Star Stones and Sunsets

Characters Alexa, Yaromil
Synopsis Alexa and Yaromil meet on the Star Stones and discuss forests to deserts and fictional stories.
Out-of-Character Date February 5, 2020

Igen Weyr - Star Stones
A flat notch on the eastern rim of the bowl, this area is only large enough for two dragons to comfortably rest. Its primary purpose is long past, although the ancient star stones remain. Cut from the native sandstone and inset with metal so many ages ago to frame the pulsing red star above on the eve of a pass. The stone is ever so slowly eroding from the elements, but is nowhere near collapse. Never again shall the finger and eye rocks to align with that dreaded celestial body. Now this area serves mainly as the lonely watchdragons perch. The view from is spectacular. The bowl spreads out below to one side, and beyond that are seen the low weathered mountains and the shimmering yellow deserts. A small shed topped with a solar panel located against the rising rim of the bowl provides an air conditioned area for a rider to rest out of the heat of the day. A door in the stone wall near the shed leads to a winding spiral staircase that links many lengths below to the series of inner caverns. The view may be epic, but transport by rider is much more convenient than those winding endless stairs.

Spring - Month 5 of Turn 2724

Hello, Spring and rising temperatures in Igen! While the worst heat of summer is far away still, a barracks suddenly filled with candidates everywhere (or at least that's what it seemed like) right after dinner is not Yaromil's idea of a good time. Maybe it was the desire for a brief reprieve from others or hopes that there might be a breeze on the heights or even a plan to get in some extra PT, the mostly-surly candidate hauls himself up the steep stairs just in time to catch some of the last rays of the setting sun which he can't help but give a whistle of appreciation for.

Yaromil isn't the only one looking for a bit of solitude. Alexa might not be avoiding a barracks full of candidates, but the young weyrwoman is definitely dodging some other obligations. Like babysitting her queen on the sands, maybe. Or that stack of paperwork that just doesn't seem to end. Although that last one might be difficult to argue, seeing as she brought it with her. Along with a blanket and a mug of something warm, Alexa has stolen a spot on the Star Stones to claim as her very own. Tucked against the wall and already snuggled up in her blanket (cause it's gotta be cooler up here, right? Right. Or she's just a little insane. Both, maybe), she's an easy thing to over look when the sunset, never mind the view, are so very spectacular in comparison. The paperwork definitely doesn't compare, and while she might be admiring it just as much, that appreciative whistle startles her out of her thoughts and inspires green eyes to slide the way of the stairs and the candidate climbing them. A press of her lips doesn't quite hide the amusement, but she doesn't wait long before a little "ahem," seeks to alert him to her presence. "It is pretty," she agrees, peeking back toward the sky.

Ehhhhh, Raaneth is a grown woman dragon and can probably manage to babysit herself at least for a while. Paperwork might be trickier considering how it tends to multiple if ever left alone for even a moment. Yaromil was keeping his eyes on the sunset as he wanders to get a closer peek, but attention and forward momentum are both lost as he freezes mid-stride at the ahem and slowly pivots around until he spots Alexa tucked up over there. Any hint of redness in his cheeks is surely from the quickly fading sunset and not potential embarrassment, right? He'll get over it soon enough, straightening up and giving a nod. "It is. Easy to forget when you're sweating under it all day." The desert sun can be merciless, but it can also be gorgeous.

Paper is definitely the bunny of the office world. But maybe bringing it to the star stones is a clever way to curtail all that multiplying? I mean… wouldn't be her fault if a strong gust of wind happened to claim that stack, right? But no. There's probably something heavy on it, to keep just such a 'tragedy' from occurring. "It is," agrees Alexa, who will happily grin a knowing little grin for the blush that is definitely not on Yaromil's cheeks. "Even easier when you're sweating in a cave and can't see the sun." Because while Raaneth could definitely take care of herself, who would Alexa be if she left her poor queen all alone with no one but the eggs (and maybe Nymionth) for company? She's definitely not using it as an excuse to dodge responsibilities, noooooo. "I used to hate Igen," she confesses, for absolutely no reason whatsoever. "It was so hot and sandy and just… bleh." The sort of eloquent description one would expect from a prior-Harper, yes? "But now. I kind of love it. Especially up here, in the evening. Or even at night, with the stars."

Just wait until a summer sandstorm and then something heavy might not even be enough to save the paperwork from a windy fate! But alas, there's just a gentle breeze tonight which probably is the best for all involved. Yaromil nods in agreement at how easy it is to forget time and beauty in caves. Having mostly lived in caves all his life, it's a topic he knows well. What he can't even imagine is hating the desert that's been his only home as his eyes widen in a bit of horror as Alexa admits her previous distaste. "At least you usually know what you're going to get with the desert? Hot in summer. Always a possiblity of sandstorms, but if you're ready for them…" He shrugs. It's livable. His eyes turn up to the sky where the stars haven't quite come out yet. "Do you not have the same sort of stars at Fort?"

"Spoken like someone who's never seen a forest. Or the sea," argues Alexa with a grin. "But I don't hate it any more. And come on. If you'd never seen the desert before, you have to admit that it all looks kind of… the same?" All sand and sun. Hot. Barren. "At least at first glance." She's totally mended her ways though; a clear appreciation in the adopted-Igenite now. And maybe it's catching, because Alexa can't help but look up when he does, despite knowing there's nothing yet to see. At least no stars or moons just yet. "Sure," she agrees with a shrug. "They have stars. Probably the same ones. But I didn't have a lot of time to look at them, when I was there. Plus, everything's so… big here. Like, I love the forest, and the mountains. But it makes the sky feel smaller. And here? Especially up here, or on a dragon, it's like you're surrounded by the stars." Another little shrug. "It's just different."

Yaromil drifts back from the ledge and leans against the wall, arms crossed as he shrugs his shoulders. "The rocks are different." Sandstone and cliffs. "But I don't know enough about trees to tell one from another." The poor desert boy would definitely quickly get lost in a forest if you just dropped him in one. "You make it sound so claustrophobic there." He shudders, maybe remembering the crowd he so recently fled from and will before too long have to return to. "Do you miss it?"

Alexa considers this for a moment, eyeing the dunes and the mountains in the distance. "All looks the same to me." But maybe she's just teasing a little; a quirk of a grin at the edge of her mouth. "And yeah, I suppose it could be," she allows, for those claustrophobic trees. "Except they stretch up. It's like… everything here spans outward, right? Desert in all directions; as far as your eye can see. Nothing but space around you, right? Well… with the forest it's kind of the same but it goes upward. The trees climb so high into the sky, it's kind of ridiculous. It makes you feel small but, in a good way. Like the world is so much bigger and maybe…" But her words end with a shrug, either because she doesn't know how she was going to end that sentence, or because she did and it was just a little too tender to speak. So instead there's another little hmm, and a tip of her head, and consideration for the question before she decides, "No? I mean. I don't really think so. It's beautiful but… there's nothing back there that makes it… home?" Like it's a question he might answer. "I definitely miss the rain. And the snow. And being able to do things outside without breaking into a sweat. But, on the whole… No, not really."

"Maybe you're just not looking hard enough," Yaromil gives another shrug before he cranes his head up and up and up, testing just how high his eye can see unencumbered by any trees. "It seems like it'd be disorienting." Especially if you haven't seen it before at all. He gives a crisp nod as she confirms that Igen has grown even on her. "Guess when Raaneth isn't tending to a clutch, you could always go visit Reaches in winter for snow? Or find out when it's raining anywhere else?" Perks of being a dragonrider is definitely the easy access travel after all.

"And being lost amidst endless dunes isn't?" Disorienting. But there's a tease in Alexa's tone, and a grin threatening her expression, despite the argument. "But yeah, it can be." Another shrug. "Guess it's all in what you know." Not that she's a tree-expert or anything. "I could," she agrees. "And I do, on occasion. But it's not as easy as you might think to just… drop everything and take a day-trip to another Weyr. I do have a friend in Fort, though I'm not sure how much longer he'll be there," she admits. "And I will shamelessly use him as an excuse to get out for a while." At least she can admit it. "But wouldn't you, if you could?" she prompts. "If you had the means to just… go somewhere new for a bit, wouldn't you? I know you're basically married to the desert, but like, just consider… there's an ocean out there. It's like the lake, but bigger." Definitely teasing.

Yaromil grins a bit, which certainly bodes no good. "Not disorienting if you know how to follow the stars!" Easy landmarks plus you get to avoid the worst heat so it's a win-win! The grin fades into just a normal smile as he gives another shrug. "I mean, sure. A visit is different than like… living there. And if it's just a trip for 'fun'," and he does use actual finger quotes for that, "then you can leave just as easy if it turns out awful." That's the glass half empty kind of attitude Yaromil embodies so often.

"Ahh, I see," says Alexa, in that annoying sort of voice that says she's learned something about him and now, of course, believes she knows EVERYTHING about him. Sage-nod and all. "Just think how even more terrible it would be if you liked the place! And wanted to — gasp — stay there!" She feigns horror at the very thought, before her own amusement gets the better of her and she can't help but giggle. "Do you read books?" she wonders, even as she twists to start collecting all those (unfortunately not flown away) papers beside her. "Do you like fiction stories? Or are you the sort that wants just factual stuff?"

Yaromil does have sisters so he's very good at mostly ignoring the annoying tone of voice and shrugging. "Guess we'll have to take it one day at a time. I think I'm a long way from visiting trees or oceans or whatever." Like, he could probably tell you how many hours runner back it would take to reach the nearest ocean if she really wanted to know. His head tilts a little as he eyes her on that next set of question before very cautiously answering. "Yes… I read. Mostly factual, though I do have a few adventure books." Probably loosely based on some real event like the massive tome Tejra keeps mocking him for currently.

"Oh, good," declares Alexa with an exaggerated 'phew'. "Because I was beginning to suggest you raid the library and find a few. You really need to exercise that imagination of yours." Because clearly he's lacking in that department? "I love reading. It was my escape." Gathering up a set of papers she definitely doesn't want to read (and would probably love to escape from), there's a small 'oof' of effort as she hoists herself and her burden to her feet, the blanket kept from falling with a careful crook of her finger. "You should read some pirate stories. You might like them." Even if they involve the ocean. "I'm going to get dinner, before all the good stuff is gone." Too late.

Even if Yaromil is rolling his eyes at yet another harper (or former harper) ganging up on him about his reading choices, he's still polite enough to offer a hand to help Alexa up if she's willing to take it. "We didn't have a library at the cothold, so mostly just re-read the same handful of books." He can even quote most of them by heart, even his sister's favorite love story. "Pirates, hey?" He seems a bit dubious, but not completely against the idea. "Would it be people catching pirates or being pirates?" Maybe he'll try one of each, for science! "Good luck." He'll give a very somber nod. Seeing as how all the candidates have already ate, Alexa may very well need all the luck she can get in the food department. Like locusts the horde of them!

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