====October 20, 2013
==== Mama Steen (NPCed by Maryam), Sienna, W'rin
==== Truths are made to be challenged. Mama Steen sets foot in the Weyr caverns for the first time, to deliver a message to the Weyrleader.

Who Mama Steen (NPCed by Maryam), Sienna, W'rin
What Truths are made to be challenged. Mama Steen sets foot in the Weyr caverns for the first time, to deliver a message to the Weyrleader.
When There are 0 turns, 11 months and 6 days until the 12th pass.
Where Living Caverns, Igen Weyr

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igenlivingcavern.jpg

Living Cavern
Dim light from hanging glow-globes cannot fully camouflage the ravages of time and neglect on Igen's busy living caverns, though hints of its former glory peek through in the decorative cuts to the cave's natural limestone and the high quality of dusty, tatty-ended tapestries. Here and there, skybroom tables — stained dark by wood finish and a decade of grime — sit in loose groups, flanked by wicker chairs with pointy, broken rattan that pokes out to invariably find unprotected skin. The seemingly randomly placed furniture, however, at closer inspection, forms a sort of cross-shape of negative space. At the northernmost walls and nooks of the caverns, a long buffet table with tarnished lazy susans hosts an array of finger-foods and pitchers for the interested, refilled occasionally by drudges that shuffle in from the curtained entrance to the south, beyond which lies the kitchens. To the east is a large arch leading outside and, across from that, to the west, a set of rattling doors that open to reveal the tunnels and stairs of the inner caverns themselves.


-- On Pern --
It is afternoon
It is 4:33 PM where you are.
There are 0 turns, 11 months and 6 days until the 12th pass.
It is Winter and 42 degrees. It is a bright, sunny day.


It is early evening, dinner has been set out but it still fresh, it isn't the height of the eating frenzy but the caverns are busy and the seating is scarce. Which has caused W'rin to seek a seat at the actual leadership table, there are a few others seated, but he's being left mostly to himself. It isn't his favorite place to eat, too high profile, to easy to be spotted and asked for some favor or to fix some problem. For the moment he has escaped any nagging problems from other people, and is busy shoving food into his mouth like a rabid animal. There isn't a whole lot of time between meetings. Well that and the weyrleader always eats like he doesn't know if someone will come along and try to take it from him.

Sienna is sitting at the leadership table as well, beside W'rin. It's…date night, kind of? No. No it's not. They're just eating together, Sienna's pace much more leisurely (and nice to look at) as she works her way through her meal and sips her glass of wine. Murmuring something aside to W'rin, she chuckles softly and resumes eating her dinner.

Some things are eternal truths: Thread will always return, dragons will always fly to meet it and Mama Steen will never set foot within the Weyr proper. These things are accepted with faith because they have always proven to be so. Until this evening. At first, there's nothing out of the ordinary. One more body stepping into the living cavern, in search of sustenance. But Mama Steen is only of those immediately recognizable people- towering over other women and many men, even at her age, as thickly built as she is tall, with a strength that the Turns haven't been able to sap. No matter that her feet are gouty, calves running into ankles with nary a dip, seeping bandages protected by thick-soled sandals. She has her cane and she'd rather be damned that not do this under her own power, so no carry chair for her. As feet shuffle and cane taps, those she passes grow hushed. The effect continues the further into the cavern she comes. Tap tap shuffle, the wave of silence growing in her wake, her sharp blue eyes fixed on the man seated up there at his table. Tap tap, shuffle, until she stands directly before and below the Weyrleader.

Fork is raised half way to W'rin's lips, hunched over his plate like a feline over its kill, when he spots Mama Steen. Beedy eyes meeting her steely blue ones and holding. The fork freezes in place for a moment, his mouth open, but looking no less predatory as he watches her make her painful and cane aided way over to his table. So much for not being steel railed by people at dinner tonight. Everyone sees, he knows they does, but he himself does not look too concerned, once the fork is set back on the plate, and he straightens. Arms cross over his massive chest as in cold silence he watches her come the rest of the way. An assessing gaze is all she will receive, like the dog he killed earlier in the day. She's here for a fight. And he's ready. "Madame Steen. It is truly a grand night when you grace us with your presence." A look is shot a drudge with a dip of his head, and the woman scurries off to bring water and food fresh from the kitchens. Most would mistake this for politeness but there isn't a fake tone of warmth in the man's cool words, as another drudge, catching the tension comes to pull out a chair for the woman. Is she ready to fight in a ring where people treat W'rin as they normally treat her in her Pit?

Sienna straightens at the approach of Mama Steen, her mouth opening and then snapping closed as thoughts rush through her head. Is it about the twins? No, if it were, Mama Steen would not be the one to come tell them. Unless the twins are dead. Would she come tell them personally if the children fostered in her family somehow died? Sienna just goes pale at that thought, but she sits still, frozen and unable to ask that question.

Mama Steen folds both hands over her cane as she comes to a stop. She stands tall and she stands steady, though one can only imagine what the effort costs her on those diseased stumps that she calls feet. Her broad face is impassive, age chiseled deep into her brow and cheeks. There is no flinching away from the Weyrleader's regard, nor attention spent on the woman at his side. Clearly this is a confrontation of sorts- and yet she doesn't speak. Not while W'rin greets her, not while the room stares, not while the drudge hurries off for the elements of guest formality that serve here or in the Bazaar. All that he neglected to summon is salt, and she makes no move to correct him. Whether he knows it or not, the fight has already begun. "My boy," the woman finally rumbles, her voice unnaturally loud in the hushed air of the cavern. "You'll know why I'm here then."

The lips of W'rin's set jaw curl up in the slightest of smiles, a rather beastial look for the man who so rarely shows any recognizable emotion. The lack of interest he has incorrecting her use of the word 'boy' highlighted by the the timely rentrance of the drudge her sets the woman's plate on the table for her, even if she doesn't sit down in it. Bowing to the weyrleader the trembling woman flees back into the kitchens. Despite the folded arms, the man maintains a look of relaxed poise. He was trained well after all. "I have an inkling. Though I would have thought you'd know the harm of coming here." He won't mence words.

Sienna notices the lack of salt when food is brought, and the greenrider very subtly (or as subtly as she can) scoots her own little bowl of salt with the wooden spoon closer towards Mama Steen's meal. Scoot, scoot, scoot. But it only makes it part way before anything further would be /obvious/, so there it sits, a lonely little vessel of salt caught between two meals. Woe.

"What harm in visiting?" If this were a poker game, no doubt the other players would have long since fled the table, seeking to put distance between themselves and the ever so relaxed expression worn by both of these juggernauts. Mama Steen does pause, inclining her head briefly but graciously to the lady of the table. But that's just a quick reprieve for W'rin. All too soon, with the force of a thunderclap, her gaze snaps back to the man. "What harm in showing you I'm still here." And so she is, thick gnarled hands, broad and unbent shoulders, feet that no doubt scream at her even now though not a hint of discomfort shows in face or eyes. "You'll remember that, boy? I'm still here."

The woman on his right is forgotten for the moment, even the salt scooting across the table is missed as his grin turns ever more up. This is a game he likes, one played with a intellectual rivial not like the inbred fools that he deals with at holds. Though the older woman's assertion of harmlessness goes completely ignored. The statement was for her benefit, he declines to react to her attempt to use it against him. The answer to her question a deep nod in agreement. Though nothing more or less. No sign of aggitation or amusement. A simple affirmation. Yes. He knows she is here.

Sienna glances between the two and then she returns the head nod to the woman. As the silence settles, thick between them, the greenrider pushes to her feet and gestures slightly. "Would you care to join us, ma'am?" she asks respectfully. Because…anything to fill that tension, right? To maybe ease that awkwardness with two fully able bodied riders /sitting/ while an old, highly respected woman is standing?

Mama lifts a hand from her cane, eyes turned twinkling as she looks to Sienna again. "Kind of you, pet, so very kind. But my business here is all but done, yes? Now that me and your man have an understanding. Again." Said man is once more the brunt of her attention after that remark. Tap tap shuffle, she takes a half step nearer the table and leans over it just a little to be certain she's holding W'rin's eyes. And, from that closer vantage, she can lower her gravel in a tumbler voice to make what she says just between the small, privileged group of them. "S'good you remember it, boy. I'll ask only once, for old time's sake, that you don't forget it again." Then, that raised hand thumps down on the table and she levers herself upright with a jaunty, "Well then! Don't think I've ever seen little ones grow fat and sassy so quick as yours. Shows good breeding, shows you were concentratin' when you made 'em."

Oh but while she's still here, he'll stand to make like he's bidding her farewell, his growl is low and without the affect of any emotion, oh so close to her ear, "And I'll ask you only once to remember who's fucking Weyr you're in." Their faces so close one might mistake them for about to kiss, his gaze as steady and coolly unshaken as he deals with one of the few foes he's ever held as an equal. If she wants her do, she'll have to start giving him his. He's not the boy who use to be in The Pit any more. And lest she forget it, he'll grunt a laugh at her final comment. "A pleasure to see you Madame Steen. I'll be sure to stop by and talk to you next time we're round to see the twins." The smile on his face not matched by the fierceness in his gaze, which has yet to leave the older woman, a warning she has come awfully close to burning the bridge to the only member of the weyrleaderships duo on her side.

Sienna inclines her head as she sinks down into her seat once more. A silent 'yes ma'am', before she bends her head to focus on her food. But she's listening. Oh yes, she's listening, and she even smiles a little bit at the news of the twins. But she's not stupid enough to jump in and gush about them. Noooope. She's quiet.

"Oh, I remember. I remember the name of every Weyrleader who's held that chair during my tenure," Mama Steen rumbles softly, like rocks bounced in a velvet bag. It's only because this is W'rin that she feels moved to point this out; it's a courtesy, really, one that she wouldn't extend someone who hadn't spent so much time on her sands- no one else would get that warning. Taking her cane carefully in hand, the old woman swivels her bulk about and begins to stump away from the table. Her voice is raised again to carry over her shoulder, trained through the Turns to carry loud over crowds noisier than this one. "I'll look forward to it! Have my girls make up some of those tarts you're so fond of, eh?"

Instead gathering any useful lesson from Mama Steen's comment, W'rin smirks at her. That's fine. Weyrleader's have come and gone. But he's the one she she has to deal with now. And he's comfortable in that knowledge. Comfortable enough to settle himself back in his chair. Pick up the plate set for her, scratching the food off of it on to his own. Metaphorical message. Perhaps. And he goes back to eating. As if nothing had happened.

Sienna inclines her head politely to Mama Steen with a warm smile, before she turns to /stare/ at W'rin. Stare. "So." What the hell was that about? "Food's nice tonight, huh?"

Well if Sienna ever wondered why her weyrmate hates to talk about work when he gets home, now she knows. Welcome to his day. W'rin grunts at her question about the food. "Yep."

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