====September 8th, 2013
====Aileen, Sienna
====Aunt and niece get the chance to really catch up.

Who Aileen, Sienna
What Aunt and niece get the chance to really catch up.
When There is 1 turn 3 months and 12 days until the 12th pass.
Where Living Caverns, Igen Weyr



Living Caverns
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.

It is the lunch rush hour for worker, rider, and weyrbrats alike; although with the weather on the nicer side today and not quite so hot as normal, some of the more adventurous take their meals outside. Aileen is not one of these. Where normally she would run outside gladly and either linger among the Traders, or among the less desirables, today finds her inside, sitting at one of the tables that has some brighter light. A hide is within easy reach as she eats daintily, which she makes notes on in between bites. Her handwriting, even for a eleven-almost-turn-old, is remarkably easy to read. The hide itself is old, but clearly one that has been used for such things before. Whatever such things are. Although it's obvious enough that someone was probably at the table before - with the way some of the chairs are at odd angles, the kid is currently alone at the table.

Sienna makes her slow, cautious way in from outside, along with many of the Weyrlings. And while they allow the Weyrlingmaster to get her food first, she does not follow them to the Weyrling's table. No, she's spotted Aileen and thus moves carefully to stand opposite her ex werymate's daughter, smiling a bit. "Mind if I join you?"

Aileen blinks in surprise at the sound of her aunt's voice, and looks up. "Weyrlingmaster." Her tone is quiet, polite, and yet…distant. It even comes equipped with a polite salute! "Please do." Her stylus is set down, and the inkpot capped while she waits politely for Sienna to sit down as well. Today Aileen is apparently on her Best Behavior. Whether or not that should put up alarm bells or not..

Sienna smiles as she settles down across from her, returning the salute. "Perfect," she praises with a smile. "How are you doing, kiddo? Lessons going well?" Let's just pretend the girl has been wildly roaming since she was thrown onto a dragon by a father who is now long dead.

"When I bother to go to them." Aileen says with polite agreement. "The Harper says I should really make them a priority if I don't want to turn into a whore." The smile that crosses Aileen's is unnerving. "I haven't told him yet that I know he sleeps with one of the greenriders yet." Because the gossip mill would get a FIELD day out of that one, surely. After a bite of food, she asks, "how are you doing?"

Sienna looks rather shocked by Aileen's words, and the greenrider coughs. "He…he said you'd turn into a whore if you didn't go to your lessons?" Unnerving smile /is/ unnerving for the woman, but then she laughs, though she tries to turn it into a cough. "Ahh, well. Glass houses…still, you should be going to all your lessons. I'm…incredibly busy but doing okay. Not much longer now," she admits, rubbing a hand over her belly.

"He did. I don't care, though, whores aren't that bad." The child confirms, and then shrugs. The world really must be coming to an end if that's her stance on things. "I haven't really been here for most of them. Besides, they teach things way slower here. Like they expect that we're stupid." Disdain is an expression obvious enough of Aileen's face, before it's washed away. "What do you think you'll name it?" More idle curiosity than anything.

Sienna frowns. "Yes, but…you're…not going to be one." The /right??!/ is implied. Honest. "Slow? Hmm. Well…maybe…." She's got nothing, really, all she can do is sigh. "Looks like you need to take charge of your own education. Given thought to a craft?" Then there's a shift of topic and she looks at her belly. "Not quite sure yet," she admits.

Aileen shrugs, and gives her aunt a serious look. "Wouldn't it just shock Mom and Dad if I was?" Because, well. They're not here to STOP her now. "I used to want to be a Healer like Dad, but.." Clearly that desire has changed drastically. Whether it be essentially from being abandoned in a new and strange time, or whatever else. "I don't know, anymore." A quiet nod is her reply to the indecision regarding the baby's name.

Sienna sighs, leaning forward and reaching across the table towards her…step-daughter? "Aileen," she says softly. "Give yourself some time to grieve and adjust. We all had to. Then you'll find something. Are you interested in cooking at all? Maybe the Bakers…"

Aileen is quiet for a long moment, looking down at her plate. "He could have come with. I didn't even know who he was giving me to. He just told him to make sure I got here. And he didn't even tell me he wasn't coming with." Grief? Well, if she's in the ANGER stage, yes!

Sienna nods, exhaling softly and giving the girl's arm a tight squeeze. "I know," she says quietly. "But he stayed behind to help the others. And he wanted you to be safe and have a new life here…but. I know," she adds with another squeeze. "I know."

"He knew Mom's dead though, why couldn't he have let the others stay?" The question is oh-so-quiet and sad, but the look on Aileen's face is obscured as she takes another bite. "When we first got here, I…was so mad I went and got one of the trader caravans to let me travel with them." It's an admittance, but more out of need for someone to know than anything. "'S why you didn't know I was here." At least that's a mystery solved?

Sienna nods again with a soft sigh. "I don't know why," she admits. She stopped understanding T'sei a long time ago. "Ahhh. I thought it might be something like that. Did you like it? Is that something you want to do? I'm sure we could find a nice caravan…"

"It was nice enough, but I missed being around dragons a lot." So caravan life isn't quite for her, it seems! "But I guess I've got time. I'm still a month'n'a half away from my twelfth turn." So there's time to decide still, at least! "Do you like being Weyrlingmaster? Do you like this time?" A tirade of questions from the child W'rin thinks is a terror!

"Yes, you do have time," Sienna reassures her with a smile. Time… "I…it's fine. It's temporary though. I'm better as an assistant I think, but I'm enjoying teaching again and being with the Weyrlings. Miss Whirlwind, but." That's no longer an option no matter what. "I like this time well enough…there is a lot I miss but I'm trying not to dwell on it. Part of me /likes/ how traditional it is," she admits. "I like the respect, but it's been hard to get into the habit of saluting everyone and keeping my opinions to myself most of the time."

Aileen tilts her head to the side a little as she thinks about this much more comfortable topic. "The respect thing is hard to get into the habit for for me, too." Not that that wasn't already OBVIOUS. She admits it with a little frown. "It's so…different." Different could be taken in a bad or a good way, but either way it is what it is! "Why was Ista in our time so….strange that way?" Because it probably isn't, anymore. "I'm glad you're liking it, Aunt Sienna." They may be in public, but at least they're more or less alone at the moment. That makes it less severe a slip, right?

Sienna doesn't think it's a slip, but she's still learning these new formalities as well. Respect was given at the start of the conversation, and at the end. The middle…well it has to be /somewhat/ informal otherwise they can't talk. "I think it was because there was no Thread, honestly. It was gone, we had just started the interval, so people went a little…too relaxed. Now, with the Pass approaching, it's going the other way. More strict, more formal, because it /needs/ to be. So. It all comes down to Thread and our reason for being here."

Aileen considers this new influx of information with no small degree of seriousness - which probably isn't all that surpring, anymore. "People have to be able to recognize who's above them in command, so they can follow orders, right?" Aileen then adds, "because it'd be bad if someone not listening to orders caused something like, Thread to be able to burrow, or something." Maybe she's been doing PRIVATE research! "Because Thread means we all need to be able to take directions. Right?"

Sienna nods, "That's exactly right. So this," and she gestures around, "is practice. If you can obey a rider on the ground then you're sure going to obey them in the air. And during Fall, the entire weyr is involved. You'll likely be filling firestone sacks or helping the Healers. There's no room to question orders. Exactly. That's exactly right, Aileen. And with W'rin as Weyrleader, he will expect /everyone/ to show due respect to their superiors. For those exact reasons." And she smiles at the girl, clearly proud of her.

At the reminder that W'rin is Weyrleader again, Aileen just looks resigned. "He'd probably just as soon kick me out." She points out, though to be fair, she has only met the man a couple of times. "I'll do what they expect of me." And maybe more than that, but that's not said. Let it be a SURPRISE to W'rin when she does? "Maybe I'll see if the Harpers want me." Perhaps a surprising choice, but it would involve her with the numbers she's so fond of. "I'd better go, they'll start wondering if I'm coming back with this or not." 'They' probably means the caravan she travelled with, right? "It was nice seeing you again, ma'am."

Sienna shakes her head. "So long as you're working well, and doing as you should - which I know you will - he'll recognize you for the valuable young woman that you are. I think you'd make a fine Harper. Talk to Sara, in the bazaar, if you're interested in that." Her smile is warm for the girl, and she offers her a hug. "It was nice seeing you again too, Aileen. Take care."

Aileen hugs her aunt back, and even offers a little, teasing salute before she disappears into the crowd that is the Living Caverns at lunchtime.

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