Following the Shadow
There was some arguing that came about when Ay'li found out that Elys had volunteered to join the other riders on the Scouting Mission to find out more about these sea monsters that have been plaguing the southern shores. The bluerider promised over and over again to be careful, that nothing bad was going to happen, they were just going to go look at some stuff and come back. "Mom, I'll be fine. Weyrleader L'van is coming with us, you know that. It's all going to go without a hitch and I'll be back before you even know I'm gone."
The young woman assured the femme brownrider, embracing her mother and kissing her on the cheek. Ay'li held tight to her daughter for a moment or two longer than necessary, but Elysia managed to wriggle her way out of that grasp.
"You check your gear, tens times over if you have to, keep close to L'van and watch out for your wingmates. Use your gift to stay together, even if you get separated. You understand me?"
The brownrider insisted, making sure she caught the younger woman's' gaze and received the nod of acknowledgement. "Nori and I are never far, just call if you need back up."
Ay'li added as a last attempt to keep her daughter safe.
"I told you, we'll be fine...Promise!"
The bluerider said with a smile and another hug for her mother, before she bounded off to get ready and leave with all the others. Inwardly, she knew she couldn't promise that, but she really didn't want to think about her mother sitting and fretting every moment she was away....though as Weyrsecond, she was probably going to be anxious to hear from the group as often as possible anyway.
Elys did as she was told though, and checked her gear ten times over before ever mounting up on Kelpieth that fateful morning with the rest of the Wing, led by their valiant Weyrleader. The bluerider never quite pictured herself in the Weyrleaders Wing, and not that she really was right now either, but it was an honor to serve directly beneath the bronzerider either way. She'd heard nothing but good tidings of the man from Ay'li, so she knew she could trust L'van and planned to stick close to him. That was not just because of what her mother said, but because her gift could provide quite advantageous to the mission as well, so best to be in a place of good standing.
In the beginning they were just flying along the shoreline, eyes casting about for any signs of...well anything unusual. After a while, it was turning fairly monotonous, so Elysia's curious mind began to wander and she lowered the guard she kept around other riders and couldn't help but eaves drop a little on the one sided conversations she could hear. It seemed it was not only her mind that was wandering, though for some it seemed the dragon halves were more focused than their riders.
However, once they neared the sight of the wreckage, the conversations seemed to die away and attentions perked up at any sight or sound that was of a different realm. Elysia stood up in her straps to get a clearer look at some of the bigger pieces of wreckage. Though she knew time had passed since the attack, and the rocky shore likely hadn't helped, it was quite a display of force to see what was left after these creatures got it into their mind to attack. Unconsciously, the young woman ordered Kelpieth to fly just a little higher and out of reach of any flying serpents launched from the depths.
An inlet against the shoreline caught her attention, a little rocky cove that would be perfect for something to skulk around in the shadows. Growing up, she used to go fishing with some of the other creche kids, and she learned that fish liked to hide in those little inlets where the water was more calm and they were out of sight from other water dwellers. She gave Kelpie a quiet nudge to do a fly over around the cove to get a closer look, and see if her hunch was right or not. The watery blue flew in a slow circle around the shadowy cove, and the pair of them peered down into its dark waters for quite some time, but they could see nothing moving below the surface, it was quiet and still.
So attuned she was to her search, she'd failed to see what others saw in the wreckage, but she certainly heard Zenjarth call out for one to follow them and a moment later the blue pair were winging away from the inlet and following after their Weyrleader. Right behind you sir!
Kelpieth spoke on their behalf as the watery blue caught up to the bronze though kept a respectable distance. He flew true beside Zenjarth, faceted gaze looking for the source to follow and trusting in the bronze to lead the way. Elysia once more stood in the saddle though, to try and see what they had seen, the shadow in the deep, all the while keeping an ear on the other half of the group for trouble.
Searching the Ship
The zultaniterider had deliberated for a few days if she really wanted to do this or not. She remembered the fight for Homestead, and what it felt like to have an enemy attack you, and what it felt like to take a life. She knew that's what had been the catalyst for the deep depression she'd sank into the past few Turns, and she was only just beginning to feel herself again. Did she dare risk the sanity she got back?
Susanoth reminded her that this was not a battle against other of her kin, but against a relentless monster that would not stop unless someone stopped it. They had to know more about their enemy, they had to face them for the good of the whole South, for Pern, and they had to learn how to defeat them. This was more than just the two of them, bigger than a family with a bad history, and more than the Weyr itself, and they could be a part of that if she only said the word. The zultanite was eager for the challenge, to face their fears and conquer them once more, yet the rider was more cautious and wary for once.
However, Kitiara saw the sense in her dragons' argument and she couldn't very well sit on the sidelines when she knew she had the chance to do something and didn't take it. Resolved with her decision even if not entirely pleased about it, she approached the Weyrleader to volunteer a day before they were to be sent out. The rider made sure to prep her gear before leaving, but she had no intentions of spending that last night alone. She made herself quite comfortable between the furs with a fine looking young buck of a man, and was pleasantly lulled into a fitful slumber.
The vixen rose early, her bedmate still sleeping soundly and she left him there while she went through the morning motions. Time seemed to inch by though as she washed and dressed, and though she nibbled a breakfast she didn't really taste it. Once more she checked over her gear and found no flaws yet it didn't ease her mind. She stood in the doorway to her bedroom, watching the young man sleep, wondering if he would be the last one...Nonsense, this is just a reconnaissance mission, no one was going to get hurt out there. Stop thinking like it's the end already.
Susa couldn't help but interject, not allowing her rider to start that demolition spiral once again.
Sorry...you're right. I usually am ...Time to go, eh? Yes. ...No turning back now? No turning back. ...We can do this. We can do this.
Kit roused the young man from bed, explained he had to leave now and she followed him out the door with her gear in hand. Without looking back, she mounted astride the striped zultanite with practiced ease and they winged down to the Yard to form up with the rest of the Wing. The large zultie was placed between two blues, one tri colored watery looking blue, and one she recognized very well as the stark pale hide of Synsith, her wingmate. So K'uavaen had decided to volunteer as well. Maybe it was good thing for him, he seemed a little distracted lately, but they weren't really close enough for her to ask why. The zultaniterider bolstered up enough courage to look unafraid in front of her wingmate then, and even gave the bluerider a smile and brief wave before settling into formation and awaiting orders from the Weyrleader.
Out on the shoreline, it was slow going at first and everyone seemed to keep to themselves for a while. Soon enough they seemed to relax as nothing happened so far, and Kit settled back in her seat a little more, though she could feel the knot in her stomach. She didn't quite feel like being talkative, but she did steal a few glances back to K'uavaen and Synsith, glad to know at least someone on this mission she could trust. As they neared the wreckage though and the floating debris became more prominent, a solemn silence seemed to sink into her bones and even Susanoth felt apprehension shiver under her hide.
Their gaze darted around the flotsam and jetsum, searching for anything that was trying to lurk in the ruins, and at first she didn't see the rounded shape hidden behind the torn sails, but a second look and she seemed to notice just as another did and called it out. The weyrleaders bronze was also drawn to it, but veered away suddenly, leaving orders to investigate the ship as well. Susanoth was already curious, and with the prompt she needed the striped zultanite moved in a little closer to the ruins of the ship. A watchful eye was kept on the shadow and keeping a safe distance as she circled slowly around the wreckage, both of them trying to view this mass from all angles to discern what it was and if it was safe enough to get closer.