A Fallen Star [Open/Tag: Syra/T'rav/Derris]

A large natural cavern found by the initial expedition. It has been cleared out and filled with sand. Naturally flowing hotspring pools inside the cavern keeps this cavern warm enough for dragon eggs, but also makes it very humid with all the steam from the hotspring waters.
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Marvealle
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Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:36 am

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Tagging @Saerle @Ember and @Ainokesshou for this if anyone of them wants. Please know that answering this tag is fully optional so don't feel you have to engage if you don't want to.

With the help of Candidatemaster T'rav and Bluerider Syra, Teagen and the nameless white were moved from the middle of the sands to make way for the rest of the still hatching clutch. Teagen couldn't bring herself to let go of the small hatchling, forcing the two adults to carry her and the dragonet away until they reached a far side of the sands, away from the hatching, and even away from the Weyrlings that were feeding their dragonets. Teagen was taken somewhere that would be mostly just for her and the dead white hatchling. While she wasn't completely removed from the hatching, she might as well have been after the tragedy that had befallen her.

Once settled back on the sands away from the bustle and the new Weyrlings Teagen sat with the dead hatchling in her lap, staring down at them. She had managed to quiet her cries while being carried over, but now, settled and staring down at what she had lost so fast, she cried again, her dark eyes welling with tears and falling down her face and even onto the hatchling in her lap. For everything she had gone through in a short amount of time, despite only knowing the dragonet for mere moments, not even long enough for a bond to truly solidify between them, just a portion of what they could have had together, it was still the strongest grief she had felt in her life. She didn't even think for now of the future, of what this made her. Candidate? Weyrling? Dragonless? She didn't know, and right now, with this little one who's life was far too short, she didn't care to think of any of that. All she could do was look down at him and cry, gently petting the head and snout like a lap pup, as if it would soothe the dragonet's soul that had already passed on.

"I just wanted to help," she choked out between tears, as if talking to the hatchling or anyone who had stayed with her at this point. "If I had acted faster..." she couldn't help but believe, refusing the idea that they had been doomed because they couldn't hatch their egg themself. Later, she would be able to talk about the thick shell, and just how small the white was. Later she might argue, advocate, something so that hatchlings didn't had to die in their eggs or die only minutes after hatching. She had no plans yet though, no thoughts of changing things, just grief, and a wish that somehow it would change, that somehow the hatchling would breathe and speak to her again...

"I didn't even get to hear their name. I'll never get to know their name," she sobbed again, pulling the dead hatchling up and hugging it to her to cry some more. She wished they would come back to her so badly, and in the coming days she would hope for it again and again, but it would never happen.

"They couldn't even between, they were just so weak."

The hatching went on though, things transpired on the sands, surprises and shock, but she was blind to all of it, and wouldn't get to see it all play out to the end, as she realized what needed to be done. She couldn't sit here with the hatchling forever. As she placed her forehead against the hatchling's, she felt the coldness in the hide, felt no breath from the snout, and felt nothing of the weak life that had been there several minutes before. She wanted to keep them forever, wanted them to come back... she knew that would never happen.

"They need to go between so they can rest fully... I... I want to help take them where they need to go," she managed, calmer, but her voice still obviously wavering with tears and emotions, like any word could send her into a fit of sobs again. "Can I ride with and hold them? Until it's time to let go?"
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Saerle
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Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:02 am

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The trio had made it away from the Hatching, far enough away that no one would bother watching them any longer. It was clear to those who peered their way that they wanted privacy for Teagan and people respected that. At first, Syra simply sat beside the girl, but eventually she moved to hold the pair in her arms to comfort them after Teagan began crying once again. The bluerider listened without responding as she spoke to the dragonet, the waves of despair the girl was feeling washing over her as well. Syra, without realizing it, was mirroring the emotions Teagan was feeling in a visible way. For a few moments Syra wondered if T'rav would catch on to the fact that it was a pure showing of empathy or if he would just assume that she was just that moved by the situation.

Syra gently took her sweater back from T'rav as she sat holding Teagan as the young woman spoke to the dragonet in her arms. "Of course you can, Teagan. We wouldn't have it any other way." she spoke for herself and T'rav, tightening her arms around the pair in a hug. "Why don't you wrap him in my sweater. It can be his shroud... like they do for children who pass on." she offered it forward. While she let the young woman decide what she wanted to do with the sweater Syra turned to T'rav as well.

"Rasenth is waiting outside for whenever we are all ready. Would you like to accompany us for the farewell? Rasenth can easily carry us all." She offered. Rasenth sent all three of them an affirmative to the offer, ensuring that he was fine with it if the man wished to come along.

Resilience is, of course, necessary for a warrior.
But empathy is the capacity to understand that every war is both won and lost.
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Marvealle
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Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:18 am

Teagen, for a moment, looked at the offered sweater, thinking for just a moment on the offer, or rather, the meaning behind it. Then a thought occurred to her. A burial shroud for the hatchling that should have been with her now but wasn't. The hatchling that hadn't lived a life, that had made her a Weyrling and then a Dragonless in a span of moments... She looked down at the hatchling in thought, wondering for a moment if her thought was too... selfish. Then again, was it any more selfish than sitting here, holding the hatchling's body to cry and wish for them to live?

"I... have a better idea," she hazarded, stroking the dead hatchling once more with love and loss all at once. "I want to send them off with my candidacy robe... May I arrange for that? It... I know it might sound weird... but... I'd like to do that." She didn't want to leave him though, and it was an internal debate... but... he was gone, and she would be taking the hatchling to their final resting place between where all passed on dragons belonged so they may rest forever.

"I can meet you in the Yard, if you can take them for the moment? I'll only be a minute, please don't take him between without me," the very thought of that brought tears to her eyes all over again, spilling out over her cheeks almost immediately with the strong emotions of loss still so fresh and hurting. She didn't want to leave the nameless hatchling behind still, but she wanted to send them off with her robes even more, wrapped gently and safely in those white robes about as pale as the hatchling's hide.
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Saerle
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Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:37 am

Syra nodded, "Of course you can do that, Teagan. And we would never take him without you." giving Teagan a shaky smile, her heart clenching as she felt the emotions spill through in the request. Shifting so that the young woman could get up, Syra cradled her arms to accept the dragonet to hold until Teagan returned. Quickly she asked Rasenth for a favor and nodded to herself when he responded. "Rasenth says it would be faster for you to take him to the Barracks, if you don't want to be gone long. He's just outside if you would like to climb up on him. He's happy to do that for you if you would like it." Syra offered, wondering if taking the blue with her would make the new-dragonless Teagan feel more comfortable that the pair of older riders wouldn't slip between without her.

Of course would never have gone without Teagan with the dragonet anyway, but in such an emotional moment it was understandable for her to worry about such a thing. Syra was sure there were others who might have done just that to save her the pain of it all. The Hatching was continuing a ways off from them but the bluerider wasn't paying it any attention. Her focus was on the overwhelming pain of losing a dragon. Teagan's pain... and the only things Syra could to do make her feel marginally human about it all was to support her and be there. So that's what she would do.

[Feel free to control Rasenth as you wish if Teagan takes up Syra's offer <3]
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Marvealle
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Tue Dec 24, 2019 8:13 am

Teagen appreciate it, feeling a small weight leave her chest when the bluerider agreed to her request, even assuring she would never go to take the hatchling between without Teagen. Of course, it was just a weight of worry, a small drop in the lake that was her feelings of loss, but it was something that helped just a little bit; enough so that when Syra was ready to take the hatchling, Teagen was able to convince herself mentally to let the hatchling go just long enough to do this, slipping the small body into the bluerider's strong arms.

When the offer was made, Teagen looked out toward the hatching sands exit, and could see a glimpse of the dark, large blue waiting outside. After a moment, she nodded though. "Thank you," she went with for now, for both the offer and for going along with her requests, and for helping with all of this. It was a hard thing for anyone to help bear, and as time passed, Teagen would feel increased appreciation for the bluerider's support.

Teagen then slipped off the sands, meeting with the unmistakable blue Rasenth waiting just outside for her. She nodded to him as she stepped up, looking at the blue in a little bit of wonder, but also a sense of sadness for so many different reasons. Tears stung her eyes yet again, and she had to breathe deep to force back a sob, making her breath shaky in sound. After that breath though, she found enough steadiness to speak.

"Thank you, Rasenth, for your help," she said, bowing her head to him for a moment in respect for the great beast before she climbed up on him when he crouched down for her. Once on him, she couldn't help but just lay against his neck, wrapping her arms around his neck as much as she could, keeping her on the dragon, but that wasn't why she did it. The feeling of warm, healthy hide against her cheek and against her arms made her cry again, even as he lifted off to glide over to the nearby barracks. She barely noticed the short flight as she sniffled and hiccuped with her grief over what should have been, but wasn't. She could pretend for that moment though, what it would have been like one day, if only things had gone differently.

Once landed, she sat up and wiped her face again before climbing back down when Rasenth crouched again. "I'll be right back," she sniffled before trotting off briskly to the dragon candidate barracks and into the room she had been sharing with her cousin. Quickly she changed, barely caring about what she grabbed to wear as long as it served its purpose. She didn't even bother with shoes, leaving the barracks barefoot again, with the white robe draped over her arm as she returned to Rasenth who had waited patiently.

"Thank you again," she said once more, for the moment seemingly calm, perhaps even cried out for the moment. From there, she rode him back to wherever Syra waited, clearly Rasenth knowing wherever his rider was. Teagen looked for her herself too on the way back, visually trying to spot her, bit mostly, trying to spot the signature pale white hide of the hatchling she was holding for Teagen. It was a weird situation for certain, making a dragonrider stand there with a dead dragonet just so Teagen could do this exactly how she wanted, but still, she was a little relieved, yet grief stricken again to see Syra and the hatchling in her arms still. Of course she couldn't stop hoping, as impossible as it was for the outcome to have changed.

When Rasenth landed once more, Teagen was fast to slide off of him and cross over to Syra. "Thank you for waiting, here," she said before holding out the candidacy robe draped across her outstretched arms to receive the small hatchling with, ready to return him to herself for these last moments she would have with them before she helped take them to their final rest. She seemed like she might cry again, but her tears were spent for now, but her sorrow was still strong, her broken heart feeling like it was literally aching in her chest from the intense sadness that hit her again in another overwhelming wave. These would be her last moments with him, and never would she know the name, or know what life they could have had together.

"I'm sorry I didn't save you sooner," she couldn't help but murmur to the hatchling.
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Saerle
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Wed Dec 25, 2019 3:15 am

Rasenth was careful and delicate with his flight, aware that there were many emotions flowing through the young woman he was carrying. Before they returned to where everyone else was, Rasneth paused, turning his head back to the dragonless young woman, his eyes reflecting his own and Syra's grief. I would tell you a secret, young Teagan. he told her, pausing to ensure that none were around to hear his words. My rider is experiencing your grief, the same way that you are. Your loss is a heavy one and we feel for you in a way that not many others do. If you should need anyone please know that neither of us would ever turn you away. If you would like the love of a family, you have us. You should not go through this alone, and know that you are not, never again. The way the massive blue inflected his words, it was clear that he was telling Teagan about Syra's empathy and his secretive actions of ensuring they were alone before saying so would have drilled that fact in. Syra had told him it was okay to tell Teagan her secret... but she wasn't ready for the Assistant Weyrlingmaster to know it.

Rasenth didn't wait for a response, knowing that the young woman wanted to return quickly. In the time it had taken them to get to the Barracks and back, Syra and discreetly slipped outside with the dragonet, away from any who might still have been watching their small group. Looking down at the same form in her arms, Syra cried openly for his loss. Even though Teagan was a ways off, now, the emotions lingered in the bluerider's heart and mind, "I'm so sorry I couldn't get there faster... I would have helped you break out too, if I could...". Quietly she had offered to V'an to take the twins between as well, in a second trip, once the would-be dragonrider males were done with their own goodbyes. She'd seen Oly come and snatch the knife, of course, but she'd turned away from the scene, knowing already how painful the new blasts of emotions from Oly and Fan would be for her.

Teagan's clothing gave away the pair's return and Syra immediately offered the dragonet back to its rider, not wanting the young woman to think she was holding it hostage. Remember what I have said, young Teagan. Rasenth said privately to the younger woman. Syra turned to her as well, brushing her hair back from her face and add her own quiet nod to what her dragon had said and speaking too low for the Assistant to hear, "You have family in me, Teagan. Come and find me if you ever need someone. This has bonded me to you in a way that no one else but someone who has lost a dragon could understand..." she hinted at the secret that Rasenth had told the girl.

Rasneth curled his body around the small group, providing a wind shield. With a final comforting stroke of Teagan's hair, Syra climbed on the dragon and prepared guest strap for her passengers from the pack she had attached to the dragon's straps earlier in the day. The woman was always prepared for several passengers, especially considering she regularly brought Candidates back to the Weyr. There was no rush in her movements and once she had double checked them Syra climbed down to sit on Rasenth's foreleg where he was laying in patient waiting. They would take as long as was needed for the young woman's closure.
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Marvealle
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Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:15 am

There was a lot shared from Rasenth to Teagen, but at first a lot of it wasn't something she could fully process. She didn't get right away what he was really implying about his rider, but she did catch the more surface things of what he tried to express, that he nor his rider would turn her away if she needed support from people. She silently appreciated the words, the offer, but it wasn't something she could fully process right now. Another seed was planted in Teagen's mind after that though, from Syra herself, with the specific words she spoke, as if somehow Syra understood the loss of a dragon... though hers was there with them. Even Teagen knew that riders didn't often reImpress, so those words were a seed of truth planted to grow for Teagen to understand later, after the initial gravity of her grief had a chance to wane.

While Syra made sure Rasenth was prepared, Teagen sat on the ground again, holding the dragonet, and carefully getting them wrapped in the white of their own candidate's robes. Today would be the last time she wore these, she thought silently as she looked at the hatchling one last time, before covering up their face and head at last, bundling the small hatchling as best as she could with the robes. It wasn't really perfect... but the meaning of it all was perfect, at least for Teagen it was. Not only was she letting go of the hatchling that could have been, the life that could have been, Teagen would be letting go of the dragonrider she could have been.

After a few moments more, while Syra waited for her to be ready, Teagen sighed, and stood up, clutching carefully the delicate little body protectively.

"I'm ready to go now... It's time I let them go..."
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Saerle
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Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:23 pm

Syra took several deep breaths and tried to clear her mind a little before looking at Teagan.... the emotions were still roiling through her but she could feel the resolve as well. She watched the careful wrapping in her peripheral vision and swallowed a lump in her throat. Even though she couldn't read the girl's thoughts, she could sense the emotions and it was almost as good. There was nothing left for her to do... smothering Teagan in support wouldn't actually help as much as being there without judgement and without offering solutions and empty words. It was true, there were very few people who could understand what she was going through, and the feeling was more than the emotions that Syra could feel.

Rasenth chose the moment Teagan spoke to bring his tail around to his side and pin it there, almost as a ramp. After a question from Syra, he explained privately so that his rider could help their passenger. "Rasenth wants you to stand on his tail and put a hand on him to steady yourself while he lifts you up to his back... that way you don't have to let go of your dragon, again." With a quick demonstration, Syra was on the blue's back and waiting there to help Teagan step up.

Once the girl was aboard safely, Syra took care to strap her into the guest straps and then stopped, clearing her throat. "If... you decide that you want to go along with your dragon between... this is the emergency release for these straps. Press down on the clip and yank sharply to the left -- that's the opposite way they are meant to open, but pressing the clip makes opening them that way intentional. You'll have the usual three-breath span of time when we go between to say goodbye."

She wanted to say more... but what could she really say? She patted Teagan's leg and went to strap her own self in, double checking the connections and then looked back to her passenger, "Are you ready? It's okay if you wan to take some more time."
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Marvealle
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Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:56 am

Teagen didn't fight or stall any of the remaining preparations. While she wasn't truly eager to let go, she knew she had to, felt the resolve within herself solidify the rest of the way. Her dragon that would never be named needed to rest fully now, and so she did as she was told to mount onto Rasenth, standing on his tail and letting him and Syra help her up so she wouldn't have to let go of her dragon again until it was time to. She counted these moments, cherished them just as much as they pained her, holding the dragonet close in their wrap of her robe she wouldn't wear again.

When Syra explained the release, Teagen didn't nod, but did look attentive, looking at the clip designated for several moments as Syra finished up their preparations and got herself mounted and hooked into the straps. The possibility hung onto Teagen for those moments, the potential of what Syra was telling her, offering to her. She could go with them, rest forever with her short-lived dragon between and not have to suffer without what should have been.

"Hm? Oh, yeah... Yeah... I'm... ready," she answered slowly, words stilted as she hesitated just a moment more. She stroked the dragonet's nose through the cloth one more time, then nodded. "I'm ready, let's go," she confirmed finally, no longer feeling overwhelmed with the want to hold the hatchling forever. In the coming days she would beg silently for them to return, yearn for things to have gone differently, but at this moment, for all the pain she felt, she was reaching a sort of surface calm as her resolve to do what was right by the dragonet took over. She focused on that feeling, the desire to do what was right, but still committed these last moments to memory, feeling the weight of the dragonet in her arms, that and their words being the only thing Teagen would have left of the hatchling in mere moments once Rasenth was in the air with his passengers aboard.

Two wingbeats up.

Teagen thought about what should have been... what could have been... had she just acted quicker.

Four wingbeats up.

Their time together ended too soon, and for Teagen, would end again when between came.

Six wingbeats.

She thought of the release clip... the potential of putting an end to the soul-wrenching agony she felt, and perhaps finding her dragon in the forever rest of between.

Eight.

It would be time soon, she hugged the bundle of white closer, tighter, fighting back the tears that once again stung her eyes and blurred her vision.

Twelve.

"Goodbye... I'll see you on the other side..."

Then... Between.

It was such an odd place, if it could be called a place at all. A strange sensation of no sensation, no anything, yet a vast possibility of nothingness as well. A place where all the dragons of the past rested, and where hers belonged.

It was just a few seconds, she knew she couldn't hesitate, so with her breath held against the absolute chill of between, she loosened her arms, closing her eyes tightly, and a hand reached for the clip Syra had shown her. Her other arm let the hatchling go, slipping away and into the nothingness, the slight weight gone from her and from Rasenth in mere moments... gone... unable to be retrieved. Her hand held onto the release clip...

And she didn't yank it free, letting instead the blast of light and sensations return to her once Rasenth blinked back to reality, to the sky over New Atricis Weyr. Without having realized it, instead of throwing the release open and jumping from Rasenth, she had let the straps go and clung to Syra instead, gasping for a desperate breath when they came out of between and then sobbing into the woman's back.
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Saerle
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Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:07 pm

Syra took several deep breaths before she gave Rasenth the go ahead to go between, to their same location but a dragonlength away. For her, the wingbeats were quick. Normal. From Teagan the emotions ran free, right to Syra who swallowed hard against the lump in her throat. Like a raging tide, the bluerider held on through the emotions and closed her eyes, knowing there was a chance that when they returned from the cold, black darkness of the void that was between... there was a chance Teagan wouldn't be behind her. It had happened before, Syra had done this same thing for another... but that person hadn't come back with her. They had left with their dragon. For Syra that was probably the most bittersweet thing about being a rider. Your dragon couldn't live without you... but you? You could go on... it would hurt, unimaginably, but you could live without the dragon. Some people... some could even reImpress. But when a human couldn't go on without their dragon and left the world with them, it was like snuffing out two lights. And even a dimmer light could brighten a dark room.

Rasenth slipped between.

Syra lost all feeling except that she knew Rasenth was beneath her. The moments seemed to drag on, and on and on... though it was no longer than the time it took to cough three times. The normal time it took to go on a trip between.

The woman's heart raced as she waited for the brightness of Atricis Weyr to return, and when it did she felt the arms around her, felt the young woman's emotions return to her and felt the sobbing as a head was crushed against her back.

Syra swung around grabbing Teagan to her chest and laying her cheek on the Candidate's head. She was sobbing, too. In that moment she didn't realize how desperately she wanted the young woman to live. To keep going. To show her strength in the face of loss. And so Syra clung to her, just as she was being clung to right back and held her while Rasenth landed and looked back at them on his back, crooning his own comfort and thankfulness that Teagan was alive. The dragonet was gone, forever, now... but for Teagan the healing was just starting.

"You're not alone, Teagan... always remember that I'm here for you, and so is Rasenth. Never, ever hesitate to come find us if you need us." Syra whispered, all of their combined emotions clear in her voice.
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