====January 31, 2014
====Zannen, Mienta, Mailli
==== After stumbling across some dolphineers, Zannen has a request.

Who Zannen, Mienta, Mailli
What After stumbling across some dolphineers, Zannen has a request.
When There are 0 turns, 0 months and 27 days until the 12th pass.
Where Sea of Azov

icon-skeptic.png Zannen11.png


Sea of Azov
An inland sea, and vast: the glassy stretch of calm waters stretches distant from the dark-pebbled northern beaches to the snow-capped mountains of the far south. Shallow it is, and perilous for those ships that traverse the length of Black Rock River: bottoms lurk among scattered stretches of dark stone that loom visible and hidden just below the surface both. The clarity of the water is startling from north to south, with the single exception of the delta to the northwest: there, the riverwaters remain eternally conflicted, a mire of dark silt swallowed by the towering cliffs the river cuts through.

It's early afternoon on the coast of the Sea of Azov, and near but not at the coast in question Mienta and three of her best friends are eating. Or — no, they're eating, and she's simply standing in water up to her collarbones and keeping them company. The friends, of course, are dolphins: a grey adult male, a grey calf and a dappled female. They're alternating between eating things they caught for themselves and launching up in the air to catch a fish that Mienta occasionally throws for them, especially the calf — that explains the bucket she's got sitting on a buoylike floating table next to her. The fish exchange is making a lot of noise — mostly dolphin sounds and a little dolphin chatter, plus human laughter.
It is on this happy scene that Mailli surfaces, flipping her hair back out of her face as she does. The woman has a small net bag in hand, and inside is a variety of crustaceans. Mienta's laugh draws her attention, and Mailli's soon swimming towards her fellow dolphincrafter.

Dolphins are something Zannen's been on the watch for frequently since arriving at Southern - well, as often as he's been able, that is. Free time hasn't been as forthcoming as it was at Igen, not when he's properly immersed in his Craft and being given a Seacrafter's duties again. He's been keeping an eye out when he's able and having little success in getting any close views of the pods down this way, so it stands to reason that, as he wanders down the strand and hears the sound of dolphins not far off, he gets a bit excited. Trotting now, he grins as he spies the woman in the water - with three dolphins! - and comes to a stop not far off, cautious in the rest of his approach. "Oh, now they're an amazin' sight," Zannen comments over the noise, his face nearly hurting with his goofy grin as he watches. "I…don' s'pose yer one o' the dolphineers I been told about?" he questions cautiously, eyes flicking out to catch the motion of yet another person crossing the water.

The male in Mienta's company is instantaneously distracted by Mailli — no. By Mailli's bag. His nose goes straight for it. Poke, poke, poke — "Mine?" he tries, chirping at the master hopefully. Mienta, of course, hasn't noticed her superior yet, her focus on the calf and his excellent response time as she throws another fish and he spirals up into the air to catch it, landing with a loud splash that may or may not get other people in the face. "They want you to think so, too!" she calls out to Zannen, with a wave. Normally soft-spoken and kind of shy, this is the one element where she will speak up. "I am, I'm Mienta. Journeyman." Normally 'one of,' but she's the 'only,' this time around. "And this is Tiro, and that's Eri and then there's Daise — Daise?" Oh, there's Daise, with — "And Master Mailli. I'm sorry, ma'am —"

Mailli laughs out right at both Mienta's appology, and the dolphin nosing her bag, "No Daise, not this time," it's her fault the dolphin thinks what's in this particular bag is his, "Mailli's fine," is called to the apprentice as the tall woman finds her footing, "How old now?" is asked of Mienta where the calf is concerned, "I have a commission for shells, so this time round this trio isn't getting any," she had to dive into some really tight spots to get these beauties.

Watching in awe as the youngest dolphin makes his catch, Zannen ventures closer, coming into the water until it swirls about his shins. When the other woman's rank is uttered, the sailor lad almost reels. "Master? Didn't think to run into ye both at once. Just a good day, I s'pose." He shakes his head free of bewilderment, clearing his throat. "Er…m' names Zannen. Senior Apprentice from th' Seacraft." As if it wasn't obvious from the knot on his shoulder, but he's not exactly thinking about such details right now. "Well met, Mienta, Mailli. And the big guy's Daise, aye? What about the other two?" He glances out at the dolphins, making a clicking noise of greeting that he hasn't had the chance to practice in Turns. "I was hopin' t' meet ye, at some point. See…I've got some questions…" And he's easily distracted, as his trailing off in favor of dolphin-watching indicates.

"Hi," says Mienta, cheerfully enough, and the female dolphin echoes her, clicking enthusiastically at Zannen and then adding: "Hi." And then, "Eri," identifying herself and leaving the calf to be Tiro. Mienta stops to rub his nose, and answer Mailli: "Oh, he's nine months now. He'll just tell you he's 'getting big,' though. I'm not sure he has the best concept of time." It's possible Tiro's oblivious to the fact he is being talked about, as he escapes Mienta to swim toward Zannen. Maybe this new person will also rub his snout, huh? "I'm happy to answer questions, I'm sure we all are," she adds, unusual Crom accent shining clear through as she drops her guard.

Mailli nods as she watches the calf swim towards Zannen, "I know that Theresa likes her melon rubbed," the other two dolphins are greeted, "Heyla Eri, Daise," for all she has already told him no about the bag, she sees he's still interested, "Next time, Daise," is promised, "Whatcha wantin' to know," thick Southern accent marks her for a native for all she's a native from the distant past. Southern is home, "We're glad to answer questions."

"Pleased t' meet ye, Eri and Tiro," Zannen returns to the dolphins, eyebrows rising as the young one comes his way. Stripping off his shirt and tossing it back to the sand, he wades out to the same depth as the women, hand outstretched with a nose-rub at the ready. "Yeah, you're a big 'un, alright," he enthuses to the calf before glancing over at Mienta and Mailli. "Well," he says, now a bit shy, "in the Oldtime, I didn' study Dolphincraft on account o' my mom, but…it was always what I wanted. I was good friends with th' pod at Big Bay Hold, where I grew up. 'specially with one named Reeja. Had to leave 'im, o' course, when we came forward. Guess I'm wonderin'…how hard's it t' transfer from Seacraft, t' study dolphincraft?" He shrugs, smiling hopefully. "Nothin' t' hold me back from it, here. Blin' me, I miss bein' around 'em." Is that a bit of glad tearing up the boy does? No, just spray from the sea. Really.

Mienta chews at her lip a little, but she's still smiling as she comes up with an incredibly unhelpful answer, "I know people have done it, and cross-crafted, too — I used to want to be a dolphinhealer, when I was younger, so I did some studying in cross-crafting. And some of the lessons are the same; I can't say I have personal experience, though." While Daise definitely still wants some shelled food, he's slowly being distracted by conversation, swimming around the group in a few small circles as Tiro clicks away under attention from Zannen's hands. And Mienta's smiling at his reaction, but of course it's not because he's crying. Because he's not.

Mailli chuckles at the question, "You can cross-craft, but if that's not what you want then we can certainly talk with the rankers of your craft and set things up for you to transfer to dolphincraft," Mailli answers after watching the dolphin for a bit, "Promise Daise, next time," and next time will be really soon, "So just let whoever know that you want to transfer, you've talked with me, and we'll go from there."

Happy crying. Yep, that's Zan's style. But he really isn't crying, see? He's too occupied with Tiro to actually do that. "Hello, Daise," Zannen greets the big dolphin as he passes the Seacrafter in another circle. The thought of cross-crafting gives him some genuine pause - including in the hand on Tiro's nose. "Never really thought about doin' both," he admits, "though I s'pose that's mostly 'cos I never really had the choice before. Kinda makes sense to do both, aye? I'll talk to m' Journeyman, see what 'e thinks. They know I work hard, and I'd do the same for ye," he adds quickly, "Master, Journeyman. No question. If ye'll have me."

"I can't speak for anyone else," Mienta says with an even wider smile, because this is the first time anyone's ever asked her, "but I would be happy to train you in whatever you'd like." Did we mention she has no practical teaching experience? That's okay! She's been explaining things to Ranivar for ages now. "And so would they, I think, especially Tiro — maybe you'll learn things alongside each other." Because Tiro is, of course, an excellent classmate — he's already distracted, blowing bubbles in the water.

Mailli chuckles, "Of course y'er welcome," she says, and Mienta is given a broad smile, "Do Mienta good to have someone else to spend time with too," oh look who's already being sneaky.

Tiro's easily distracted, too? No wonder Zannen seems to be getting on with him. The tall Seacrafter's waded out a little further now, crouching in the water up to his nose so that he can join the young dolphin in his bubble-blowing. Still, his ears remain above water so that he hears all that's being said. "Y'hear that, Tiro?" he tells the calf exuberantly. "We can learn t'gether! If ye like me well enough, that is. An' if yer mom doesn' object." And if he's sneakily being handed to the Journeyman, that doesn't click for him at all.

It might register to her, but Mienta is kind enough not to comment on it — or to give Mailli any suspicious looks. Not now, anyway. "He's managed to start floating by himself instead of constantly swimming," she reports proudly on the calf's development, even though for nine months that's right on track and he was probably doing that a month ago. "So he's already learned something. And you already know how to swim, too, so — good match." Eri, who seems to be Mienta's good match (for all that she's only ever partnered with male dolphins before, she is now frequently seen with this one) almost looks as if she's giving Zannen an assessing look, as much as a dolphin can do — and then she whistles and goes back to poking Mienta in the shoulder, prompting her to throw another fish. She actually tosses three at once, and Zannen and Mailli are both treated to a rehearsed move by the little family. "I think," she concludes, "that Eri doesn't protest."

Mailli chuckles at the performance, "I think you're right," she confirms. Mailli has moved up onto the sand, and deposited the shells in a small hole she quickly digs, "Now to go get some of those shelly fish that Daise likes so much," because she promised after all, "He really doesn't want those. They're mostly dead," and with a couple of quick breaths followed by one deep gulp of air, Mailli is disappearing beneath the waves. She'll be gone for a bit.

"That so?" Zannen queries about the floating, grinning down at the calf in the water again. "Good on ye, Tiro. World better watch out for ye!" He rubs at the young one's melon before turning his grin on Mienta, his chest puffing out a bit proudly. "Like one o' them, I can swim," he asserts, double-taking as he catches Eri watching him. Then he's treated to that bit of a fish-catching display, and he gives an enthusiastic whoop once it's concluded. "Oh, I'm glad to know it," he returns, starting to move back into shallower water. "Well, I…ah…I'd best go talk t' some people," he says, looking very reluctant to leave the water as he watches Mailli's departure. "An' I will! Right now. I think they all oughta be on a break, still. 's been a pleasure, Journeyman Mienta, a real pleasure!" Back on the sand, Zannen swoops up his discarded shirt. "Be seein' ye again, soon!" And with that, he's jogging off down the beach again, back toward the Seacraft complex. He may even add a few more gleeful whoops to his progress as he goes.

Tiro's happy whistle drowns out any one that Eri might've produced, as he decides once and for all that he Definitely Likes Zannen. The rubbing just makes him happier, and he rolls over once in the water as Zannen departs. "Tomorrow, most likely — bye, Zannen!" Mienta calls, and see, she even remembered his name! Not always her strong point, but in this case it is almost as if she was trying to pay professional attention to something. With Mailli fishing for Daise's presents, she is left alone to keep working on eye coordination with the remaining dolphins … which soon turns into a dive with Eri while Tiro takes a nap.

Mailli makes a quick return, which is fed to Daise, "As promised," they're mostly of the softer shell variety, and soon the bag is emptied. Mailli chuckles, "I've got to get those shells cleaned," called to Mienta as Mailli once more detours to the beach, then she's heading back towards the dolphincraft complex.

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