Stars and White Knots

Characters S'las, Roque
Synopsis Roque thinks he can enjoy the dunes sunset and the cool nights of Igen. Then, a wild S'las appears!
Out-of-Character Date May 15, 2018

Endless Dunes
A scorching expanse of barren, windblown desert lies out before you in an incredible distance, stretching all the way to the horizon. Composed of rolling dunes, and the occasional outcropping of sun-blasted rock, it almost seems to be a featureless monotony at first, hardly anything to look at. Indeed, the uniform barrenness of it would be perhaps frightening to those of more fertile regions, but to the people of Igen, this is home. One who gazes at the desert with a trained eye can appreciate a stark beauty that most would never see, and find solace in the trail of an insect within the sands, or the shade offered by a hardy bit of foliage. At night, when the moons shine, it becomes even more wonderful to look at, as the heat has died down and the light from Belior and Timor reflect gloriously off of the rolling dunes, and pool in murky shadows among the projections of rock. It is at these times, if the wind is little, and the moons are high that one can see the Igen river in the distance, reflecting the ambient light like the glittering jewel of the desert that it is, a beacon of life within an otherwise barren place. As well, on the same clear days, the outline of Igen Weyr can be seen not quite as far off; nestled as it is within a huge, old volcanic caldera.

Evening is settling over the desert - the blazing heat of Rukbat fading, the cool breeze dancing over the dunes, and yet, there is still some light, a soft glow that changes the landscape - long shadows, soft, almost pink hues tickling the crests. One could easily say it is inspiring, artistic, and beautiful - and it seems that those qualities are what have drawn one young man out to the often times overlooked space. Roque, a loose robe wrapped over his clothes and head to protect him from the sand and wind, is settled on a large blanket, a sketchbook propped on a knee, though his work is seems has been put on hiatus, as he stares across the distance, lost in thought.

The soft glow is only the beginning of where the true magic of the desert begins. High above, the stars emerge and in the night sky, their clarity is unparalleled to any gem ever produced. With the heat of the day lingering in the sands, now is a good time to come out and watch the skies. A good time for a certain blue to have something to keep him occupied while his rider unwinds for the night. Chessylith coasts on the breeze, quietly gliding in and resting atop a dune behind Roque. His rider takes his time undoing his restraints, then he slides down to the ground. Something is retrieved from a storage bag on Chessy's straps and S'las finally catches a glimpse of the young man. He sighs, pulling off his goggles and cap, storing the before making his way over. "Oh, well now that's a shame. You're alive! And here I was getting so excited about finding yet another body out here in the dunes to bring back to the weyr. They'll be sad and disappointed at the lack of paperwork." Unamused tones and sidelong glances offered, now S'las can open his canteen and take a drink.

Entranced by the changing face of the desert, it seems that Roque continued unaware of the blue's arrival, associating the sounds with the wind. And so, when S'las speaks aloud, Roque is caught completely unawares, the young man actually yelping softly as he jumps, dropping his sketchpad and soft pencil, scrambling to his feet and hastily brushing the sand from his clothes. And then, eyes settled on the rider as the words register, and slowly he relaxing, laughing softly and shaking his head. "Alas, I have robbed you from your paperwork for the evening, and perhaps from completing your duties. I do, however, have what I was assured is a dinner basket fit for a Lord Holder, though, if that would perhaps remove some of the sting?"

S'las peers at Roque, the down at his robe, then down at the floor to his fallen supplies, then back up at the young man. He merely stares in silence for a moment, then takes a deep breath and sighs heavily, shoulders slumped. "Well, if it's fit for a Lord Holder, maybe 'they' won't come out here and bother us." It is late after all, the air is cool and the night is young. Company loves misery and misery isn't going to want the company! "And if they do, then I'll have my paperwork so either way it's a win-win situation!" Oh look, big wide grin on his face! Just as quickly as it shows up, it disappears and the man glances over his shoulder to his dragon before settling down on the sand with a gentle scowl. He takes another sip of his canteen, then glances over to Roque. "What brings you out to the desert all alone at night, far away enough where no one will hear you if you scream?" Important questions!

Idly motioning to the large blanket, Roque moves to begin gathering up his fallen sketchbook, smoothing the pages closed gently, before it is tucked into the side of a basket which pins down one corner of the blanket. "Have you ever found it just.. impossible to think? Impossible to step away from all the voices, the chatter, the noise.. the clinking of glasses and the cries of children, and have a clear moment of thought?" The young man's eyes slip back to the darkening desert as he talks. "There is no problem of that, here. It is.. refreshing." And then he is offering a crooked smile at the bluerider, and glancing into the basket. "The important question is.. are you on duty, or off?"

S'las actually ponders for a moment, closing his eyes briefly as a gentle breeze flutters his black hair into his face. "Sometimes, it's rare but it happens. My job keeps me actively engaged so I'm often left with plenty of time to think. Though, not time for much else." Fair question. "It is refreshing, I'll give you that. We're off duty." Cheesylith is glad of it, too! The blue made himself a comfortable loaf nestled in the warm sands while his head is angled up. Whether or not he can see anything is up to debate, but he's quiet and sending only happy and peaceful vibes instead of the constant onslaught of questions.

A pair of bottles are produced then, as the bluerider confirms they are off-duty, Roque opening the first before offering the beer to S'las. "Roque, of Lemos Hold. Pleasure to meet you.." And then he glances over his shoulder at the relaxed loaf of a blue. "You both." He amends quickly, grinning and opening his own bottle. "Every place has its own beauty, and if you are able to get away from all the distractions and just listen.. it'll share it with you eventually." A hand lifts to brush his hair from his face, even as he settles for tugging the basket over.

S'las takes the bottle with a nod of appreciation, "S'las of Igen, and that's Chessylith. Pleasure." See, when there's just one person, he's fine with socializing! He opens his own bottle and takes a sip before glancing at the bottle, curiously. "It's true. Igen does have it's fair share of beauty out here in the desert. It also has… other things in it, too." From a distance they could be seen as beautiful in some… artistic natural sense. "Not so beautiful when they get a little closer." A little rumble emanates from the blue as he sits, his nose sniffing the air loudly before he settles, eyes angled to the sky.

Of course, S'las has to say something about the dangerous of the area as soon as Roque goes to take a sip of that beer, which of course results in the young man inhaling the liquid rather than swallowing it, and a long coughing fit. "Wait, -what-?" The blonde man's eyes widen as he stares at the bluerider, betraying his unfamiliarity with the area, the bottle settled on the ground as he coughs again, attempting to clear his throat. "What.. What types of things?" And then, there is a rumble from the blue, and Roque is looking even more concerned, tensing where he sits.

"Everywhere you go," S'las begins, pausing to take a sip. "There's always a balance to the beauty and quiet. Here, it's still, there's no constant flows of people or large animals, dragons are mostly in the air. Even if we're not out here in the distant sand dunes, life goes on and it will go on in the best ways it knows how." Chessylith lowers his nose, quietly raising on his feet. He slowly and cautiously begins to inch up behind the two men. S'las glances over to Roque, waiting for the man to make eye contact before he offers a sinister grin as his hand slides forward in the sand, then his fingertips vanish under the grains below.

Eyes remain glued on the bluerider, Roque remaining tense as he sits there, eyes finally shifting away to scan the darkening dunes. But then, as S'las speaks, and his fingers disappear into the sands, Roque glances down at them, confused for a moment, before he is laughing off the other man's serious tone with a wave of his hand. "Shards, man, I thought you were going to tell me there was a band of felines roaming the dunes." Clearly, the artist has decided that whatever S'las is going to say is no -real- cause for concern.

S'las gives the young man an incredulous look and begins to laugh loudly for a moment before abruptly shushing himself and clearing his throat. Chessylith is loafed behind them, silent and still. "Felines? There's no felines out here! Not in this direction at least." The elder bluerider sighs and smirks as he takes a sip of his drink, pausing to glance at the bottle while he tilts it from side to side. The day's light is definitely gone, leaving both men under a sea of stars. A single ball of light glistens overhead, before vanishing in a long streak towards the horizon. "Just giant sand burrowing tunnel snakes. Ugly things, didn't think their mouths would open wide. Not the same as traditional ones." Nothing too fancy. « Do you think we could bring one of them home? If they live under the sand, it won't have to stay in the weyr. » I don't think that's a good idea. It might eat a child or a puppy.

Clearly, Roque's imagination needs some work, since the thought of anything longer than a vtol burrowing away beneath the sands of the desert never crossed his mind apparently. Freezing again, the holder-bred man glances from rider to dragon, to rider, to dragon, and then groans softly, as he flops backwards to stare up at the sky. "Shards, I am stupid." He mutters after a moment, closing his eyes and resting an arm over his face in the darkness.

The first step of recovery is admitting you're stupid. There's hope for this one yet! S'las chuckles quietly, glancing at the bottle once last time before he simply drains it's contents. « Can we have him instead? I think he would fit in nicely! He won't eat any children or puppies! » The bluerider chokes on the last little bit, coughing and clearing his throat. It's not every day that his lifemate manages to catch him off guard with his innocence. "Don't be so hard on yourself, no one's perfect." Chessylith shifts, inching closer and he leans in, giving Roque a good long snuffle! "He doesn't look as ugly, either, Chessy." The bluerider pushes himself to his feet, not bothering to dust himself off any. Sand is everywhere. He does reach into his pocket, and then stands there with his arms crossed, amused.

Basket is forgotten as it seems Roque's imagination is now working at full speed, considering all the things that would totally, definitely, absolutely without a doubt have gone wrong, if S'las hadn't just happened to wander along. However, even that is interrupted as there is a snuffling blue muzzle, and Roque's arm swings awkwardly at the draconic muzzle, before he snorts at the rider. "Hey, who's ugly? I'm just dumb, we've established that." He counters, trying to sit up and avoid the sand that falls from the bluerider, eying him cautiously. "Everything ok?" At least Chessylith's nose finally gets a distracted pat of acknowledgement, that is something, right?

S'las raises a brow in question. "Hrm? Oh, everything's fine. Was just wondering if you were going to live out your days there on the floor. It might be argued against offering yourself to the tunnelsnakes as food. Not quite so noble, the Harper's will sing of your idiocy. Don't want that, no. Though, Chessy was wondering, as long as you don't eat puppies or children, if you're willing to stand for Zeraeth's eggs currently hardening on the sands as a Candidate. Candidate sounds more appealing than snake food." His arms uncross, and dangling from his fingertips is a white shoulder knot. Chessy croons at Roque, moving his head back so the poor guy can get back up.

"It would make a rather impressive living art piece.." Roque muses, mostly to himself, before the blue rider's next words have him staring at S'las, the knot, and then the blue. "I, uh." A pause and he carefully gets to his feet as Chessy finally moves his head, brushing the sand from his clothes once more, straightening them, and attempting to look dignified. "I would be honored. If nothing else, think of the stories I will have to tell afterwards!" He adds cheerfully, wide grin splitting his face as he turns to bow to the blue. "Thank you, my good man." He offers, straightening and turning back to S'las to reach confidently for the knot. "And thank you."

S'las gladly lets the knot go free into the youngman's hands just in time for a long haunting bellow to be carried by the wind. His expression is schooled and both he and the blue turn to face the source of the sound. It's dark out, the dunes create many heavy shadows, even in Timor and Bellior's shared light. He knows damn well who is making that noise, though, Roque doesn't need to know it's just the watch dragon grateful his shift is over. That old man is a noisy one! "We, uh, best be on our way. You'll need to let your people know you've been Searched and pack any necessities you might need. C'mon, I'll take you back home and then bring you to the barracks. Once you're in the barracks, you'll be under the command of the Weyrlingmasters and Weyr leadership." Chessy quickly moves in position, patiently. He knows the old dragon bellowing is time for home, but with Candidates? Yay for late nights!

Moving to arrange the knot on his shoulder, Roque's motion ceases at the bellow, and his head snaps upwards, eyes slipping over the darkness around them, darting nervously from shadow to shadow. And then, at the offer from S'las, he is hurriedly nodding - all the while attempting to look calm (and failing) - as he moves to gather up basket and blanket, setting the latter inside the former. "My things are in the guest quarters at the Weyr, I'll send a letter home. I'm certain though, they don't expect to hear from me for a number of sevendays at least." Eyes continue to dart nervously around him, as he shifts from foot to foot. "Of course, my good man, thank you again."

S'las quickly walks up the offered forearm of his dragon, holding a hand out in offering to Roque. As soon as the young man is settled, the bluerider begins to to fasten all the straps, checking to ensure they're tight before Roque's things are stored securely. He gets himself into place, strapping himself in as Chessylith rises up, rumbling as light wings unfurl. He rears back on muscular haunches and launches himself into the air, pumping wings furiously to gain altitude. Once airborne, the distant bellow grows louder, and Chessylith offers his own, bellowing in return as he flies back to the weyr proper.

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