====Oct 27, 2013
==== Maryam, Taryn
==== Following a private meeting of the Steens with one of Igen's jr weyrwomen, Maryam approaches Taryn about a needed position for the plot.

Who Maryam, Taryn
What Following a private meeting of the Steens with one of Igen's jr weyrwomen, Maryam approaches Taryn about a needed position for the plot.
When There are 0 turns, 10 months and ?? days until the 12th pass.
Where Bazaar Sidestreet, Igen Weyr

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Bazaar Sidestreet
No matter the time of day, the darkness here is almost absolute, adding a certain je ne sais quois that borders on the treacherous. Here and there, cobblestones have gone missing and leave holes that are perfect for snagging the feet of the unaware. The stench is also criminal, a mixture of urine, rotting meat, and other things best left unexamined in the heaps that pile up next to the back doors of certain of the bazaar establishments.

It isn’t always ripe here. Once a seven, drudges hired by the foundation families of the Bazaar come through with buckets of boiling water and wide brooms to clear the worst of the slop off to the middens heap. That pack must have just been through; the streets aren’t quite clean enough to eat from but they’re a damn sight better than they were. The shadows cast under the awnings as night comes on is almost absolute but one needn’t fear suffocation by stench. And that might be why a young boy belonging to the Steen clan was sent with a slip of hide to deliver to one Taryn, Oldtime healer. It was a simple note, written in a small, square hand that will prove to be Maryam’s: would Taryn please meet her off the central Bazaar, at such and such a location, at such and such a time?

And, as promised, at that location and at that time, Maryam stands beneath an awning of striped blue and white with a partially opened basket of glows hanging from her hand. While her veil flutters and her robes stir in the occasional winter breeze, she might seem a statue set there to act as sentinel. That is, if one weren’t observant enough to catch the glimmer of reflected light in her eyes, to see them blink on occasion while she patiently awaits her invited “guest”.

The ripeness is a common enough thing that it’s with a timid wariness that a relative newcomer slips from the main street of the Bazaar into the narrower lane between windworn stone walls. She holds the edge of her more heavily woven shawl up across her face against it — or perhaps that’s just against the intemperate chill that blows through the desert’s hollow nights. Her skirts are hitched a little oddly high, leaving the step of leatherclad feet more free as she traipses carefully across the imperfect lay of cobblestones. The light, found, is quickly made her beacon: beneath the swirl of cloth her strides are long and swift. “Is that… Maryam?” The question is unsure as it lifts into the night, but the smile is more hopeful as she drops the protection of cloth.

Taryn approaches and so Maryam lifts the basket, the beacon the other woman needs to make her way safely forward. “That it is, ma’am, and thank you for coming.” Always the pleasantries first, in a tone so polite it borders on bland. “I apologize,” she goes on with slightly more animation- a touch of rue, a hint of amusement, and just a dash of sheepishness to round things out, “but this seemed the best place to meet. My mother asked for discretion and my nephews have made certain we would not be overheard. She has a job for you, if you care to take it.”

“Ma’am,” Taryn murmurs, tasting the word. The smile crinkled about her eyes perhaps isn’t convinced with how well it settles, though she makes no objection to the address. “Of course, daughter Steen,” is her attempt at formality in reply. It is, however, casual animation which she can meet with greater ease. A shake of her head dismisses the need for apologies as she settles the overlapping folds of her scarf and shawl more securely about her shoulders. “A job? From your mother.” Her head turns, as if she had any chance of catching sight of these nephews as she closes the final steps to join Maryam under the awning. “A discrete job?” This detail is noted with a lift of eyebrows as the glowlight spills across her face and the whip of the wind combines the ripples of their garments. “I’d be interested to hear how I might be of service, for certain.”

It’s the ease which provokes a quiet length of study. Women and ease must not often come together in her world, outside of the boundaries of the hearth and the demands of children. So Maryam watches, her gaze shifting smoothly between Taryn’s hands as they settle shawl and scarf, to the turn of her head and the lifted eyebrows. So intent is she on observing these little things- small signs of alien confidence- that she almost misses her cue to continue. “Mm? Ah…yes ma’am. You had mentioned that you were a Healer? She has been approached by parties who need a Healer. One whose…whose ideals might be sympathetic to women standing to Impress a dragon.”

A nod answers that first question, some flicker of reserve drowned by the quick-blink of lashes and the lift of fingers to tidy stray strands of blonde beneath her scarf. “Oh? Parties.” Now the deeper blue of Taryn’s eyes scan hopelessly over the veiled face in shadowed glowlight. “I’m not sure how I might help?” There’s apology in the upward lilt, curiosity maintained in the tilting cast of her head. “I don’t know much of dragonriders, though certainly I am well used to women being amongst their ranks, from my time.” Her lip catches briefly in her teeth as an inhale makes pause. “But, standing, you say?”
Slow-figuring, her eyes twitch a little more narrowly in concentration. “There is a clutch currently at the Weyr,” she makes the recollection into yet another query.

“And soon to hatch,” Maryam confirms quietly. While talking, her hand has slowly lowered until the basket dangles at her side. It leaves her in shadow, removes the subtle tells of personal emotion and makes this truly just a message to be delivered. “There is no gold egg. The Weyrwoman has said that there will be no female candidates, as a result. But not everyone agrees and they wish to find a healer willing to sign off on physicals for girls who will be disguised as boys, and introduced to the barracks near the hatching date.” What does show in her voice is caution- no feelings, no names, no titles. Generalities only, and once they’re given, she watches Taryn’s expression closely, what she can see of it in the gloom.

Somewhere between the lowering of the basket and the caution, Taryn is drawn up into more stately posture as her forearms link gently in front of her. It’s a poor mirror of the dispassionate oracle the other woman makes. “Just physicals?” There’s another fluttering series of blinks,driven by the abstraction of an upward shift of gaze as she considers. It’s a short moment before the Healer refocuses on the slim window the other woman’s eyes make. “These physicals would be sponsored by the Weyr?” Seen only in a twitch of lips, another touch of teeth to lip mark brief hesitation before, perhaps, a more pertinent question: “Paid for?” A slightly longer breath tips the lay of one palm up into the slender dark between them. “I would be happy to clear candidates who are healthy,” is a more quickly reasoned exhale. “If they’ll respect my knot.” Here her mouth quirks a little wry. “It has… not been so easy, I’ve found, to be accepted in this time as a practitioner of my profession.”

“So far as I am aware, all they need is for someone to approve the physicals, yes. You would be paid. It would be important, of course, that you maintain a low profile afterwards and you would be compensated for that too.” Maryam draws a breath in preparation to say something, veil briefly concave over her lips- and then she hesitates. It’s the first sign of something other than a script, the shift of eyebrows drawing together beneath the fabric, the way her eyes cast down. “If you proved yourself discrete, it would be possibly that you might find acceptance elsewhere. In a place other than the Hall or the Weyr, ma’am. Will you do it?” Another hesitation, a pause for the span of one breath, two… “I cannot give you the names of those you will meet next without a yes, and I apologize for that.”

It puts a little tug at the corners of her smile. Compensated. Perhaps this is what distracts her from that telling hesitation. The receptive bob of her head comes too easily, as if it takes some moments for her to catch on to the implications of what Maryam suggests. “I’m… not worried about names.” Again her smile is sliding a little uneven. “I will do it.” Taryn sounds decided, for all that it may be hasty. “I — how. Low. Of a profile?” The question shapes at her features as if they’re preparing a wince. “Will I need to leave Igen? I’ve paid my… accommodations. For another two seven.”

Maryam’s eyes finally do lift to meet Taryn’s. Such solemn scrutiny, this! “You should perhaps worry, ma’am. In this, you go against the Weyrwoman Corelle.” But as she’s already said she would do it, the young woman has moved on to nodding acceptance. Done and done. “No,” she says to the possibility of leaving Igen, “but more time spent in the Bazaar, less in the Weyr. This evening, if you can, and tomorrow if you have to, you will go the weyrwoman Tuli’s office to inquire about a posting as healer, to help with the influx of last minute candidates. This,” and a small leather pouch is produced, offered, “is the first payment. One quarter of your final payment, the rest due when the job is done.”

It does give her pause, that solemnity weighing her. Perhaps Taryn should worry. And yet, while there’s not carelessness, there is a certain unruffled determination settled quietly upon the young woman. “I understand,” is appreciative reception of the caution. “Discretion.” Maryam has requested it, and the Healer intends to provide. The name and instructions, once given, set off another of those blinks that mark her as not so completely in command of a poised facade as the Steen daughter. The reaction is eclipsed, however, to the dropping of her gaze to the outheld bag. Her hand is quick to slip under it, though her fingers are slow to close. There’s a soft wooden clack as she feels subtly at the contents. A blanker look rides out a long breath, and then she’s pulling a smile back on to give a curt little nod. “I will gain audience with the weyrwoman as soon as possible. Thank you, Maryam. I — thank you. And your mother, for the opportunity,” she’ll give a head dip of acknowledgement. “I hope to prove it well founded.”

“Discretion,” Maryam agrees, with a hint of relief. There’s no grand fortune in the purse that’s given but neither is it an amount to sniff at; Mama seems to pay well, to those willing to tweak Corelle’s nose. But the thanks, oh the thanks, how they give Maryam pause. The bargain made, she might well have moved on- the twitch of the basket at her side hints at it, fingers tensing and arm gathered for a turn. But she lingers a moment longer, lips pursed beneath the veil. “…my mother wanted me to hire a Nowtimer healer, unassociated with the Pit. She is not owed your thanks, nor am I to have you do a thing which could see you punished.” Though her mother isn’t here, that this is a jab at said maternal figure is likely clear- the sharper eyes, the stiffness of the tall, skinny body beneath voluminous robes. Then she gathers herself to go in truth. “Clear skies, Taryn,” she offers, the proper name in lieu of an honorific awkward on her tongue.

The revelation given starts to put a lift to the oldtimer’s chin, only to see it tilt as her expression softens and eyes scan again to try and suss out meaning from beneath all that veil. It may say something of her understanding, that her nod comes slowly. But as the other woman gathers herself to go and makes that awkward farewell, Taryn is found curving a more deeply earnest smile. “Clear skies,” she wishes warmly. As the light begins to move, she’ll stand under the awning a moment with fingers working over the little pouch. A final twitch of her lips gets her tucking it away beneath her shawl, then winding the cloth back more warmly over her face as she slips off into the dark of desert alleys.

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