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Dalibor Weyr > Lower Caverns > Hide Don't Seek

Posted by: Catsitta Aug 9 2017, 11:47 AM
She wasn't supposed to be awake at this hour, much less wandering around the lower caverns. Abandoning her aunt's room and steering clear of the creche, the young girl found herself in the coaxing comfort of the dark. It was not ignorance that brought her into these halls. She knew of the men and women patrolling the night, keeping the weyr safe from intruders. It was curiosity and a morbid desire to get lost. The last time a wher handler found her huddled in the dark, she gained a family. Though how she lost the first one remained a blurry haze, the Turns passed leaving the image stale in her mind, too unfocused to properly recall.

This lack of fear and inkling of wonder kept small feet padding through the halls. Cesselia's eyes and ears straining for any sign of movement. She curled her fingers, one hand pressed against the stone wall, the others knotted in the fabric of her dress. At nine Turns old, she was supposed to know better than to go wandering around without an adult. Who knew what trouble she could stumble upon? But trouble didn't bother her. Risk came with gain. Knowing the lower caverns would lend itself well to hiding if there was a need.

She was good at hiding.

Footsteps caught her attention. Grey eyes widened and she pressed her back against stone, sliding stiffly until she puddled into a crouch on the ground. Unable to help herself, she peered towards the noise, breath held. It was a wherhandler pair. With no proper hiding hole to wedge herself into, they would no doubt find her as they passed. Darn. So much for exploring and finding the best hiding spots.



Posted by: Rii Sep 5 2017, 11:42 AM
Sadly, there really was very little chance of escaping Damarisk's notice. The cyan was energetic, driven, friendly, and curious, and she did love helping anyone she thought might need her specific brand of help. Found you! Da-ma-rion, new small person here! Look, new small person!

Damarion wasn't sure who he expected to encounter in the back hallways of the lower caverns, but it wasn't a little girl. He supposed that really, he wasn't expecting anyone at all, at this time of night. The majority of the Weyr was usually asleep by now, save only the night-dwelling denizens. Usually that included the weyrbrats but there had been cases, he knew, of children who had wherhandler parents who tended to follow their parents' schedule. There'd been one of those parents in his wherling class.

Still. Whether she was supposed to be up and about right now or not, he had to make sure that she was alright. She didn't seem alright, and that worried him. She seemed... scared. Stopping, he lowered himself into a crouch in front of the huddled child and smiled kindly, raising a hand and spreading the fingers in a small wave.

Damarisk was less quiet about it, bouncing a little and wriggling her entire serpentine length. Hello small person! Small person okay? Damarisk, Da-ma-rion, worry about small person looks sad looks scared not good. Small person lost? We help find?

Damarion's shoulders shook a little in silent laughter, placing his free hand on his cyan's back and trying to coax her to settle a little bit. Give the youngling space and room to breathe. Da-ma-rion say, not worry, small person not in trouble. Just say hi. Want you be okay, yeah?

The wherhandler nodded vehemently in agreement. He pointed to the wher. I, Damarisk, she filled in on cue. He turned his finger to his chest. He, Da-ma-rion. Now, Damarion pointed to her, tilting his head with a questioning look. He wanted to know who she was, if she'd tell him.


Posted by: Catsitta Sep 5 2017, 08:41 PM
Cesselia's eyes widened. The wher was such a bright color. Like blue and green smushed together. Her brow furrowed with thought. Cyan? It was hard to tell, but it had a long, lanky body and blues tended to favor shorter builds. The only way to know for certain would be to reach out and touch its hide. See if it had that softer than soft sleekness that hid how tough it was in truth. Fixated on its color, she blinked with surprise as it began to speak. Quite the chatterbox this one. A smile crept on her lips. She liked whers. They were scary and ugly a lot of the time, but she met lots of nice ones. Her Mama's green was a grump but let Cess ride on her back when she was too tired to walk.

She listened attentively, remaining small on the ground. Cess was never quite comfortable around strangers, even if they had friendly whers. Her eyes skipped to the handler, who was crouched before her, so far saying nothing, letting his companion do all the talking. So she wasn't in trouble? They were just concerned? She glanced away and pressed a little further against the rock, teeth worrying her lip. Even if she wasn't in trouble, she didn't like how close they were. Though, as if sensing her discomfort, the handler held a hand between her and the wher, silently bidding the wher to not crowd Cess further. She drew in a breath and watched them through the corner of her eye. Damarisk and Damarion.

Damarion pointed at her.

They wanted her name.

She fiddled with the handful of skirt still clutched for a moment then placed an open palm on her chest, "Cesselia." Her voice was tiny but certain. Curiosity won over nervousness as she reached a timid hand to the wher, wordlessly asking if could touch. She wanted to know, cyan or blue. Of course, a politer thing to do would be to ask both wher and handler aloud what their color was, but that would require more words than she wanted to verbalize right now. Though, the fact that the handler had yet to speak intrigued her.


Posted by: Rii Oct 4 2017, 12:05 PM
Damarisk had a long, snakey body that had made Damarion call her an overgrown tunnelsnake when he was especially exasperated with her, which rarely happened. The cyan wriggled that body in ripples that started at her head and rolled all the way down to her tailtips when she was excited - which frequently happened.

Hello hi Cessy is nice to meet. Damarisk pulled away long enough to prance in a circle, almost catching her tail in her maw, before returning. Damarisk like new small person. Like new thing, new plan, ooh, small Cessy can get anywhere, much good, give i-de-aaaas. Damarisk remember for later.

Damarion shifted his weight, shuffling a bit to the side and settling down on the floor in a tailor's seat, crossing his legs in front of him. He nodded affably at Cesselia, pointing at the child, then Damarisk, and mimed cowering, raising his arms in front of him to shield his head and shivering exaggeratedly.

Da-ma-rion want know if small Cessy scared of Damarisk. Small Cessy not scared of Damarisk maybe? She stopped wriggling and moving to lower herself flat on the floor, curling her tail in and looking up appealingly. Damarisk not scare, she good wher. Da-ma-rion not scare. Except for bad guy, YEAH, bad guy gotta look out. But not small.

The handler smiled and bobbed his head in a nod. Reaching over, he patted the cyan, then gestured that Cesselia could do the same. The wher's hide was rougher and tougher than a dragon's, but not as wrinkled and gnarly as some of Dalibor's whers were.

Damarisk bumped her head up under the girl's hand. Damarisk talk for Da-ma-rion, she told Cesselia. Da-ma-rion, no voice. Find other way to talk.


Posted by: Catsitta Oct 7 2017, 03:01 PM
Cyan. The wher was a cyan, Cesselia decided, marveling at the texture of her hide. Curiosity sated, she peeked at the handler again. He couldn't speak? She recalled the healers calling her mute before anyone knew she could talk if she wanted to, saying that trauma could steal away speech even if there was no physical injury. A tiny smile peeked at the corners of her mouth. Maybe his wher chose him so she could be his voice? She knew whers bonded to a wide array of people, young and old, fit or frail. The blind could even Stand as Candidates! How could anyone truly be afraid such creatures? They saw past physical faults and protect theirs fiercely. True, there were big, scary wild ones without bondeds. But the ones who had a partner, they were marvelous!

Cess stood and wrapped her arms around the lanky wher's neck, snuggling her. An impulsive, dangerous things to do, one might say, but she liked Damarisk. She was a friendly, sociable one that didn't seem prickly at all. And she looked so sad when she suggested that Cess might be afraid of her. She spooked her at first. But that was forgotten and forgiven. She pulled back and gave Damarion a small wave. He was scarier to her than his wher.

A peculiar thought crossed her mind.

Maybe they would play a game with her.

A grin split her features as she booped the cyan on the nose and bolted. She tapped the handler on the shoulder as she passed him. Little legs could only take her so fast and far, and it was dark. But leading the pair on a merry turn of hide-and-seek was as good an idea as any.



Posted by: Rii Jan 7 2018, 09:43 PM
Damarisk huffed out a contented sound, hooking her head over Cesselia's shoulder and whisking her tail back and forth slowly. She was fine with snuggling smalls. And snuggling bigs, too, although neither for terribly long - eventually she found that she just had to move, unless she was totally worn out.

Which is never, hmm, Damarisk?

Not never, Da-ma-rion. Get tired. Get happy. Like snuggle.

Mmmhm, sure. Until the next big thing comes along.

Damarion smiled back at Cess when she peeked at him, then patted Damarisk again, his affection for the cyan clear in his face.

Da-ma-rion say, he lucky, have Damarisk talk for him. Harder with no Damarisk. Da-ma-rion write on slate, when no Damarisk. Small Cessy read? Not that need. Damarisk here! The cyan wher pulled away, striking a pose that was maybe intended to be heroic, before she spoiled it with a happy wriggle.

You really like her, don't you?

Is nice small Cessy. Can keep?

The handler laughed silently, his breath clicking in his throat. Somehow I don't think so.

Damarisk squealed as she got booped, pulling back for a moment before cluing in to the silently proposed game. Oooooh, ten nine eight seven five six... uh... six five four three two one, ready-or-not, Damarisk come! Chattering excitedly, she bounced as she waited for Damarion to get to his feet, then started pattering down the hallway at an easy pace, poking her snout into storerooms as she went.

Still chuckling mutely, Damarion hoisted himself upright, following his wher in the game. Why not? It was all good fun.


Posted by: Catsitta Jan 15 2018, 08:20 PM
She could read. She could talk too when she wanted. But the wher bespeaking her? It was familiar. Safe. Mama Elde, I miss you, she thought, skittering through the hall like a spooked wherry. Damarisk and her vivid hide and vivacious nature; she was so different than the green she knew. Damarion was certainly nothing like Elde. But he didn't have a voice and a wher thought he was good enough for a bond. It gave her hope that maybe...dare she think it? That maybe one day she'd have a bonded of her own. Maybe a big, tough green wher covered in lumps, bumps and spikes. Cesselia rounded a corner and bounced down a familiar tunnel. There weren't any nooks here to hide in. She would have to keep running.

Grey eyes blurred, damp from tears she wasn't quite sure why she shed. This was a happy moment. A friendly wher and her handler were playing a game with her. They weren't mad. His lack of a voice inspired seeds of hope. Yet...yet warmth crawled down her cheeks. Maybe a wher wasn't something she needed as a bonded. Perhaps she should yearn for the skies and escape the memories of the family she lost on dragon back. Cess spread her arms out. Like wings. She could fly, fly away from it all. No more darkness. No more hiding.

But did that mean she never stopped running?

She turned another corner and spotted a familiar dip in the stone wall. She could duck into that cubby and hide. She was always hiding. But whers were good at finding. Damarisk would find her. Right?



Posted by: Rii Mar 28 2018, 10:07 PM
It was a good backup to have, although Damarion almost always had his cyan with him, now, willing to translate his thoughts into her mindvoice. At times, when he needed most to be clear, she even teamed up with him to let him speak through her directly. It had taken a fair amount of practice to get right for more than short messages, but they'd practiced because it was important to them, even necessary.

Not for the first time, and not for the last, Damarion was glad that Damarisk chose him.

Cesselia would be able to hear the cyan before she ever saw her. Excited with the game and the fun she was having, Damarisk was uttering little chattering sounds of excitement and glee as she came through the corridors, stopping to sniff and snuffle and whuffle now and then to follow the child's scent trail. It was so fresh that it would take something truly exceptional to distract her. Hunting, guarding, these were bread and butter to a priderunner pair.

Eventually she caught up, crooning with glee. FOUND SMALL CESSY! Damarisk poked her head into the little cubby, tongue lolling out of her mouth. Cleverest Damarisk! Damarisk always find! She withdrew to prance a bit, then returned for another look.

Wh... small Cessy cry. Why is small Cessy cry? Damarisk help? Da-ma-rion help? Her glee vanished in concern and she stretched up to put her face in Cesselia's. Da-ma-rion! Da-ma-rion, help!

I'm right behind you, Damarisk, you don't need to shout. He eased the cyan back a little so he could be closer to Cesselia. Yes, he could definitely see teartracks on her face. Raising a hand to his face, he traced a fingertip down his cheek from just below his eye, then extended his palm out to her, his expression questioning. Why was she crying? What was wrong?


Posted by: Catsitta Mar 30 2018, 03:06 PM
Damarisk was loud. Cess curled up in her cubby and listened to the wher search, comforted by the noise. It wasn't long before the pair came upon her hiding place and the wher announced her discover. And dismay. Oh. Right. She wiped her cheek with the back of a fist and cleared her throat. They were worried because she was crying, but she wasn't quite sure how to explain the amoebic mush of emotions swirling in her belly or the confounding thoughts muddling their accompaniment in her brain. Cesselia cleared her throat and offered a smile, climbing out of the cubby to stand in front of the worried wherhandler pair.

Her hands curled and uncurled, vague gestures dancing on splayed fingers as she tried to form a solid explanation. Eventually, she bit her lip and motioned weakly at Damarisk, "Eldesk...Mama...gone." She shrugged her shoulders and wiped her face again. Quietly, so much so that Cess herself barely realized she was speaking, she added, "Everyone leaves me or sends me away." She sniffed and hid away the urge to cry by patting Damarisk. Warm and safe. Her grey eyes flickered to Damarion and she made a shooing gesture before covering her face with both hands. Hopefully he would let the game continue instead of latching onto those accidental tears.

She just lost her mother recently.

She was allowed to grieve.

This sort of thing made it much easier to cope.



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