==== December 22, 2013
==== Cha'el, Maryam, Kyara, Zeyta
==== Cha'el has Maryam show him around the Bazaar so as to get a feel for the refugees holing up in it and encounters first Kyara and then Zeyta. Things go downhill.

Who Cha'el, Maryam, Kyara, Zeyta
What Cha'el has Maryam show him around the Bazaar so as to get a feel for the refugees holing up in it and encounters first Kyara and then Zeyta. Things go downhill.
When There are 0 turns, 4 months and 27 days until the 12th pass.
Where Igen Weyr, Central Bazaar

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Central Bazaar
All roads in the weyr ultimately lead here, to this center of commerce. Canvas awnings jut out over time worn, sandy cobblestone, sheltering customers and wares alike from the majority of Igen's elements, and funnel scents both mouthwatering and vomit inducing through the thin streets. Almost all store fronts are open air, delineated by sandstone arches with intricately carved facades. The insides of these stone-shingled buildings act as an amplifier for the salesmens' bawled enticements, and are held up by the chipped swirls of marble pillars.


It is mid-morning, and to look at the Bazaar, one wouldn't know that the Weyr had lost thirteen of its riders just a sevenday ago. Commerce is a great and uncaring beast- it gallops on no matter what occurs around it, without a thought for lives lost or those with a need for a slower pace. The temperature has not yet climbed into the range of stifling but every shop's awning has been unrolled all the same, creating a shaded thoroughfare under which merchants and customers alike call and wander and work out bargains. A level of chaos slightly beneath the typical froth of haggling is that of the refugees. Time has passed since their arrival and those who care to work have found their work, whether it be in the Weyr, in the Bazaar or at the worksites refinishing distant Thread shelters. Those who remain in the Bazaar at their ease are the injured, the infirm or unsuited…and the disinclined. Stoops that had previously gone unoccupied now serve as bases for small bands of young bucks, full of spit and vinegar and chest-thumping aggression. They're better than the cohort of steely-eyed older men, though; more than one brawl has broken out and when that lot is involved, sometimes someone doesn't walk away.

It's into this soupy mix of business, pleasure and simmering potential for violence that Maryam comes with Cha'el at her side. He has asked for a tour and a rundown of recent incidents, and so she's set out to provide one. "Here," is a shop with glassless windows boarded, and awning unfurled. Her voice is quiet behind the veil draped over her lower face. "No one is certain what happened but the proprietor was found beaten in the back room, his purse emptied. There were no witnesses but as he had paid his protection, it is thought it was someone not of Igen who did this."

With flight jacket slung over one arm, but still clad in a pair of black leather pants, Igen’s newly minted Weyrsecond listens with close attention to what Maryam is explaining, his gaze drifting hard-eyed to those that linger in doorways, eyeing the pair with either cold indifference or thinly veiled challenge. “Does anyone have an accounting as to how many there are?” He asks, sidestepping a mangy cur snarling over a scrap of something unidentifiable.

Life seems to be evening out a bit again after the chaos of some nights back, and Kyara has decided to take care of a few errands in her efforts to fall back into that normalcy. Even if her first errand is to seek out some leather to repair a little damage done by that which robbed life of that normalcy. Still, the greenrider is rather glad to be out and about the Bazaar, the light, long skirt of crinkled blue fabric swishing slowly around sandal-clad feet as easy strides carry her along, and her passing appraisal of some metal wares brings her up close to two people that suddenly register as familiar. "Hello, Weyrsecond," she greets Cha'el with a salute ticked off from her brow, a pleasant smile sent up at the big brownrider before passing over to the woman beside him. "Good to see you, Maryam."

Minuscule and apathetic in her blank-sculptured stare, no Igen heat stifles this female specimen striding through the marketplace. Every bit of her devised to turn heads, Zeyta, a gorgon in the flesh with her dozens of braids woven into some elaborate updo positioned high atop her head, a scandalous ensemble of apricot gauze wrapped around her in a dress, and strappy gold sandals winding up bare legs. Of shopping she seems inclined towards little; rather, her purchase is a private one, and hundreds of turns old for anyone familiar with her private hoard of antiques— liquors included. A wineskin dangles by thin cord from her shoulder, strident march muted by the din of all those around her while she paces determinedly towards the high-profiled. That's right, Steen, she's coming for you.

"My mother has kept a tally of workers at the shelters, and I added in columns for recording present family as well. The Weyr might have the same for those who labor there but-" Maryam's gaze swings from the ground before Cha'el to the ground before Kyara, with a brief detour up to mark the young woman's features. With a slight adjustment of feet, she's able to produce a bob of the knee to serve as respectful curtsey. "Greenrider. Ma'am. It is a pleasure, always. You are well?" No simple pleasantry, the question is concern spoken aloud as yet another face is slotted into a mental category of "still here". Surely she should be reassured- and yet some nascent instinct prompts what almost looks like a shiver, a stirring, as she lifts her head again and turns it to spy scandal in apricot. Oh. Oh no.

“Kyara,” the salute is returned with a short smile added for the singing greenrider. Cha’el looks set to say more but then Maryam’s answering his question and brows collect toward one another in thought. “Broken down into men, women, and children with a subsection of widows and orphans?” Clearly the man is on a mission of some sort going by his pointed questions. The approaching woman in apricot is noted with a bit of a blink followed by a lingering stare but soon returns to the two women in his company unaware of what the determined young woman may or may not represent in terms of scandal.

Kyara is sensing that she's walked in upon a rather serious talk as she catches the end of Maryam's words to Cha'el; she'll move on in a moment, of course, even though the subject at hand piques her interest. To Maryam she inclines her head, her smile diminishing just a touch and her eyes darkening for the briefest of moments at woman's question. "I…am, yes. Thank you for asking." Her fingers brush absently at the side of her scored leg; she checks the motion and catches her hands at her back. "I-" The sight of Zeyta approaching has Kyara blinking; if the woman purposed to turn heads, she's done her job. Something about the fact that the brownrider is headed for Maryam makes her feel a little more inclined to perhaps stick around for a moment; after a quick glance to Cha'el, she turns to look at the nearby metal wares again - sort of.

Up close the airs of dissension continue in subtler fashion as Zeyta marshals herself into a solid, straight-backed column in front of Maryam. For instance, she owes a salute to Cha'el and courteous nod to Kyara — and yet, that grim bearing offers nothing save for the boredom that commands otherwise striking features. "Maryam," she chimes, voice a counter-presence of sweetness risen out of her usual icy monotone. "I am on a mission. Your mother, what tastes has she in wines? The Weyrwoman bid me to find out." Although Zeyta has employed her own epicurean palette already, by the looks of her small cargo that sways by her hip, not yet inert after she has stopped walking. No-nonsense, that face: this is a matter of utmost importance, enough to disregard what last words of the previous conversation she gleans.

The Weyrsecond must have struck close to the mark for he succeeds in pulling Maryam's attention from the potential storm that is Zeyta back to himself. Her brows lift in a question so plain it needn't be spoken: how did he know the depths of her tendency towards over-organizing. They're all doing an excellent job of conspiring to throw her off step, with Zeyta providing the final nail in that coffin. In this, Kyara comes out ahead and it's unconscious, the half-step that leaves her closer to the greenrider, with Cha'el to her right and the female brownrider before. Pale eyes flick to that dancing wineskin before seeking safer climes. The hem of her robes, for instance. Those pebbles there. That wherry claw, somehow separated from its body and curled in the dust. "…the healers have said she is not to have wine, ma'am." Which isn't what Zeyta was asking at all, was it? "It worsens her gout. But if she were to ignore such advice, it would be the richer and darker selections. She considers whites best for nursing mothers and children newly come of age."

Having read the reports of those injured, clean-shaven features tighten a tad at the exchange between Kyara and Maryam, each one felt as surely as if they were his own. Nothing is said of it, Cha’el keeping everything under tight wraps. In the short time it takes for Zeyta to descend upon them, he shoots the greenrider an intent look. “Wingrider, you seem to be someone of discretion. There’s something I need you to do for me.” And then she’s arrived in all her barely-there apricot glory (?). Lips purse toward a frown then are forced to relax. While he’s familiarizing himself with the names of each fighting pair, the Weyrsecond has yet to match a face to them though he does hike a brow when the Weyrwoman comes into conversation. Maryam’s reply is met with equal interest, information filed away.

Kyara returns the nod Zeyta gives, even if it may not be noticed, and goes back to studying some nicely bronzed buckles, observing Maryam's reaction to the brownrider in her peripheral vision. Then Cha'el's look is both felt and spotted sidelong, and the greenrider turns to face him curiously. "I do my best," she replies, just loud enough for him to hear her clearly. A job from the new Weyrsecond? She's certainly intrigued. "What do you need from me?" she asks, the corner of her mouth turning ever so slightly upward.

"Mm. One-eight mark for your thoughts, Steen? Or perhaps you answer me freely for love of family." Zeyta, a grounded fixture of this scene draped in barely-there apricot glory (yes), animates her expression into a sly brand of curiosity. Her brow even arches to accompany the smug framing of a smirk. "I've a vintage Benden at my side. But, I am here on behalf of Sadaiya and she is, mmm, rather more attuned than I am. Would she fare better with some herbal concoction, the better to soothe the stomach? I find tea as apt a drink as this fermented poison to sip while conducting diplomacy." Oh, that's right: the ascetic kill-joy condemns alcohol herself. Is this a rare point of bonding for the two women? Talk of discretion and needs earns Cha'el instant attention, if only to glimpse over his knot and glance sidelong at Kyara appraisingly. She'll linger for this, yes.

Riders and rider business. Maryam might be a stoic, still and quiet beneath her formal wrappings, but there's something about the tension gathered at the corners of her eyes that tell a different tale- perhaps that riders, and rider business, will be the death of her yet. "Those who come seeking advice would do better to avoid offering insults within three breaths of asking. I trade no marks for advice on my family," she says, softer than even she's usually known for. But then, this is Zeyta and she must set her sandaled feet or be bowled over entirely. Brown- and greenrider are left to their own devices as she focuses all she has on keeping afloat in the confrontation. "If the Weyrwoman wishes to gain Mama's approval then she would do well with Telgar's reds, no younger than ten Turns aged. She would do even better with reducing the Pit's tithes to offset the cost of rebuilding the Thread shelters."

The more Zeyta talks, the more information gets filed away, the ‘flitterbug’ apparel appearing to be in direct contrast to a crafty mind. Interesting. Eyes of ocean blue narrow onto her, expression one of calculating contemplation though nothing is given away of what might be going through the Weyrsecond’s mind. Attention sifts sideways, the buckles Kyara is studying getting a short flick of attention, but he’s not here to browse and so he gets straight to the point. “Get me an exact accounting of the refugees currently working within the Weyr. Names, skillsets and origins. But keep it on the down low,” he instructs and flicks a look at Zeyta. Blabbermouth? Guess he’ll soon find out. Maryam’s return, earns her a longer look. Wheels are turning, cogs engaging. Questions will be asked.

While her expression is schooled to careful neutrality at the exchange between Zeyta and Maryam, Kyara's eyes do flick between the two, and her jaw clenches somewhat at the slight in Zeyta's words. It's not her business, but the greenrider is right there and holds Maryam in high enough regard to chafe a little on the veiled woman's behalf. But. Cha'el has her full attention beyond that, and the assignment he gives her earns a slight upward twitch of eyebrows as her mind immediately sets about discerning the best way to go about doing this. Efficiently, thoroughly, and discreetly. She gives a nod, amber gaze fully intent on the Weyrsecond's sea-blue one. "I can do that. I'll have it for you as soon as possible," she answers confidently, her own eyes flicking quickly to the other women as well before returning to Cha'el.

"You'll learn me an asset, someday," Zeyta informs Maryam in a crisp, cool tone, dipping low into its regular bland cadence (or lack thereof). Almost as an afterthought, "I'll let the Weyrwoman know and make arrangements. Has the Steen daughter any preference for wine? I believe she has a marriage impending, no?" More a pointed remark than genuine inquiry, she assumes a quick disinterest, shifting to Cha'el to mirror his narrowed gaze with her own amber version of slitted eyes, undaunted by either his rank or scrutiny. Bold and reckless, she ventures her own opinion, with a caveat, even. "Mmm, I believe the number of refugees working in the Weyr is a domestic matter that concerns the lower caverns staff and the one in charge of it — meaning goldrider Sadaiya and Tuli. Both of whom I am an extension of. I do hereby request a copy of this record for the weyrwomen. Deliver it them directly, if you trust me not. My eyes will find it regardless." No, not a chatterer, here. Gossip is for the idle, and here is a woman of intense industry, even now as she casts her net wide and examines her haul in so short a span of time. All before noon. "Kyara, that bronze buckle complements your eyes most fairly. I highly advise your purchase of it." She points to the one referenced, a slim finger extended toward it.

Honestly, it's a little like trying to engage a typhoon in conversation, to speak with Zeyta. Particularly when she has a grasp of what buttons to push. The one she's selected for Maryam? It sends the woman's gaze down, down, down, chin to throat and eyes hooded to hide whatever expression might lurk therein. No attempt is made to answer, if only because it surely doesn't seem that statement was made to garner a reply, as briskly as the brownrider moves onto other business. No, there was another purpose entirely and if Maryam remains silent, perhaps she'll foil it. So she does just that, tucking her hands into her sleeves and attempting to let the clipped staccato rattle by- or, to put it bluntly, Cha'el, Kyara, you deal with her.

“Thank you,” Cha’el gives to Kyara with a short twitch of lips in approval. But then Zeyta’s weighing in with opinions and directives and in not time at all, anger rolls across the horizon of the Weyrsecond’s features, turning his gaze stormy and hardening his tone. “You may consider yourself an extension of the Weyrwomen, but you are not by definition, one of them. Your demands smack of insolence. If and when either weyrwoman Sadaiya, or Tuli, personally request such a copy, they will be welcome to them. In the meantime, I suggest you consider working on your diplomacy for if this is the way you engage with a member of the Steen clan then I shudder to think what damage might be done beyond the Weyr.” At that he takes a step back, jaw grinding tightly and annoyed with himself for having let the brazen young woman get to him. “My apologies.” Directed at Maryam.

Alright, bristling now. Kyara is good at bristling discreetly, however. "Of course," she replies, a small smile given to Cha'el before she's leveling a hard-eyed gaze on Zeyta. Cha'el has a counter to the brownrider's words forthcoming, however, so Kyara holds her tongue, taking one fluid, quiet sidestep closer to the silent Maryam. Solidarity; even if she doesn't know the particulars of anything Zeyta touches on, there are some places you just don't go with people out of courtesy. She's only half listening to Cha'el as she mutters something for Maryam's ears alone.

You overhear Kyara mutter, "… was … … … you …" to Maryam.

Poor Maryam. Oh, Cha'el. The frigid north of High Reaches molded Zeyta into the ice queen standing there before them, as crystalized and sharp as a hanging icicle in her monarchal resolve. She bats her 'lashes at Cha'el, bowing her head in seeming deference. "You'll have both a personal and formal request within the candlemark, rest assured. Kyara, if you've any need of guard escort or interrogation services, let either goldrider know as well, since they also fall under goldrider jurisdiction." Convenient memory for the hierarchy of the Weyr, there. "As for my diplomacy, well. I've constructed my phrases with all manners of politeness, and more than once apologized to the Steen girl for any unintended slights due to my breeding. You should forgive me too, I am a woman of my time — Oldtime." The facade she summons: impeccable, and somehow ruthless in its lack of apology, yet within perfect observance of decorum in its delivery. "Why, I even bought both the cloth for the head of the Steen clan to wear to her only daughter's wedding." Three against one? No problem. Your move.

"It is all right." Which, again, is not quite the answer to the question asked of her. Maryam has a knack for that, it would seem. She does lift her head enough that the approximation of a smile can be seen, collected at the corners of her eyes. It's aimed at Kyara but lingers only a few bare seconds, lost perhaps to Cha'el's show of temper, or possibly Zeyta's pursuit of the fray. Quietly but with a sort of gentle conviction, she clears her throat to summon the female brownrider's attention. And, once snared, she says simply, "My mother has many daughters and good-daughters, grand-daughters and great-grand-daughters." Yes, yes, it lacks the highly tuned targeting but there's a certain finesse there as well. A subtlety that someone of Zeyta's training- and abilities- is sure to tease out. "Riders. If you will please excuse me, I have duties to attend to."

Personally. Request,” Cha’el grates out, not in the least bit thrown or cowed by Zeyta’s return. If anything it serves to feed irritation, especially when she then goes on to offer Kyara aid as if she were the Lady Holder of Keroon. But he’s done with dressing down a wingrider in public, the attention they’re drawing already setting him ill at ease especially when a trio of young upstarts have started to meander closer in order to better eavesdrop. Except for one more thing. “Oldtime is no sharding excuse. You’re in this time now,” a finger stabs toward the ground beneath their feet, “and you’ll do well to remember that in terms of communications.” That’s it. He’s done. Fitting Kyara and Maryam with what might have been an apologetic look if not for the tension squared across his jaw, the Weyrsecond raises a salute to both. “I’ll check in with you later.” Though going by the way his stormy gaze lingers longer on the veiled Steen woman, it might have been directed at her. Turning on a bootheel without affording Zeyta a second glance, Cha’el threads his way back along the route he’d come.

Even if Maryam's response doesn't truly answer what's been asked, Kyara nods, accepting it for what it is; Maryam does have a knack for that, and it hasn't been lost on Kyara! The greenrider regards Zeyta with even coolness, her gaze not softening a whit. With all her own recent dealings with interrogations and guards (to an extent), she is actually not a stranger to what might be needed here. "Noted, Zeyta," she returns, politely if nothing else. Then, folding her arms, she addresses the last comment without hiding her conviction. "Our time produced all manner of women, just as this one has. Don't blanket us all in your perception of how a woman of 'our time' comports herself. This is when we are now." And Kyara, for one, isn't clinging to the past. She marks Cha'el's departure before glancing over at Maryam and inclining her head again. "I'll see you another time, Maryam. Good day." Then, flat to Zeyta, "Brownrider." And Kyara, too, turns on her heel and picks her way off the same direction as Cha'el - not following him, but certainly moving in his wake.

"Well it seems I've yet again upset some," Zeyta murmurs, unmoved by the retreats from her vicinity. "People do forget the extent of their authority so often." Delusional, hypocritical, likely both, she lifts her shoulders, wineskin strap sliding on her clavicle. With a few withering stares, she dissipates the youngsters, initiating her soldier's regimented walk to pierce through the crowd, and be lost in it, headed Weyrward. She's a Telgar red to fetch from her store of goods.

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