====November 3, 2013
====Andevai and Jharlodar
====Andevai wants a drink. Jharlodar wants a bouncer.

Who Andevai and Jharlodar
What Andevai wants a drink. Jharlodar wants a bouncer.
When There are 0 turns, 9 months and 24 days until the 12th pass.
Where IGW - Dustbowl Cantina

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Igen Weyr - Dustbowl Cantina
To enter the Dustbowl Cantina is to descend: the heart of the ancient tavern lies half underground, at the foot of ancient steps, insulated from summer heat and winter cold by the volcanic rock surrounding it. A windowless place well-lit by glows, it is homey, even cozy, with a certain bijou charm - but for the deep gouges worn in wooden table and solid stone, some clearly lingering evidence of boisterous brawling. The wall behind the well-polished bar, though, remains free from scars or graffiti, as does the door into the small kitchen, and the stairwell up into the owner's quarters: the barkeep and his staff reign, and they guard their territory well. After all, only a fool angers the source of the booze.


A clear spring night sees the Dustbowl at its best, tacitly defiant of the Weyrwoman's attempts to declaw the Bazaar: which is to say it's lively to the point of just skirting on the edges of 'rowdy'. Over there, a prostitute flirting brazenly with a pair of Traders; by the dartboard, an intense match made more perilous by the inclusion of tequila; near the stairwell, an intense conversation between two burly merchants that's hovering juuuuust this side of 'dangerous'. But at the bar, an oasis of order. A pair of barmaids are scurrying around, taking patrons' requests, doling out the booze with due speed. And against the wall behind them, leaning lightly on the cool adobe, a regal old gentleman: Jharlodar watches over his establishment like a lion watching the savannah, one hand resting lightly on his cane.

A non-native regular, Andevai has found his place just on the fringes of that oasis of order. With a good view of the flirting prostitute, the boy's affecting a casual, devil-may-care lean that has his eyes following everything and nothing. That's what he would like everyone to believe, anyway. In reality, he's absolutely trying to haggle a free drink out of one of the passing barmaids. Even trying out a poor-me face that's comical at best. "Come on. One free one. Now that I can drink," the former Candidate fail-negotiates. Jharlodar is a presence that's always noted, but never thus far engaged, though a few dark-eyed looks have been snuck the elderly man's way.

Alas, these are Igen barmaids: if looks of woe were going to work, they'd be buried beneath a pile of hangdog miscreants. No free drinks for Andevai! (Though he does get a saucy smile out of one of them, taking the sting out of her quick shake of the head - that counts for something, right?) Saucy Barmaid's saunter towards a paying customer might momentarily distract from what's going on behind her, which is an elderly gentleman beginning to move, the light thump of a cane accompanying every step. "My, my," says Jharlodar. His voice is the platonic ideal of 'comfort'. His smile is grandfatherly. His eyes, however, are sharp. "Didn't anyone tell you this is a paying establishment, young man?"

For the barmaid's (questionable) kindness, Andevai redirects with a winning smile. All thousand watts, and throwing out his hands as laughter rumbles in his chest. "Can't hurt, right?" As he's a good customer when being let down, it's humor and amusement that sets his eyes to the wood of the counter and a shake to his head. This is how he misses Jharlodar's initial movement until the man is speaking. "They did," the boy's head snaps up, meeting the establishment's owner with a confidence that only the young and stupid can have. "Can't fault a man," boy, "for trying." The flash of white teeth against caramel skin is what comes of the smile directed Jharlodar's way. "A Candidate's life wasn't exactly, ah, lucrative." Again, only the folly of youth would yield such cavalier attitude to a man with eyes as sharp as the owner's.

"Mm." How's that for non-committal responses? Elsewhere in the room, the prostitute has succeeded in wrangling herself a client, strolling out of the cantina with a great swaying of hips and a man on her arm. The discussion by the stairwell is turning rapidly sour. Jharlodar watches these things, but he also watches Andevai, with an underlying hint of amusement in his lined and freckled face. "A boy who has been left on the Sands," the barkeep says, calmly, "had best have something to fall back upon. Planning to go back home? Or planning to find work?" One hand reaches beneath the old polished countertop, pulling forth a single, empty glass. Jharlodar sets it between himself and Andevai, without comment.

For all the jovial responses and play-acting, Andevai does not lack intelligence; instead, it is often clouded by youth's penchant to be brash. A dark look is given to the sour conversation, though he ignores the prostitute's win other than to wrinkle his nose. "I could go back home, but I'd rather not. Why go back when you can go forward and be free?" An elbow is placed on the countertop, the forearm resting in such a way that his hand hangs limp while the other hand is placed on his thigh. The empty glass is given the quickest of looks, but his attention stays so sharply focused on Jharlodar. "Igen has a much freer air about it than Benden does."

"Freedom is a fine ideal," comments Jharlodar, in that steady, stately voice. If he could package that sound up and sell it, he'd be the richest man in Igen. "Though an expensive one." He watches, without comment, as the two merchants by the stairwell begin to raise their voices. They're both big men, intimidating, and drunk — the other clientele are slowly starting to disengage from their own conversations, the drunken darts game teetering to a halt, as Igenites scent blood on the horizon. But the barkeep does nothing — yet. Just watch. And, reaching for a bottle of (rather nice) Telgari scotch, he makes an inquiry as well. "Looking for work here in the Bazaar, then? My, if that isn't clever of you." Jharlodar has probably had this conversation a few dozen times, just in the past decade. "And what sorts of things do you do?"

"If one can afford it, it's worth it to put the effort in to keep it," Andevai lobbies back, though without the stately depth to his voice. The rest of the bar could very well fade away for all the importance the boy places on it, though he does half-turn to keep a kind of half-eye on the drunken merchants and ensure his back isn't to them. "Actually, I was looking to hopefully score a free drink from a busty barmaid with my charming looks," he drawls, the eternal amusement patterned across a face used to smiling, "but seeing as how that failed miserably, I think a job would be better suited to the longevity of previously said freedom." As for his skills, a careless shrug is given. "Back home, I worked outside and in the fields. I've no special training in anything, but I know my way around hard, back-breaking work." If confidence could be captured in a bottle, his would be full to the brim.

Igen Weyr is full of the broken dreams of brash and hopeful young men. But Jharlodar is a benevolent soul, or at least a loose approximation of one. Also, one of the merchants just threw a punch at the other. The cantina IMMEDIATELY goes from 'suspiciously quiet' to 'exuberantly noisy'. Jharlodar, unmoving, clucks his tongue — and pours the scotch. "Hard work, mm. Well. Go and put that smile and those muscles into breaking that up for me, son," said paternally, not (particularly) patronizingly, "before the guard decide to do it, and there'll be a drink in it for you. And a job, if you want." What? Jharlodar's OLD. He's not going to inconvenience himself and go stop a fight himself.

This brash and hopeful young man does not intend to see himself swimming in that sea of broken dreams. Andevai pushes himself off the stool the moment Jharlodar's intent becomes clear. If there's one thing to be said about the boy, it is not that he is a coward. Untried, yes. With a flash of gleeful smile, he does just what Jharlodar requests: wades into the fray that all that tension built up into a chaos of bodies and physical contact. Getting his hands on the closest of the merchants, Vai yanks on the man's collar to get enough room between the pair of them to insert himself. All it takes is a few shoves, an 'up in your face attitude' and the two merchants do find their separate ways to go. Not before one of them gets a lucky left hook in. Andevai is rubbing the joint of his jaw, mouth open, when he does return to the owner. "So. About that drink." Then a pause. "And that job."

"Will scotch do?" Hopefully so: Jharlodar already poured it, see. Without further comment, the old man pushes the glass forward, expression far too grandfatherly for a man who just sent a young stranger to go get punched in the face. Igen, man. "Five nights a sevenday, be here at four in the afternoon, sharp. Supper on the house." The barkeep also rattles off a wage, but let's just leave that vague aside from 'modestly exploitive, but then again remember he is offering to feed the kid'. "The barmaids are off limits." They've been listening, of course, to this exchange; one of them (the Saucy Smiler) makes a show of pouting over this, before going right back to flirting with a customer. "Otherwise, I don't care what you do with your time, here or elsewhere, as long as you keep the fights to a minimum." He smiles, kindly, sharply. "Is that understood?"

"Scotch'll do," Andevai even manages to convincingly pretend that the liquid doesn't burn like fire going down his throat when he takes a good, generous drink of what Jharlodar's poured. Only half his face smiles, the other half just manages to come across as a grimace for the solid punch applied, but gamely the boy's nodding. "I'll take it." Negotiations being what they are and his lack of actual clout, Vai's not being picky. "Loud and clear," he answers with the glass, when it's raised to his lips. More booze, less pain.

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