====September 15, 2013
==== Mayte, A'lory
==== Mayte gets some bad news, and then some… weird news.

Who Mayte, A'lory
What Mayte gets some bad news from home, but then discovers some… strange news at Igen. Grunkle?
When One Turn, two months, and 21 days until the 12th Pass
Where Lake Shore

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Lake Shore
Sprawled out beyond the Weyr proper's hustling activity and ambling roads, the cool, blue paradise of the Weyr lake promises escape from the oppressive hammer of Igen summer's cruel climes; the asymmetrical, sandy white shores hook delicately around the deceptively still waters running deep and sure, greedy peninsulas reaching white fingers stretching in crooked lines towards its center. A sturdy shack, weather-beaten and brown as cured leather, resides in isolated splendor upon one such finger, screened shelving offering a variety of brushes and fragrant oils housed in colorful tureens. Out beyond a small and dusty paddock ringed by a white fence, a long rocky pier stabs out into the lake, providing a panoramic view of the Weyr itself, while the southern shores provide varied shrubs and grassed for the massed herds in their pens.


Autumn: bring on the emergence of slightly less humid weather. One might even wear a light jacket or long sleeves without feeling like wet death, or walk along the Lakeshore without swimming in one's own bodily juices. And so, out in the daylight like some rare creature usually only seen at night, A'lory is out walking, boots digging into the soft sand and enjoying the crispness of the day. Overhead, a single firelizard wheels and darts, calling out to other small draconic cousins, joining in their aerial games with glee.

Mayte is enjoying the cooler autumn weather by REVOLUTION: she's in her black jacket and pants and boots again, the only change a little silver chain around one wrist that winks occasionally from under the cuff. She's slowly moving towards the lake, and doesn't really seem to either notice anyone in her path, carefully reading and re-reading a message in her hands. On her shoulder, a little blue flit looks up and cheeps occasionally. Forward. Now stop. Watch out for that stone. Don't run into the big tall walking thing.

A'lory is all too happy to become Helpful Grunkle again — he stops, right in Mayte's path, becoming a natural barrier to her forward progress. Let's see if the girl manages to avoid colliding into him. Meanwhile, he's grinning that crooked wolf's grin of his, just awaiting the fun that can be his if she does not heed her firelizard's warning and slam right into him.

Sanchez chirps. Chirps. Hellooo, anyone listening? CHIRP. Mayte does in fact stop, but only when the sheet she's reading is an inch from A'lory's chest. Huh. She could have sworn there was sun a minute ago. "Oh. Hi, Weyrsecond," she greets after looking up and realizing who impedes her path. Her tone is… not quite as exuberant as usual, and her attempt to smile is junior-Apprentice at best. Sanchez, however, chitters in annoyance. Excuse me, citizen. Stand aside.

A'lory smirks at the small, annoyed firelizard, then turns his gaze on Mayte, frowning slightly. "What is it, Mayte?" He asks, for once dropping his teasing immediately. The missive is eyed from his greater height advantage, though he makes no attempt to actually read it — he has his limits on how much he will intrude in the apprentice's life. However, his concern is nearly an entitiy of its own. "You look worried."

Mayte isn't one to complain, but she eyes A'lory carefully for a moment. The attention to her letter isn't missed, "Oh, nothing. Just a letter from home." Even that ends hesitantly; is it from home or is it a letter? Carefully brushing a non-extant but still annoying hair from her forehead, Mayte catches sight of the little silver bracelet, and gives it a stare, then sighs, seemingly coming to a decision, "My mother is sick." This is admitted gently tries to make up for it with a 'what can you do' shrug. "They don't know if she'll pull through." Sanchez, of his own accord, settles down, STARING at A'lory.

"That's ill hearing." There is an awkward moment, where the vague motion of offering a comforting hug is started, then left be. Digging one booted foot deeper into the earth, he eyes her side-long, head tilted to one side. "Is there something I can do to help you, child?" Naturally, he would call her that, thoguh Mayte is not so much of a little. "I mean, it has to be difficult to be so far removed from her. Where is she?"

Mayte nods slowly, "Yeah." The start of a hug has Mayte kind of leaning away reflexively for a moment but even before A'lory's motion subsides, she's… cautiously relaxing. Perhaps she's slowly getting gentled. The offer of help gets a long huff, "I… I don't know. She's still back at Benden Hold, won't even leave. Ya know, it's kind of funny - I didn't really miss them until I got this." Waving it almost in front of A'lory's face, even though Mayte doesn't notice that. Feelings are hard, you know!

A'lory is hardly going to be upset by her reflexive twitch away from him — a person has the right to choose who touches them, and when. As the missive is waved before his very face, however, it's reflexively snatched from her hand without a second thought. "Mmm. I didn't miss my family until I was well away from them. Sisters, brothers, nephews and nieces - " He trails off, eyes scanning the thing with a deepening frown of… is that confused recognition? Or simply confusion?

Mayte nods a little, even if that's not so comforting, "Yeah… and I guess you don't even get to see them," being so ancient and everything. Politely, she doesn't even grab for the message back, staring at her toes, totally not seeing any change in expression on A'lory. "I just… She was doing so well, with her back and everything. Teman was saying he was gonna get her something so she could walk around more easily, and…" That's not a sniffle, no matter what it sounded like. The apprentice continues, unaware that the silence from A'lory isn't a sign he's listening.

"Allachay… " A'lory mumbles, scratching at his cheek. He hasn't heard a word Mayte said, lost in thought as he is. "Had a sister by that name," And then he looks up. "Where'd your family move to Benden from?" He asks, abrupt — forgetting for an instant that Mayte is worried about the loss of her mother, unlikely to be concerned about ancient history.

Mayte, in turn, doesn't hear A'lory's verbal meanderings, so interesting is the scuffing of her boots. Boots. Sanchez comes to her rescue AGAIN, sigh, and there'd better be doughnuts for this, lady; he tugs sharply on some hair. "Wha?" Mayte asks, pulled from her thinking. What a question to ask a sad person… "Oh. Um, they spent time in Ista, but I think I remember hearing about Benden before… And there's some family rumour about further north, but," a little shrug, "That was /sooooo/ long ago." Not even illness and possible imminent death can stop the smirk that flashes over Mayte's mouth as she looks back up at A'lory. Wait, what else did he say, "Huh?"

"Mmm, back in the ancient days before Faranth, yes, I know." A'lory grins down at her, resisting the urge to tweak her nose. She is a sad person, after all. "I Impressed on Ista. Old Ista. Most of m'family's Bitran. Some left, smart sibs — but I have told you this. I had a sister named Allachaya — I think she might've gone Benden-wards when she won free of Bitra."

Mayte nearly gives a chuckle, but hey, sad times. Sanches eyes A'lory's fingers briefly, but Mayte huhs, listening carefully. "Allachaya, huh? S'kinda like my mom's name, just without the last 'ah' sound. She got it from my grandad, Khallachay." A shake of the head, "Some kind of family name, passed down through the generations. You know. I think you mentioned Bitra once, but you didn't seem to like that." Precocious and cheeky. Still, Mayte's kind of distracted,"Didja have kids at Ista??

A'lory is staring at Mayte now, the kind of look that suggests she has grown two extra heads. "Yes… it is. Hereditary. M'brother — " A long, long pause. "Khallachay. To the last letter." Things are getting creepy, here, and the missive is suddenly forgotten, dangling from nerveless fingers. "Mayte — " He begins, only to be distracted by her question. "Yes. Three. Two remained behind, and the third — he's here, brought forward with his mother."

Mayte eyes A'lory nervously for a moment, blinking. "What… What do you mean?" she wonders because apparently answers aren't coming easily right now. The letter doesn't even get a second look, as Mayte stares up, "My grandfather didn't say anything about coming from your time." Hah! Proof that they aren't the same person. "Though he is older than you." Alright now this is just blowing Mayte's mind.

"I mean," A'lory explains, more slowly, "I had a brother named Khallachay. He ever mention a brother named Mallory?" The question seems rather urgent, at least to A'lory. "I wasn't the oldest son, you know. One of many. My family was rather… prolific… in that regard." With a mere three children, A'lory's a slacker in that regard. "'Sides, I doubt they'd've come forward. Likeliest they stayed back, and just lived through it. Stubborn bastards, the lot of 'em." But he's studying Mayte carefully now, wondering if her features are familiar — if she's gotten any of the family's rather odd looks.

Slow… slow is good. Mayte nods along for a little and then shakes her head, "Um… no… No 'Mallory'… but," and Mayte's expression lightens, "Da insisted on breaking the family names tradition - my brother was supposed to be 'Mallory', or something. Maybe it was 'Mallobar'. Whatever, Grandda never forgave my father for breaking the line." Adults are weird, yo. She stares back up into A'lory's face, in silence unil one hand reaches for A'lory's hair.

A'lory snorts sardonically. "He would. M'da would've hated him for it." Oh, but A'lory is a tall one, and all that curly hair quite out of her reach. As her hand creeps upward, so do his eyebrows, amused and curious. "What is it you're after, girl?" And well he knows it's his hair; after all, girls always liked fiddling with it — it's a chick magnet of sorts, sitting there looking so soft.

Those old riders are just too darned tall, and Mayte gives a grumpy little hnf! as she tries to reach it. Get shorter! "So…" because she's finally gently patting A'lory's hair, looking like a delighted little kid as she watches the curl spring back, "S'like my mother's… Are we, like, family or something?" Her tone is a bit absent, she's so fascinated with petting A'lory's hair. "I always kinda wanted curly hair like Ma's…"

A'lory isn't laughing, he really isn't — even if this is a rather inappropriately funny incident. Imagine that, the Weyrsecond being petted like a poodle in public. Will he ever live down the hilarity? "All right, girl, I'm not a puppy!" He laughingly grabs for her wrist, trying to disloge that small, patting appendage before she puts him to sleep. "I think we are. Bettin' if I saw yer family, I could tell ya for sure. Any of your family got ears like mine?" As in unfortunately large, like the handles on a jug. But he isn't going to admit that distinction.

But… but… puppy! Mayte pouts like a toy has been retracted from a four Turn-old, but without the tears. As revenge, "Does anyone have ears like those?" she wonders with a little smirk, and then more seriously, "Granddad did. Teman does too, a little." Hahah, let's laugh at the younger brother. "I lucked out." See? Perfectly cute Mayte ears. That's what fresh genes do for you. A little sigh, "Um. Maybe there're records or something," though Mayte sounds doubtful. Humans are much less interesting than grape crops after all, "And, like, would you be my great great great great great great," deep breath, "great great uncle?" Brat's gonna get disowned if she doesn't watch it.

A'lory smirks at her, reaching out to tweak her ear as any good grunkle will do to impudent youth. "Wretch." But he does find her teasing rather refreshing. Rather like certain younger sisters better left unnamed for now. "Oh, there are; one thing a Bitran's good at's records. Look," He continues, more seriously, "You wanna go see your mother, I'll take you. You're family. Clear it with Eollyn and get back to me, girl." For there is a bronze shadow at the corner of his vision, subtly reminding him of duty: sheer, onerous duty. "I've gotta go do some things." What things, too, is best left unsaid. "But I'll make time for you." And he's turning toward his bronze, who eyes the girl with some curiosity before he's settlign himself for his rider's convenience. And then they're up and gone, careful not to spray TOO much sand over the poor girl.

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