====October 13, 2013
====Ladivos, Maryam
====Ladivos wields a little of his newfound power.

Who Ladivos, Maryam
What Ladivos wields a little of his newfound power.
When There are 0 turns, 11 months and 27 days until the 12th pass.
Where Guardhouse, Igen Weyr

ladivos05.jpg maryam01.jpg


Ancient, half-crumbling, and more than a little pathetic: Igen Weyr's guardhouse is a weathered thing, one to which little enough love has been shown. Theoretically a two-story building, the staircase into the upper quarters has long since rotted away to collapse, and a creaky ladder leads up into what once were barracks, but now serve as storage for miscellaneous and half-forgotten equipment and assorted rubbish. The downstairs has faired little better: trestle tables serve as both crude desks and cruder staging areas, while the small administrative office reeks more of booze than paperwork. Only the brig is halfway well-maintained, though it's still a pathetic thing: cramped and unsanitary, with a single dingy cot and dusty latticed window.

-- On Pern --
It is midmorning
It is 11:23 AM where you are.
There are 0 turns, 11 months and 27 days until the 12th pass.
It is Winter and 37 degrees. It is very hot for the season.

"You're being arrested for," SIGH, "… bad poetry." That was the first thing a particularly short guard called Hink had told Maryam early afternoon, after - as he had been requested to do - waiting for a moment to catch her alone. But his heart wasn't in it, and it certainly was not a forceful arrest. More of a 'come on, you'll be right back, I promise' than an 'INTO THE BRIG WITH YOU'.

He leads her to the guardhouse and past other, more impressive guards. Some of whom'll be glad to watch a lady come and go as they squabble, curious as to her reasons for being here. There's a certain sort of tension inthe place- it's to be expected, what with changes in management. But already the place looks better than it had. There are no reports lying around, no broken furniture. It leaves the main space a little empty but hey, that's almost literal room for improvement. Hink leads Maryam further still, toward the office, and motions (with a disgruntled sneer and a roll of his eyes to fellow guards) for her to enter first. The door is halfway open, the words '- Guard Captain' on its wood. Whatever was in front appears to have been carved away.

Inside, she'll find messy stacks and stacks of papers on either side of the room, with a Ladivos in the middle. He's seated at a desk with a black streak on its side, boots up on top of it, crossed at the ankle, and yet another stack of reports on his lap. He's been glaring down at them for a while now and doesn't seem prone to stop, the fingers of one hand idly prodding at a shiny new (well, by manner of speaking) knot on his shoulder.

Who knew that her man had a sense of humor? That's almost as galling as to be led to the guardhouse in front of anyone who cares to see the daughter of Mama Steen in the company of one of Igen's "finest". By the time Maryam is gestured to step through the door held for her by Hink, she's in full ice princess mode. The stiff posture, the winter blue eyes, the fingers laced white-knuckled at her waist. Someone's in trouble and that someone isn't Maryam herself. She takes in the sight of his desk, his boots, his knot-fondling and the glare, all of which add up to "this really should make me happy and yet…"

The soft clearing of her throat barely stirs her veil. "Captain. You wished to see me?"

That glare? It leaves Ladivos' almost as soon as Maryam's voice hits his ears. Yet his eyes are on her only for a second, before they glide to Hink instead. It takes only a sideways jerk of the new Cap'n's head for the escort to breathe out yet another sign and close the door behind Maryam. Raised voices can be heard from the other side, and even with them muffled by the wood they sound suspiciously much like complaints, but Ladivos doesn't seem to take much notice. He's already busy dropping his reports onto the desk and rising from his chair. Which is then promptly lugged out from behind the desk and to in front of it. For Maryam! Thud. Yes. He only has one chair. He'll get on that, okay. Pun not intended.

For a moment it seems that Maryam might refuse the chair on the grounds of being rather displeased still. But in the end, the courtesy of the gesture wins her over and steps forward to take it. After arranging her robes around herself, and folding her hands in her lap, she sighs a much more ladylike sigh- and then allows the faintest of smiles to show around her eyes. "Thank you. I see it has been going well, yes? Though still a mess in here."

If there was any doubt in Ladivos' mind that she may accept, he isn't showing it. Thoguh he does wait until she's seated before he moves again. Her question has him baring an upper row of teeth in what is almost too absentminded to be a smile, as he rummages through a desk drawer and gets out some small strips of parchment. He's come PREPARED. He makes his way back over to his guest and, leaning back on the desk with a mess of haphazardly torn strips in his hands, offers two of them over. The first says simply, in slightly messy writing, 'just ladivos please' and the second, 'I could not find an inbox and outbox big enough. am trying to check it all for suspicious' this word has been corrected several times 'things'.

Maryam's eyebrows raise as she's presented with these strips. How can she not be impressed, that he's so well prepared? The first is taken, read, set aside and dismissed, the second she lingers over. Almost thoughtfully, the young woman runs the pad of her thumb over the writing- her fingers already ink-stained from whatever business she'd been conducting earlier before his summons- and looks up at him again. As if the combination of touch and visual study could give some sign of what's swirling through that hidden mind of his. After a moment, she confides, "To tell the truth, I was not at all certain she would fall for this. And yet here you are. All of this, yours. You have been busy already…did she say anything? What did she task you with? Have you found anything about the raids?" The questions come tumbling from her as if a dam had broken, leaving her veil in constant motion.

And what a choice of person to ask them from. Fewer people could be more ill-prepared for it. Yet when Maryam speaks and it is not pointedly negative things leaving her, there is a certain something… pleased about the way Ladivos stands against what he looks to have accepted as his desk. In his office (despite the lack of name plate). With his guest. Pleased is not something he's known to look, and it persists even as he peers down at the strips he's still holding, carefully picking through them as he shakes his head in regards to the last question. The next note handed over reads 'she does not like me. I don't care. she seemed glad to be rid of segam. I have a month to prove my worth'. His other hand lifts in front of his face, as though he were moving aside an invisible veil of his own. That'd be the day. Still, the look that accompanies is it one of question rather than command.

This time, with the presentation of the next strip of paper, Maryam laughs. Softly, it's true, but there's genuine amusement there. "Did you predict all of my questions? You were better for this than I had hoped," she admits before lowering her gaze to the written word. What's there brings her eyebrows together, making a thoughtful knot of her brow. "A month. A month…this…this is excellent. It could that long or more to get the guards in order, much less turn your attention back to raiding the Bazaar. Yes?" The force of her glance, when she looks up again, is akin to a lash. That is what he intends to do, right? "So we have that long, at least, to plan our next step, to keep the Bazaar from withholding its tithes."

The subject of prediction earns a one-shouldered shrug from Ladivos, and a ginger rub of fingertips at his neck. There's a quiet, then, insofar as that Ladivos does not respond for several seconds. He doesn't look any less content with the situation, but something in that head of his is rollin' in its slot, and who knows where it'll end up falling. As he observes his guest, a faint smile makes its way to his eyes so much more easily than his lips. One more strip of paper is sought out, and offered. This may be the first time he purposefully lets one of Maryam's questions be unanswered, for it reads instead, simply, 'your poetry isn't bad'.

Still glowing with how well her scheme has worked, Maryam reaches for the paper. She is expecting some more predictions here, clear answers to the business at hand- possibly even some congratulations for how clever she is! What she finds instead is therefore so unexpected that she actually startles slightly, the paper trembling with the slight motion of her hand. Brows knitting together again, she looks from paper to man to paper once more. "…thank you." She thinks. All of the other scraps have been kept but in her confusion, this one is offered back to him without dwelling on it. "Though this cannot happen again, Ladivos," she goes on, trying to regain some control of the conversation. "It is already going to cause me problems to have been seen here."

The offered scrap is ignored. Ladivos is once more on the move, trailing heavy steps past a stack of paper to reach for a desk drawer again. From it he pulls a page half torn — likely where the other stripes came from. He leans over the desk, sort of awkwardly without his chair, and begins to scrawl letters in one of its corners. When he finishes, he slides it over: 'no it will not' traced over twice for emphasis, as though he's proud of it. The next line below, reads, 'I am calling in all sorts while checking the records. you are the fifth. there will many more I call in after you'. Though they might be less likely to have Hink fake-arrest them on account of poorly executed creative expression. He doesn't wait for her to read it before he starts in a slow walk around the room, glancing briefly in the direction of muffled voices behind the door before he stops in front of its frame. His eyes roll momentarily toward the ceiling as though he's trying to make out what's being said beyond, but there's no sign of it succeeding showing on his face.

Her frown is well hidden as Maryam folds the compliment in half and tucks it away with the others, to be destroyed later. She waits patiently through his scrawling, attention drifting briefly to the stacks and stacks of records that have fallen in drifts around the office. Before she can make out anything of proper interest, though, she's presented with something new to read. This time, it's easier to maintain composure- no surprises here! Just a soft chuckle and an allowance of, "Very clever of you." She turns in her chair, arm resting against its back. "The man you sent for me. He was rude."

Clever? Why yes, yes it was. Ladivos's smile widens slightly, if only on one side and but for a moment. The word 'rude' seems to erase it from where it was. A second later and he's kicked the back of a heel agaist the door near him. No time at all later and the door is opened wide, Hink morosely making his way inside as his hand stays on its surface. There is quiet once more, outside the office. Three off-duty men who sit at a table stare at Hink as the smaller guard stares, in turn, at Ladivos. Expectantly, as though he now finds himself in a spot other guards have found themselves in prior. The new Guard Captain's grim expression is hard and his head is held high - if nothing else, it should be said that he's observed well the roles of superiors over the years, and makes a half decent imitator. His hand lifts in a fist, oh so slowly, just to linger in front of the smaller guard's face. Then! … He gives a thumbs down. Hink groans in what looks to be both disappointment and annoyance, throws both his arms up and turns to join the others outside the office. They laugh as he does so, one calling, "Don't look so sad, Hinks! We can't all be the fancy schmancy Captain's mouth. We taking bets on the next one or what?" Ladivos steps forward to keep the door open, his back pressed up against it as he looks back to Maryam with, finally, a proper smile on his face. As though to say LOOK. Look at that captainny thing I did.

That was indeed a captainny thing. Or some sort of thing. Thinglike. Maryam doesn't appear entirely certain of how to categorize it. She observes in bemusement and, bemused still, stands when Ladivos has finished passing judgment on the unfortunate Hink. The open door is signal enough that this interview is coming to a rapid close and so she steps nearer. Parting words? All she has for him is the near inaudible murmur of, "Perhaps it might be easier to simply let them all go and start anew?"

A thoughtful dip of Ladivos' head precedes a thoughtful narrowing of eyes. He shoots the men spoken of a look just long enough for them to catch it, before looking back to Maryam with slightly more confidence. A decision has been made, but what it entails will have to be revealed another day, because rather than addressing that issue, he turns to another. Mouthed are the words 'thank you', even if no sound accompanies it. Then, he simply stands aside. Oh so contently. For his visitor to leave his office. Simple things for simple people.

Add a New Comment