==== December 21st, 2013
==== Zalara, Cha'el, Trek, Atzi
==== Late night in the Living Caverns, weyr denizens meet the real threat to Igen's safety. (or was it sanity?)

Who Zalara, Cha'el, Trek, Atzi
What Late night in the Living Caverns, weyr denizens meet the real threat to Igen's safety. (or was it sanity?)
When There are 0 turns, 5 months and 0 days until the 12th pass.
Where Igen Weyr

Zalara%20Cutie%21.jpg Chael1.png trek07.jpg atzi_intent.jpg


Living Cavern
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.

Zalara is sitting at one of the tables and her meal is half done. She's eating as she reads a book and she has two firelizard sleeping on her shoulder. It's a little bit after supper and most people have all ready eaten and left. She flips the page as she reads as she eats. The book is a technical book on smithing.

Cha'el, newly knotted Weyrsecond, is going to be late. Again. If he doesn't get his butt moving. A meeting with W'rin to go over wing formations and distributions but at least this time, he'll have good reason. The flitter ate his homework. As evidenced by the tug-of-war going on over at a table just two across from Zalara is seated. He has a hold of one section of a the piece of hide he was working on, and a fat little bronze firelizard has a hold of the other, wings flapping and talons digging in while he delivers gruff squawks of indignation. "I swear to Faranth if you don't let go, I'm gonna feed you to Sikorth you fat little bastard!"

Atzi is walking with a tray of food to take away as she passes between the tables. She looks on with amusement, brow creased, blinking. She looks over at Zalara expression saying are-you-seeing-this? She whispers, "Is that our new Weyrsecond losing a fight with a firelizard?"

Trek enters from the direction of the bowl looking windblown and haggard. Dark bags under her eyes, hair a mess, with that telltale helmet head besides. Riding leathers are dusty, and her once white scarf is now adobe, at least where it pokes out. As she starts to tug it free of her jacket, it shows its true colors beneath. Her gaze first goes to what might still be offered post-dinner. It goes second to the various people still here. Then, forgoing dinner, she goes for a skin of wine.

Zalara looks up as she hears the harsh words fotwards the firelizard and she winces a little bit. She looks back down at her book as she's not sure she's supposed to be seeing this embarrassing situation for the new Weyrsecond. She glances over at Atzi and she shrugs a little bit as she doesn't want to get on the new Weyreseconds bad side.

Thankfully, Cha'el doesn't hear the comment Atzi makes and isn't aware that several are now snickering behind their hands because - Flitter has my homework!! He tugs this way, and the bronze firelizard strains back the other way. Then an idea strikes the Weyrsecond and without warning, when Butterball is straining at his hardest, he lets go. ZING!! Like a rubber band suddenly released, the firelizard shoots backwards, almost landing in the plate of food in the table positioned between where Cha'el is located and Atzi and Zalara are. Smug triumph curls a deep smirk around one side of his mouth and calm as can be, stands and collects the hide that had fluttered to the floor. "Thought you were clever, huh?" Cha'el 1 - Butterball 0. Or is it? Oh Trek, do you see what Arroyo has been saved from!?

Atzi's own firelizard launches into the air after the little bronze, Atzi starting a bit at the abruptness, hand fluttering to her chest. She laughs at her own startlement and smiles down at Zalara, "Well, we're safe from flits with him in charge." Right, kid? Right? Come on, this is comedy gold. FINE. She turns to call her ditzy gold and … Where'd she go? Last time she went missing, the little dingbat ended up at the midden. THAT'S not happening again. Atzi puts her to-go plate down and pads in the direction the firelizard had zinged after the Weyrsecond's latest conquered foe vanished.

Trek has managed to make her way all the way to Zalara's table and sits down. Or slumps down, really. She managed to find a plate of crusty bread somewhere, and that wine skin? She just brought the whole thing. And a glass. She's not that uncivilized. "Issues?" she calls over to Cha'el as she tears at the bread. Zalara and her book get a curious look, and Atzi's wandering, but most of Trek's limited attention is on getting her food to her mouth without missing.

Zalara peeks up from her book to watch the resolution of the tug of war between the Weyrsecond and firelizard. She can't help herself but to giggle behind a covered hand. She smiles at Atzi as her firelizards are still asleep on her shoulders, but they have fat bellies from being just fed. They are dead to the world for the moment. She does stand up to see if the firelizard is all right and she moves over a bit to lean over and check on him. "Are you all right little bronze?" She asks softly.

"Wingleader," Cha'el has the good grace to acknowledge Trek's rank and then dropping his mangled hide back to the table, utters a snort. "Fat little bugger eats everything in sight. Had a go at this." The hide. Its then that Atzi is noticed, her comment drawing a wry line to his mouth. "Aye, that's me. Defender of woman and children against flitters." As for Zalara, he tracks the girl's movement to where Butterball as picked himself up in as dignified a manner as possible and is waddling toward the edge of the table, readying for flight. Oh look. Sympathies! The most pitiful little creel is sent to the girl. He's so meeeeaaan. Feeed me. Cuddle meeee. It seems to say.

Atzi's brow is furrowed and she is peering high and low under tables and chairs. Leaning down to look under the table where the little bronze is creeeling so pathetically she spies her little gold who, having overshot, is gathering little haunches -wriggle wriggle wriggle- to launch up at the bronze. At the Wingsecond's acknowledgement of the other rider she glances over, a quick nod before scooping up the gold before she can cause any more trouble. As if she couldn't blink ::Between::. But… she's not the brightest glow in the basket, this little gold. Atzi's smile falters as she considers what the riders do have kept them safe from. She swallows, her joke seeming pallid and poor. And in poor taste. "My thanks, brownrider. Bluerider." She strokes the twitching gold in her hands, "I hope you and yours came through the Fall in good health."

Trek washes down bread with wine. A classic combination. "Weyrsecond," she replies politely to Cha'el's own acknowledgement. Her hazel eyes flick briefly to the mentioned firelizard, then Zalara, then to Cha'el, then away. Trek may be tired, but not enough to go there. She nods vaguely in Atzi's direction, either a greeting or an answer. Could be either. Trek studies the other woman for a brief moment, then asks, "Were you affected by the Fall at all?"

Zalara aws softly at the bronze and she reaches into her pocket for some of her firelizard treats that she keeps to give to her own firelizards. They stir a little bit on her shoulder, but are still in a food coma. She offers the bronze one of her treats to see if he wants it. She glances over at the Weyrsecond as she doesn't want to touch the bronze without his permission.

Weyrsecond. Shoulders shift as if the brownrider is ill at ease with the title. "How fair's Arroyo?" Cha'el goes on to ask, piling the hides on the table together as he readies to depart for that meeting. He may only have flown with the chromatic heavy wing for a short time, but he's made friends amongst the 'riders and it was the first to offer he and Sikorth a place of belonging. Attention goes next to Atzi and the thanks she voices, blue eyes becoming strangely guarded as if he carries guilt for having come away from it all relatively unscathed. "Ours" a pause allowed for to indicate a broader sweep than just he and his brown, "will rally." Firm. On the flitter front of things, Butterball knows a soft touch when he sees it. Another piteous kreel and he streeetches his neck forward, maw snap-snapping at the treat being offered. "You feed him once, he'll never leave you alone," Cha'el warns.

"Every day, Wingleader. In large and small ways. My cousin is N'thu." She lets the gold firelizard up onto her shoulder, then bobs a curtsy, "Forgive me, I'm Atzi, of the Tlatoani." The skirts of her robes flutter as she sweeps them broad for a proper greeting. "If you're asking if I was in Keroon. No, I was not." She looks on at the apprentice and the tubby bronze, her smile sad, "I didn't mean to imply otherwise, Weyrsecond." Her eyes flicker up to Cha'el's startling blue and to Trek's hazel before dropping to the floor. She looks down at the table. Food. Right, I was leaving. She moves around the table to collect her late dinner.

"Didn't need to be in Keroon to be affected," Trek replies. Or confirms. Her voice is quiet, even sympathetic, but tired. She turns back to Cha'el briefly, tired eyes watching him before she answers, "We lost four. We're faring as well as can be expected, otherwise." It's not a terse response, just a weary one, and likely describing the source of those bags under her eyes. Trek gives Zalara and her flit treats a quick study, then she gets to her feet. "Clear skies, brownrider. Trader. Apprentice." She's going to take her bread and wine, and consume it elsewhere, apparently.

Zalara lets the firelizard have the treat and she gives a smile at the firelizard as she just loves them. "I don't mind Weyrsecond. That's why I carry around firelizard treats with me. Can I pet him please?" She asks and she has her hand ready to pet. She looks to Trek, "I helped with the ground crew and afterwards helped to clean out and repair some of the flamethrowers." She looks over at Trek and nods politely to her, "Have a good night."

Standing now with hides tucked under one arm and all too keenly aware of those wingmates he'd lost, Cha'el's gaze settles on Trek weighted with things unsaid - Regret, understanding, grief and even a dose of survivor's guilt. "We should talk," he finally says, fitting the bluerider with an intent look. Atzi is next, a dark brow lifting when she reveals familial ties. "Well met, Atzi." A short dip of head and he steps away from the table. "No offence taken." There's a smile, apologetic around the edges and then attention falls to Zalara. "Tell you what, kid. You keep the bugger entertained while I'm at my meeting and there might be something in it for you." Snagging the half-empty mug he lifts it toward the three of females ranked in ages, "Ladies," and then he's off heading toward the Council Chambers.

Atzi, off her turf, is on the shy side. She keeps her eyes down, fiddling with the covered plate. She inclines her head in farewell at Trek who may or may not see it. She nods at Cha'el eyes glancing up briefly and away. To Zalara, she smiles and -were Zalara older and family- she'd have given her a sororial fanning because -wow- dreamy Weyrsecond. She inclines her head to smith apprentice and leaves the girl to her studies and flit-distraction.

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