==== December 23rd, 2013
==== Erissa, N'cal, Atzi
==== Blueriders bond over drinks. The Weyrsecond's ears MUST be burning.

Who Erissa, N'cal, Atzi
What Blueriders bond over drinks. The Weyrsecond's ears MUST be burning.
When There are 0 turns, 4 months and 24 days until the 12th pass.
Where Igen Weyr

erissa7.jpg Ncal9.jpg atzi.jpg


Dustbowl Cantina
To enter the Dustbowl Cantina is to descend: the heart of the ancient tavern lies half underground, at the foot of ancient steps, insulated from summer heat and winter cold by the volcanic rock surrounding it. A windowless place well-lit by glows, it is homey, even cozy, with a certain bijou charm - but for the deep gouges worn in wooden table and solid stone, some //clearly lingering evidence of boisterous brawling. The wall behind the well-polished bar, though, remains free from scars or graffiti, as does the door into the small kitchen, and the stairwell up into the owner's quarters: the barkeep and his staff reign, and they guard their territory well. After all, only a fool angers the source of the booze.//

Atzi is sweeping. Atzi is always sweeping. She wonders why she bothers, really. The dust just comes back. But, though ragged around the edges, worn and rough, the place is neat as a pin - at least, when Atzi's on. At then entrance of a new patron and an unfamliar face, a rider by her knot and patches, the young woman's face breaks into a welcoming smile, "The one and only. Unique in all of Pern. We have the finest collection of drinks to cut the dust." She grimaces at the pile she's been wrangling, "And dust, if you're needin' it." She leans the broom against the wall and sweeps behind the bar, "What'll you have?"

Erissa gives the sweeper a curious once over, gaze dropping from head to toe and back up again. Logging the woman in mental files she refocuses on what's being said and an appreciative grin breaks free. Reaching the bar she hops up on a stool and leans forearms on the counter, blue-ish hues following the other woman as she comes round the bar. "Oh no, got plenty of my own dust cleaning out my new weyr, thank you very much. What's the most popular cure for an over-does of dust and crawlies?"

Atzi nods at the bluerider's patch, "Whirlwind tends to favor whiskey." And lots of it. The trader cocks her head, "For dust-cutting?" she casts her eyes into the rafters, then nods, bringing her dark eyes back down to the rider's blue, "No substitute for a gin and tonic." At the entrance of another bluerider, one she doesn't know by sight, but that knot is identifier aplenty. The young 'keep smiles up at the bluerider's entrance, "Evenin' Wingsecond."

Pale brows rise slightly at mention of whiskey, pert nose scrunching at the addition of gin and tonic. A real pokerface, that's Erissa. "Well then!" she declares, one palm landing on the counter with a light thump. "Who am I to buck tradition? Shoot me a whisky!"

N'cal is most certainly here for something dust-cutting himself, and eagerly so, now that the sandstorm has tapered off. With a bit of a stretch for his injured shoulder, the tall bluerider saunters down the steps toward the bar with a small, pleasant smile for the woman behind the counter. "Good evening," he greets, having to clear a bit of dry graveliness from his Fortian baritone before he can go on. He slips onto a stool, surveying the woman rider nearby and offering the smile her way as well. "And to you as well, bluerider." Then his attention is back to the bartender. "A shot of whiskey, to start," he says. "And a good Benden red to follow, if you would."

Atzi nods to both orders and sets out to glasses, pouring out just-this-side-of-generous pours for each rider. She places each in front of its intended, "Whiskey and… whiskey. Good Benden red coming right up." She dips behind the bar to make a small notation. Eyebrows raising up in a self-query she peers at the bottles before her, humming to herself. Selecting a glass she uncorks the bottle and sets it apart, again with the just-this-side-of-generous pour. It's a gift, really. Some people could sing or dance. Atzi has deft volume sense.

A fellow bluerider! Excellent! Erissa casts the other rider an amiable smile as he takes a seat, dipping her head in brief greeting. When he orders whiskey, followed by Benden red, the man goes up several notches in her estimation. The first, at least, causes her to inquire, "Are you in Whirlwind wing, then? I hear they like whiskey." As the drinks arrive she eyes the levels and gives the sweeper/bartender a smile just-this-side-of-grateful.

The drink levels are well noted on N'cal's end as well, earning the bartender a full grin as he accepts the whiskey. He thanks the woman, directly knocks the shot back, follows it with a satisfied sigh, and levels a bright blue-green gaze at the other bluerider. "Whirlwind?" he questions, laughing lightly. "No, no. You don't really think our Weyrleader would allow this," he flicks at his wingsecond knot, "to sit on the shoulder of a bluerider in Whirlwind, do you? I belong to Arroyo." Setting an elbow on the counter, he rests his temple on curled knuckles, surveying the woman beside him. "N'cal is my name. Iolarth's. I don't believe I've had the pleasure yet, wingrider…" The question begging her name is left in his inflection, a lopsided smile remaining.

Another of Atzi's talents is fading into the woodwork when folk start talking at the bar. She busies herself straightening bottles, checking levels, cleaning the bartop, refilling the small bowls of nuts - one of which she places between the two riders - this is generously filled. And salty. Whaddya do? It's a business.

Erissa lifts her glass but stops before taking a drink. Pale brows furrow slightly at the other bluerider's reply. "Arroyo," she echoes softly, mental files once again engaged as the name is logged. Right. The other wing. Then he's giving his name and asking hers so she snaps back into focus and tips her glass his way. "Erissa, rider to Danorath," she supplies. "Well met, N'cal." Glass is lifted by way of salute, and since he chugged his back in one shot she does the same. Not used to such strong liquor, however, she immediately chokes, pale complexion flowering a light rose. Waggling a hand toward the woman behind the bar she chokes out, "Water!" But oooo, nuts? Yummy!

"Well met, Erissa," N'cal responds, sipping at his wine and offhandedly noting the rather striking contrast between the white-blonde of her hair and the darkness of her eyes. And presently, she's adding a bit of pink to the mix from taking that shot, and his eyebrows rise, somewhat amused. "One would think you're being a bit adventurous in your choice of drink this evening," he remarks, glancing at the bartender as water is requested. "I take it whiskey is not your usual?"

Atzi smoothly sets a water in front of the wheezing bluerider. At the wingsecond's inquiry and glance, she keeps her face carefully neutral. Hmmm… probably could do some sweeping. She leaves the rider to her water and the rider to his wine and, still in earshot, but never eavesdropping, no! picks the broom back up and starts wrangling again the everpresent Igen dust.

"Ista," Erissa croaks to N'cal by way of explanation for his observation. "Tr…tropical." Curled fist thumps her chest a few times but doesn't seem to help. Once the water arrives she snatches it up and guzzles it down as quickly as she did the whiskey. A long and loud exhale follows. "Crackin' shards that's strong stuff!" she blurts. "Might be tougher to fit in with Whirlwind than I thought if that's what they drink!"

N'cal laughs cheerfully, leaning back a bit before folding his arms across the countertop. "I don't think they all drink it," he observes, gesturing the bartender back in his direction. "In fact, I'm rather certain one of their greenriders has rum as her drink of choice and seems to retain her fit in the wing just fine. Though whiskey is the common offering from the Weyrleader. So I've heard." To the bartender, leans onto one arm and indicates his fellow bluerider. "Whatever she'd like that isn't as…sharp as the whiskey. On my tab, if you would."

Atzi stops in her sweeping, a hand on her hip, blowing stray strands from her face with a puff of breath. "I've not been 'tending here long." They caught her. She quirks a smile a quick twitch of her lips, but, "As the wingleader, the Weyrleader," she adds, "Goes, so goes the wing."

Erissa swipes a quick hand through white/blond hair, the longish layers sifting right back into their tousled array anyway. Shaking off the burn of the liquor she licks her lips, the taste of it still tingling on her tongue. Greenrider. Rum. Whiskey. Wingleader/Weyrleader. More details from both. Very good. But then N'cal is offering to buy her a drink and with a wry laugh she holds up both palms, tilting him a wary smile and raised brows. "Woe there flyboy, appreciate the sentiment but let's not be rushing things too fast. I should warn you that that kind of thing could land you in hot water with the man who's in love with me." A sympathic cast warms her expression, tone patiently softening as she adds, I wouldn't want him to get jealous and assume the wrong thing, you understand."

N'cal's eyebrows shoot upward as Erissa counters him, and his smile immediately drops in magnitude, though it doesn't completely vanish. "Ah," he replies, holding up a hand of his own. "I apologize; I meant nothing by it. Simply replacing your drink, though I suppose I should think a bit more before jumping to it. Since, yes, it could conceivably earn me daggers at the very least, at some point." To the bartender, he gives a nod and another bit of a chuckle. "I'm sure you're quite right," he agrees, sipping yet again. "Though if you've been here long enough to figure that, how long might that be, if you don't mind my asking?"

Lots of details flying about. Atzi caches them all away. To better serve, of course. A flicker of dismay at the question, only a tightening of the eyes and a small downward glance, before warm brown eyes return, "Only since the beginning of Summer." Worst time to return to Igen. EVER.

"No worries!" Erissa assures good-naturedly. One hand waves in an absent gesture. "/I/ appreciate the offer. He's just, well…" She chuckles softly. "He's /crazy/ about me, is all. Big guy. Lots of muscle." Her smile gets a little wider as if envisioning all that hard-packed muscle. Then dark blue hues refocus on N'cal. "And you seem like such a nice guy." As Atzi answers she turns slightly in her seat to better view the woman. "Oh! You're new here too? You probably haven't seen Cha'el around then, have you?" A conspirital look is cast between the two. "You know, he'll probably be a Wingleader someday. He has such a commanding presence." Random note. Just saying. There goes that dreamy look again.

"Well," the Arroyo wingsecond returns to Erissa with an inclination of his head, "I do try to be." To the bartender, N'cal nods, his expression a bit sympathetic. "Seems we're all summer arrivals," he observes. "I hope the cooler seasons are much more hospitable." His glance slides over to Erissa as she's speaking, droll humor in his face. "When did you get here?" he questions, keeping the incredulity that he really wants to let into his tone out. "Cha'el is our Weyrsecond. Newly appointed."

Atzi blushes and lowers her eyes, sweeping vigorously. She'd met the Weyrsecond and he was certainly one to inspire those dreamy eyes. She'd also inadvertently insulted him and… ugh, she makes the connection, N'cal's boss. Atzi very studiously keeps at her sweeping. If the conversation kept flowing along these lines she'd have the whole place swept in a trice. Atzi hates sweeping? Atzi loves sweeping.

Completely oblivious to anything other than amiable reactions from her companions, Erissa bounces right back from her supposed dire warning with pep worthy a newborn bunny. "Just this seven!" she tells him spritely. "Been cleaning the dust out of my new weyr," a slight pause ensues wherein she casts Atzi a grin for their earlier talk of over-dosing on dust, "and gathering a few furnishings." Then N'cal is pointing out Cha'el's new rank and gray-shadowed blues practically bug right out of her bleach-blond head. "Weyrsecond?!" she echoes overly loud. "Are you pulling my tail? Weyrsecond, really??" Her smile cracks from ear to ear and a palm slaps the countertop. "That sneaky weyr-rat! I knew he'd try and impress me but wow, that's great!" Giving N'cal a wink she adds, "I'll be sure to look surprised when he tells me so he won't know you gave it away." Turning to Atzi she raises her voice, "This calls for a salute! What's the next best thing to whisky?"

N'cal certainly isn't going to be joining the dreamy-eyed-over-Cha'el crowd any time soon, but he does admire the brownrider as a very competent rider and level-headed man. There's something about Erissa's attitude concerning Cha'el that seems a bit…out of place, to him, and perhaps a bit simplistic, though N'cal keeps his opinions out of his face and tone and simply smiles in turn at the woman. "As you will," he chuckles, giving her a bit of a wink. Then he's glancing at Atzi with an expectant quirk of eyebrows. What is the next best thing to whiskey, in a bartender's opinion?

Atzi returns to the bar, leaning the broom in a corner. Cha'el. Rum. But I'll need better stock. She clears her throat and makes a show of consulting her little ledger. Flip, flip, flip. "I believe the Weyrsecond is fond of rum." She looks up at Erissa, noting the woman's fair features, very different from her beau's. They wouldn't stay so fair here at Igen.

Rum? Pretty sure rum was an ingredient in some of the more fruity, tropical drinks she'd gotten used to at Ista Weyr Erissa gives the barkeep/sweeper a hearty nod, replying with a glance at N'cal for his agreement. "Rum it is then!"

N'cal has a glance and a smirk over at Erissa, thereafter landing his gaze on the bartender again with a smile. "Rum," he echoes with a nod of agreement. Not his favorite, but not something he'll turn down, either. "No ice for me, though." Because he may want to down it quickly, and nothing quashes speed like a glassfull of ice to the face.

Atzi makes a couple more notes in the ledger, you know, while she has it open. Quick like. She takes the empty whiskey glasses and serves up two more. Clunk. Clunk. Pour. A actually-this-one-is-generous pour of rum for each. She place each drink in front of its intended. "Rum and… rum." She takes the bartowel from her shoulder and wipes her hands then moves off down the bar. Wiping to do over here. And. Straighten those peanuts. And the napkins. There. Perfect. No. Now. Bottles need to be organized. Yup.

Flashing N'cal a smile for his ready agreement, Erissa returns the favor by seconding his request for no ice. She might not share his reason but it sounds like a good idea. An eager gleam appears in grayish-blue depths as Atzi pours plenty of the rich liquid in their glasses. Lifting hers in one hand she tips it toward the other bluerider. "To our illustrious Weyrsecond and my vigorous teddy-bear of a lover, Cha'el!" Drink up to that one, folks! Now, where's those nuts?

Oh, this is almost too much for N'cal to keep a straight face. The other bluerider, lovely and genial as she may be, sounds far too much as though she's trying to convince herself of something for him to take her seriously. But he will at least seem to. "To our Weyrsecond," he echoes with a tilt of his own glass to Erissa, his grin cracking through once again and immediately hidden by the glass of rum as he takes a looooong sip to prevent laughter. Glass goes down. Is he safe? No; down goes the rest, and he sets the glass down this time with finality. As if on cue, Iolarth is in his head, an urgent thought sweeping his along, and his eyebrows rise. "Ah," the wingsecond intones, pushing away from the counter. "The wingleader needs a word, it would seem. Forgive me, ladies, but I must take my leave. It has been most enjoyable." Standing fully, he offers them both a small bow. "Erissa. All the best in Whirlwind. And many thanks for the drinks…" He blinks at the bartender, honestly contrite for not asking. "Er… forgive me, my lady. Your name?"

Atzi's cheeks redden at Erissa's toast and she's definitely organzing those bottles. She clears her throat at N'cal's address of her and straightens, smiling pleasantly, "Atzi of the Tlatoani. Grandniece of Jharlodar, proprietor of this the Dustbowl Cantina." She makes as much of a curtsy the narrow space behind the bar allows, "At your service."

If Erissa notes N'cal's humor it's only with the view that he's that much in agreement with her sentiments, not that he actually finds her….amusingly unbelievable. Who wouldn't agree, after all? One has only to meet the brownriding stud Cha'el and they'd agree with her whole-heartedly. The rum goes down with more success than the whisky did as she tries a multi-step approach this time as N'cal seems to do. But then he stands to leave, excusing himself, and she finds herself genuinely disappointed. Nodding politely she flashes him a smile, saying, "You bet! And thank you for the company." As the other young woman's name is supplied she gives her an amiable smile as well. Atzi. Pourer of good drinks and duster extraordinaire. Got it. Filing that away.

"Atzi of the Tlatoani." N'cal's grin is warm as he finds himself in the presence of yet another of the famed trader clan, and he gives another inclination of his head. "A pleasure. I'm sure I will be seeing the both of you again. Good evening." He does send a parting wink at Erissa with a smirk; he truly does find her quite nice, but it's the gushing over Cha'el that's a bit much for him. And with that, he's gone into the night to meet up with Trek again, feeling quite a bit more comfortable than he did at their first encounter of the day.

Atzi's blush deepens, finding herself on the recieving end N'cal's charming smile. What with all the blushing, you'd think she was the one in her cups. Maybe her 'lizard had gone proddy. She'd heard that they'd …unsettle the people they looked to. She'd thought it was poppycock, until she'd Impressed a pair of her own. Who knew? She smooths the skirts of her robe, "Clear skies, Wingsecond." She nods and returns the smile of the remaining bluerider. She clears the now-emtpy glasses from the bartop and looks at Erissa, "You've been here a seven, then? What do you think so far?"

Erissa turns back to the bar once N'cal leaves, her thoughts quietly reviewing Cha'el's many fine qualities now that the discussion has brought him so readily to mind. Weyrsecond! Imagine that! Then Atzi's voice breaks into her revelrie and she snaps her focus back to the present, dark blue hues latching onto the dark-haired woman across the bar. "Oh, yes, just got in! What do I think?" Smile tilts into a grin as she crosses her arms on the edge of the counter. "It's hot and it's dusty." Shaking her head slightly she ignores the sway of nearly white bangs that drift over one eye. "I was hoping someone would tell me it isn't always like this!" Glancing over her shoulder she notes again the heavy rock-hewn feel of the underground cantina and the urge to breath in some fresh air and sunshine takes hold. "I think I need to go topside now. Atzi, thanks for the drinks!"

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