rack holds a few pairs of shoes, encouraging visitors to go barefoot.

Spring - Month 5 of Turn 2724

Candidacy means a massive lack of privacy, privacy Oddisa had cherished while working at Fort Weyr, and even in Keroon during the height of exams, there was a respite from people. Nowadays, any moment of alone time has to be hard-fought for, today it's been found as the sun sets and Weyr goes from the hottest part of the day to the cooler portion of the evening. Deep in the back of the gardens, Odi has hauled herself up into a corner, sitting atop an empty planter with a piece of paper and a writing utensil balanced on crossed knees. Staring down at the two sentences she's written, eyes glazed over inattentively and tiredly. There's a good chance she might fall asleep sitting up, given the heavy pull of her eyelids downward. Dressed to work, with dust coating, he cheeks and leaves scattered all over her head it's an easy guess that she's not been back to the barracks since early morning. Settled next to her are Trot and Haygirl, both content to roost like two old wherry hens.

It is not often that K'zre is in Igen, even with his father residing here. But with his weyrmate's bronze playing dragon-dad to the newest clutch, the healer has found himself temporarily relocated to the desert Weyr. He's definitely made himself at home in the infirmary, but as the day winds down he's been booted out. Rather than retire back to his temporary-home, he's slipped away to explore the gardens, perhaps seeking a respite himself. People are tiring at the best of times, so who wouldn't want a little peace and quiet? As such, he's snuck himself off the paths and has been wandering the recesses of the space, only to find they're already occupied. And by a shockingly familiar face, no less. But K'zre, at least, doesn't appear all that surprised to see Oddisa, even if she might be a little more surprised to see him. His casual, "I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to sit on that," might have been amused if it had come from anyone else. From Kez? Well. He's just kind of pointing out a fact.

When attempting to hide from the world, in general, especially in pursuit of writing letters you're required by maternal decree to pen, it's easy to think you've found the perfect hiding spot. Unfortunately, her private writing nook has been found. As Oddisa stared long and hard at the paper, nearly ready to give in and take a nap, the sound of a familiar but out of place voice snaps her back to consciousness. An avianesque snap to her neck brings dark blue eyes on the form of K'zre, arms crossing defensively over chest and notepad dropping off its knee perch down next to the planter she's seated on. "Morning, well guess it's afternoon." Looking at K'zre from head to toe, Oddisa seems relieved to see him, eyes softening slightly and a little wiggle of unmasked pleasure escaping the 'tough' look she pastes on for most of the world. "What brings yu here? Yu miss me this much?" A wiggle to her nose, all jest, "I'm not on plants or nuthin', jus' dirt." Picking up a handful of dirt, and letting it sift through her fingers as an example, in case K'zre's never seen soil. Teenagers are apt to believe that other people aren't very bright, Odi is no exception.

One of K'zre's eyebrows lofts. "It's evening," comes in simple correction. "The sun is setting." Even if the cavern might hide that important little fact. As for what brings him here? "Nymionth is clutch sire," he points out rather practically. "Why wouldn't I be in Igen?" Makes perfect sense to him. A few more steps brings him over to inspect all that dirt, though the healer seems less impressed at her ability to avoid squishing green-things than troubled at her decision to sit on dirt in the first place. Or maybe it's not the dirt so much as, "The planter is not meant as a bench." But that's as far as he'll go to try and convince her to move. It's not his planter, after all. But Kez will take up residence against something a little less dirty. Maybe a tree? Sure. He'll just lean a shoulder against the nearest trunk and look all casual about it. "What are /you/ doing here?" He probably doesn't mean Igen. "And why are there leaves in your hair?"

"Either or, really." Oddisa shrugs halfheartedly, laying back and reaching down next to the planter, two fingers acting as pincers as she snags her notebook. Before sitting back up, hanging upside down off the planter, suddenly behaving in a fashion that reflects her appearance and not her age. Meaning ten, hanging with braids dangling off the planter, staring up at K'zre in a way sure to cause eyestrain, she's all of ten. "I'm not… a dragon expert bu' I don't think yu have to be aroun' for tha' to work." It's the kindest phrasing, and coming from a girl upside down, the message is gentler still. "Without plants, it's not much of a planter, I've given it new life." In the form of Odi, the hanging vine plant thing. The question of what she's doing here takes longer to answer, fingers tapping the at her thighs, "I was asked. I thought I might as well do it, get it over with." Not the typical stance of a candidate, the inevitability stance. "Thought I could, do it, say I did, and move on." A leaf is plucked from her head and flicked towards K'zre with an amused squeak. No chance it lands anywhere near him, but the mirth is present. "Now, I- eggs. I didn't like em. Most of em, useless drivel…" Longingly she gazes out, staring directly at Kez's knees as she silences and searches his face. "Dragons are stupid." Not said offensively, but in a way, a teen might feel love is stupid. Because it's complicated. As if the whole idea of dragons is stretching the young beastcrafter in a direction that makes her uncomfortable.

"No, it doesn't." Require his presence to work. And while there might be a grim little press of K'zre's lips an a slide of his eyes to parts unknown, lost briefly in that vacuum of space that is his mind, the greenrider is disinclined to elaborate his presence any further. Whatever twisty paths his thoughts might wander down, he's saved from further introspection by the hanging-plant-girl and her terribly miscalculated leaf-throw. Or, maybe it's the words that have him frowning at her once again, upside-down face and all. At least he won't tell her to 'stop before she breaks her neck'? Probably because he knows she won't. Physics or something. "You could have said no," he points out, nice and logical-like. "No one made you say yes." Even if N'sir might have pouted something fierce. Eggs, though. That has him taking a breath. Holding it. Going all distant once again, even if it might be harder to see from her vantage point. "What did they do?" he wonders. "The eggs." In case that was unclear. And while he'll definitely frown about it and mutter something about dragons being rather intelligent, he won't outright debate her on that one. "They're not even born yet," he points out, for those eggs. "I doubt you had very thorough and well-reasoned thoughts when you were a fetus."

The need for introspection and silence prevails, the deeply empathetic mind of Oddisa that is hidden well by a natural sense of self-assurance spins in circles and wanders through the last month. So sure of where she was going, and now this. The abrupt depth of dishevel inside Oddisa, not outwardly visible, wakes up the spindly green, boxy, pale green form of Haygirl who chirps alarm and settles between Odi's thighs. The physical contact must relieve both the 'lizard and girl because the creature relaxes. "I though', the closer I get to Journeywomanhood, the more I got to lose. Why waste time when I'd end up dragonriding. I've been searched a few times, an' every time I think they may never offer it again." The notion is a bit absurd, given that most of her family ride dragons and the natural level of empathy required to ride runners seem to please search dragons. Exhaling long and exasperatingly at K'zre, she purses her lips and furrows her brow at him. She's not convincingly annoyed, she might always be too cute to manage anything more than kitten anger. "They ask lotta questions, but. Mostly? I had though' I'd stand, get it done, impress or not and move on. One of the eggs… was. Delightful, sweet, pleasant. I miss it." Each word hangs heavier, every positive adverb coming out like a death sentence being read out loud. The death of Oddisa's indifference. The idea that her life, somehow, might actually need something else a direct challenge to everything she's worked to achieve.

K'zre is certainly no stranger to introspection, nor the twisty trails it might lead one. But for now, he is the silent observer, staring at Oddisa in her ridiculous position and frowning thoughtfully. "Why would they stop?" he wonders. "It isn't as though you lose whatever it is the dragons are looking for, just because you say 'no' once." But that is the practicality speaking, which K'zre seems to understand is not the point of this conversation, even if he can't help but to point it out. "Wouldn't you?" ask a lot of questions. "If you were confined to a room, with no window or door and no access to the outside world? Wouldn't you ask a lot of questions to whomever happened to stop by for a while?" But while it might seem simple to him, there's a purse of his lips and a frown that gets sent toward the trees again, for that 'delightful, sweet, pleasant' egg she misses. And for a long while he's silent, his expression stoic, staring at the foliage rather than the dangling-girl, thinking thoughts he probably shouldn't thing. A quick breath, and he comes back to the present. "What are you afraid of?"

All the practicality is good for Oddisa, grounding her back in the land of reality. That fun place she lives in that demands a schedule, where she feels anything is possible as long as she works hard enough. Nothing has ever been out of reach, work, ride, practice. No reliance on anything but herself. "I… figured maybe they'd be offended I'd said no a bunch." Sheepishly breaking from her own self absorbed world to shrug, planting hands beneath shoulders onto the garden floor and pressing up into a bridge backbend. The spoils of youth, the ability to contort with no concern for tomorrow. "They're eggs though, how do they even know there's anythin' goin' on? They're a few genes above a brunch buffet." The giant difference between a fetal dragon and a fetal runner has her mind twirling, unable to grasp draconic knowledge, or when it begins. At the mention of fear, there's a snort, initial response derisive, and doubtful. HA, I laugh in the face of danger. And she does, mostly she never feels… Threatened. "What if I like them, an' they don' like me back. With a runner, yu build a relationship. There's always a chance." A beat, relaxing back and slithering further towards the floor, enough so that the top of her head touches the ground. "What if I don't impress, but I spend the next fifty turns thinking about what I'm missing." The fear of never knowing what her life might be, control is all a tiny person might have. Control of her future, which she's now placed into six large orbs.

"They're telepathic creatures," argues K'zre, though there's little heat in his voice. "Human babies will kick in the womb and respond to the sound of their parent's voices. Why wouldn't baby dragons respond to the stimulus presented them? They're not done growing, but they're hardly gelatinous goo within those shells." A moment of thought and he adds, "But it has been my experience that the way they feel in the shell is not at all indicative of who they will be as individuals." He's no expect, but he *does* have a dragon and some first-hand experience. A tip of his head, and he considers Oddisa's question with a good deal of seriousness, despite it having been asked by a girl currently contorting herself into increasingly questionable positions. "If you're worried about Impressing a dragon that does not like you, don't," he decides, simply. "It doesn't work like that. Whatever dragon finds you will love you without question; and you will love them just as well." Which might be all the more frightening, given it is instantaneous. As for the last? Well. That one seems a might more complicated and requires some further consideration on the part of the greenrider. "I don't think you would," is what he finally says, tentative not because he's uncertain of himself, but rather how well received it might be. "I have seen you with the runners," he considers. "And I think, if you do not Impress, that you will find yourself so fulfilled with your life as a beastcrafter that you won't worry about what might have been." A sigh, and he finally slides himself down to sit at the base of his tree, legs left long in front of him. "And… you can always Stand again, if you wanted to." At least until she aged out.

"They're not fully formed though, where does half the shi-, shtuff, they come up with come from. One of um had me in a forest; other one played music." There's no mention that none of those are the egg in question, that it wasn't music or pretty landscapes that charmed Oddisa. It was wholeness provided by an egg of blue and silver. "I mean, is it from the parents or somethin' else? I'm from Xanadu, I know dragons' minds can be… deep an' loud and musical. When does tha' start?" A complicated question indeed. "Nah, I jus' want it to be over wit'. Waiting aroun' wondering is half the trouble." The comment about her love for runners has her tilting her head in the dirty with consideration. As K'zre decides to sit, Odi allows herself to slide further down, balancing part of the weight of her torso on shoulder blades with head wrenched back to enable a view of the greenrider. This entire pose looks uncomfortable, but discomfort has never bothered Odi. "I hope yur right, so, tell me. Where is yur weyrmate? Whose keepin' people from havin' fun at Fort without yu? Whose doin' his job?" All nosey interest in a lighter subject, for a moment. Taking a breath, allowing herself to sink all the way to the garden floor. "Do yu think… yu would drag me back to Keroon? If I don' impress? I got a good deal goin'" The question leaves a lump in her throat, but it's practical. She'll need to plan for the future she predicts, and her prediction is she's made a terrible mistake. "Tell me, bout yur dragon. I've been askin' everyone. Xanadu dragons aren'… they're not like others. Lotsa the southern ones are feisty, loud, a bit rude. Northern dragons seem, calmer."

"I don't know, Odi. Where do your dreams come from?" From anyone else it might be sarcastic. From K'zre it's a true question, even if it remains rhetorical. "Maybe it's not coming from them at all? Maybe it's coming from you, and they're just using it." He really has no idea, though. A snort and he points out, "It could be over tomorrow if you /wanted/ it to be," all logical and crap. "They don't force candidates to stand. You can change your mind. You can leave. You can go home." Not that he thinks she will, but who is he if not the guy that points out the obvious? But neither will he make her sit there and justify her reasons for staying. Plucking a bit of grass from the garden floor, he plays with it between his fingers and frowns for the question. "F'inn is with Nymionth on the Sands right now," he says simply, though why it should make him scowl all the harder is anyone's guess. "And he's still doing his job. He's just… not on site." He'll very obviously not answer the questions about himself, preferring to play with the blade of grass instead. "Drag you back?" he questions. "Usually people use that phrase when they're not interested in returning. Are you asking me to take you back?" He doesn't wait for clarification, but simply assumes that is what she means. "If it is where you wanted to go, yes." And then there's that question about Yasminath, and K'zre's fingers go still. He can't really help the tiny little smile that plays across his lips; sweet and soft and almost shy. Undeniably enamored with his dragon, despite their many turns together. "Yasminath is… She's goodness, personified." Dragonified? "She's everything perfect, and right, and innocent in the world. She…" But her he hesitates a little, perhaps because revealing deep truths to teenagers isn't always the wisest course of action. But after a thought, he trudges ahead anyway. "She made me realize that life can be beautiful. That there was purpose, and meaning, and I was more than just… duty. That I had worth, beyond what I was capable of doing; that I was more than just the skills I possess." Whether that was the answer Odi was looking for, it's the answer she's going to get.

"Yur the healer, yu should know where dreams come from." Switching it back around on him with sassy pop of her lips. Oddisa reaches up a hand and drags Haygirl down to her, snuggling up and burying her face into the neck of her pet. The entire time in the infirmary, the brown and green remained nearby, crooning and cuddling with Odi. Their presence and her affection for them has been well established. "I'm goin' to stand, I don' quit." Even when she really should, even when it would be wiser to stop. "No, I want to go back to Keroon." Pressing up to a seated position, the emotional support lizard held tightly to her chest. "If this fails, I wanna go back an' find another posting. There's a bunch of runner being born right now, lotsa work to be done. Next big winners out in a field right now." The chance of having a hand in the future of the runner industry still gets her going, excites the heart and ignites the part of her that revels in the chase. As K'zre gets all gushy about Yasminath a sweet, cocky smile fills her face, happy to see the softer side of him but also looking away embarrassed. Ew, feelings. "Yu sound like Evi." Oh, dear, that can't be a good description. Standing up slowly, Oddisa sighs, glancing around and gathering her notebook up. "I um. I gotta eat, and bathe, an' sleep. Thanks for sharin', I'm not. sure I get it, except tha' I want whatever is in tha' egg… in ma life." With that, she meanders off towards the entrance, followed by the firelizards that call her home.

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