==== Jan 1, 2014
==== N'cal, Erissa
==== Erissa is surprised to find common ground with fellow bluerider N'cal during a late night encounter.

Who N'cal, Erissa
What Erissa is surprised to find common ground with fellow bluerider N'cal during a late night encounter.
When It is the 3rd day of Autumn.
Where Mirror Cavern, Igen Weyr

Ncal9.jpg erissa9.jpg




It is late night
It is 11:32 PM where you are.
There are 0 turns, 3 months and 27 days until the 12th pass.
It is the third day of Autumn and 78 degrees. It is a hot, miserable night.

Time slips away in the beauty of the Mirror Cavern, a lone young woman lying on a towel by the pool's edge seemingly lost in thought. Prone on her stomach she has a scroll laid out between her braced elbows and legs are bent upward at the knee with ankles crossed and slowly swaying back and forth. A nearby glowbasket is turned low, casting pale features in shadow and limning white-blond hair in silver. Though dressed in a red bikini top with a plunging, scalloped neckline and a pair of blue, cut-off shorts she appears not to have gotten wet. A soft sigh echoes in the silence of the cavern, a marker in one hand used to tap her temple. Think! Think! Think!

N'cal hasn't gotten to see the Mirror Cavern himself since arriving at Igen, and given the temperature that still lingers so long after the sun has set, he figures it's as good a time as any. Sleep not being forthcoming, he instead slips across the Lake to investigate, towel and sandals discarded upon the shore along with his tunic. The dim illumination that meets his eye as he crosses within is unexpected, though glows growing in caves are natural, yes? …Ah, but these are in a basket, and there's a someone sitting there… N'cal swipes water from his eyes and blinks, his feet finding the floor of the pool and bringing him into water a bit higher than waist deep. "Ah. Erissa," he states by way of greeting, glancing about. Yes, it might be better to view this place by daylight anyway. "My apologies for interrupting; I can leave, if you'd prefer."

Erissa knows the moment someone enters the cavern. The slightest sound whispers across the still water and bounces like playful children amidst the niches in the rock-hewn walls. The only sign that she hears, however, is a subtle shift of dark blue eyes. Taking advantage of the tousled fall of wayward bangs she peers toward the sounds of approach. Heavy shadows add to the mystery of the new arrival until he speaks her name. That gets her full attention and her chin lifts. A moment later he comes into the light of her glow basket enough that she recognizes him, mental files sifting lightning fast through facts and details to pull out a few identifying the rider. "Not at all N'cal. Please, stay. I'm just….I mean, I wasn't swimming anyway."

Still blinking as his eyes continue to adjust and pick up detail in the glowlight, N'cal gives a single, small nod and wades further in, still glancing about. When it proves to be a bit more trouble than it's worth, he submerges and swims ahead to a rock shelf beyond where Erissa is - ahead of her, from her vantage - and pulls up onto it, rivulets of water trailing off his lean form as he sits and rakes hair beginning to grow a bit too long back from his face. "I must admit I'm curious," he intones, lowering his voice in surprise once he hears how much it echoes. "This isn't the easiest place to reach if someone is intent on…studying." There's a question in his tone; he isn't certain that's what she's doing, but she certainly seems focused on whatever she is doing.

Erissa blatantly watches N’cal’s progress, especially when he rises to sit on the ledge. Nice. Very nice indeed. A distraction is just what she needs to try and push past her writer’s block - not that she tells the bluerider that but simply gives him a little grin when he lowers his voice. Playful curiosity had led her to test the effect when she’d first wandered in. To his question she merely shrugs slender shoulders, hiking her torso up just a bit more on braced elbows. “It’s quiet.” Hearing the unspoken question she casually slides a rock off one side of the scroll, letting it roll up halfway and hide the contents from easy view. “I found this place by accident. You’re the first person to wander in since I came. I was starting to think I’d found my own personal hidey-hole.”

N'cal doesn't catch that he's being watched; he's too busy making sure he can see. Noticing that she lets the scroll roll closed, he flicks his eyes away, then pulls up to stand on the rock shelf, hands tracing along the damp walls as he paces along it and gazes out across the rough-hewn space. "Oh, a place like this surely hasn't gone unnoticed by those who've been here long," he observes casually, a smirk tilting thin lips slightly as blue-green eyes light on the other bluerider again. "Unlike for us newer denizens. Speaking of which…" With a slight stretch, he leans up against the wall, arms folding easily across his chest. "How do you find yourself settling here? Does your new wing suit you?"

And there he goes again. How convenient. Erissa reaches a hand to tip the glowbasket slightly, sending light out further across the water and not so much in her face so her eyes can adjust to the surrounding shadows better and see N’cal more clearly. When he finally stops and rests against the wall she sets one palm to her cheek and braces the tilt of her head as she contemplates his questions. The first is easy enough. “I like my weyr. It’s above the bazaar, which is great for people-watching. I love all the color and noise and activity. It’s so alive.” The second question isn’t so easy, however. Full lips purse. “I’m still working on the wing. W’rin has… very traditional views. I’ll wear him down eventually.” Confidence, there. Gray-shadowed blues return to find his, trying to gauge his reaction to that. She’s met the likes of K’vvan already so isn’t taking anything for granted. “How new are you?”

"Lively, indeed," N'cal says of the Bazaar, watching with mild curiosity as Erissa adjusts the glowbasket. "As colorful from above as it is from the ground. Not a place to take lightly…but perhaps that is part of the draw. For me, at any rate." For her evaluation of W'rin, N'cal gives a subtle nod, fingers playing thoughtfully at his chin. But the last part of it draws a quiet chuckle, and the nod becomes a bit of a shake. "Oh, our Weyrleader is not immutable, for certain," he says, starting a slow pace back toward the other bluerider along the wall, "but wearing him down is no easy task - mark my words." He doesn't elaborate further on why he knows that, but his tone is solidly assured on the point. He stops, sitting again and absently flexing a still-sore shoulder with eyes cast upward in thought before addressing her question. "I've been here a few months now," he replies. "Since the start of summer. Fort wished to part ways with a bluerider bearing unpopular opinions, and so," long finger flick upward from raised hands, "here I am."

Watching N’cal is much more entertaining than watching the dance of light on the water and walls, like she was doing before he arrived. Feeling even more charitable toward the bluerider for his unwitting assistance she draws up an amiable smile and soft snort at his replies, especially remarks on their Weyrleader. “I’ll impress him. He just doesn’t know it yet,” she concludes. His last sparks particular interest and her arm drifts down to lie across the open part of the scroll. Lying as she is with torso braced on elbows provides quite the ample view of generous cleavage, but she doesn’t seem to be aware of it. “What opinions would those be?” Pretty features blank as she prepares for the inevitable extolling of male riders and slapdown of females in any such role.

N'cal is a rather observant fellow and therefore does notice what's on display as a result of Erissa's posture; eyes draw downward for just a moment before he's calling himself to order, lightly clearing his throat as he casually draws a knee up and laces fingers around it. "Well," he begins, eyes now sliding toward the entrance to have somewhere else to be, "informing a bronzerider that a green or bluerider may, in fact, have a far greater knack for leadership is never going to end well, of course. Nor is asserting that a woman on a fighting dragon is perfectly capable of doing so a good idea among traditionalists. And it just so happens that I am sometimes terrible at keeping my mouth shut in the face of puffed-up imbeciles who happen to sit atop shining hides." He skews a bright, rather sharp-edged grin her way. "Perhaps not what you expected to hear from me, I take it?"

Pleasantly shocked by what he says, Erissa is yanked back to focus by that charming yet mischievous grin. “To be honest, no!” she replies, her soft chuckle echoing off the rocks above. “Are you an Oldtimer then?” Because, of course, he must be, right?

Chuckling in turn, N'cal's eyes go frontward again briefly as he shakes his head. "Nooo, no, no," he answers, rueful amusement coloring his Fortian baritone. "Just an oddity among the hidebound ideals of this era. Though it seems traders are more given to such views, independent lot we are. Or, lot I was part of - you catch my meaning." He leans back on both hands, letting the bent knee go and freeing his foot to slip back into the water. "And there are others of us wandering about Igen. Those with similar viewpoints, that is. Keep an ear open for them; you may be surprised."

Wonder of wonders! Finally, a man who doesn’t think or judge by the size of his family jewels! His trader background explains a lot, Erissa having heard many a rumor about that progressive lot even if she hasn’t made friends of any. Flopping over on her back briefly she throws an arm across her eyes. “Faranth help me - what a relief!” she proclaims, rippling echo adding to the dramatic display. Rolling back onto her stomach she laces her fingers and uses them as a pillow for her chin. “I’ve had my fill of men who think a woman’s skills go no further than the lower caverns or the bedroom!”

Erissa's display draws a laugh from the Arroyo bluerider, his fingers drumming lightly on the rock beneath him as his head rocks back a bit. N'cal finds he has to look down quite a bit further when his gaze returns to her. "The mindset will change," he remarks, lightly but confidently as lightly arched brows tick upward expressively. "Just ask any of the Oldtimers; they know things can move forward, being able to look further back than us. People stay put out of fear of what they don't understand…and change is seldom easy to understand, it seems." He grins again, but more thoughtfully, gazing out into the dark again. "Yes, I think I'll be sticking around here for some time to come. W'rin may not be the most flexible man…but he is most certainly not the worst out there, I can tell you that." Blue-greens eyes dance knowingly down to Erissa once more. "He has allowed Arroyo to be what it is, after all." Oh, but what it took for that to happen…

Erissa soaks it all up like a sponge, suddenly very glad indeed that N’cal wandered in to interrupt her peace and quiet. The weights that lift from her shoulders were heavier than she realized and leave her feeling a little light headed with relief. She knows the truth of his words through her own misfortunes in dealing with immobile pricks but to hear it said aloud from someone else makes it more real than it’s seemed in a long time. “I wish I was born back then, with the Oldtimers,” she admits. “Impressing Dano has been the best thing that ever happened to me, but at the same time the hardest too.” She pauses then, as if considering saying more along those lines, but changes her mind instead drawn toward the last topic. “He does seem like a decent person, despite his biases,” she muses, hope ever a buffer in the direction of her future prospects. Lips rise in a wider smile as she adds, “Of course with Cha’el as his Weyrsecond things can’t help but improve. He has no such proverbial opinions.” Solemn, that bit of news. Don’t tip the pedestal.

N'cal gives a tilt to his head, left eyebrow raising slightly. "And yet if you had been born then," he observes with a small smile, "would the impression you wish to make be so impactful?" He shrugs. "Maybe, maybe not. Everyone expects the Oldtimers to cause havoc. Those of our time siding with them? Not so much." At the mention of Cha'el, N'cal has a sudden memory jog. This…this is ground a bit more unstable, if he recalls. Time to tread carefully! "I can't say I've spoken with the man at length as of yet," N'cal informs the other bluerider, pushing off the ledge into the water and popping up once more only to have to shove wet hair off his forehead again. "Though he was certainly an asset to Arroyo before he was given the knot. Willing to let us function with chromatics at the helm, and quite fair-minded as I recall. I'll make a point of chatting with him sometime soon." N'cal gives a good, languid stretch of arms overhead before slowly wading into deeper water. "I shall leave you to your scroll, Erissa. It was a pleasure speaking with you again."

“That sounds even more like me,” Erissa notes with a bit of bitter scoff. Trouble seems to follow her wherever she goes, although she’s determined to make a good go of it at this latest transfer to Igen. Onto her favorite topic she chimes, “Oh you should! I could introduce you sometime.” She makes the offer confidently from the self-perceived prominence of her position in his life. “Ha - sorry to steal him away from you but I was so glad when he transferred to the same wing as me right after I arrived.” Her expression lightens with amusement for her eager brownrider making that switch totally because of her. Uh-huh. Then N’cal is readying to leave and Erissa finds herself disappointed. Lifting back up on her elbows she gives him a smile and finger-waggle wave. “Same here, N’cal. Glad you came for a swim.” Surprisingly, motivation for her writing has returned and once the bluerider is gone she spreads the scroll again, sets it with the rock, and puts marker to hide. Inspiration has struck! Thanks, N’cal!

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