Casualties of War [A'zael] Apr 18, 2019 23:56:31 GMT -5
Post by Zen on Apr 18, 2019 23:56:31 GMT -5
10th Pass, 6th Turn, 4th Month
It had been several months since Mavros had lost anyone in a Fall. There had been some bad injuries, but death… they had escaped death for some time. Too long, apparently. A’dion and his bronze Zevranth were gone. A’zael stared at nothing in particular, his gaze unfocused, as B’rax gave his solemn report of the event. A sheet of Thread, A’dion and Zevranth going after it to help the young brownrider T’yer. T’yer’s brown Muldiseth was terribly injured and the young rider had not escaped unscathed either, but A’dion and Zevranth just might have saved the younger pair’s lives… at the cost of their own.
It had happened as the Wings rotated. It was likely the brownpair had not been quite ready for what was waiting for them once they took the high position. Their recovery was going to take several months, but Zenelle was certain that Muldiseth would recover and be able to rejoin his Wing, and T’yer’s injuries were not as extensive as his dragon’s. Recovering from any survivor’s guilt might take longer, however. A’zael would have to visit him in the infirmary as soon as he was well enough for it.
Good it was that Kes and her green were already rotated out of the fight when it happened. He had seen her throw herself into R’zon’s arms almost the moment Leviath touched down and his rider dismounted. A’dion had been her cousin, but really he was more like an older brother to her. Stupidly overprotective, but the two had been close. He would have to visit her as well. Kes was strong, but… where those she cared about were concerned, she felt deeply. Perhaps he’d get Rau and the three of them would all have a drink together. Four. He supposed R’zon could intrude on their reminiscing about old times. He couldn’t help but remember A’dion warning him away from any pursuit of Kes when they were all of 12 turns, to which he remembered feeling complete and utter disgust and promptly told the older man that she was like his sister and that was gross.
He grimaced and cursed as B’rax fell silent. They couldn’t get their new weyrlings back from this crazy plan Srunae had come up with fast enough. “T’yer and… and A’dion. Were they your only casualties?”
“Everything else was minor, fortunately,” B’rax responded somberly, “Nothing pressing. You’ll see them on Zenelle’s report, I’m sure.”
“They… both of them, they were two of your larger fighters,” A’zael forced himself to focus on the practical for now, “T’yer and his brown will be out for some time. Can your Wing handle it? Do we need to transfer someone temporarily?”
“We have worked with less,” B’rax gave a wan smile, devoid of humor, “I believe we will be fine, until we can add to our ranks properly.”
Save any other losses in the meantime. Neither of them said it, but neither of them had to.
After a moment of silence had stretched out, A’zael sighed and ran his hand over his face, glancing over at X’ar where the man stood, looking grim as well over the loss, “And your Wing, X’ar? There were no deaths, at least.”
“No, but Liesol and Z’kar’s dragons were both scored during rotation as well. They may not be able to fly in our next fight, though Zenelle said they should not be out for long, at least,” the old bronzerider reported, frown tugging at his features, “We were fortunate in that they were our worst injuries.”
A’zael shook his head, “Rotations…. G’drin’s brown was hurt then as well.” He considered that a moment. All of them, their newest riders. “We need to focus more on the Wing rotations when we do our Flight drills. Particularly for our new riders. The Wing rotations are always precarious, but we can’t sustain this kind of damage.” They needed to do better. They needed to be more ready, more efficient. They needed to perfect every aspect of their skill set when it came to Threadfighting because they just didn’t have the luxury of numbers that the other Weyrs had. They were on their way… with five young golds, they would soon have plenty of incoming weyrlings, assuming they could find enough candidates, but it would still be several months until they would see the benefits, until the Wings would finally start to grow. Until then, they still had to make do.
“I agree,” B’rax nodded, “It has been so long since we added new riders to our ranks….”
“We’re failing them,” A’zael said bluntly, and then amended, “I’m failing them. They need more practice where a mistake doesn’t risk their life, or anyone else’s. We’ll increase Flight drills until they get more comfortable with the Wing rotations.” He should have made the call to do it sooner. They could have been taking advantage of the winter, the lack of Threadfall, to get more practice in. Instead….
X’ar nodded sharply, “Very well. If that brings our discussion to an end, I’d see to my Wing.”
“Yes. Fine,” A’zael released him absently, watching the older man leave and blowing out a long breath.
“You’re not the only one to blame, A’zael,” B’rax spoke after X’ar had gone.
“No?” his gaze shifted to older bronzerider, “Every time I think I’m getting somewhere it just seems like-”
B’rax held up a hand to stop him, “I have far more experience than you, A’zael. I should have seen it too.”
“You’re not Weyrleader, B’rax, though Faranth knows you should be,” A’zael rubbed a hand over his face again, “You shouldn’t have to hold my hand constantly.”
“No,” the older man agreed, though his tone was amicable, “But it is the duty of your Wingleaders to advise you, whether you want to hear it or not. A good Weyrleader listens. But you cannot listen if we do not speak.” He stepped closer and clasped one hand onto A’zael’s shoulder, “The burden is not yours alone. A’dion was my wingmate, we fought together for turns. He was a good man. I’ll not let you take all the blame away from me.” He offered another sad smile and stepped back again, “We should both return to our Wings and make our reports.”
A’zael made a disagreeable sound, “Yes, tell them they’re all going to get more work because someone died. My favorite sort of report.”
B’rax sighed lightly, “I’m sure most will welcome the extra work if it means helping to prevent another similar loss. Do not return to your Wing with this attitude, A’zael. Morale will be low enough.”
He waved his hand, “I know…. I know. I’ll… take a moment.”
B’rax nodded, turned to leave, “I know it doesn’t always seem like it, A’zael… but we are doing better. Remember that. It is Threadfall. There will be casualties. It does not mean we’re failing.”
As B’rax walked away, A’zael watched him go and sighed again, Maybe not, but it sure feels like it.