Blackened Hearts and Golden Solace - Ember | Calibane

The main, central area of the Weyr, since it's no longer a "bowl" like before, people have taken to calling it the courtyard, or more often, the Weyr Yard. Dragons land and take off here while people walk from building to building going along their daily duties.
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Shaihulud
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Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:31 pm

Season - Fuzzy time to Mid Spring 2049 (shortly after One Last Message)
Time - Evening
Location - New Atricis Weyrlake
@Ember | Calibane

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Upon her return, N'kili's heat brimmed with tears. To know she had caused Gavael such pain reopened wounds she had tried to so desperately mend before her flight to Fort Hold. When she returned home to Atricis, rather than fly to her apartment, N'kili begged Omiimiith to take her to the Weyr Lake. The opal did not delay, and dove down for the glassy stretch of water. Once she landed, N'kili slipped off and began to remove her flight fear piece by piece. Her helmet, her jacket, her boots, her wherhide pants. By the time she reached the waters, all that remained were her underthings and tunic.

With great strides she waded into the lake, until that moment when she plunged herself fully into the watery depths. Once her face was submersed, the opalrider let out the scream balled tightly within her. With a fury it escaped her as her breath converged into hundreds of bubbles that tore through the water and churned at the surface. Twice did she roar out in this manner, letting out the agony that burned in her heart... all while muffling the sound. Had she screamed in her apartment, she knew it would have garnered her with unwanted attention. This way, however, she silenced herself while letting the pressure release.

When she righted herself, the woman began to sob. The damn released, all she could do was cry over the loss of her dearest friends. For a time, she had lost herself to the world. She could not bring herself to face it, not when all her soul could see were the faces of those now gone.

From the shore, Omiimiith crooned her support and her love to N'kili, but with the reminder of the death of Chansoneth and Nagath soon fresh upon within the opal's mind, the dragon could not help but keen a second time over their loss. By the end of Omiimiith's song of mourning, the opal sat pale upon the shore, while N'kili continued to rain tears into the Weyr Lake.
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Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:47 am

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They were not alone. Or wouldn't be. Not in this, though if N'kili wished solace upon herself, she would be given distance while simply being guarded, watched upon, made sure no one disrupted her while she mourned. From a slight distance, a rather watchful pyrite noticed the opal and her discolored tone, heard the intake of her tone and knew that deaths had come. While he could not see them, did not know where they came from, it was because of her tone alone and they way it touched him that his own song reached towards Omiimiith.

She was there for me. I should be there for her. Perhaps it wasn't the opal that had been hurt, it could just be her rider, but a hurt was a hurt, and comfort was comfort, and he knew what it was needed. Calibane glanced towards her door, wondering what he was speaking of, but a single glance through his eyes told her as much, and her stomach twisted.

She was a hard woman, one filled with stone, but she was not without her sympathies. She had started to soften slightly since returning to New Atricis, though she still refused to admit that it had been the loss of nearly all her family at Igen that had started to cause fissures to form in her emotional resolve. She didn't know whether or not she was needed, if she should go do anything at all, but when Arieth's gaze dragged over the lake and she spotted the woman in it...

She set down her quill pen and stood. What she could do, she knew not, but something could offer something. "Go keep an eye on the shore. Don't let anyone bother her." The pyrite almost nodded as a human would, then made his way to the lake where he crooned towards his opal friend, albeit softly and quietly, to let her know he was there for her. Then he took on a vigilant position at the lake as requested to watch over her rider, to make sure no one would bother the pair of them while Calibane made her way from her apartment.

It didn't take her long to arrive, and when she did, she placed a hand flat on the warm hide of her dragon, steadying herself before she moved towards the water. She did not do well with the tears of others normally, finding it difficult to take people seriously. But even from here, she could hear that something was not right about these sobs, something was crashing into the heart of N'kili and making shards out of the whole of her heart.

Her own squeezed, and she winced, not used to the sensation even in the aftermath of the earthquake North. Softening her gaze, she stepped forward, tentatively into the water, while Arieth spoke to Omiimiith alone. Come join me, my friend. I will comfort you while mine sees to yours. We will both ensure no one bothers ours.

When she reached N'kili, Calibane stood still for a moment, uncertain of what to do. Typically she didn't comfort, she didn't take comfort in return, and yet the option of what to do was singular and ever so obvious. Carefully, gingerly, she set her arms around the other woman from behind and gave her a gentle squeeze. "You're not alone. Let me take your burdens for you a moment." Was that right? The croon she received from her dragon told her it was.
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Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:21 pm

Lost in mourning, the world faded from the opalrider. All she experienced was the agony within her heart that swelled from the bereavement of Aniday and D'ran. Even as the water began to chill her skin, N'kili sensed little discomfort, for what was cold of life when she mourned over the chill of death? When she recalled Aniday's soft smile and D'ran's steadfast friendship, N'kili begged the question of why she fought for the lives of the weak and helpless when she could not even protect the strong who fought alongside of her.

Come join me, my friend. I will comfort you while mine sees to yours. We will both ensure no one bothers ours.

The arrival of the pyrite was received with a grieving whine. Omiimiith pressed close against the pyrite for comfort while his rider trailed into the water after N'kili. Still lost to her tears, ears scarcely caught the sloshing approach of another body. It was not until arms slipped about her in comfort that N'kili realised she was not alone. She knew not how to respond until a familiar voice broke the silence.

"You're not alone. Let me take your burdens for you a moment." Though initially caught off guard by the woman's appearance, N'kili would later realise she could not be entirely surprised. N'kili made sure to be there for Calibane as she and Arieth adjusted to New Atricis, while Omiimiith made fast friends with her pyrite. But Calibane was not the warmest of women. N'kili understood and respected Calibane's reason for her distance, however, it made Calibane's willingness to be there in the lake with N'kili all the more important to her.

A creature of touch and comfort, N'kili did not pull away from Calibane's hold. Instead, she brought a hand to one of the ones that held her, and leaned into the arms that sheltered her. Cries diminished into gentle weeps, until N'kili managed to regain herself enough to finally speak. "I should have been a better friend to them... protected them..." she finally uttered after expelling the worst of the pain that nearly drowned her. "I've failed them, Calibane..." Brown eyes turned up to the pyriterider, the shame evident in them. "I should never have left Aniday and D'ran in Walled. I knew it was dangerous for them..." Tears returned to her eyes and her lips quivered, but she knew better than to cry any further in front of the normally stoic woman. She was quick to dab the tears away as she stepped out of the woman's arms and turned to face her. "My apologies. I know I should have better control of myself." Once more her lips trembled, yet she managed to hold back the tears this time, even if the corner of her eyes continued to water.
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:58 am

Perhaps she did't know what was going on, and maybe it wasn't her business to know. But Calibane didn't pretend that this was a burden that did't need to be sheltered and shared for at least a moment; she continued to comfort to the best of her abilities, which may not have been the best all things considering. She used her fingers to pull the hair from damp cheeks, and shook her head, her insistence that no apologize was necessary, before slowly turning the slighter woman in her arms.

"You were in need, you are in need." She said in her usual stoic tone. "I offered my comfort, and I'll continue to do so. There's no shame in crying to and with a friend." She didn't know who Aniday was, or D'ran, but they had meant something. So they were friends too, and they needed to be mourned. "Come, let's get out of the water, let's go dry, and let's have a drink on their behalves. I'll sit with you for a while, and then you can rest." It seemed like a logical solution to her, and would allow her the chance to comfort the opalrider even more gently.
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:05 pm

Fingers reached to her cheek, fingers that were not her own, suddenly stilling the sounds of N'kili's weeps. With uncertainty did N'kili regard the pyriterider, for she did not feel entirely sure as to why Calibane reached out with such familiarity. Turns had past since one last dared to reassure her with the comfort of touch. The way Calibane held her was not lost on N'kili. Even if the need to hide still tugged at her eyes, N'kili still managed to the strength to regard Calibane, melding brown with brown when she looked the woman in the eye.

"You were in need, you are in need." The neutral notes of her voice confused N'kili, for the sound of her voice did not coincide with the feel of her arms loosely about her. And yet... "I offered my comfort, and I'll continue to do so. There's no shame in crying to and with a friend."

Lips pressed, and for a moment it seemed as though N'kili might cry once more, but she managed to hold strong. Perhaps Calibane was right, but it did not make N'kili feel any less vulnerable. If anything, she felt even more vulnerable now than ever before.

"Come, let's get out of the water, let's go dry, and let's have a drink on their behalves. I'll sit with you for a while, and then you can rest."

But they could not drink in their memory without N'kili uttering why they were so precious to her, and what the three of them had done together. Caught in a moment of weakness, when the world continued to crash around them, N'kili uttered the very thing she knew was forbidden. "I-I'm an abolitionist..." she finally dared to say. Lest Calibane not understand her meaning, she dared to clarify to the woman who called herself friend. "I illegally work to free slaves from Walled... We did... that is why they are gone."

With the truth out, N'kili wondered if Calibane would still wish to keep her company or leave. It was an stupid thing to do, but after so much loss, N'kili could not stay silent any longer. Aniday and D'ran died as brave men, and their goodness and courage needed to be known, so that their actions might resound in the hearts of others who might don their mantles and take on the cause.
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Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:34 am

She grew quiet for a moment after the words spilled out, and she judged them while she considered the weight of them in her mind. If she failed to accept N'kili after this, she would lose someone that was becoming important to her. But if she did accept this, she became a part of it, whether she wanted to dip her toes in further or not. Was that something she wanted, was that something she could handle?

She took several steps away from the opalrider then turned to look at her, her arm stretching towards her, her fingers sliding out and her hand open to her. "Come, you can tell me more when we're someplace where sensitive ears shouldn't hear." She knew that much at least, and wanted to ensure the woman was kept protected.
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Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:09 pm

Slowly, the warmth began to seep out of the opalrider as Calibane began to withdraw. However, rather than pull away entirely, Calibane offered a hand to N'kili, one that spoke of a willingness not to turn the opalrider away, but rather to bring her into the fold. Fingers instinctively took hold of Calibane's delicate own, entwining them together as the pyriterider made her offer once more. "Come, you can tell me more when we're some place where sensitive ears shouldn't hear."

A glance was spared towards the weyr itself, the dragons upon the cliffs, the bodies that meandered down the shoreline, the figures in the distance in the weyr yards. Yes, they needed to go, to speak in the sanctuary of one of their homes where no other ear might catch them.

N'kili let Calibane lead her back to shore, though as they emerged, the opalrider began to visibly shiver. Though reluctant, she released Calibane's hand to retrieve her flight coat, and all the items she left to the shore. Duke offered croons of worry, fluttering about her as she attempted to collect herself both physically and emotionally.

Omiimiith stepped to her, offering her an gentle brush of her nose against her rider's hip just before she lowered down.

With her flight jacket slipped back on once more, trousers secured, along with her boots and helmet, N'kili mounted onto her delicate opal, and turned to Calibane for direction. At the moment, still broken by sorrow, N'kili did not have the strength to move independently. She needed a friend, one who would help care for her and guide her during this great time of need. She wanted Calibane to be that person, yet she feared the idea of entrusting her with so much... but Calibane had not turned her away yet, not after such a confession, thus N'kili was willing to take that leap of faith with the pyriterider.
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Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:05 am

Calibane joined her friend and once on the opal's back, she wrapped her arounds around the woman and held her, giving her warmth and ensuring she knew she would not be alone during this time. "We'll go to your apartment." She whispered, glancing at the concerned opal. "Omiimiith, can you take us there?"

Then she settled her cheek on N'kili's shoulder and hummed softly, trying to be comforting as she waited for the lurch of the dragon beneath them to signal that she had taken to the air. Persephone appeared, and the dark starlizard landed on her shoulder and crooned in Duke's direction, offering her own comfort. She didn't understand quite what was going on, having been away until sent to her human by Arieth. But now she was here - for all of them.

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Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:03 pm

N'kili was surprised that Calibane joined her on Omiimiith, and yet she did not stop her. She did not have the will when she needed the comfort of those arms wrapped about her, the gentle hum of her voice that thrummed in that space between her neck and shoulder. It was enough to draw N'kili to her, to press her cheek against Calibane's in turn, as hands absent mindedly caressed the arms about her. It felt natural to reach for the warmth Calibane offered her, to feel the peace and assurance that so often accompanied the pyriterider's presence.

Do you think you can carry us, Omii? she asked of her delicate opal. On seldom occasion did small dragon ever carry more than herself, but it was not often, for Omiimiith simply was not of the size meant to bear more weight than her rider.

Soft wings shimmered like seafoam under the waning sunlight when the dragon unfurled them. It is only to the pavilion. I can carry you both so you don't have to be away from her. She is good for you, and I'd rather keep her close. Her haunches gathered tight before she launched herself, sweeping her wings down with a massive effort put as much air between them as she could before she had to swing down slightly, only to fill her sails with air, and beat her wings again, carrying them the rest of the way. Once she landed, it was just beyond the pavilions near the cliff side.

Yet N'kili did not dismount, not when Calibane continued to hold her, continued to comfort her. When she finally let herself think on it, the opalrider found herself shocked that after her confession, Calibane still hold her and assure her as she did. Her touch spoke volumes of her commitment, one that N'kili was not about to so easily relinquish. "I know we need to go in, I just..." she feared that by separating, she might never feel such support again.

It was a foolish thing to fear, yet N'kili had faced abandonment enough times in her life to fear it yet again.

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Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:46 am

But they needed to go in, they both had to know that. Calibane didn't sigh though. She merely nodded and rested her cheek on N'kili's shoulder and gave her arms a rub. "We can sit out here for a while if you'd like. Just rest, breath." It was said in her normal stoic tone, but there was warmth in there that would only be displayed to certain individuals in her life - among them, her dragon, N'kili.

"Or we can go in," she offered as a counter. "And I can prepare something for you to eat, and you can get comfortable, and I can hold you where you won't get sick." That sounded much better, and didn't make her stomach sink thinking about it. She gave her arms a squeeze. "Come, I'm not going to leave your side, N'kili. I promise."

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