==== November 17th, 2013
==== Maryam, Kyara
==== As refugees trickle in to the Weyr, Kyara and Maryam trade thoughts on the matter, and another.

Who Maryam, Kyara
What As refugees trickle in to the Weyr, Kyara and Maryam trade thoughts on the matter, and another.
When Afternoon. There are 8 months and 12 days until the 12th Pass.
Where Weyr Plateau, Igen Weyr

igenweyrplateau.jpg

Weyr Plateau
A stripe of packed earth designates the central route connecting the Weyr to prominent geographical and urban points outside of the walled complex. Pale knobby rocks line the roadsides, cast there by hand and foot with purpose in mind, lining the periphery in grades of pebbles to boulders. This site is under constant incursion from wind-blown sand and if not regularly maintained the road would eventually be interred. Silt becomes more prominent underfoot further east where the lake lies.

It is the forty-eighth day of Spring and 77 degrees. It is still pleasantly sunny, though storm clouds gather on the horizon.


Spring always threatens the most unusual weather in the desert, especially at this altitude. The storms are fast, vicious, unpredictable. But, though more clouds smudge the horizon, the business of the Weyr continues as it must and many of those who pass along the Plateau into the shadow of Igen's high walls barely give those threatening clouds more than a glance. They have the look of folks who've traveled far, road-dusted, weary, faces aged Turns beyond the norm by worry and concern. Most carry what they own on their backs, while a lucky few push carts or pull wagons bereft of beasts of burden to do that work for them. The cries of children are loud, and the calls of their mothers as well. It is a trickle of controlled chaos.

And some of the Bazaar's residents have come out to see it. Perched on rocks, or wagons of their own stopped at the side of the road, they pass flasks and bottles between themselves and keep a sharp eye out for potential. Potential profit, potential entertainment, it doesn't matter. Most are sharp-eyed and not entirely pleasant with their smiles. Then there is Maryam. She's ridden out not to watch the refugees but to meet a trading caravan. The caravan master is gesticulating wildly, showing understandable frustration with these dusty creatures that are clogging up the thoroughfare and making it difficult for his wagons to get through. A few quiet words, the passage of a small pouch to the man, and his waving gentles. The veiled woman gathers up her chestnut's reins then and turns to trot away…but ends up stopping after a few 'lengths. Just that, stopping, watching the flow of dirty humanity passing before her and thinking inscrutable thoughts behind winter blue eyes.

Also observing at various points along the road - very few points, really - are watchriders from the Weyr proper, stationed for the sake of order as the slow influx of uprooted Holdless and other travelers make their way north from Igen Hold's closed-off Caverns. Some of them rest further along the route, their dragons finding places to watch well off the road, for the sake of not scaring various animals. Nearer the Weyr, the dragons watch from perches on the Rim while their riders stand guard below. Some will see the riders and their lifemates with grateful respect - others, with respect of a more fearful sort. It's difficult to tell who thinks what when weariness masks it all. Kyara, who has been assigned an afternoon watch just far enough from the Weyr that Liareth sits back from the road rather than on the Rim, stands on a low outcrop at a bend in the road, silently considering the incoming wanderers with a slightly furrowed brow. She spots a familiar, veiled figure on a runner - Maryam - though distance would prevent acknowledgement from either, for the moment. Then Maryam moves away, stopping just close enough that Kyara can offer a wave and a small nod…but that is all, for the moment.

That's all but it's enough to pull the young woman's attention away from the river of people to those who guard them. Maryam's mare tosses her head and pins her ears, displeased at being told what to do, but the steady pressure of a booted heel against her ribs has her giving in. With a bouncy sort of sidestep, the mare and the woman she carries approach the greenrider serving sentinel. As is her way, Maryam doesn't immediately offer up words. Instead she reins the little chestnut to stillness and returns, with Kyara, to watching the refugees make their way by. Finally, after a little while of this, she says, "The Weyr will be full to bursting," in lieu of a hello. "So many people and none with the sense to prepare before this."

The silence that initially passes between the two women suits Kyara just fine, for the time being; she's not been entirely sure how she might be around Maryam, ever since suspicion over the Bazaar's involvement in the Weyrwoman's death became aired. Yet even beyond such terrible matters, life must go forward; Thread is coming, and what they watch along the road is one more pointed indication of that. The greenrider nods slowly at Maryam's words, folding her arms. "It will," she affirms, lightly clearing a throat dried from the dust of the road. "If looking into clearing the Abandoned Caverns hadn't been serious before, it will have to be, now. I've never seen the like." She glances down the road, past a few long breaks in the traffic to still more seeking refuge. "How does someone without Hold, Weyr, or Crafthall prepare, though? Particularly if they're born to it?" As if to punctuate the question, Kyara's gaze happens upon a small, dust-covered child clinging to her mother's hand, and the greenrider's amber gaze darkens sadly. "What will the Bazaar do, with so many newcomers about?" Genuine curiosity in this, though she knows that the simplest answer is likely "adapt." As they all must.

"They find a way," Maryam opines, "be it through apprenticing, abiding by the laws or carving out a place for themselves where they may. But not now. Not with the threat looming large overhead. They should have done so before, when time allowed and they needn't turn their empty hands out to others." Perhaps not the kindest of sentiments, but the gaze that looks down on the straggling refugees is of a more practical bent. "Those willing to work will be put to work, one supposes. Those who are not…perhaps they will fit in the caverns, to do for the Weyr whatever it is the Weyr wants them to do. Mama already has more drudges than we need. There will likely be more crime. Theft, drunkenness, brawls. Close quarters can make for short tempers for people who grow rootless, without concept of duty but with a sense of entitlement." Her gaze shifts, lifting to the greenrider on her perch. "One supposes the Weyr will demand more of the Bazaar, in order to feed them all."

With a heavy sigh, Kyara crouches to sit on her outcrop, putting her more or less at a level with Maryam. Harsh as Maryam's words seem to her, the greenrider can't exactly disagree with the woman. Nor can she bring herself to entirely agree. "Each story is different. It can't be the same for them all…" She shakes her head a bit. "But perhaps enough for it to be generally true, all the same." She shifts, her legs dangling off the edge now as she continues to watch. "I can only guess what the leadership has in mind for those who wish to work. It'd make sense to me to have people help clear the abandoned caverns. Then they can shelter in them. Learn ground crew work, clear greenery…there's still so much that has to happen before the Pass starts." Her gaze hardens a little at Maryam's last. "What am I supposed to say to that, Maryam? I'm the sort of person who believes that all protected by the Weyr's walls ought to work together to ensure its survival, without reservation. Yet I've learned it's not so simple. Do I suppose it'll happen? Probably, yes. Do I expect that to go over well? Not at all." She rubs her forehead, clearly distressed by the matter. "There are no easy answers."

"When dealing with this many people, considering individual stories is a luxury we cannot afford. We can hope that the leadership makes decisions not with the heart, good or ill, but with their heads. One supposes that anything can be made tolerable, provided it is a temporary solution." A concession, small though it may be, to what Kyara has said- and one made with a gentler note in Maryam's voice. It isn't quite an apology for the flat insinuation made just seconds before but it treads close. "The Bazaar will make do. It always has." More of that previous silence falls, time spent hooking her knee up over the saddle's pommel and collecting the mare's reins tightly to keep her from misbehaving. When the animal settles again, the young woman ventures another attempt- in her own special way- at making conversation. "You are very soft-hearted."

When it comes to someone as enigmatic to the greenrider as Maryam, Kyara will take what she can get; the gentler tone is noted, and accepted for what it is. She has a nod for Maryam's words about the Bazaar, "I know it will," added quietly thereafter. "And the Weyr will survive, as it always has." Faranth knows how sometimes, but it has. She lets the silence hang again…and then Maryam's observation about her brings up a laugh - soft, but rich in it's tone. "So I've been told before," she admits, a hint of self-deprecation edging her voice, though the small smile accompanying is genuine as she looks over at Maryam. "I've always been so…though I'm not without my hard points. I just… There are many hard people in the world, and many who will become harder once they see what the Pass brings - me included. But what's life without a heart that knows both? Maybe I need to know more of the hard…but it may be that I'm to show others more of the soft, as well." She chuckles again, shaking her head slightly. "Though that's the Harper in me talking. Yes. I'm softhearted. Sometimes to a fault, but at least I know it."

"Nothing soft survives out here. Knowing it only matters if you intend to change it," Maryam says, though she sounds more thoughtful than accusing. Perhaps she's trying to imagine what living with a soft heart entails. If that's so, then it ends without satisfaction because she shakes her head slightly, after a pause, then busies herself with securing the ends of her veil when the wind threatens to seize them. "I have never asked…what it was, during weyrlinghood, that drew you and Webley together. Why you became friends. Is that too forward a question?"

"Sand is soft, and it practically defines this place," Kyara counters matter-of-factly, unfazed. "Very present, and very powerful when combined with other forces, such as wind. It moves. It adapts. A soft heart combined with other forces can do the same. Would I be so willing to learn what makes this place what it is, or to face down threats that would affect us all, if I didn't have that softness, do you think? Soft doesn't have to mean weak." She has to think a moment before giving Maryam an answer. "It's not; it's fine. I often wondered the same thing, myself." A moment of silent thought more, and she smirks, looking far-off as she recalls past conversations. "Maybe it was partly because I so readily admitted to my nature, though it seemed natural to do, with him. He's always been able to read me well for some reason; it's a little infuriating. He seemed…surprised at me, being as travelled as I am and yet so 'sheltered,' as he put it. When I told him some things about my past, he observed that while I don't understand the way the system works, I'm no stranger to fighting it, when it needs to be fought. Maybe that was some of it?" She shrugs. "He confuses me. I'm willing to bet I've confused him with this softness in me, too. Perhaps it's just a matter of opposites drawing; I'm not sure."

Maryam ingests this in silence. The point about sand is perhaps not something she agrees with- or is seen as separate of what she intended- but she acknowledges the cleverness of finding that loophole with a slightly narrowing of the eyes, the only visible "smile" the veils she wears allows. "He has not known many soft-hearted women, this is true. You have been here long enough; surely you must feel better learned in our ways. One would hope, Impressing and serving here, that you would be more comfortable after a time." She sways as the mare shifts her weight from left to right, gloved fingers tensing on the reins to forestall any more vigorous fidgeting. "And you have certainly done well by yourself. To have earned a place in Whirlwind."

Kyara draws her legs up to sit cross-legged, wrists resting on her knees to let her hands dangle loosely. "I am more comfortable after these few turns, certainly," she concedes with a nod. "The Weyr is my home, now, and I can say that without feeling strange about it. And I do feel better learned now. I just…don't feel like I can afford to get entirely comfortable, with how often the unexpected happens. Perhaps that's as it should be. Always ready for anything." She inclines her head to Maryam gratefully, at her last. "It's constant work. Naturally. But I have an incredible lifemate." Her glance back at Liareth is unabashedly fond; she can't help it. "And there are incredible people in my life. I may do well alone…but without those others, I wouldn't have done half as well."

"It is good to have a home, and certainly better to have earned one." Unlike, say, those last few stragglers who stumble and march just before them, trailing dust and tarnished hopes in their wake. Maryam's head turns so she can look back down the road the refugees have taken. The clouds staining the sky remain a distant threat but that paused caravan is taking advantage of the reduction in traffic. Their wagons begin to creak and rumble by, raising a fresh cloud of dust in the air. The master raises his hand to the pair of women as he passes by on his runner. "We can hope there are at least a few like that, here. I should return to my mother to let her know the train has arrived."

"We can hope," Kyara echoes, her own gaze returning to the still-trudging refugees. She raises her hand to the caravan master in silent reply before looking to Maryam again and nodding, coming back to her feet and dusting herself off before resuming her previous stance of watchfulness. "Alright, Maryam. Thank you for talking with me. Fair skies to you." She gives another inclination of her head, and will likely watch as the woman makes her way back, continuing her guard until the current candlemark is spent.

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