==== February 22nd, 2014
==== Chel, Delaney
==== Chel's looking for a refugee or two, but Delaney's not game.

Who Chel, Delaney
What Chel's looking for a refugee or two, but Delaney's not game.
When It is midmorning of the thirteenth day of the second month of the first turn of 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.


The sidestreet's respite is slim but at least now, in the Igenite winter, there's no heat to cook the smells to new heights. So it is that, kicked out of the main Bazaar for one reason or another, a gaggle of refugees mills about. Striding amongst them, Chel makes herself a possible target; a charm around her neck, a used but in good condition canteen knocking against her leg at every step. But she walks with a certain — potentially stupid — sense of personal safety. Clutched in one hand is a sheaf of half-crinkled papers that she holds up to each individual she can get the attention of. "This one?" she asks, "Or this one, maybe?" One document is swept aside in favor of the one fastened behind it. A refugee man mutters something, staring less at Chel's face than her garb, and gives her the cold shoulder. "Unnng!" complains the teenager, stomping several paces away as though it were her choice to leave instead.

Not a part of those refugees, but perhaps notedly one herself, Delaney is leaning against a wall by herself, watching that group and then Chel as she makes her way through it. Her hands are in her pockets; her pose is totally casual except for that readiness that lingers in her eyes, always. She watches them all like she's being protective, though of who isn't clear since she doesn't take action when Chel addresses the urchins, or when they respond to her. What she does do it wait, because Chel's stomping is taking her closer. The lift of her chin suggests she's ready for the same treatment.

Parted from the group, Chel shakes her hands out, summoning a composure that's obviously been tested a few times that morning already. Zen, or an approximation of it, reached, she makes to lift her dust cloth back into place but then spots Delaney there. Licking her lips, Chel contemplates the other young woman's aloneness a second. A glance goes across the filthy corridor of the street, back and forth, and then she relents. Seen-better-days boots stride over, squishing something unmentionable that Chel tries to scrape off in the next step without losing a beat. It's eventually ignored when she gets close enough to Delaney to raise the clump of what turns out to be not-so-great portrait drawings. A few of them have vaguely distinguishing features — a broken nose here, too close eyes there — but that could as much be chalked up to artists' error. "Excuse me," she says, noting her own tone of exasperation with a wince. It's sorted out. "Do you know any of these people? Seen them around? Please."

Maybe Delaney wasn't expecting that tone of voice, her lean straightening out as she tenses. Woah, there. She looks away from Chel reluctantly, as if taking her eyes off the other is going to open her up somehow, to peer at the pictures. Her face remains neutral while she examines them, though the twitch of her eyebrow might be counted as a reaction, maybe. Eventually she looks at her again to ask, "Why are you looking for them?" Which isn't really a helpful answer, is it.

Although she might've meant to keep a better eye on Delaney's reactions while looking, Chel's soon distracted by an awful squint and then the need to pinch a couple of fingers against her temple. Since she's using her right hand to hold up the questionable pictures, she has to drop her left and cross over her body to reach the canteen. Turning her head aside, she takes a chug. She's rubbing the back of her hand across her mouth when Delaney's question brings her around. "Hmm," she hums to let Delany know she's going to answer, right after she clips the canteen back on. When she looks back up, there's neutrality on her own face. "We had an arrangement and they didn't show." The 'and I'm worried is cut off, but the insinuation is there.

"Ah," is Delaney's matched response, neutral. She shrugs and leans that shoulder back against the wall, chin quirking to one side with a roll of her jaw. "Just seems to me that you're not gonna get a lot of help asking people who wouldn't wanna be found if they'll help you find someone." She casts a glance the way of the refugees further down the street, it might even be considered a significant glance. "Never seen 'em, myself. Think they got offed?" It might be a little worrying that she sounds so casual about that, too.

Chel snorts loud and indelicately. "No," her answer's too rushed, as if she were already saying as much inside her own head and it floods out, "Think they didn't take me seriously and scraped up a job elsewhere. Ugh!" Since Delaney's denied the poorly constructed portraits, they're shoved ruthlessly into her belt, easily describing where all those crinkles came from. Huh. Maybe that one guy didn't have a scar at all; could've just been Chel-abuse. "Anyway," a chin jerks up towards the pack of refugees in her own reference, "Don't judge them too harshly. Most of 'em would be happy to be found in a comfortable place, they've just been run out."

At least Delaney doesn't look disappointed when the thought of murder is banished. It's a good sign. She also doesn't have anything to say, really, about what those people Chel's looking for got up to instead of meeting with her, but she does have something to say about the other woman's summary of those refugees, even if at first it's only a silent scoff in reply. "Them? You mean the ones down there who'd just as soon pick your pocket as look at you? Do you mean those poor souls?" She takes a moment to really look at Chel, give her a slow once over, find the charm around her neck, which is where her eyes linger. "Trust me honey, you're the only poor soul in this alley."

Being called 'honey' causes Chel to snort again, this time in amusement she attempts to stifle, ineffectually. When she can, she nods, lower lip wound up tight to try to straighten out her expression again. Then, "Ohhh," like she's just unraveled something about Delaney. "Okay. Yeah, you have a good one." Eyebrows raised, she slides one foot out and then rocks into it, taking her in a twisting step away from the other woman's wall post. One hand fiddles with the sticking-out portrait edges and the other brings her cloth back over her mouth. She takes up a trot, scoping out the next huddle of Bazaar hanger-ons some paces away.

There's a devilish edge to Delaney's smile, the one that curves up one corner of her mouth. She allows Chel her exit, which means she stays right where she is, leaning against the wall, looking like she's waiting for someone or something. She doesn't follow, she simply watches the other girl's retreat for a time, before looking down the other way at that group of refugees, which have been staring at her for a long moment. She pushes away from her wall and walks towards them, and it might say something about them or her that they part to let her past.

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