Who

Mayte, Ryker

What

Mayte's had a long day. Then Ryker happens and it's even longer. (That's what she said…)

When

It is late night of the tenth day of the fifth month of the seventh turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Council Chambers, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 13 Mar 2016 06:00

 

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"I look forward to seeing you in a sevenday to discuss what you've learned."


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Council Chamber

However disheveled the corridor outside might lie, THIS room - the sole dominion of the Weyr's upper elite - is always sparkling, ever swept, ever dusted, its walls scrubbed free of the grime of ages. A certain spartan grandeur fills the Council Chamber, with its foreboding stonework and heavy wooden door. A round table fills the bulk of the space, an ancient creation of fire-hardened wood, carved with the three dune'd symbol of Igen Weyr. Chairs surround: hard-backed things (with thin cushions) for the most part, but two grandiose chairs, on opposite sides of the table, that seat Weyrwoman and Weyrleader. The walls are lined with elegant old tapestries, depicting scenes of ancient Igen glories.


Long into the evening, the Weyr doesn't stop working. Just past supper and now things swing into clean-up mode, even in the Council Chambers. There was a small dinner for some guests of the Weyr who were trapped in a meeting, some sandwiches and trays of fruit still languishing on a sideboard that was hastily set up. Interestingly, while the watercress sandwiches are still limping along, the dessert tray is barren. Guests file out to leave a young Weyrwoman sitting in her illustriousish chair, shifting uncomfortably until that party is gone and her bitchy resting face just becomes mulishly bitchy resting face. The headwoman outs herself quietly as well and then Mayte is scrubbing her eyes with the heels of her hands, muttering swears and invectives under her breath.

It's entirely likely that Mayte's seen Ryker about, in that inscrutiable out-of-the-way manner that weyrguards exist as living background, to see and not be seen. It's likely the same history of professionalism that has cleared his name to the shortlist of candidates trusted with council chambers clean-up, especially when the weyrwoman (or headwoman or weyrleader or…) could potentially be in session. Whatever the reason, Ryker enters at the precise moment that Mayte's muttering DOOG, TEEWS DOOG under her breath. Does he salute when her eyes are covered by her hands? Maybe he does. Maybe he just crosses directly to the sideboard to start collecting the detrius of dinner, with a quiet-voiced, "Weyrwoman," to more-or-less announce his presence.

Expecting to more or less be alone by this point, Mayte's head shoots up when Ryker says something, cheeks pinked with embarrassment while her eyes are red and puffy. "What the fu…" Don't swear at teh babbie Candis. Mayte pauses mid invective and blinks those reddened eyes at him. Observes the knot. "Candidate," she says more or less politely. Then her eyes narrow and Ryker gets stared at. Stared. STARED AT. Oh hello, awkward silence. "What're you doing here?" Mayte is still seated and watching Ryker move about, resting her chin in an upraised palm so she can observe in comfort. "Like, in here, I mean. And what's your name?" Living background indeed.

Ryker won't observe the fact that he's a scant turn - almost exactly a turn - younger than Mayte. No baby here. Now, some of the others… "Ma'am," he automatically responds, with a deference that most his fellow candidates would find appalling in contrast with what he dishes out to those poor motherfuckers. "Cleaning the sideboard?" he half-question answers her question, as if he's not entirely certain she knows that's a thing, or maybe that's not a thing but he just thinks it is. "Guardsman Stryker," he replies on reflex, only to flick his gaze upwards and say in his velveteen voice, so beautiful, so incongruous with the rest of his striking-but-perhaps-not-attractive aesthetic: "Candidate Ryker at your service. Ma'am."

From her chin's perch, Mayte's lips press together unfavourably but she doesn't reply to the 'ma'am'ing. There's a moment where she just watches, letting him get on with his duties, and it's totally not just because of his PB. "No. Wait." She raises up her other hand like it's a stop sign. "I need to talk to someone who isn't asking me for shit. Leave that," the cleaning of the sideboard, "for a moment and come siddown." Waving to the chair next to hers. Stryker… Stryker… Stryker! "You went from Stryker to Ryker when you became a Candidate?" Mayte's eyebrows pull together like he's presented her with an interesting puzzle.

There's a moment of caught-in-the-headlights for real when she singles him out to speak with him, but he defers to her without the typical mockery. #1, she's the Goddamned Weyrwoman, and #2, being a weyrwoman is a perfectly respectable and womanly career which he can respect. So he sits, because she's bid him so, and he folds himself to pay her attention. "No," he replies. "My mother named me Stryker," the man says after a moment's hesitation. "But a guardsman Stryker is, well." Say it out loud. SAY IT. "It's my proper name," is how he explains it.

Ahhh, Mayte loves the smell of terror in the evening. When Ryker/Stryker/whatshispickle does what she says Mayte gives her first smile of this conversation, one without too many teeth. "Nice to meetcha… Ryker." One shoulder rises and falls as she studies him from her seat. "So you were a guardsman before this. Y'ever work out in the weights room? Place smells like a wher's armpit but it does the job." Either Mayte is desperate for conversation that doesn't involve running anything or she's trying to throw poor Ryker for a loop. "How're you enjoying being a Candidate?" A little twitch at the corner of her mouth and the wry tone of 'enjoying' indicate it's not obligatory that he does.

There's a sudden strange tic on the right side of Ryker's face. Perhaps he's having a stroke. All he says about the weight room, smoothly, is: "I've been there a time or two, miss." Because seated he's reminded of her youth. No Corelle, this one. NO MA'AM FOR MAYTE. That tic seems to spasm again, but whatever is causing that atrocious face (maybe it's gas?) seems to be back under control for the moment. "So far?" He's enough guard polish to know not to tell her the truth. Or maybe… eh, fuck it. YOLO bitches. "Excuse my Fort, but I fucking hate it. All these undisciplined sots running around thinking they're going to Impress and be the next W'rin."

It's possible that between Weyrwomen, there's a bet on who can kill off the most Candidates without directly assaulting them. Mayte eyes Ryker with some interest and then grins that she's been down-up-graded to 'miss'. It's a matter of opinion. "Just a time or two? Shame, that." Why? She doesn't bother explaining. Ryker's opinion of his fellow Candidates is much more fascinating: "So you're not gonna be?" she asks lightly then laughs at some inside joke. Anyway. "And most of 'em are probably younger than you… less experienced…" Those criteria are drawled, a silent question mark tacked on to the end of the adjectives until Mayte shakes herself a little and asks, "What about the girls? They gonna be little W'rinettes too?"

Ryker is more sturdy than he looks. "I'm sure the Harpers have a word for it." A phrase, perhaps. Is reverse hyperbole a thing? He looks vaguely insulted at her insinuation that he'd be the next W'rin. "That would require a dragon, miss," he replies, leaning forwards against the council table, one forearm laid out perpendicular to his torso's facing. That allows him to brace himself long enough to look vaguely green around the gills, as if something is making him more-than-slightly queasy. "W'rin would turn over in his grave, had he had one, if he could see some of the girls standing." He's going to come back from beyond ::between:: and make all the boob-sporters go back to the kitchen and become Ryker's true lord and savior.

In the face of Ryker's indignation, Mayte snickers. "Yer on the right track for it, at least." Awww, it's looking like Mayte's gonna be up by one on the Great Weyrwoman Bet. "W'rin left it up to his Weyrwomen if girls could stand," she points out evenly and then narrows her eyes at the only-one-Turn-younger man, "but you were around for that, weren't you?" Guard transfers aren't that uncommon, "So that means you were probably here when I stood for one of Corelle's clutches." For a moment, Mayte's eyes mist over with memory, fondness colouring her tone, "And I didn't even get into shit for it." Exiting Memory Lane with a larger grin on her face, the Weyrwoman looks far too pleased with herself. "Good times, man."

He really looks like she's given him indigestion deliberately, that face that maybe makes it look like he's constipated but is going to offer her polite-face because she's the Goddamned Weyrwoman. Mayte is going to wear Ryker out. "I doubt it," he hazards to say shortly on the topic of dragons and choosings. "Of course I was," he replies. "I was a guard on the Sands entrance when you Impressed." He's been DOWN THERE Mayte, that doesn't change his POV. "And when the whole lot of you… Corelle, rest her soul," is all he'll say. And then, impudently, because he can: "Even W'rin made mistakes." SLANDER. LIES. JULYER.

When Mayte gets older, she's going to be the Miss Havisham of Pern, winding people up just to toy with them. She smiles almost serenely and offers the most annoying of phrases bandied about at Hatching time: "The dragon always knows." At this rate, Ryker's never gonna be DOWN THERE with Mayte. She grins, revealing a little more tooth. "Heresy," is her verdict, "W'rin was a fine man and an excellent Weyrleader." The party line, so to speak, "And Thread happens to us all." Is there a faint verbal underscoring of the word 'us'? Mayte's hand certainly goes to rub over her abdomen for a moment. "So it wasn't W'rin or Valiuth's mistake."

"Oh, no." Ryker has to stop her here, kthx, that is NOT what he meant. "I'm saying that from my point of view, he fucked up in saying women could Stand." He has a breath, only a breath, of survival instinct. "For non-gold clutches." He's such a pompous asshole.

Apparently there's a breath of instinct and little more. Mayte's eyes widen for a moment, focused on Ryker with some anticipation: "You're the first person either dumb enough or brave enough to say that around me in a while," she replies honestly, "And now I'm genuinely curious." Rhiscorath's been fiddling with her diction again. "Should I, as Weyrwoman, fight Thread?" Earnest, Mayte focuses her dark eyes on Ryker, watching him closely. "I know it's probably not something you've really thought about," and that's said so airily as if Mayte doesn't think she's insulting or merely stating fact, "I'm just… wondering."

Ryker is both dumb AND brave, Mayte! It's a brilliant combination, just ask Ealasaid~ … or not. Actually on second thought plz don't ask Ealasaid, that would be bad. Ryker has that continued self-preservation for longer than two seconds, but not much past that. He looks more-or-less taken aback at being called dumb or brave and then opens his mouth as if to say something before thinking better of it and closing his mouth. He even thinks for the barest moment before replying. "Should you? In my opinion? No. It's an unnecessary risk for a piece necessary and treasured. From what I've seen, any threat to you or goldrider Diem places unnecessary strain on the lower wings." Listen, he was a guard. This is the only part of a dragonrider that actually interests him. Plus he was around for all the hubbub about this. So here he leans forwards, testing that line between dumb and brave and seeing just how far he can go before she smacks the fuck out of him. "In any given fall, as a fighter? You're a liability and a distraction." Beat. "On the ground, you're a figurehead and inspiration."

Ryker .oO(also, on the ground you are way closer to the kitchen, the only rightful place of womenfolk)

Too bad for Ryker that Ealasaid made an arrest in a prominent Bazaar family before she got caught up in Search. Mayte looks like she's at least considering Ryker's input, pursing her lips and tipping her head to one side and letting her eyes wander from point to point. "You make an interesting point," she comments and then waves it away, "But you're wrong. In the air, I'm still a figurehead and I can coordinate when I see what's actually going on." What point is Mayte hoping to make with Ryker here? That she's capable? She's a war leader just as much as the Weyrleader? Nothing of the sort: more that arguing with Mayte is harder than beating one's head against a brick wall. "And in the air, I have a flamethrower. Rhiscorath loves that." Okay, Mayte loves having the flamethrower. LBH. "What about the Candidate chores? Have you cleaned the latrines yet?" That question seems to have come out of nowhere.

Ryker has obviously never eaten anything Mayte cooked.

"In the air, you can be killed easier." Someone else would make it sound like a practical point of warfare, but Ryker's creepy enough to make it sound like a personal suggestion, or an item on his to-do list. Just kidding. He's enough sense to turn wary at the end, though, realizing perhaps too late that he's been less than perfectly civil with the Goddamned Weyrwoman. Jesus Christ W'rin on a stick. "I've cleaned every inch of this weyr, or so I feel, including the latrines." He puts up some copface indifference and internally resigns himself to sevendays of shit-cleaning.

"Corelle was killed on the ground," Mayte reminds Ryker with some sweet acid, "And Vergora's Kohleth went Between with a clutch on the Sands." One finger dips to draw a lazy figure eight on the table of the Council Chamber. "Point is, the only certain thing in life is death. And the faster you realize that, the further ahead of Thread you are." The finger pauses mid-eight and points at Ryker. "Cleaning the latrines was one of my best punishments, I can tell you. For sneaking into the Bazaar when Tuli closed it." That speech done, Mayte sits back in her chair and purses her lips into some duck-face imitation. "The worst punishment though, was dealing with the Nursery." Let that hang in the air for a little.

Dammit Mayte, what's with all the sense? Don't you know you're talking to a man — a nowtimer man? Rather than respond Ryker chooses to display that precisely half-a-smile expression. Notably, that expression gets wiped the fuck off his face when she mentions the hellword. Is that a flash of panic that darts over his face? His adam's apple bobs. That's visible. "The…" he draws out. "The… nursery?"

Aww, that's cute. Mayte watches Ryker's face slip from condescending half-smile to horror with some satisfaction. "I mean, if you've already cleaned up the Weyr," the finger pointing at Ryker waves a little before dropping to the table so Mayte can lean in, "then surely you know the stink babies make." A little sniff: Mayte remembers well enough. "And the noise. But what I learned there is that if women can take on babies, Thread can't hope to compare." It's probably an easy line, crafted to fit into the conversation. "Not many men can make it through a seven-day of the nursery," she warns like Ryker's been asking for this. Perhaps in a subtle way, he has. "So, Candidate Ryker, do you think you're up for the job?" Somehow there's not much of an option in her voice.

She is a fucking unbelievably bitchy helltart of doom. That shows clearly in the way Ryker takes a slow, lagging moment to rearrange his features to an appropriate level of neutrality. He masks his horror quickly enough after that first slip. Call him what you want (no really, call him whatever - he probably deserves it), but he'll step up to duty and brace it as any well-bred nowtimer man. "Yes ma'am," she's been upgraded again, "I'm sure I'm up to the task." He'll even meet her eyes STRAIGHT ON, intense eye contact, as if somehow eyefucking her into submission (and therefore himself out of nursery duty) is possible. Protip, Ryker: it's not going to happen. Like fetch, it's never going to happen.

She'll be sure to get business cards with that title. 'Mayte. Igen Weyrwoman. Fucking Unbelievably Bitchy Helltart of Doom' Has a good ring to it. "I'm glad to hear that, Mister Ryker." At least she doesn't smile now but she adds, "And I look forward to seeing you in a sevenday to discuss what you've learned." Not only does Ryker have to go through it, he has to revisit it. Psychologists have a field day with Mayte. How's that eye-fucking going now? Mayte stares back like it's a game or a staring contest. Except she has the rules, and gets to throw sand to make her opponent blink. "Now, I should let you get back to cleaning away what's left of supper." Some supper. Except an enterprising drudge has already started on it, or at least munching a sandwich while looking like he's thinking of taking away a platter of remnants.

"Ma'am," he stiffly replies, rising and executing a flawless bow — a Holder's move, make no mistake. And Ryker, blast his bloody socks, doesn't salute after that, either. But same difference, right? RIGHT?! No? Rhiscorath is going to eat him when he gets outside, hmmm, 'r' is for… ridiculous. "I'll be on my way," he does so well to hide the pain and anguish in his soul as he smiles politely at her, the barest movement of lips and crinkles about eyes, "And I'll tell the headwoman of my new duties." He's sobbing inside.

Dammit. Back to ma'aming. Maybe Rhis will send Zsaviranth a post-it note. "Have a good evening, Candidate," Mayte says gravely, like she knows how awful this will be. Perhaps she remembers. Perhaps Mayte's just an utter cow. "Good. I'll follow up with her midweek to see how you're doing." She doesn't put a foot closer to the nursery than is barely necessary. "Dismissed." If the Holder's bow hasn't endeared the Weyrwoman to Ryker at all, perhaps her promise to be checking in has. Agony aside, Mayte watches the Candidate move out before she turns to examine some of the paperwork from her earlier meeting. What's a meeting without paperwork?

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