Raiding the Renegades

The ocean was far far behind, having been the first leg in the long journey home - at least home for a kid whose too young to really fathom the difference. Still, the ocean was at least kind to the travelling duo, only one swell had washed over the deck on the route from Ista down South. Having landed in the closest Hold port available, the pair hired some runner beasts for the rest of the journey once Valkin described the distance that they would have to take to get there. The humidity alone of the Southern jungles made the last leg discomforting, for with the humidity came sweat and jungle bugs… The runners even felt the heat of the day and seemed to be plotting along slower by the hour. Valkin was on a dappled grey who was small but was steady as well, keeping footing in the uneven undergrowth as the path they took veered off from the main travelling routes. Interestingly enough, Valkin seemed to know these jungles easily enough to navigate through them with a sense of direction well in mind. Casting a look over his shoulder to his escort he sniffs a bit, "You should turn back now. I'm fine. You won't be once you're in the camp." The kid shrugs a bit and sways easily in the saddle as the jungle takes a sudden decline after the hours of incline.

By now, the duo on runner beasts are visible to the outposts and scouts of the renegade camp… no doubt word travelling back of the two coming toward the camp.

If Chaton learned anything on this trip is that there is a difference between the dry desert heat of Igen, and the wet jungle heat southward. Oh, and the fact that he gets seasick. The heat and the unacoustomed journey seems well enough to be taking it's toll, Chaton soaked through with sweat and paler than normal, his peppering of freckles standing out starkly on his pale skin. He takes another drink of water from the skin he'd brought, and looks around steadily. He shakes his head at the boy. "I'll follow you a little farther. Want to make sure nothing happens to you." he nods, and slumps farther down in the saddle.

Shorynia is adragonback, and clearly out of sight below a ridge in the distance. The blue's rider seems less than enthused to have a glorified paper-monkey along for the ride, but she'd been insistent. She had to make sure Chaton got back okay and today was the last little bit. She bites her lip gently, only knowing he's made it this far based on the reports of others and even now she can't see him, waiting for the signal to attack to be given.

There's a yell in the distance. Indeed, the runners are easily spotted by those keeping watch. "Hey! It's that kid! S'got someone with 'im!" A gruff voice shouts from one of the tree lookout posts. Shortly thereafter, Veski climbs up as well, eyes narrowing a bit as he peers out toward both Valkin and Chaton. "..Bring them both in. Now." Giving the other man a shove, both descend. A moment later, two men on runnerback go barrelling out of the camp area.

A'dar too, is out of sight below the same ridge as Shorynia, astride his lifemate. He and Zeituth are both silent, mentally and verbally, only exchanging a few short words when necessary. Zeituth's eyes swirl white and light blue with fear and nervousness, but his rider is calm. A'dar's eye are fastened on their target, though he can't see it. He's waiting, muscles tensed in preparation for the signal to go….

In the camp, Merrick is alerted by the shouts of the incoming riders. He watches curiously as Veski and another leap aboard a pair of runners themselves. Grinning impishly to himself, he hauls on his wide brimmed hat and leaves his camp and his clustering of renegades that slipped by Fort's patrols. He keeps his men back with a signal and finds his own beast to leap up on, doing it with skillful fashion as he flips his long trench coat over the back. Kicking his mount, he speeds forward in attempts to catch up with Veski. He's a leader as well, might as well represent, even if he was shamefully captured up North, he did manage to escape in the end.

Some heftier guards straight from Ista Weyr had followed the pair on their slower journey before the dragons could catch up. They were well beyond the being any help for the pair, but close enough to be sending messages by firelizard back to the awaiting dragonriders. Ph'lip is leading the group behind the ridge, as Wingleader of Search and Rescue, and the greenrider constantly checks over those waiting. Ysa's there as well, astride the desert queen Ellamariseth, though she hangs back behind the group so that no golden hide is hinted at all to those back at the camp.

Valkin regards the healer with a bit of sympathy showing through, slowing his mount with a flick of a rein, "Really. People who enter the camp never come out of it if they weren't invited. Can't have people running back to the rest of the weyrfolk you know." He frowns even harder, a scowl pointedly shown for Chaton's determination to see him all the way back to the camp, "I don't want to see you hurt, but they will hurt you. You're a part of a Weyr and not welcomed here." He shifts his shoulders a bit as he kicks his mount to plunge down the decline a little faster, the large skybroom trees towering above the rest of the jungle growth. The kid sighs as he sees the outposts ahead, camouflaged to those who don't know what to look for, knowing soon enough they were going to have company, "Last chance healer…" he pops over his shoulder, looking regretful to have not shaken the man off his trail a lot sooner than now. He had tried - once when boarding the ships, once when leaving the ships, and he almost slipped away when Chaton was dealing for the runners. Each time Chaton managed to end up right in front of him, as he tried to flee.

Chaton frowns, and cuts his eyebrows tight. "I am affiliated with no weyr." he says, almost harshly. "My affiliation is with Healer Hall, and none else." he senses the change in the boy, the hopefull excitement that people feel at the end of a long journey, and at having finally arived home. His eyes look around him, keeping a sharp outlook. He nods at Valkin. "I trust you'll be okay, then." he pulls his mount to a stop. "Be safe, Valkin. Hopefully we'll meet under better terms some day." and with that, he kicks his mount around, and urges it foreward, away from the camp.

Shorynia nods to the riders around her, her beastcraft raised ears picking up that one was coming back away from the camp… presumably Chaton. One fist clenches at her side. Soon this would all be over. Soon.

A'dar catches Shorynia's nod, and leans forward a little in his place, squinting a bit to see if he could detect anything. SmithCrafters may or may not have better eyesight, but he's trying to see what he can see anyway. His mind is blanked, all attention focused on waiting for his signal to move. Yes, it would soon be over. One way or the other.

Veski narrows his eyes a little as his runner continues charging forward. There's a faint growl when Chaton turns away, looking sideways toward Merrick as the other man appears. "Merrick! Get /him/." Though there's a brief pause before he yells slightly. "/Intact/, Merrick!" He continues his ride though, pulling up alongside Valkin's runner, before reaching an arm out, tugging the boy right over onto his own mount. "Damn little idiot.." Something is muttered to the other man who came with him then. ..That one looks a little panicked then, turning to flee back toward the camp at full pelt.

"Hah! Hah!" comes a thundering voice followed by the charging pound of hooves on the jungle floor. The beast that whips around and is as imposing as the man riding it. It's by far one of the largest runner beasts on Pern, it has to be, to support the six foot brick wall warrior riding him. It's a dark ron and likely 19 hands high with a powerful stride that overpowers the smaller beasts in which Veski and the other man rides. As Merrick reins in the mount, it snorts wildly and starts prancing eagerly, as if in tuned with the vile nature of the man on his back. Noticing that one of the incoming riders has spun his mount aroung, Merrick laughs, "That one is mine. I'll enjoy stringing out his innards from one end of the camp to the next." He spits some sort of chew out, before grinning at Veski, "Intact for now Veski! For now! But afterward!!" The promise hangs in the air as he kicks his mount forward, making the giant beast rear with front legs slashing before it charges after the healer. Merrick reaches back as the runner under him charges, reaches back for a rope. Beastcrafters use it for cutting out a beast of the herd, but this man's uses are a little more lethal than that. Preparing the rope with flicking it around and around, he holds it at his hip with a length in his mouth.

Off down in the jungle the guards, catching glimpses of what is going on further off, finally take action. A bronze firelizard is released, disappearing :between: in silence, and then reappearing right over the large wing of waiting Istan Riders. Ph'lip's loud voice calls out to those waiting eagerly, "We're skipping! Everyone prepare for battle!" He almost sounds like he's in war! But the man's got his knife out either way, which is held in his hand as he pumps his fist up in a signal. His Daaeth takes off, quivering in excitement but under strict orders to keep silent as well as the rest of the riders. Ysa's last to rise, keeping her eyes out on the rest of the dragons, and then they all disappear from below the ridge, reappearing right above the guards and only wingbeats from the camp. "You two, pick them up. The rest, to the renegades! Capture them and do not let them escape!" Two browns wheel off to pick up the guards below while the rest charge themselves, hoping to look imposing, especially to give Chaton room for escape.

Valkin doesn't resist as Veski yanks him from his own saddle, fumbling a little to grasp hold of Veski when he's pulled onto the man's saddle. The curse has him duck his head and wear a very shamed expression, "I'm sorry Veski! I told him not to follow me! I tried to get away from him…" He frowns a little at watching Merrick charging after the healer, "He's a healer Veski.. He says he wasn't involved with the Weyr." But for now, the life of that man was no longer his business, he was back where he belonged and awaited what he should do now.

It doesn't take much for his much larger mount to catch up to Chaton's. Merrick's beast has a wide flaring nose and ears flat on it's head, as if enjoying the vigor of the chase. It was really a good well trained mount after all, a war-horse if Pern had wars, this was at least going to be as close to that as Pern has ever had to deal with before. Closing the distance within seconds, Merrick begins to move his arm with strong sweeping motions, to create the rope in a flying hoop above him, and with patience, the rope is let loose and aimed at the fleeing Healer. Luckily, this renegade has some skill and manages to have gotten the rope lassoed around Chaton's middle. Promptly, the renegade hauls on the reins of his own mount and gets the runner to slide as the beast digs in his hooves to stop. The rope snaps taut. The momentum would likely drive Chaton out of his saddle as the ropes slack disappears and tightens like a vice around the healer…

Chaton coughs hard as he's tugged out of his saddle, and he hits the ground with a loud *thud* and rolls out of the way of horses' hoves. He pulls a razor-sharp surgical scalpel out of his waistband where it was hidden and slices through the rope as neatly as a surgeon at flesh. He stands up and sheds the rope and holds the scalpel in a loose grip in an amature knife-fighting stance, diamond-sharpened blade catching light off of Pern's suns. "I just brought the boy. I have no business with Renegades."

Shorynia's neck snaps back slightly when her blue taxi takes to the air. She cries out when she sees Chaton yanked from his runner, but her words are lost in the wind. The sweet girl has a knife out as well now, held at her side with an inkling of more experience than Chaton, but perhaps not with fighting.

The man who had broken away from Veski now tears into the camp on his own runner, yelling. "Get everyone out! Everyone out /now!/" Indeed, he still seems rather panicked, though with apparently good cause to be as dragons start to appear. The camp is in a very sudden uproar as many scatter, although there are those who grab for their weapons as well. Veski definitely looks…angry, kicking his runner to move faster back to the camp. "Does it /look/ like he's not involved?" Dragons? Involvement! Blatant involvement! He jerks the runner to a stop though once among the tents, hauling Valkin down with him as he hops to the ground. "Find somewhere to hide, and stay out of sight!" His own daggers are drawn then, although he grabs a woman by the arm as she runs past him. "Make sure the ones who can't fight get out through the tunnels." He gives a slight push then, and she continues on, running for the nearby caverns.

A'dar's eyes narrow as the signal is given, and he too unsheathes his knife. He rises up with the rest of the wing, and then he and Zeituth charge with the others. While they're silent, as ordered, A'dar's lip is pulled back in a sneer, teeth bared in anger. Appears he takes this personal. Especially when he sees Chaton get pulled off his runner, just after it registers to Shorynia. Mentally urging Zeituth for every ounce of speed the blue can muster - and leaning down so he can decrease the amount of air resistance - the pair streaks down with the others.

Valkin shakes his head as the camp goes into chaos, his eyes wide as he stares up to where people are pointing too.. "No.. No .. no!" Valkin suddenly whispers, startled by the appearance of the Weyrfolk. "The healer… he promised…" The betrayal strikes the kid in obvious ways, for one, as Veski dumps him and shoves him off to go hide, he just stands there watching the chaos around him. The dust was rising as people were taking what they could to flee the villians of the air. Valkin's eyes start to water, "Veski.. I.." and yet, he backs up, keeping out of the way as folks rush by.

Merrick watches with a devious scowl on his face as the healer manages to recover quickly, even worming his way out from the ropes. Still, with a cluck of his tongue, Merrick brings his mount forward, drawing out his own knife from his boot leg, "You just cut my rope. You /owe/ me now for that!" He gives the other a sneering grin, starting to circle the healer with his mount, keeping the knife hand up and ready. As soon as the dragons appear, Merrick's eyes turn murderous on the healer, "Apparently for a healer, you're rather good at killing hrm? You single handedly brought the death of all my people, so don't claim you have nothing to do with it, you piece of filth! I should gut you where you stand for this. No business indeed!" Still his mount circles, showing no signs of fear of the dragons in the air or of the screams caused at the camp, "There are people in that camp who've never even hurt a single bug. We're the hunters, those of us who stalk you people to feed our own…" Merrick keeps his eyes on Chaton, looking ready to pounce, "and you, a healer you claim.. are now responsible for what comes of this. Live with that, oh healer who is not involved!" He spits to the side again, a crazed look to his face. Suddenly he turns his mount at Chaton, which rears with dangerously sharp slashing hooves.

Half the dragons split towards deeper into the camp, dragons landing with loud bugles and bared teeth while their riders drop down to deal with those on the ground. The dragons are mostly there for intimidation, adding a growl and a swipe but never quite managing to injure any of the people. At least not unless they knock someone down when their own are in danger. Ph'lip leads the second group land wherever they can near the entrance where Chaton left Valkin. "Away from the Healer!" the Wingleader yells out Merrick with a threatening snarl, mirrored by his own mouth, his Daaeth. Ellamariseth lands a little outside the involvement, Weyrwoman Ysa dropping to the ground with her own knife drawn. "Veski!" she shouts out loudly, from her safe distance of course. No one ever said the woman was brave. "Surrender and we won't have to end up killing ya or your people!" Hey, she's got to at least offer the choice.

Chaton bares his own teeth, his sickly looking body conjuring up *some* amount of colour. "My hands have healed many people. I have more than enough saved lives on my hands to cleanse my concious of whatever may happen here!" He holds his scapel out infront of him, but he doesn't use it. Whatever sense of self preservation he has conflicts with the Healers code. First, do no harm. Not that he actually could harm anyone, but the moment of hesitation costs, and a sick snap sounds as he throws his arm infront of his face to block the hoves of the beast. His arm snaps and falls limply, and the hove connects with his shoulder, close to the chest. The Healer is driven to the ground hard, his head banging off of the ground and his own scalpel digging into his leg. His face gets a moment to register shock, and pain, his eyes wide.

Veski glances at Valkin a moment, then growls as the boy stands there. "I said /hide/!" But then his name is being called, and he tilts his head to look at Ysa, lips thinning just a bit. No, he's not very pleased right now. "My /goodness/, what a devious lot you've become. Threatening with injury and murder, using /children/ for your schemes.. Come now, /rider/…I'm sure I could find an extra cot or two for you and your..kind." They'd make lovely additions to the camp! Daggers still in his hands, he does begin to move, advancing toward the Weyrwoman somewhat. "How about I kill you instead, though? If we're all to die here, I think it's fitting."

The guards that had followed Chaton from a distance dismount now, swords at the ready. None really waiting for the Weyrwoman's signal of attack if they must defend themselves. They attempt to intercept those evacuating, keeping their weapons drawn and blocking access to whatever routes they are trying to take until they get distracted by those armed renegades.

Luckily for her, Shory's taxi was among the group that stayed somewhat away from the camp, hopefully blocking escape. She banged the rider on the back, her eyes wide with fear for Chaton, "Down by the ground! Scare that runner off!" The bluerider sneers, but after a moment decides that that's probably one of the better options and does so, the blue diving towards gigantic runner, but staying clear of the rider's blade.

War horse indeed. The mount does what needs doing, the man looking smug as he brings the healer down. But then Merrick realizes something rather large landed behind him, while some are diving at him!! Twisting his head over his shoulders, he snarls a bit at the sight of the dragonriders so close. "Not again!" he howls, tightening his legs around his mount to send the beast plunging down toward the camp, veering around the fallen healer. Suddenly the man calls toward the renegades left to fight, "Bring the spears! Get those with bows and cross bows in line!" The man's wide brim hat is caught up in the rush of the wind, fluttering down to be trampled by runner hooves. Yet, with another spit of what he has in his mouth, he catches a long wooden shaft with a pointed jeweled end. Not metal, but gems, hard as rock and tough as steel, but also they would break off after entry and would be hard to pry out. Merrick spins his mount with this weapon in his hand, reeling, "Death is too kind!" He roars and signals for his hoard of fighters to rocket forward into those armed guards of Istas. "Go for the dragons!" He yells in admist the hard charge.

Valkin starts to show signs of tears falling as he's told to go hide again. He hesitates as Veski is called out by Ysa, Valkin's eyes showing anger for the Weyrwoman. Though being told twice was an order, three times and he would surely pay for not listening, even if he already was by having brought this wrath of the weyrfolk on the camp. Still, he listens, and he races into one of the buildings in the camp, disappearing from sight…

Ellamariseth's roar shakes the very air around them the moment that Veski starts making his way closer, the large queen spreading her wings to look as large as possible. Ysa raises her chin at the renegade leader, glaring at him. "I wasn't the one that brainwashed the child to think he's your mere property, you sick deranged man. You're outnumbered, and there're more riders where these came from. Give it up and we won't need to murder anyone, even if they deserve it." Gaining courage from her lifemate behind her, the Weyrwoman actually stands her ground with her sharpened dagger. Ph'lip drops from his lifemate, sword joining his dagger as he moves closer, behind the Renegade Leader.

Those guards and riders that were waiting on the attack yell as they charge back, lifemates keeping back but not shy about protecting themselves, turning more aggressive into knocking down a renegade. One green's pained bugle roars out as an arrow finds itself in her forearm. Those that were able to get away and capture some escaping renegades use a small building for prisoners.

Chaton clenches his jaw against the pain of his injuries. He lays in the quickly widening pool of his own blood. Tears silently stream down his face, tears of pain. He watches the beast and renegade rider charge off. Darkness swims at the edges of his vision as his heart starts to push more blood out of his body than around the inside of it. He turns paler than he already is, though, at the sound of the man giving the order to attack the dragons. Chaton isn't the most comfortable around the winged beasts, but no matter what his history with them, he wishes them and their bonded no harm. He struggles to get to his own feet, but the darkness and his own shaking weakness put him solidly back down against the ground.

Veski has to smile a bit to himself at Merrick's shouted order. "Heh..that'll be fun, won't it?" Lashes lower a little bit as he watches Ysa. "It's always fun to see the look on a rider's face as their dragon dies.." Reminiscing fond memories? Perhaps. "Brainwashing? Did I?" His tone is full of innocence, however, although broken off by laughter as he yells. "Kill as many as you can!" Though with the order, he charges forward for Ysa.

A'dar can easily see there's somebody leading a charge. And there's no way he's going to take them all on. He's brave, but he's not stupid! He had to pull Merrick off the lead of that group. So, still astride his dragon, A'dar directs Zeituth to swoop down, low over the advancing group. He measures his approach carefully…and then with a mental commend to his lifemate, A'dar actually LEAPS from Zeituth's back, aiming right at Merrick, still atop the runner. He's pretty big and heavy for a guy his age, and if he impacts with Merrick, it's gonna send Merrick off his runner. A'dar, however, will get up either way, and face the man.

Shorynia slides from the blue's neck as he dives near the ground, catching both rider and dragon by surprise. She tumbles as she hits the ground, not so different than falling off a runner, knife tucked carefully against her body. She scrambles low across the ground to Chaton's side, tearing a large strip from her dress as she does, pressing it against his wound, knife still held in her other hand, "Don't move. Some of these are pretty bad." Her eyes are only for him… a mistake on a battlefield as an arrow whistles past her, taking a chunk from her arm as it does.

Arrows fly. Spears are thrown and used in attempts to strike at the hearts of the dragons once a man of the renegades can get through the crush of Istan guards. Hammers, axes, and other blunt like objects are swung in the renegade forces, striking against the heads of some of the guards to end, while others suffer at the Weyr-weapons in a finale of their lives. Merrick watches as his runner cuts through the armed guards, as both sides fall to the weapons of the other. Blood and cries are starting to issue forth from the mass of men trying to battle one another. Each one battling for their lives, but some for their homes, others for the pride of their own and the pride of the world to rid all of criminals. Merrick even joins in with the slaughter, using the blunt face of his spear to hit various men and likely end their lives as he hits hard. The hooves of his runner beast are meanwhile mowing down others. He was inching nearer to some of those dragons and he was going to take aim.. Until a shadow to his left catches him. He sees the blue swooping down for him. Reactions are made in seconds. His arm launches his spear upward at Zeituth just before A'dar's form comes flying down at him. The impact alone sends both men into the milling mass of fighters. Merrick lands with the wind taken out of his chest and a chrunch… but he rolls and recovers, squatting in a fighter's stance as he tries to catch his breath…

Chaton is sluggish and not registering voices all that well. His arm is snapped, the jagged end protruding well from his skin. It's nicked an artery, for sure, as blood pulses out weakly in time to his heartbeats. His collar bone is in halves, and a bruise is rapidly spreading darkly under his skin, internally bleeding. He looks confused as he sees Shorynia bleeding, though, a gash in her arm. "Bag… is on the runner… I'll get numbweed and redwort… and a bandage for your arm love." he says, his eyes glassy. He tries to sit up again, and he makes it almost vertical, before he's forced back down again by his own body weight. His eyelids droop, his expression confused.

"Zei! MOVE!" A'dar yelps. Luckily, as A'dar leaped, the blue had suddenly wheeled off in another direction. But it hadn't stopped Zeituth from taking the spear to the foot. A roar emits from the blue, and then A'dar growls. Yes, he feels his lifemate's pain. Merrick stands, and so does he, in a fighter's stance as well. Though with less experience than Merrick. He's had SOME training, after all. And probably with just as much anger. He doesn't spare the Renegade any words. He's a reactive fighter by nature, and waits for Merrick to make a move.

Ysa's eyes flicker towards the rest of the battle, or perhaps it was to Ph'lip to make sure he was approaching as fast as he could. "You're only digging your grave deeper, murderer," growls out the Weyrwoman at Veski. Ellamariseth rears now, dropping down to the ground and giving it a good rumble, though it's also given Ysa a disadvantage as she's nearly knocked off her feet. She wobbles, but raises her dagger to the advancing Veski and…. then quickly turns and flees the other way. Call her a coward, Ysa would rather call it self-preservation. Except Ph'lip is closing the distance with a loud, "Veski, face me and leave her alone!"

The guards are now not holding back, sinking knives into exposed flesh and leaving the renegades on the ground. But the dragonriders are quickly overcoming the charging renegades, the guards taking most of the brunt of the attack while the riders take down renegades from the back.

Veski growls a little under his breath when Ysa flees. Still, it's nothing he hasn't done himself before. Fleeing can be very strategic! It's a legitimate strategy! But with another voice near him, the renegade whirls with a slash given to help keep distance between himself and Ph'lip. "Come on then." There's anger there, most certainly. A near hopeless fight to begin with, and the fighting renegades are indeed falling under the assault.

The men that are fighting tooth and nail with the Istan guards and dragonriders are men who do not value life and instead are pleased and exhilerated to take life. Some are wild and crazed with it. Merrick is one of those. Not pushed into fighting by anyone else, he merely thrived for it. "This is exciting, isn't it rider?" He says across to A'dar, smirking as he listens to the cries of men around him, "Life and death, dangling on a thread. Are you afraid to die?" He asks of A'dar before he rolls to the side to scoop up a fallen weapon from someone else. It's one of the Istan guard's swords, sufficient enough to fight with but not a choice weapon. Still, it works as he now faces A'dar. In a flash of movement, he advances and hopes to catch A'dar underneath the radar, where he isn't protecting — in otherwards, his legs or feet, rolling with the movement to prevent A'dar coming down on top of him.

Shorynia glances up for Chaton's runner, her own pain masked by the adrenaline rushing through her body. She whistles harshly and the runner glances up. She whistles again, more demandingly and it turns towards her, taking her over dragons any day. Feeling only the slightest bit guilty, she reaches up with her good arm and pulls the runner down between the archers adn herself before digging medical supplies out of the saddle bags. The poor thing probably wouldn't survive the battle, but if she could help it, Chaton would. She ties a bandage tightly around her bleeding arm, mostly to appease him, then surveys the damage. It was pretty bad. She fumbles first for the numbweed, ignoring its affect on her own fingers as she applies it to his collar bone, "Don't move. I'll get you out of here. Just don't move."

Chaton watches her and sighs slightly as the pain deadens around his neck. He sees the bandage out of the little field of vision he's still in posession of, and smiles. "You'll be okay… stitches…" he seems releived. "Love you Shory…" he mumbles, and his head tilts slightly to the side as his conciousness fades, the darkness overcomming him momentarily. There is a few calm moments, of shallow, tattered breathing, before he resurfaces, his eyes fluttering open.

A'dar doesn't speak, just faces Merrick with narrowed eyes. At least, until he's asked a question. The Renegade's roll comes then, and A'dar moves to the side, not sure what the other man is doing. As Merrick picks up the weapon, A'dar replies, "If I was afraid to die, I wouldn't be here." The tone would probably unnerve a normal man. It's flat, and devoid of emotion. No, A'dar's not feeling anything. From his tone, or from the look in his eyes. The move forward from Merrick causes a jerk back, but he was expecting a hit to the upper body, perhaps to his knife arm. Not to his leg. He gives a yelp as a cut opens on his shin. In response to the sudden pain, he pulls back in time to avoid major tendon damage, though. At least he's got quick reflexes, anyway. The roll registers, and A'dar makes with a stabbing motion towards the Renegade's back as it appears during the roll. He's been holding his blade pointed downwards the whole time anyway.

Ysa might have gone running, but not too far. In fact, Ellamariseth still stands her ground defiantly, even to the point of ignoring her lifemate's shouting. "Get out of here and leave it to those trained in combat!" She's shaking her dagger at the gold dragon, but doesn't move off any further. Ph'lip skips away from Veski's slash, just barely, and then circles cautiously with his long dagger. "Your side is losing," Ph'lip tells Veski in an obnoxiously calm voice, eyes narrowed as he calculates the renegade's movement. And then he leaps forward, aiming dagger down towards a leg. Wound him, not kill.

The Senior queen gives another bugle, but it's to announce the arrival of reinforcements. There're more Istan dragons, carrying passengers, that are arriving. They are set down nearby to help in the battle, overwhelming the crazed renegades. Most are taken down permanently, but those that are able are either captured or knocked out. There's a loud keening, a dragon disappearing, and the first rider death brings the battle into a turning point as those with fire in their hearts now turn more fiercely to those renegades still attacking.

Veski smirks faintly, his upper lip curling up just a little bit. "I know." That knowledge doesn't seem to make much of a difference at this point though, to the man. "The ones that matter will have gotten away by the time you idiots are finished." He jerks to the side then, and then lunges forward with a shoulder toward Ph'lip. Indeed, he'll tackle the rider if he can. Fighting is always done better in the dirt.

The knife lands, but it doesn't plunge in a length anyway, at least not any further than a rib that it glanced off of. The man doesn't even seem to realize what happened, rolling away and twisting back to face A'dar. Merrick smirks though, watching the dragonrider with those cold murderous eyes of his. If there was anything to be unnerved about, it was the man's grin that showed now as he started moving again, drawing out a dagger from his boot, to carry two weapons now. Yet, he doesn't talk any further, not at this point. He simply comes at the man in a way that suggests he's an experienced fighter, but not one who would follow the rules of hand to hand combat. No, he'll play dirty. Such is when he lets the Istan sword come down at A'dar, awaiting the other to parry it, his foot flies out too, meaning to kick the guy's knee out.

Shorynia shudders under the cry of the death keen. It is her first. Her focus turns back to Chaton, "Not me I'm worried about." She moves her numbweed ministrations to his arm, not certain of how to deal with such a nasty wound on her own and settling for dulling the pain, "Tell me where it hurts. Please." She nearly jumps out of her skin as a guard and renegade go rolling past them, locked in battle. She waits until she's sure they're clear, then, "What else can I do for you?"

Ysa, free from danger for now, directs those that are just landing towards the main battle back in the camp. Freed riders, now that many renegades were down, start after those that managed to escape in the tunnel. Ellamariseth turns her attention away from Veski, voice joining in the keen at the lost dragonpair before comforting the other dragons around, doing as best of a Senior job as she can and ignoring the battled nearby.

"We've got men positioned everywhere. They might escape, but they won't go far." Ph'lip's first attack misses, and the man grunts as he's shoved but his arm swings wide as he swipes his dagger back towards Veski before he regains his footing. Daaeth storms nearby, snarling loudly. Ph'lip regains his balance, staying up, and keeping his hold tightly on his knife, his other hand now swinging around to aim a punch at Veski's face.

Chaton shakes his head. "I'm fine… just a couple of scratches." he says, his voice weak. "Fell off of the runner… is the boy okay?" he seems confused about what's going on, oblivious of the battle around them. "Hope the ground is ok too… I have a hard head." he gives a weak chuckle. That's Chaton, trying to be funny to the last.

Veski hisses faintly as he jerks back, that dagger lashing across his abdomen. He ducks though when that punch comes, bringing his own arm up to deflect it. The other hand, fisted around a dagger hilt, aims to bury in Ph'lip's stomach. There's laughter though, as he grapples with the rider. "You've no idea.."

Unfortunately, with A'dar being the rather inexperienced hand-to-hand combatant that he is, he falls for it. Parrying the blade turns out to be the easy part. However, weathering the foot that impacts painfully with his knee…that's the hard part. And it's a part that A'dar does not handle well. He gives a wince and the leg falls out from under him. Which is about the only thing that could really happen, since his cut leg couldn't really support his full weight. He's still keeping that blade from finding purchase in face-flesh, and since he's using both hands…there's not a lot he can do.

Merrick uses the seconds he has of surprise from his knee kick to snap forward his elbow, which was aimed and comes in contact with A'dar's face. His sneer is that of a man who knows he's about to take the life of another and that he enjoys it ta boot! It's not of desperation to stay alive, it's simply a smug knowing that A'dar's life was to be taken from his hand. Merrick laughs a bit as he uses A'dar's previous injury against him. While the other has his arms up to keep the sword from coming down and now that he's on his knees and likely recovering from the shock of an elbow in the face, Merrick gets his sword free of the parry while keeping A'dar's weapons busy with Merrick's second. Meanwhile, the sword is hefted again with deadly intent, brought down in a quick flash of metal… All this happens in seconds. Time slows though, for those caught up in battle.

It's Daaeth's bugle that saves Ph'lip's life really, as he manages to move his body away so that when the knife hits, it grazes his side and makes a large gash but doesn't bury into anything too important. He curses loudly in pain, throwing another punch, following quickly by the knife in a frenzy slashing. The green throws her wings open, landing near Veski and aiming to snap her teeth to throw him off. Meanwhile Ysa's returning, now that more renegades aren't running /at/ her anymore, dagger raised to help offer Ph'lip back up when he needs it.

The sudden dragon near him has Veski jerking to the side in an effort to make sure he doesn't actually get struck by the green. There's a grunted noise that comes out of him, however, as the distraction is most certainly..enough. That flailing dagger winds up embedded in his side, and the renegade drops a bit, and back, one arm curled around his middle with a muttered curse under his breath.

A'dar gives a cry of pain as the elbow impacts his cheek. Only through sheer luck did he manage not to end up with a broken nose from the blow. It lands close enough to start his nose bleeding, though, and he's managed to bite down on the inside of his cheek, so his mouth is bleeding, too. It's just a thin trail, though. Perhaps Merrick overestimated A'dar's ability to recover from the blow, as the backward force of the elbow to the face drives A'dar back farther than he'd anticipated. But he doesn't escape the slice completely. Right across the bridge of the nose, actually. The blade draws a spray of blood that spatters the ground, and A'dar's head is turned hard to the side with the blow. However, the sudden onset of so much pain apparently has A'dar quite upset. Since one hand, now freed as Merrick's blade is dealing its damage, shoots out, aiming to impact with the Renegade's groin. Apparently A'dar's not above fighting dirty either.

Shorynia glances down, only just now noticing the scalpel buried in Chaton's leg. Not thinking about pain for the moment, he reaches down and yanks it out, tossing it from her as if it were some sort of vermin before applying another glob of numbweed to his leg, "Stay with me, love. Stay with me." Her eyes plead with him not to leave her, to stay awake until a real healer can see to him.

Chaton winces as the scalpel is pulled out, and the pain drives his conciousness away again, as he blacks out. His love's voice calls him back, though, and his glossy eyes look at her, out of focus. "I'm here." he mumbles. That's debateable, though. At least the pool of blood underneath him has stopped spreading, right? That's got to be a good sign.

Valkin wasn't above peeking out one of the windows to watch what was going on - having ducked back into hiding when any of the Weyr folk came close enough to inspect the place. Yet, it doesn't take long for the boy to be watching again… and when he peeks out this time, he notices Veski down on the ground with a Weyrfolk hovering close. Without hesitation, Valkin rushes from the window, tripping over something but stumbling into the door… which thankfully caught him. "NOOO!" He screams with panick as he sees Veski down and Ph'lip's approaching steps. "Stop!!" Valkin darts around a few arms that attempt to catch him, trying to speed toward Veski, "Veski!!" he howls wretchedly.

The kick lands. Merrick drops one of his weapons due to the pain that shoots through his body, his muscles ceasing up as he has the urge to curl up.. but he resists that much and instead takes a few steps back, which his back curling and his one hand covering his groin. He pants a little as he tries to keep himself steady, but a kick is a kick.. and it hurts no matter if it's a girl that's kicked or an equally sized combatant.

Not that Daaeth really could have done much to Veski. She's a dainty green that looks like she couldn't even hurt a fly, except when they're hurting her lifemate. Except she gets the deed done, giving Ph'lip an advantage as his dagger sinks, fist once again back around to knock Veski to the ground even as he's taking back his blade. "Stay back, Weyrwoman!" he shouts to Ysa, who was coming to his aid. Ysa doesn't have to be told twice, of course, staying nearby and looking anxious as she glances around at the rest of those wounded nearby. "Rider! Go tend to the Mindhealer, he's done!" she calls to a rushing bluerider that was going to join the fray in the camp. He turns towards Chaton instead, his lifemate coming nearby. "We can take him to back to the Weyr now," he says, aiming to help. Ysa's green eyes turn in surprise back to Valkin as he runs over. "Boy! Stay back!" she growls out. Ph'lip only gives him a passing glance, poised to continue the fight with Veski. He won't trust the renegade even if he was wounded. "I'm not going to murder him, kid," growls the greenrider.

Valkin wasn't about to listen to any weyrfolk at this point. Some how he worms his way through the milling mass and once has to fight off a woman dragonrider who snatched his arm. She of course gets a few kicks and swats before he wiggles loose of her and starts after Ph'lip. There's a look of anger in his eye as he tries to plow right into Ph'lip…

A'dar takes advantage of Merrick's suddenl unsteadiness and shoots back to his feet for just a moment, just long enough to return a kick to Merrick's knee, aiming for whichever one that the Renegade is using to support most of his weight. Regardless if the knee kick hits or not, A'dar quite literally THROWS himself forward, indending to take the Renegade to the ground, while triyng to knock Merrick's remaining weapon out of the way with his knife.

Tears are welling in Shory's eyes, even if they're not caused by the death around her, "You'd better be." The sounds of Veski and Ph'lip's battle waft to her across the battle field and she glances up to see what's going on, only to see a renegade on the other side of her now bleeding cover. His sword embeds itself in her shoulder as she screams and thrusts out with her knife, an automatic reaction, catching him in the stomach. The man falls back, howling, and dragging his sword with him, making the cut on her shoulder even more ragged. She bites her lips, holding back another scream. Coating the wound in numbweed, her own vision begins to darken. Even so she slips a hand into Chaton's as she collapses next to him, into the puddle of their now mingled blood, "Stay with me."

Veski does at least remain standing, despite being hunched over a little. That really doesn't last too long though, as one leg gives, sending him down onto it. His free hand keeps his grip on the dagger though, clutching at it tightly. The follow-up blow actually does come as a surprise to the renegade, and his head snaps to the side. With his head ringing a bit, he looks towards Valkin as the boy appears screaming, watching him. There's a hiss, however, letting go of his dagger to keep a hand over the wound in his side. "Do not…order /him/, Weyrwoman." It's growled out, though he lurches to /grab/ Valkin by the arm when the boy rushes past toward Ph'lip. "Stop! ..Stop. Gonna hurt yourself." There's a wince then, and he turns his head, spitting blood onto the dirt.

The bluerider is regarded by wild eyes of a renegade whose been reportedly captured before and whose reportedly stabbed a brownrider through, let alone all the other numerous deaths that could have contributed too. The man lifts his face and smiles wickedly at A'dar as he launches himself. The trap.. sprung. It seems Merrick was ready for some sort of counter measures and was prepared for something as close to what A'dar happened to do. So, even though A'dar does tackle him roughly to the ground, Merrick's last dagger was pointed up and intended to find soft flesh.. But the dice were rolling in A'dar's favour today, the aim went astray. The dagger surged up instead into A'dar's shoulder, where the bone and thick muscle keep it stuck there…

Chaton limply holds her hand. "It'll be okay… It'll all be okay…" Chaton murmurs repeatedly, holding onto Shory. "Just fell off the runner… 'm alright…" but then the darkness grabs him firmly and pulls him under for good now, the calm of unconciousness blotting out everything around him.

The bluerider doesn't get there in time to stop the renegade from attacking, but he does give the man a kick to the face to stop him from getting back up as well before turning to look down at the Mindhealer and Shorynia. "Come on. Can you get up? Get on Ghorenth and we'll get back right away. Healers ready on the other side," he tells the pair, leaning down near Chaton to see the damage, paling at the blood. But still he had to get the pair out of there. "Shells," he says, adding more curses as he watches Chaton pass out.

Ysa throws Veski a glare, finally deeming it safe enough to cross the distance quickly. Ph'lip is knocked down, not having expected the young teen's attack, shouting in pain as his wound gets hurt in the process. "Getoffme!" he growls, grabbing Valkin and trying to get up. Ysa's arriving, dagger out as she goes to try to grab Valkin by the back of shirt, but not forgetting the downed renegade leader.

Shorynia nods mutely, allowing A'dar to guide her to a safe ride home even as her eyes lock on Chaton. The only thing she can manage to say through the various veils of pain is, "He'll be alright, right?"

A'dar grunts in pain at the stab to the shoulder. Yes indeed, A'dar's shoulders and arms were quite muscular; kind need to be muscular there as a smith. However, A'dar's on top, it seems, and with Merrick's blade engaged in his shoulder (though probably doing some damage, as Merrick is no doubt trying to retrieve his blade, and probably not doing that shoulder a whole lot of good in the meantime). But now's his chance, and despite the pain of various wounds, and the fact that blood's running into his eyes, he strikes. His vision is red, half with the blood from the wound at the bridge of his nose and half with anger, as the blade comes down. Whether A'dar's just not able to aim properly or he's intending on such a blow…if the strike lands, it will indeed be a fatal blow, right near the heart.

Valkin's hands are reaching out for Ph'lip's neck once he surprisingly managed to tackle the man to the ground. There's a rage in his eyes that can only be brought on by a strong devotion and loyalty. He starts smacking Ph'lip with his fists, pounding on him, "Leave him alone!" he keeps irriterating over and over, his punches not that strong of course, but still, they are relentless, "Leave everyone alone! Why did you come?! Liars!" he tries to take out his anger on the whole situation on poor Ph'lip, even as the heavier man tries to shove him off. It takes Ph'lip's grabs and Ysa arriving behind him to wedge him off Ph'lip. As his shirt is grabbed, he tries to twist around and knock the person's hands away, stumbling back after he does whack Ysa's hands away from his shirt - not without ripping some of it. Landing on his butt, he glares up at Ysa with water streaks running through a now dirty face.

Indeed, Merrick was trying to jimmy the know lodged dagger free, and failing to do so… Moments were running out, and yet all the man could do was smile up at A'dar. He saw the blow coming. He saw the other lift his arm with the dagger point leading down to his heart. Merrick's hand came up to attempt to grab the arm of the other, but to no avail. The knife slashed through the flesh of his hand as it would plunge into his chest. The renegade suddenly found himself spasming a bit as the knife went deep, his hand reaching to grab A'dar's neck, fumbling as he felt the life starting to drain from his own limbs. "You're one of us… a killer…" his voice wrasps abruptly and whatever else is to be said is left unspoken as gurgles replace words and the man's hands fall away from A'dar, limply tumbling to the sides as the renegade beneath A'dar stops his struggling. Unnerving enough is that he keeps his eyes on A'dar, even after the life fades from them and the last breath escapes his lungs…

The now last standing renegades around the battle between Merrick and A'dar see the death of one of their leaders and start to throw down weapons… some surrendering quickly, others still trying to rouse a fighting spirit and paying the price for it. Eventually, those left standing are left with arms high in the air and at the mercy of the dragonriders and Istan guards.

Veski growls a little as Ysa grabs at Valkin's tunic, and then slowly moves. His hand grips at his side as he climbs to his feet, thankfully not very far from the small scuffle. He does, however, drop next to Valkin though, throwing a glare at both of the riders. "Weyrwoman. Touch him again, and I'll very much /enjoy/ the time I'll spend taking you apart bit by bit." Although, how he'll manage that in the state he's in is anyone's guess. After all, just that short trip has him gasping a little, trying to catch his breath.

Ghorenth leans down low against the ground, ready to help his precious cargo be lifted up. The young bluerider first helps Shorynia before nodding quickly. "Oh yes, ma'am, he will. Just a skip between and he'll be with Healers that'll patch him up quickly! Do not worry." He does look worried, though, as he gives the area a glance and then slowly goes to pick Chaton up, and hopefully get him on a dragon to go back to Ista Weyr.

Ph'lip gasps as soon as the boy is removed from him, hand going to his wound as he sits up. His other hand is already getting his dagger, ready for any more attacks. "You're in no condition to make threats, Veski," Ysa growls out, looking between the pair and holding her knife out. Ph'lip also gets to his feet, helping to surround the two of them. "It's over, Veski. Valkin, as well. We're taking ya'll back to the Weyr, and it'll be a few less renegades out there in the world giving us headaches." She passes a silent signal to Ellamariseth, that spreads the word for riders to start binding prisoners and other captives alike, mounting them on dragons. Someone's going to have an overflowing prison cell, and Ista Weyr definitely won't be able to hold them all.

Faranth yes! Unnerving is right. Not only is A'dar messed up, but the momentary clutching of a dying man's hand around his throat causes a hitch in his breath as the air is momentarily cut off. But Merrick's fading strength doesn't keep the grip too tight for too long, though. It's the words that bother A'dar the most, though. The words…and the fact that he's got the gaze of a dead man focused on him, like an odd, macabre curse. His brows draw down…and he just kind of…rolls away from Merrick's form lying prone and still on the ground. He takes a moment to pause, pulling the blade from his shoulder. There's a short yelp of pain, one that he bites down on, and a spray of blood as he dislodges the blade. Things seem to have calmed down a bit, at least…so hopefully he's not in any immediate danger of retaliation from pissed off Renegades. He's probably too messed up to take another one down.

Valkin seems to become a bit protective of Veski as the other drops down beside him. The lad turns to him, putting a hand on his shoulder, the other seeking out where the renegade was injured. He turns an accusing eye on Ysa, then back to Veski, "This is all my fault. I should've listened to you. Weyrfolk cannot be trusted…" He hangs his head sullenly, the anger still behind his eyes, but he doesn't look about to attack again.

Veski laughs dryly, although there's a faint cough that follows it, as well as another wince. "Well, wouldn't want anything inconveniencing /you/, goldrider.." He shakes his head though, faintly, and then looks at Valkin. …Well, he can't exactly disagree with the boy. It /is/ his fault. There's a faint grunt though when the boy's hand joins his own at his wounded side, nodding just a little. "You should've." But at least he's not terribly accusing as he says it. More…tired, really.

Riders are starting to depart, carrying many wounded, carrying many prisoners, and others finally carrying the dead. Those renegades that are dead are left where they had fallen, probably to be dealt with later. More dragons even appear in the skies, those that were untrained in combat, to help the injured, with the larger dragons helping their kin. Ellamariseth joins the ground, crooning to comfort Zeituth and others alike, still looking a bit gray from the earlier death.

Ysa glares at Veski, ignoring Valkin for now. "Your reign is over here. We won't have anyone else being hurt by ya…" Her eyes flash down to the boy. "I can't understand what ya feel, boy, but I hope you'll understand and forgive us someday…" And then her attention snaps to Ph'lip. "Tie them up, and take them back to the Weyr immediately with someone else. You're ordered to go straight to the Healers after that." And she's ready to turn and tend to those that still needed direction as the battlesite is finally settling.

A'dar more or less stays where he is. "…Zei." It's the only thing he's concerned with. The blue is still in the sky, not wanting to land on the bad foot. At least the spear came out, of its own accord, and Zei can land without it going further in. However, A'dar gives a mental order that the blue is NOT to land and collect him. He doesn't want that foot to take any more punishment than necessary. Luckily it's a front foot. He wants Zei to go back to Ista and let the DragonHealers see to him. Soon enough, though, some rider comes to collect A'dar…and not a moment too soon, since A'dar looks like he's on his last legs. He requires support to get onto the other rider's dragon, and he's limping. But at least he's going home. Oh yeah…he's definitely going to have nightmares about today….

Someone comes to collect Valkin as Ph'lip gets a few others to assist him with tying up Veski and Valkin. The kid gives a look to Veski, an apologetic one since once again he didn't listen as he was told, before he's hoisted up by a guard or a dragonrider - he doesn't care to look. He's lead away with the rest of them, but pointedly kept parted from Veski, head down and seemingly uncaring what happens next.

Veski doesn't like being manhandled, but he doesn't really have a choice as he's collected for the journey back. He watches Valkin when he can though, until the boy is taken away. He'll just settle for glaring at whomever is closest.

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