==== September 11, 2013
==== Sienna, Zeyta
==== They're BFFs now. Really.

Who Sienna, Zeyta
What They're BFFs now. Really.
When There is 1 turn 3 months and 3 days until the 12th pass.
Where Living Cavern

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.

Zeyta forsakes the aberrant heat outside, emerging from the blessed cool network of the caverns below. Fresh-faced, her upright carriage marches surefooted into the din of those gathering for dinner. Her sharp stride cuts like a knife through the crowd as she becomes but one of many in the milling lines for food, assembling a judicious meal with a conspicuous lack of meat of any sort. Not even much bread or cheese - all vegetables and fruits for her, an abundance of greenery plated before she hooks a dissecting stare in search of an empty seat.

Sienna has an empty seat beside her in the throng - one of the few empty seats, and not at a wing table either. One of the communal tables, where a Weyrling is just rising, saluting, and departing. The pregnant Weyrlingmaster takes a moments pause before she takes another bite of her meal - pasta, veggies and meat by the look of it - and sips some juice before flipping through some hidework that rests beside her plate.

Zeyta passes a brief flicker of disdain that screws her nose tighter into her face as she picks out a vacant chair. Roving, roaming, her severe gaze lands on the adjacent to the Weyrlingmaster and stops - to hover. Swallowing her pride she sets a tense path towards the unassociated seating area, excusing herself and claiming the spot with a brief cough as she stacks her plate on the tabletop before dropping her stack of rolled hides beside her (because yes, hidework she invariably carries might as well be a part of her like some detachable limb she sets down).

Sienna glances up when she's approached, brows lifting in mild surprise when she sees just who has chanced to join her. And the greenrider waits, watching, for the salute that should be forthcoming.

Reclusive as she is, Zeyta is as equally political and observant of decorum. And yet, self-absorbed, she sinks without establishing any eye contact, including Sienna only in that initial, cursory sweep of espying an empty space for her to fill. Lining up her cutlery in formal table-setting, she rotates her plate, and then reaches for the thinnest, smallest scroll among her materials. Eating, it seems, is secondary, despite the location.

Sienna clears her throat, sighing inwardly as she has to make a /thing/ out of this. "I believe a salute is required here, Wingrider," she murmurs, keeping her voice low.

A two-fingered tip off her brow points towards the greenrider without so much as a sideglance as Zeyta used her other hand to pin the have unrolled document she is attempting to pry open. A small smirk touches her mouth.

Sienna returns the salute, and properly, before she returns to her own meal and her own hidework.

"How very Nowtime you have become," is the quiet, opined murmur, addressed to her hide. Then Zeyta edges her plate forward to hold her place, fingers drifting to grip her fork and spear a small, ripe tomato.

Was that supposed to be an insult? Because Sienna just smiles a little bit, not moving her gaze from the hide she's reading. "Not sure I'd call a pregnant greenrider Weyrlingmaster /nowtime/," she remarks idly, grin tugging at the corners of her mouth.

"Oh, no." Zeyta is quick to clarify, dabbing at the corner of her mouth with her white cloth napkin, tip stained red by tomato juices. "I meant the demand for insincere signs of respect. Operating on so little a platform." A pause, and then: "Although, I must say a pregnant greenrider interim Weyrlingmaster is quite Nowtime. Briefly appease the transplant population not yet trickled down to Southern."

Sienna chuckles again. "Consider it practice, so you don't get your ass handed to you by W'rin if you forget another of those insincere gestures of respect." She was helping, honest. "I know what a salute is. And what it isn't." As for the rest, she just shrugs, making a note on the hide and flipping it over to join fellows in the done pile.

Zeyta shrugs, wielding a knife now to slice a small circle of carrot she gingerly spears and places in her mouth, eyes trained down to scanning the first few lines of her hide. "I know where it counts," she replies, between careful, meticulous working of her jaw in chewing. "Although, I suppose I could offer to bear him children as an apology. Perhaps even earn a knot in that manner." There's a smile, and a swift, formal follow-up of: "My apologies, I'm only repeating what they whisper about in the lower caverns. Frivolous rumors, I know. But it does make one curious whether the Weyrleader will trade-up for a more proper Nowtime woman. He's so traditional." Intervening scrape of fork and knife across plate sounds in the verbal silence.

Sienna laughs, though it's hardly humored. "Anyone whispering that I slept my way to this position forget that /N'thu/ is the one who gave me this knot. And the meaning of the word interim." Another hide is marked, and flipped. "Repetition is beneath you, Zeyta. Think for yourself, hmm?"

"Actually, repetition is a very powerful technique in the art of rhetoric, and can be quite jarring when used to proper effect in speech," Zeyta corrects, shifting her tubers idly. "You can appropriate the words of others and make them all your own by tweaking the inflection used to communicate them." She does not laugh, but she shares in a colorless smile. "Mmm, if Igen has taught me one thing, it is not to think for myself. Surely you are not in the habit of giving your weyrlings such trite advice, hmmm? How much experience did they say you have." A beat skips, a pregnant pause waiting for the greenrider to birth an answer - except, "I guess it doesn't matter."

Sienna doesn't miss that Zeyta lets their first topic go, as she flips another hide. "As I said. Interim. Shall I define it for you so you can go repeat it to the others?"

"Well I daresay I hope that's not an excuse come First Fall, when they ask why the weyrlings you trained were lost between. 'Interim' you'll say?" Zeyta shakes her head, affecting a very grave sorrow in the shake of her head and troubled expression. "At least there's K'ane and — whoever else." She waves her hand, flippant. "Interim; temporary, spanning a gap between two disjointed things. But not synonymous with 'incomplete' or 'lacking'." Is that a dictionary scroll she's scrutinizing?

Sienna shakes her head. "None of the weyrlings I trained will be lost between." And she refuses to rise to Zeyta's bait, flipping another hide. She is good at what she does - temporary or not - and that'll speak for itself.

"Repetition is powerful, but it does not necessarily make a thing true, either." Zeyta laughs, a hollow, airy sound that leaves her throat, eyes all the while following the line of text her index finger traces.

Sienna smiles, flipping her last hide over. Then the whole upside down stack is righted, straightened, and lifted as the Weyrlingmaster pushes herself to her feet and signals a drudge that she's finished so he can take care of her dishes. "Enjoy the rest of your evening, Zeyta," she says politely, before she's waddling her way back to work.

"Let me know if you need assistance, Weyrlingmaster. I'm a wealth of information." Zeyta smiles, acknowledging her departure with first a flutter of fingers, then another lackluster salute. As the drudge comes to claim Sienna's dishes, Zeyta begins to spread herself out, hides and all, immersing herself in silent studying and dining.

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