tasna, Yukie


Two women from different walks of life find themselves on the same path for a while, so they share some thoughts on life, purpose, and self-awareness.


It is evening of the sixteenth day of the second month of the first turn of the 12th pass.


Great Central Desert, Igen Weyr

OOC Date


Tas04.jpg yukie_1.jpg


Great Central Desert

A sea of golden sand stretches as far as the eye can gaze in all directions, marred here and there by the rough scars of granite and sandstone outcroppings of various lengths and widths. Scorching by day and bitingly cold by night in most months, the Great Central Desert is not a place one ventures without a firm plan or a quick exit (such as a dragon). The winds that whip mercilessly across this sandy expanse on some occasions can create colossal samiels and dust storms that block the sun for candlemarks at a time. Other days find the desert sitting amidst an immense calm, the sunlight painting dunes and bluffs in ever-shifting colors and the moonlight turning gold to pale silver beneath nearly unblinking stars. It is a place of great danger and beauty all at once, to be sure.

It is the forty-sixth day of Winter and 44 degrees.

The great central desert is mostly empty, except for the pockets of settlements around the various hidden watering holes sprinkled throughout the vast, forbidding emptiness of the desert. As Rukbat settles into the horizon, the twilight sky is splashed in pinks, oranges and creams that fade into the deep, azure blue of the coming night. In one such pocket of civilization, Yukie is dutifully tending to the knee of a young child. Dressed in loose clothing in shades of sand and cream, the healer blends in with her surroundings. Especially, when the dusty, ivory cloak is factored in with the hood drawn up so that only a few tendrils of sunlight-blond hair peek free. "There now." She gently pats the dark head of the child that crouches in front of her. "Give this to your parents," a small packet of treats is passed over. The people here are on the rough side of life, and not everyone appreciates Yukie's official Healer's knot. Nor her gender. The Healer, though, seems oblivious to the atmosphere, the faint, serene smile gentled for the child's benefit.

As it so happens, another of the Weyr's current residents is visiting this very same settlement, though Tasena's own garb is cut a little closer to a man's style, on account of her less than curvaceous curves. The colors are the same, though. She's just about to put up the hood and start wrapping a thin scarf against threat of sand when she spots the Healer several paces away. Recognition dawns a moment later, and Tasena lets the scarf fall back to her shoulders as she approaches. "Fancy meeting you here, Journeywoman," the one-time (two-, three-time?) bartender drawls as she resettles a satchel's strap on her shoulder, while its contents clink ever so slightly. Tas? No problems with knot or gender, there, just a friendly grin. "Saving the world one child at a time?"

The child stares at Yukie with large, dark eyes that hold more than a dollop of distrust before quickly snatching the treat bundle and scampering off. As the healer stands, dusting off her long skirts, this is when she turns to Tasena with a gentle smile, "Tasena." The greeting is quiet, but sincere; the young woman is an auld soul in youthful vessel and it shows in the limpid depths of blue-green eyes. "I try. The people out here do not have it as well as those in the weyr, and they suffer, but most of them won't let me see them. Just their children." Concern is etched in the expression that consumes her features as she lets her eyes stray to the dusty folk that move slowly about, casting suspicious glances towards the two women. "I thought I'd spend a few days out here on a journey before heading back to the weyr — what brings you out this way?" Curiosity is a quiet emotion on the healer's face, expressed by the uplift of pale brows when Tasena's bag chinks every so softly.

"The children are the best place to rehabilitate and reeducate," Tasena replies as that friendly grin goes crooked with inner amusement. "On all sorts of levels for that matter." She glances right back at the dusty folk, regarding them with an open expression before she turns back to Yukie, then pats her bag. "Experimenting. But the best kind," she answers, before lifting a couple small flasks from under the leather flap. "Trying out some of the spices they have around here. Seeing what happens. What folks like. What they don't." She shrugs the bony shoulder that is not bearing the bag's strap, then returns the bottles to their cozy spot. "I'm kind of ambivalent about being out here to do it, but I want to be where the people are."

"They are," Yukie agrees, lips thinning in a small smile. Tucking the bits of hair back into the hood of her cloak, she turns her full attention to Tasena. "It is often the people farthest away that have the greatest treasures to uncover. Often overlooked or underestimated, yet still they hold diamonds in the rough." The two women still get the crafty looks, especially from some of the layabout males that drift through the settlement of sand-stone abodes. "Maybe they have secrets here that you can uncover. Did you find anything of worth so far?" Leaning down, she scoops up the ever-constant wicker basket and peeks beneath the sand-colored cloth that shelters the goods she's got inside. "A few more herb pouches, and I think my time will be done here. I hate to leave…" Hesitation slows the curl of fingers around the basket's handle, as her arms drop to let the basket rest gently against her body. "Did you travel by runner?"

"Oh, agreed. Definitely," Tasena replies quickly, as she glances back at the abode from which she'd just emerged. "My problem is that some of them, uh—." She turns back to Yukie, and this time, her crooked smile is not nearly as amused. "I'd rather not be trying to find a form of liquor they can both afford and enjoy. If you know what I mean." She grimaces a little bit, then plucks at the attached bit of scarf as a small gust of wind tries to tug it off her shoulder. "Some things I don't mind enabling. But self-destruction isn't one of them." She squints out toward where the shelter of the settlement ends and that desert begins again. "I did, yeah. Ornery little thing, too, but more than tough enough to get me from place to place," Tas answers while glancing at Yukie's basket. "Gathering or distributing erb pouches?"

"No. I don't want to aid their self-destruction either. Some of the liquor I've seen is more medicinal grade than something fit for the palette," Yukie comments, tone quiet but pitched towards Tasena. Lifting her basket slightly, she says, "Both. There are some rare desert herbs out here that grow like lichen in between the rocks, when you can find it. I brought some poultices with me from the weyr, but they were gone almost immediately. What I have left are things for stomach aches and headaches. Which will do them good only if they actually use it." Followed by a short laugh. "My runner that my senior journeyman gave me to use is an old, slow nag that takes pleasure in a long, leisurely ride from point A to B. Not that I mind too much," Yukie isn't a complainer, here, "It gives me time to prepare and think along the way. The desert inspires as much beauty as it does hardship."

"It does," Tasena replies, easily back to a casual grin. "I used to think that about the ocean. Still do, I guess. The desert is like a different kind of ocean, though," she says, again squinting toward the waiting expanse as she starts to check her garb to make sure it's good before she moves on. "It's vast and uncaring, like the ocean. Alive if you know where and how to look. Unforgiving to the disrespectful and ill-prepared, but… beautiful. Both danger and allure can catch a person off-guard."

"Very eloquently stated," Yukie's agreement is quiet, as so much of the girl usually is. A tranquil soul at heart, the healer has a measured nod for that, though she's not unaware of their environment. "Perhaps we should walk a little further down, to the outpost. I've been staying there, and the Innkeeper," for even this far afield, they have establishments for rest, "has been such a dear. His wife had made some of the most amazing meals for such little ingredients they have available." Not worried for her own safety — she's much more concerned for the people, which will probably one day be her undoing — she isn't immune to potential dangers, taking the first steps away. "I love absorbing nature, the good and the bad. It's like soaking up all the colors of the rainbow into your skin and find yourself wholly, completely alive."

"I know the one," Tasena agrees, smiling as she also turns toward what counts as an inn here. "I don't usually stay over, but in a trade like mine, you always want to know the innkeeps," she drawls lightly, winking at Yukie as she starts to hitch up that scarf, just in case of gusts of sand. She likes her teeth the way they are, thanks. "I think in another life, I could have been a Harper. Like… chronicling all the people. Is 'chronicling' the right word?" she asks a moment later, looking sincerely at Yukie before she laughs. "Then again, maybe Harpering isn't for me." A few gritty footsteps later, however, she continues. "I've always loved how many different people there are. Different kinds of people. Different ways of life. Of thought. Of love and work and child rearing and… just all of it. Which is why it bugs me when people get closed-minded. There's so much! Why cut yourself off from it?"

"How is your trade going?" Yukie only knows the vague details of Tasena's trade, but her memory is spot on when it comes to what she does know. "Are you making progress?" It's a gentle query, sprung from a wellspring of tranquility and calm. The healer walks slowly down the road, winding the ends of her own cream colored scarf around her face that's sheltered by her hood. "I can't imagine not living a life completely. To completely experience what it means to be human, to be alive. So much exists to do, to see, to explore in this world that I cannot imagine throwing away half of what's out there in favor of… what, exactly? A narrow existence?"

Tasena shakes her head, though it's hard to see once she's also covered her face and head. "Some pretend feeling of security, I suppose. Or what they've come to believe as security, when it's really just hidebound fear. The worst kind, if you ask me." As they leave the shade briefly to approach the nearing inn, Tas tugs her hood down a little further. It's not that it's all that warm exactly, but setting sun is still sun, and the sand reflects it. "What bothers me so much about it is, so many of them just don't think. About any of it. They just do or believe what they're told. I don't know how to exist without questioning everything." As for her trade? Tasena taps the cover to her satchel and grins at Yukie, though the expression is only seen in the faint crinkle in the corners of her eyes. "I'm learning new things every day, so I'm going to say my trade is going well, thank you. Do you still get dirty looks from the misguided?"

"Everyone needs to find their own pathway through life. I would never want to live that narrowly, but for every person who's full of ideals there's just as many closeted in the dark. Each have their own inherent value," Yukie's words are gentle, tranquil. Her philosophy of life is difficult to pin down as her perspective is malleable to the desires of what other people want to be. Shown in the words that follow, "Each person has their own steps to walk, and who's to say how we would be if we walked in their shoes, eh?" She tilts a kind smile towards Tasena, the deep, limpid pools of her eyes far more solemn than the smile indicates. "Good. Learning keeps the mind sharp, and our lives interesting. Even the ones who scorn need help. It doesn't bother me." Not lip service from this healer, sincerity rings true. "If I can bring some measure of light to their darkness, then it would have been worth it."

"But," Tasena states, turning back to Yukie with another obvious grin showing in her eyes, "would they still be those same people if they knew more about their own potentials, knew just how many options are truly out there?" Here, her eyes narrow, twinkling, and she lets out a short laugh. She nods her head toward the inn as they draw nearer. "Speaking of light in darkness, let's go brighten the innkeep's day by buying a couple drinks before we move on. I wanted to leave them one of my latest concoctions, anyway." As the two disappear through the modest building's door, the desert goes right on doing what it does best, and soon even the faintest impression of their footprints blends back into the wash of sand.

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