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Author Topic:  Flattery Will Get you Everywhere [S'kef]  (Read 1321 times)

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Flattery Will Get you Everywhere [S'kef]
« on: 06 May 2013 at 09:40 PM »
Berruth chuffed behind T'rel and in a rare gesture of affection for the bronze, T'rel patted his nose.  The bronze's shaft of joy was ignored and he went back to watching the Outsiders chatter and mingle.  Their dragons stood outside the group, T'rel happy to see they were all settled into behavior. 

With the exception of a long little green headache.  Shanith was jumping around and otherwise being an idiot.  He snarled to Berruth, Control her.  The bronze rumbled, disliking the command, but a moment of pressure on the draconic mind and Shanith suddenly squawked and settled down with a sad croon.  Ignoring Ravana's glare, he strode forward.  Really, if she wouldn't control her beast then she shouldn't be upset when others did. 

He ignored his bronze now, striding forward.  "Any news?"  The meeting started then and T'rel relaxed into it.  As it wrapped up, he lifted his voice to add one thing that would piss most of them off.  He didn't care, he'd ousted the one who had taken his group from him and any would be protesters able to lead others astray were firmly under his thumb.

"Also, Weyrleader S'kef has been made aware of the existence of this group, and our unanimous support for him.  Any who are caught spreading dissension, making trouble, and otherwise misbehaving will be reported to him.  Whatever punishment he doles out, I will double it by adding on my own."

He looked straight at the known troublemakers in his group.  Ravana, who had the aggravating habit of going with the flow, then unexpectedly deciding she would misbehave.  Danesary, who acted meek, though would take on a charging feline to protect her child.  V'len, who had vehemently opposed S'kef's every move, but tended to slink around and do damage when he thought noone could see.  Z'gler, who had dared to take his group away from him. 

He dismissed everyone after a moment and headed to his hut.  He wanted to celebrate and he knew just how to do it too.  The bottle of wine had been a gift from one of his group.  A blue rider, C'tel, who had at one time been a Sr. Journeyman Vintner.  He'd kept that quiet after coming to Katila, making a few batches of wine and hiding them to age.  His first batch to be released had been far better than average Katilan wine and T'rel had been glad to have an extra bottle for this. 

Pleased with himself, he carried it with him to S'kef's hut where he would be working this time of day and knocked on the door.  When an answer took a moment, he called out, "It's an ally.  I have gifts for you, Weyrleader."  Berruth stood silently nearby, his stress and fear causing T'rel to wall him most of the way out.  He wouldn't let his beast take this.

When the bronze spoke to Tyrrisath his tone was deferential and soft the words almsot fearful.  May I lie down here?  Mine's visiting yours and I'm hoping that after he'll oil me.  He's in a good mood and I'd like the time with him when he's happy.  Berruth doubted that T'rel would, but he hoped so!
« Last Edit: 02 Jun 2013 at 04:08 PM by BlueDragon »

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S'kef

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Re: Flattery Will Get you Everywhere [S'kef]
« Reply #1 on: 09 May 2013 at 07:55 PM »
S'kef was having an unusually calm and pleasant afternoon.  He was seated in the living area of his and J'ver's immaculately groomed hut, scanning casually over some light reading material while Flit curled sweetly in his lap. He grasped a cup of klah in one hand and held the parchment with the other, though in between sips he would occasionally grant Flit a single stroke along her spine. Each time she would purr warmly, as if she'd been given a gift. The little beast's dependence and pure longing for his attention brought a half-wicked grin to his face. It was good to be worshiped, even by a stupid little green fire lizard. She was so cute, too.

They were almost disarmingly pleasant like that, a rare moment of peace in a household that flourished on tyranny. When a knock came to the door, S'kef briefly expected that his peace had come to an end, however. No Tyrrisath reported, flashing an image of T'rel's delightfully well-mannered bronze. S'kef felt his grin return. Ah, so it was pleasant company!

"Good," he said, rising to his feet as he heard T'rel call out to him. Outside, Tyrrisath didn't respond verbally to Berruth, but instead inched the slightest bit to the right to indicate that any free space was fair game. Normally the brown wasn't big on sharing space, but S'kef demanded manners, and Tyrrisath wouldn't dream of opposing him.

Flit crawled up S'kef's sleeve as he walked over to the door. "Ah, T'rel. Good to see you," the brownrider said, smiling cordially and motioning for T'rel to enter. Gifts, huh? Having a loyal bronzerider like this around was reason enough to be thankful, but he certainly wouldn't argue. He'd heard all about T'rel's little decree, and he'd been waiting to see if the man would approach him.

How delicious. He might have a give for T'rel, too. Bronzeriders loved power, did they not?
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[span style="background-color:#603311;"][color=#DEB887]Tyrrisath Speech![/color][/span]

Re: Flattery Will Get you Everywhere [S'kef]
« Reply #2 on: 11 May 2013 at 09:50 PM »
Tyrrisath's inching over was accepted with almost relief but Berruth still stood, debating a long moment.  Finally he laid down, curling himself up as much as he could so he wouldn't clutter up too much space with his bulk, eyes whirling in agitated oranges and yellows.  The bronze was plainly unhappy and just as determined to stick it out.  Tyrrisath was watched for a long moment with a combination of fear and weariness, before Berruth decided he wouldn't hurt him.  Berruth settled after that, ignoring the disgusted thought of his rider that no bronze should be so scared of a brown. 

A chill smile touched T'rel's lips as he entered S'kef's hut.  "Thank you, Weyrleader."  He didn't have to pretend around him.  S'kef just seemed to want a loyal bronzerider, and he was happy to be that for a price.  The price had been already paid, just using the man's name had been enough to cow most everyone earlier, and he could cow the rest on his own.  He was back, that was all that mattered.

He didn't speak of the meeting yet, instead passing over the bottle.  "One of the riders in a certain group was a Sr. Journeyman Vintner before the Exile.  This bottle is from his first batch.  The other bottle I had from the batch was much better than average for Katilan wine."  he settled into a chair and added almost humbly, "It was a good day, and I thought I should pass on some of the good fortune that has come my way of late."

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Re: Flattery Will Get you Everywhere [S'kef]
« Reply #3 on: 12 May 2013 at 10:28 PM »
Tyrrisath was unbothered by Berruth's closeness, but if the brown was even aware of the bronze's discomfort, he didn't show it. He instead yawned and rearranged himself just enough to get comfy, closing his eyes and reaching out tentatively for Rilaleeyth before slipping off to sleep. He didn't want to disturb his green beauty, but he did brush her mind long enough to let her know that if she needed a fat bronze chased off of her resting spot, she need only ask.

Inside, S'kef smiled as T'rel announced his gift. The brownrider took a step closer and examined the bottle, eyeing it with initial suspicion which was quickly replaced with a pleased grin. "An attempt at Katilan wine that's not swill, eh? I'm interested to see how it turned out," he said, his casual curiosity betraying his approval of the gift. It was a worthy effort regardless, but the brownrider couldn't help but hope that the wine itself was worthy, too. He was so tired of drinking pisswater!

His initial thought was to save it to open with J'ver, but he decided against it. J'ver deserved only the best, and S'kef thought it appropriate to make sure the wine was decent before exposing his dear greenrider to it. If it was good, he would demand more and surprise the sweet greenrider one evening. If not, no time was wasted.

With that thought fresh on his mind, the Weyrleader grinned. ''A good day, you say? It's good to hear that there is fortune to spread. Why don't we open this up while you tell me about it?" T'rel's comment seemed pointed enough that S'kef assumed he was about to hear about it, or at least that  T'rel was thinking about sharing.  What was good for a man like T'rel was probably good for S'kef, too, so he was all ears.

Re: Flattery Will Get you Everywhere [S'kef]
« Reply #4 on: 17 May 2013 at 06:39 PM »
It was a rare thing for T'rel to relax, even an inch.  He did so now, the lines around his eyes smoothing just a little bit.  He spoke evenly.  "He gifted me two bottles.  I opened on on my own a few days ago and it was...decent.  Not Benden's quality but better than most Katilan alcohol."  He shrugged then got to the purpose of the visit. 

First, he stood.  "Since I more or less invited myself, I can get cups and corkscrew if you like?"  A bronzerider serving a brown, but it was small indignities like this that helped show, on the surface at least, that T'rel didn't care what color dragon S'kef rode.  For the msot part, it was even true.  He'd have had more problem if S'kef was any different, but he had to respect the man's balls for taking control the way he had and not letting his dragon's color slow him down any!

As he gathered the required items, he filled S'kef in.  "I had wrested control of that group back from the usurper a little while back.  Announced that troublemaking from the members would not be tolerated today."  A fierce grin showed as he added, "Doubling whatever punishment you hand out for those caught should mean that my segment of the weyr will be well behaved."  He leaned forward.  "They'll learn discipline, the usurper let them get lazy."  Eyes narrowed.  "It will be fixed.  I apologize though, I ramble."

He looked to S'kef, then commented, "I keep getting asked when wing practices start."  He suspected fairly soon.  The traitor who had poisoned D'ren had been caught and a weyr that was occupied with wing practices was one that would hopefully be too busy to make trouble.  While T'rel hoped it would keep things quiet, he doubted it. 

His private theory was that sun exposure had baked the brains of the Katilans into mush.  It was the only explanation for why there were so many determined to cause trouble.  Well, it was no skin off his chest.  Even greenriders and women could learn given enough incentive.  He assumed the same would be true for the brainbaked and lazy. 

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Re: Flattery Will Get you Everywhere [S'kef]
« Reply #5 on: 24 May 2013 at 02:52 PM »
"That would be excellent," S'kef said, taking note of the offer and reminding himself not to grin openly. Outranking bronzeriders never seemed to get old. It still gave him a fleeting rush. It was probably a childish attitude, but after so many turns of bowing to the bastards, it sure felt good to finally feel like his talents were being acknowledged. He'd always liked T'rel, too...He could recall being a fan back in what now felt like the 'old days'. What a crime, that the glory of the pre-plague era was now so far gone that the old days were encompassed by Katila!

The past was done, though. S'kef intended to be the one to restore that glory, but he needed men like T'rel to help him.

S'kef listened to the story with a faint smile of approval, his eyes gleaming wickedly. "I appreciate the initiative. It sounds like you shut them down and put them in their place handily...Not enough men around here have the balls to do that these days," he commented. So many of the bronzeriders had become pitiful shut-ins! Was it because they feared Crazy  Tsuen or new poisoners? Fools. They would never gain anything if they didn't reach out and take it.

"Can you tell me the names of those involved in this group?" S'kef inquired as he seated himself once more. Flit came to his side, resting sweetly in his lap. He gave her a couple long strokes with his fingertips, eyes still following T'rel. "You needn't list them off, of course..but anyone who might...stick out to you or I. Anyone I should perhaps keep my eye on. I would most appreciate it..."

Re: Flattery Will Get you Everywhere [S'kef]
« Reply #6 on: 28 May 2013 at 11:41 PM »
The smile of approval relaxed T'rel.  With Tsuen insane as she was, most bronzeriders hid.  While that might be the smart move, T'rel was a fan of the saying, 'Nothing ventured, nothing gained'.  In this case, it seemed to paying off. 

He spoke evenly.  "Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  Odd how few understand that nowadays."  He settled his weight on his elbows and thought over the request. 

Finally he spoke.  "Blue rider C'tel.  He made the wine.  Says he has a few more batches stored away but not where.  Dragon's a tiny blue."  Another moment. 

"Greenrider V'len.  Quiet rebel.  I've caught him spreading rumors that J'ver grew tansy in his garden around the time former weyrleader D'ren was poisoned, and set him straight.  I know he's planning something, but have no idea what.  Dragon's a fairly large green with heavy scarring on the wingsails."

Eyes narrowed in thought.  "Brownrider Z'gler.  Moral, self righteous bastard with ambitions.  Joined because his brown limps on his left side.  Never got a look at why, beast doesn't like others looking at him."

He looked at S'kef.  "Greenrider Ravana you know.  Mostly well behaved.  Good strategist, we play chess often enough for me to keep an eye on her, but she'll play with anyone who asks her for a game."  He hmmed a bit.  "I suspect she's dating Bronzerider B'run, but she will not confirm one way or the other.  She also fosters my son."

"Greenrider Danesary.  Useful, she tends to gather groups of riders, stolen and whoever she can coax into playing to play together for a day.  Says she's trying to 'foster connections for weyr unity'.  Keeps her too busy to truly be a problem and her games tend to help people build skills they're having issues with.  Best teacher in the group.  Should have been born a boy.  She'd have made a good wing second."  That was the highest compliment he'd ever give a woman. 

He went over the mental list and shook his head.  "Those are the standouts.  Most genuinely are there to help their dragons or themselves overcome some deficiency and don't give a shit about politics.  I will watch them for signs of that changing."

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Re: Flattery Will Get you Everywhere [S'kef]
« Reply #7 on: 28 May 2013 at 11:52 PM »
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Re: Flattery Will Get you Everywhere [S'kef]
« Reply #8 on: 02 Jun 2013 at 04:56 PM »
Most of those names were familiar. S'kef had been in the business of raw punishment for a couple turns under the previous leadership, and he had plenty of reason to believe "once a troublemaker, always a troublemaker". He snorted impatiently once T'rel had finished his spill, rolling his eyes and lifting them to the ceiling thoughtfully. "...Those types never change," he said  in a passively grumpy tone. What a no-good bunch of lowlifes.


"Doesn't sound like much of a threat, though...Relying on woman greenriders and gimp browns? Hah..." He didn't actually feel quite as dismissive as his words would suggest. True, they hardly sounded like a match for what he knew he could conjure on his side of the fence, but he was also very much in the business of never, ever totally underestimating someone. Quiet B'run and meek Talian had taught him that through their various acts of sabotage. He would keep an eye on these troublemakers like a hungry wher. "...But if they wish to present themselves as threats, we will have to treat them as such. No mercy."

No mercy, whatsoever. He would not risk a division in his Weyr just because some idiot riders wanted to let their sentimentality override their logic. Fools. Petty 'rights' and slothful desires sometimes needed to be pushed aside to make things happen, and S'kef was tired of sitting around and waiting. If they dared try to ruin his plans, he'd just have to crush them, wouldn't he? "They'll see, eventually...This is all for their own good," he asserted as he took another lazy sip of wine. Anger smoldered in his eyes, but he kept it under tight control, his voice smooth and pleasant.

Re: Flattery Will Get you Everywhere [S'kef]
« Reply #9 on: 06 Jun 2013 at 11:39 PM »
T'rel's smile was a little thin, his bronze had too much in common with the brown for him to give a true smile.  Refusing to visibly bristle, he replied evenly, "I have found that if you keep people busy they can't plot against their better, if only because they don't have time."  He looked at S'kef and thoughfulness showed.  "My purpose in founding the group was to rebuild those riders who were broken.  The politics happened when Z'gler took control."  Yeah, it was still a sore point and he would take it out of the brown riders hide.  Soon.

T'rel looked at S'kef evenly.  "If they present themselves as threats, they will be dealt with accordingly.  They've been warned.  Whatever happens next is on their own heads."  To him that was all there was to it.  A sip of the wine, barely enough to wet his lips.  The bottle had bitten T'rel hard, and he was more careful about drinking now. 

He paused then shrugged.  S'kef would just refuse to answer if the question was one he didn't want to answer.  "How are you going to bring the weyr in line?  What are your plans?"  And how would he be expected to help was the unasked question, though it still hung in the air. 

Outside Berruth fidgeted, the bronze squirming, then settling, only to repeat the process.  He would stop when Tyrrisath so much as twitched, then start again, plainly a nervous creature.

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Re: Flattery Will Get you Everywhere [S'kef]
« Reply #10 on: 11 Jun 2013 at 11:08 PM »
"It's not a simple process," S'kef replied, his voice low and his expression guarded and thoughtful. "Everyone has their opinion, and none of them bother to sit back and think it through. Everyone wants an overnight fix...and with this huge mess, that's just not going to happen," he grumbled. Katila was a shitstorm, and just because every peon thought they knew how to fix it all with a magic wave of their fingers didn't mean they actually could.

"The first step will be getting wings back in order...give people something to do and foster a little bit of companionship among the riders," he said. "I think I'll start watching the Impressed northerners closely, too...I don't think forcing the little shits into fight wings is the right way to go about it, that's just going to make the new generation hate us even more." Ugh! D'ren and his utopia! "I'll find something proper for them to do. But overall, I think we all need to know what really needs to happen."

He took a long sip.

"We need to go home. We need to get out of the mud and sand and go back to our rightful place. I'm sick of hiding here in the forest like a bunch of cowards, and you know what they say about rats and sinking ships..." he said. Then, a cruel smile crossed his face. "Or better yet, starving dogs...they turn on each other as soon as there's nothing else to eat. We're starving, T'rel...and cannibalism is fucking ugly business," he warned. "We need to get out of here. These idiots need to remember what being a dragonrider is really about, and scavenging like sick wherries isn't it," he scowled.

Re: Flattery Will Get you Everywhere [S'kef]
« Reply #11 on: 17 Jun 2013 at 09:48 PM »
T'rel leaned back.  They were in a fix.  The Stealing...he just knew there would be repercussions for it.  He didn't envy S'kef the task of fixing the situation.  For a moment Ravana's growled words about them being one weyr and needing to treat the Stolen better came back to him, nearly making him think before he dismissed them.  Of course a woman and greenrider would want to coddle them!

"Getting the wings in order would be a start."  He disagreed with what S'kef was saying about keeping the Northerners out of the flying wings but...  "I disagree with you about keeping them from the fighting wings.  It will underscore the division between them and the Plague Survivors and the Southern Raised.  But, if you go that route you can simply keep them working at their Crafts with their own wing practice, or limited practices with the other wings." 

At the words about going home, he straightened.  Dragonriders deserved to rule the world.  "We'll have to come back strong.  I've heard some of what happened up North from those friendly with the Stolen."  That there would most likely be bloodshed kinda worked for him, even if the only blood shed would that of the whers that refused to make way for the proper rulers of Pern.  T'rel took a breath then said, "You know you have my help."

Berruth kept fidgeting outside, his motions thus far unnoticed by his rider.  He didn't like being so close to the brown, it was plain.  It was just as plain he was going to do nothing about it.  The unhappy bronze finally chuffed nad stilled, then flinched as a shadow passed over head, thinking it was another brown or bronze.  Why did there have to be so many male dragons?

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Re: Flattery Will Get you Everywhere [S'kef]
« Reply #12 on: 18 Jun 2013 at 07:15 PM »
"I see little reason to put them in a wing and still have them craft," S'kef pointed out. T'rel's observation was a good one, but S'kef was this particular point as a flaw. "...Then we'll be working them more then the others, and if keeping them apart will spawn more hatred, this will cause even more," he said. "Perhaps there's an in-between solution; put them in a trail wing for a couple months and then let them choose. Some of them will certainly want to, but those who don't will only hold the wing down an get themselves killed." He had no interest in dealing with dragonriders who didn't want to be dragonriders...they would be more useful elsewhere, but perhaps T'rel was right about at least giving them a change to see if they liked it. S'kef had no qualms about letting them opt out, though. Good riddance.

At the second topic, the brownrider began to smirk. "...Don't you think slaughtering a bunch of arrogant wherhandlers and their ugly beasts would be fun?" he purred, perhaps a little too comfortably. He had no pity for the foul things, and he didn't expect any true, redblooded dragonrider would, either. He'd probably prefer to keep the act a little on the secret side, but shards...he was sure he'd find no shortage of volunteers to help him in the act. He winked at T'rel, then finished off his wine.

"It'll be an interesting trip. As for public relations with the holds...I'm planning on blaming everything on D'ren. The secrecy, the stealing...let him take the heat like the useless idiot he is. Tsuen, too. What do you think of that?" he asked with mirth. What a triumphant day it would be! And if the holders didn't buy into his little plan? Well, there were enough men like T'rel around to do what needed to be done.

Re: Flattery Will Get you Everywhere [S'kef]
« Reply #13 on: 30 Jun 2013 at 05:38 PM »
T'rel leaned forward.  " A trial wing would work well."  He thought it over a moment.  "Some will be best as crafters."  T'lian for one.  "And some of the gold riders might be less trou...happier if they were allowed to keep crafting and not expected to take on a weyrwoman's responsibilities.  The Stolen riders being able to choose their place will make them more happy."

For a moment T'rel thought about the wherhandlers' as people, then felt part of him rage.  They'd stolen their place, and for that they would pay with their lives.  "I look forward to reminding the usurpers of their place."  Eyes narrowed as he thought about it.  They would clear out and submit or be crushed beneath the boot heels of the riders.  No.  They're Kin.

The bronze was ignored for now, T'rel was in too good a mood to argue with Berruth's delicate sensibilities.  He spoke softly.  "It should work.  D'ren will probably even admit it's his fault if asked, since he protects Tsuen so very very well."  Head tilted as he thought it over.  "I can't wait to see her flip her lid when we go North.  I almost hope she's alive to see it."  Nirinath was a broken dragon now.  Soon enough, her control over the dragons of the weyr would falter and when it did, they would all go home.  He looked forward to it. 

"We'll live as we should.  Even the malcontents will go along with that." 

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Re: Flattery Will Get you Everywhere [S'kef]
« Reply #14 on: 17 Jul 2013 at 03:54 AM »
S'kef nodded slowly. He would think about the situation with the stolen weyrlings, but he imagined a brief trial period wouldn't kill them. So long as the ultimate decision was theirs, it was likely to win far more loyalty from them than  D'ren ever could. It was a win-win situation.

The issue of Tsuen, going home, and wherhandlers was much more interesting. S'kef felt like that situation was far more subject to his control, and therefore worth more of his time. He couldn't force those wronged by D'ren and Tsuen to be loyal to him, at least not outright..but he could damn well force those stinking wherhandlers and holders to respect him. "We'll give them a chance to run," he said with a hint of mirth, his eyes gleaming with something between ambition and hunger. "...Once. One warning, would that be sufficient? I certainly don't want to gain a reputation for unprovoked slaughter."

Unprovoked. If they put up a struggle, S'kef was rather looking forward to telling the rest of Pern about the 'unfortunate' hostility he and his dragonriders were shown by the wherhandlers. And just think, all they wanted was their home back! It would be a glorious excuse.

All in all, S'kef was quite pleased with both himself and T'rel. He smirked at the other man before turning up his drink and finishing off the rest. "It's been good talking to you, T'rel," he said. "You've got a good head for this sort of work, and I look forward to hearing more from you. Can I expect another report on those troublemakers soon?" He surely hoped so. J'ver kept him nice and in the know, but he had other plans fr the near future, something he'd love to have his sweet greenrider's full attention. Extra eyes were always useful when watching rebels, too. S'kef refused to underestimate them; he could and would use all the help he could get.

He set his glass down and rose to his feet. "I need to get back to work," he said. "Take care, and let me know if you hear anything. Those traitors need to be watched."

Re: Flattery Will Get you Everywhere [S'kef]
« Reply #15 on: 22 Jul 2013 at 04:23 PM »
Eyes gleamed.  T'rel leaned forward with a dark chuckle.  "Since when are whers and their handlers smart enough to heed a warning."  He was almost hoping they didn't. 

Sensing that their little tête-à-tête was coming to an end, T'rel finished his own drink and rolled to his feet.   "I will of course come back with a report soon enough.  Trouble makers should be watched.  Too bad they couldn't just be booted out of the weyr or killed outright.  T'shiro's example seemed to have been disregarded by most. 

He strode to the door, and when it opened a grateful Berruth surged to his feet.  We go?  We go now?  Oil?  Please oil?  The bronze wriggled, heedless that he'd almost trampled Tyrrisath and even now was showering the brown with dust and dirt from his excited movements and making a mess of where he'd been laying.  T'rel patted the bronze's nose and nodded.  Berruth excited bugle had him wincing, then sidestepping the excited bronze as he tried to nose him along before he changed his mind.  There were days T'rel really missed the Berrruth of old. 

He glanced apologetically at S'kef's brown, grabbing a weyrbrat and telling them to go clean up the area Berruth was lying in, then heading over to oil his overexcited dragon before he knocked down half the weyr from his joy.  Even now he was bouncing around, avoiding J'ver's garden only by a firm command from T'rel and instead knocking into a hut nearby.  T'rel sighed, and began making his way to the river, trusting the beast would follow.

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