Ephrem, M'tej, C'sei, Tyzana, Ryker, Nasrin, Josef, Diem, Kebra, Virgilio, R'xim, Korsan, Harriet, Raila


The funeral procession for Igen's infamous Mama Steen.


It is the fifty-eighth day of Spring and 86 degrees. Despite being clear, dry and sunny over the Weyr proper, a thunderstorm drenches the outer reaches of Igen's desert.


Around the Cistern

OOC Date 18 Mar 2016 04:00


Around the Cistern

The cisterns are the beating heart of the Bazaar, where life-giving water is drawn but more importantly where residents may come together to gossip. There's often a line at each and that provides ample opportunity to chat with one's neighbors. Children dash about over the cobblestones surrounding each immense well, firelizards swoop by overhead and laundry is often hung on racks on the periphery- still more excuse to linger and catch up on what's happening in Igen today.

Dusk is launching and the smell of rain is on the wind. Despite the fact deep-bellied clouds clot over the Weyr's head, the masses have come to see Mama Steen make the transition from this life to whatever awaits in the next. It isn't as if everyone loved her. There are the curious and the respectful: persona gratae attending from Ruatha, Greystones, and Igen River Hold. There are old rivals who honor an equal— and be sure she's really, truly, dead. And of course enough family to fill a stadium. Canvases and canopies have practically given the bazaar a ceiling though seldom are actually black; this is the mourning of a notable, local nobility not Blooded, but recorded in vitals nonetheless. A Steen mass circles the cistern, a few drops of water spared for the body under crisply white, locally woven, linen. Canines and firelizards are loose, hey those might even be goats. Call Onari.

Some may come to observe the final fall of one of the greats of the Bazaar, and some come with a certain curiosity that stems from the ennui of life. And some emerge from the shadows like terrified rodents, finally released from a prison they never knew they were in. For the fall of a head of the family certainly may yield a change in the rites of passage of others. Josef falls into none of these categories (thought he notes each 'type'), unless ennui passes for cool indifference. At the edges of whatever crowd forms, the young man leans against the corner of some building, carefully hidden from the full sight of Rukbat's lingering judgmental eye as she sweeps towards the horizon in favor of the Night, to watch the proceedings. Perhaps he intends to decipher a singular face in the masses or perhaps he is mere Observer to these foreign lands of grief, for no such emotion settles in icy blue gaze.

A tall, gaunt-edged man keeps 'round the edges, his knot of candidate white contrasting sharply with the jaded knowing that hoods grey-green gaze. "This is a fucking mob in the making," Ryker comments sotto-voiced as he pulls up to one of his erstwhile brethren, a man in the sharp lines of Igen guard. Low conversation ensues, two pairs of world-weary eyes scanning slow the nearby crowd.

ps: he sees you il'ian.

The she is a woman in the Smith craft and that is truly scandalous, Raila's charms make her a sought after companion for events such as these. She is turned out in attire befitting the event, dark eyes downcast, her hand on the arm of a third son of a distant Steen cousin. Her eyes dart up at the sharp language and down again, her shoulders square.

Tyzana's here for one reason and one reason only; because two Steens are part of the candidacy and she's giving support. Otherwise, she'd likely be found a long distance away from this particular moment in time, since she doesn't like the Pit. Too, it's always good to stay on the good sides of those who run the bazaar, and the Steens are a large part of that. So she's come in her best finery, which isn't very fine at all but clean and neat and prettily embroidered (likely by Tyzana's own hand) with a variety of brightly hued flowers around cuffs, neck and hem, standing quietly on her own as she waits for the assembly to start formally, her gray gaze shifting from one person to the next as they arrive from where she stands out of the way, a quiet observer herself.

Nasrin has gotten good at incognito, having borrowed Zingari garb from one of the other candidates. She has no desire to be recognized, her sole purpose: to respect her dead elders while avoiding her living ones.

Trailing behind a small group just arriving is Korsan, his head tilted so-slightly down with his light gaze shifting between those collecting in general survey. Inobvious, unobtrusive here, he never quite falls into the midst of the masses, slowly deliberate steps coming to pause to linger at the edges. Close enough to get wind of the goings-on, far enough to just as easily fade away again. Nothing of distinction is demonstrated in his expression, the neutrality of it a clean thing despite the dark stubble that lines it. Perhaps it's curiosity that brings him, or simply the essence of occassion, for he was only so briefly entwined in the Steen ventures and bares no signs of support nor grief for what this is.

Diem is present with her assistant, Perrin, who is standing as close as he can get to her. It's a large crowd that's arrived to pay their respects to the Steen matriarch and the weyrwoman is being watched like a hawk by her fellow dragonriders. She's dressed in formal riding leathers with her knot over her shoulder as one of the representatives of Weyr leadership, and close by is R'xim so he can keep an eye not only on her, but on the gathered Steens as well.

C'sei is there wearing whatever it is that C'sei wears on any other day of the turn. The greeenrider slips into the crowd, mildly curious to see the final show out of the Steen woman before she's gone for good. His arms cross over his chest and he doesn't exactly portray the image of a man looking to have a conversation. Not that that ever stops anyone, now or in the past. He moves from foot to foot, careful to avoid as much physical contact with other people as he can get away with.

Kebra is here. One amongst many with no real connection to the woman being honored nor the living Steens. Truly, the Candidate has no real, legitimate reason to be here. So he keeps quiet and off to the side, out of the way and hopefully out of the general view of mourners and supporters alike.

Yet another man, who could be native Igen with brawny bulk tempered by the need for endurance, swarthy skin and long black hair, drifts in as a bit of well-clad debris in the lethargic river of humanity that seems to ebb, flow and congeal around the cistern proper. Seems there's a small eddy around Tyzana, for the man pauses there, near the Candidate, and clears his throat lightly before addressing the tall young woman bearing the white knot, "Evening, Tyzana." The bass voice twines too many geographies into one accent. M'tej wears no knot, as his tendency when off duty. His clothes are tidy, hair braided and his belt boasts a formal dueling knife; perhaps his idea of 'dressing up'.

Ryker's gaze falls on C'sei and darkens all in the same moment; he gives his guard comrade one last quiet-voiced comment before making his purposed way through the crowd. Even with a mixed field of proud traders, the mass of humanity parts before the man. C'sei, he's coming for you~

Feroz, as eldest son, separates easily from the throng of robed women and clean-dressed men, and speaks from a portable dais, the symbol of the Steen house on its front sun-bleached. The bullish man needing no devices to help spread his voice, "I am not a man of very man words or, rather, good ones, but there's no one to critique me now," he means to be sad and a little wry, but does not wring too much humor. "My mother gave her best Turns to see our family prosper," he steers a look back to the hundred+ individuals behind him, "and we mean for that to continue. The Steen businesses and attractions will remain open and available to the public and we hope more will come." His thin hair blows like uneven cornsilk in the breeze. "Thank you all, and good fortune." His hands release the podium and the towering man is welcomed back into the Steen flock.

Ephrem is present, and not quite as incognito as his dearest sister, though he lingers on the outskirts of his large family. No candidate's knot is born on his shoulder today, for that would add insult to injury, and he is in the finest clothes that he had taken with him into the barracks. Though by birth rights and propriety he should be standing next to his father and mother during this time of mourning, he is far from the very core of the Steen heart and name-brand. His head is hooded, though the scarf hangs down, a thick pile of crisp, clean white about his neck, contrasting the sharp black of his tunic. He has no tears. He's hear as much to show family strength as to view Mama Steen's passing.

With little but the fringes upon which to play, Josef is no more an observer: though perhaps his eyes are caught on the Zingari-clad girl, yet do not linger. His purpose here is etched in one singular desire and that lies in enigmatic mystery. So he stands, living amongst the shadows whilst he waits.

C'sei is more or less aware of his surroundings, he has to be if he's going to prevent weirdos from bumping into him. Stepping aside for someone to pass, he finds himself glancing in Ryker's general direction. His eyes narrow instinctively, but he doesn't have any reason to think the candidate is coming to speak to him. So he turns away and faces Feroz, though there's a corner-glance being kept on the guard's approach. Suspicion.

Diem bows her head to show her respect when Feroz speaks of his mother's life. The Steens are a prosperous family in the Bazaar and she's aware of how much she owes them for their hospitality and forgiveness. The goldrider will forever strive to return to the Family's good graces and attending this service is a step in the right direction. That and she also wants to show respect to the candidates who are Steen family members. The crowd is practically shoulder-to-shoulder for this event and Diem finally lifts her gaze to spot the Weyrsecond and Perrin close by when the address is over.

All that is Goat is not always Onari. Onari is of the Loose Goat fame; Virgilio is one of the Bazaar's newer merchants, and his goats are only Mostly Loose. The man arrives, hurried pace carrying him from whatever was the latest mishap to accompany too many caprines in too small a space toward this event. A man who wants to make his business in this Bazaar, better make the funeral of one of the leading Bazaar families a priority. And so, in the only clean clothes he could muster, the goat-herd and cheesemaker slows his pace as he spies the edges of the crowd. Two days-old green lizards each claim one of each of his shoulders. Forgive him if the man is distracted by the loose goat — Ah! Not one of his!

Kebra's head is bowed as a showing of respect. He shifts occasionally, attempting to keep on that fringe while searching for the two Steen candidates. he's at least able to spot Ephrem. He's not so fortunate in spotting Nasrin. But if he manages to catch Ephrem's eye, there's a little nod and… well, not a whole lot else. But he's hopefully able to convey enough with that nod to show /some/ support to the younger boy.

Four men in long tunics each secure a corner of the platform carrying the Steen Matriarch, a single desert rose marking the middle. The lovers of the macabre will get no glimpse of the old woman. After a Turn packed in salt and aromatic spices and balms, hell, few would want to. There's no line of order to the stream of people flowing through the bazaar alleys and streets really, though the most important will stay nearest the body. Children scamp ahead of the procession, one of them pausing to pound a loose cobblestone back into the ground with the heel of a sandal.

Ryker keeps going, until he pulls abreast of C'sei's location. He stands in silence to hear Feroz' speech, continues his scanning of the crowds. Just standing there. Minding his own business. Probably inside C'sei's personal space bubble. He reaches up one hand to wedge a thumbnail between two teeth, and his watchful attention follows - too bored to be rapt, too keen to be laconic - the procession.

C'sei's personal space bubble is a sacred affair and a person has to pass many tests to be allowed inside of it freely. Ryker hasn't passed any of these tests and in truth, the greenrider probably doesn't like him very much. He keeps that side-glance on him, suspicious and ill at ease. There's a clearing of his throat and when a space opens up next to him, steps inside of it. There some breathing room. His shoulders relax.

"Oh, excuse me." It's Ryker's voice. And then that side-step closer to C'sei, closing that gap adroitly. Still doesn't look at him, though. Nothing to see here. These are not the droids you are looking for~

In the orbit of mourners pressing close to the old barracuda by ranking, Raila, via the man she accompanies, is somewhere between Jupiter and Saturn. Probably it's more proximate to Uranus, but some folks can't be trusted to let that simply lie.

Feroz's speech was succinct and business-orientated, no real surprise to Ephrem, though he does grimace in the midst of it. Though not the shiest of sorts, the incredible crowd that's turned out for the funeral has the boy shifting from one foot to the other, uncomfortable and anxious. He tries to catch a glimpse of his father and idol through the throng of Steen backs that are turned to him, but though he has a general idea of where he stands, he is unsuccessful. He moves with the mob as Mama Steen is carried. Just happening to catch glimpse of Kebra looking towards him, he blinks uncertainly before nodding in return. His hands fist against the hem of his clothes, wrinkling up the stiff material.

Nasrin is not particularly tall so her vision field is limited to what's at a distance. She does perform a single skyward hop to gain a second's worth of perspective, and catches the sight of her great aunt. The navy blue and orange embroidery mark her as a trader, perhaps traitor. It's good Ephrem and the rest of her loved ones are close but, ah, the freedom of anonymity.

Tyzana's concentration is on the formalities at hand; otherwise, her face would likely light when Virgilio makes an appearance. Alas, she's stopped paying attention to arrivals in lieu of watching the actual funerary process. Her inner thoughts on the morbidity of the situation are not so inner, perhaps; her discomfort in being in proximity with a woman long dead is writ large on her face as she keeps pace with the crowd. She's more of a bury em immediately type.

Crowd-lovers hark and be miserable: there is no funeral feast to be had. Some lament the lost prospect of a good meal, attributing the decision to Steen penny-pinching. But where there's a mob, there's opportunity: several vendors, some portable, selling sun-dried meat, weak wine, and balls of sweet rivergrains. In all actuality the family members will be fasting, or those with willpower and/or angry mothers to remind them.

C'sei turns and frowns at Ryker, displeasure evident on his expression when the man moves closer to him again. Once more, when space opens, the greenrider steps into it. Surely it was a coincidence last time.

Maybe it is the crush or maybe it is the fact that so many are gathered; whatever the reason, Josef begins slowly extricating himself from the mill, moving away from his encapsulated shadows towards the very empty alleyways that beckon. To that end, perhaps he passes a few faces, but this will soon be his exit.

Finally ambling to a halt, Virgilio stakes himself a place near the edge. To see and be seen. His arms cross his chest lightly and blue regard scans both the ceremonial proceedings as well as the attendees. There, the new Junior Weyrwoman. There, the Candidates being regarded with both pride and jealousy. There, Steens (and more Steens and more and more Steens!). Virgilio gives himself over to study of the other notable houses, and their strategic positions, within the crowd. It's a game to the old (?) player; rustling only came second to his own seedy family's original nefarious activities.

"You'd think," Ryker comments to the air — there is absolutely no way he's talking to C'sei — "That given the proximity of the Weyr proper, they'd enjoy the benefit of ::between:: rather than…" C'sei steps aside again and Ryker turns with (feigned?) anger to someone suddenly blustering into him. "Excuse me." The cold way he says it really says excuse you, but it's C'sei's wrist that his shirtcuff is casually tickling when he invades space again. ps probably going to get us mauled by that comment ilu boo

Excellent. M'tej has striven for invisibility for turns. The brownrider straightens with something of a smug, amused expression dancing in soul-dark regard. He remains right next to Tyzana, perhaps to see how long the manifestation of this new power will last. It's a good place to watch, anyway. The details of this funeral ritual are lost on him, but will provide conversation fodder for later poker games.

Since he's not speaking to him, C'sei doesn't answer. Though he does cast a look around the crowd to see if anyone overheard that comment. He truly doesn't want to be associated with any shenanigans that are going to get him beat up. The candidate touches him and he holds up his hands and growls a quiet, "Don't touch me." meant for the candidate's ears only as he, this time, purposely shoulders the person next to him get more space.

It became public knowledge that after Mama Steen died, one of her grandsons, Saleh, was handpicked for a Turn to take over the management of the Pit. As those family members most closely related converse, the topic of the Pit's administration is a hot-topic. Not a well-timed affair, but seeing as how everyone is together… "…I don't understand, the books are spotless, Mandeo knows! Business is consistent, and on many occasions it's…" Saleh is flushed and his short beard practically frames the redness. Some words are lost to background buzz. Feroz is a quiet giant, but looks to his brother, Saleh's father, with a certain grim fatigue. "What?" Saleh knows there's an unwritten language they're fluent in, but cannot translate their thoughts. His father finally wrests control. "Because you're marrying an Akzhan." And cue the pipe organ music.

Coincidence is just God's way of staying anonymous, C'sei, because this time Ryker DOES get bulled off by probably the one kind of person he wouldn't bull back at: an elderly woman leaning heavily on a stick. In his hurry to evade the old-woman-cooties, his shoulders jostle toward the greenrider in a probably shock of impact. He's too far away to hear any of this enlightened Steen conversation anyhow.

Needle-scrreeeaaaatttcchhhh. Silence.

C'sei doesn't know the difference, it's touching or it's not touching. And this was touching. He pushes Ryker away from him this time, other people be damned.

…echoing. "Akzhan… zhan… han…"

Maybe Kebra hears the first murmur. Maybe it's an echo he hears. Whatever the course, he's not versed enough in Igen to know what to do with it. And, he's stepping back even more. Eventually he'll reach the end of the crowd. And from there, well, it's not -here- with politics and bodies and mourners. There's a certain perplexed expression he can't hide, either. One that speaks of deeper thoughts not quite reserved for funerals.

"Hey now," Ryker rounds 'back around towards C'sei with affront drawing his brow down and bulling his expression. "What'd I ever do to you?"

Unassuming in the crowd but for the bright blonde hair that's escaped her head covering, having been focusing with faint dissaproval on the drama playing out before her at a Very Serious ceremony no less, Harriet is more than enough Steen that her hand flies to her cover her mouth in horror at the family revelation.

Ephrem hadn't heard the main of the conversation, but it turns into juicy gossip as names echo amongst the Steen crowd, and eventually makes it to the boy. He stands a little straighter, confused. "Akzhan? What about them?". The truth, or likely some twisted version of the truth by this far down the rumour mill, is presented to him, but…it only draws a frown. He is to young to /really/ care about such matters, though news of how it would effect his favorite haunt, the Pit, do concern him.

"You're getting in my space." C'sei deadpans.

Eventually, the macabre loses it's grip on Tyzana's attention - it wasn't strong in the first place, after all. Which is right about the time that she realizes she knows the man pacing next to her, and also realizes that he probably spoke to her earlier and she missed it. She gives M'tej an uncertain smile. "Sir? How long have I been ignoring you?" Because she's pretty sure she has been. She flushes due to this, her dismay clear "I'm sorry. There's just so much." She waves a hand. "I…" she really can't explain it, except she just didn't hear him, the sneaky brownrider!

Saleh's first reaction is to laugh, a harsh sort of sound that summarizes his confusion. "What does anything have to do with Giana?" One of Saleh's cousins contributes: "Because New Akzhans don't have any place around the Pit or any Steen." No one can really note who tackled whom or whether the first punch actually landed. As the dearly beloved dead makes her way out to the Weyr's bowl where a pyre awaits in open desert, her issue are squabbling and putting blood in the sand. A fitting tribute.


Korsan turns his attention from that people-watching avenue only when the Matriarch is carried past, though he loses sight of the procession quickly enough with the distance he keeps. Removed, and sporting no telltale knot amidst this particular event, the seaman leans lightly against the wall he's decided to stay beside. The folding of his arms across his chest comes in time with the conversation he can't hear from his distance, but the abrupt silence stills the motion for a beat before its then otherwise unbothered completion. It's probably not the appropriate reaction that the pirate's expression flinches in the hint of a smirk, though surely bazaar relationships could mean little to him.

"It's a tight crowd," Ryker returns, defiance in a bared-teeth smile.

Some Bazaarfolk love to watch a good brawl. Some love to join in. Harriet is neither of these, and seeing the violence spark up, she pulls her headscarf up a bit more firmly and tries to thread her way out of that tight crowd.

"Go be tight with someone else." Or else. C'sei's tone would imply.

"Oh," M'tej hears Tyzana and makes a show of glancing at the position of Rukbat in the sky, and the length of the shadows cast by the distant volcano, "Nigh well on forever. Did I dance badly? Step on your toes a few times too often, ma'am?" M'tej's grin flashes at the woman, with a wink. "Or are you hoping for young fellow to come along? Or —wait —Candidate," M'tej's tones express surprise, though he knew full well she was a Candidate already, "A dragon, right? And, admittedly, I have been called quite a few things in my life, but never a dragon." He winks at the flustered woman, "S'alright. Are you familiar with the business here, with the turn-wait to bury the matriarch?" M'tej follows gentle teasing with a more serious subject; give Tyzana her pick of items to respond to.

"Or I could just be tight with you, dragonman." Ryker's voice has dropped a register, and there's no veil over the open threat of his words.

To be fair, and safe (no candidates were harmed in the making of this RP), the throng of hundreds is not all engaged in mortal combat. A pocket of less than dozen young men, and a few of their fathers, knot up the tail of the procession now centered outside of the bazaar. Beyond, smoke will soon be on the horizon, hastened with oil before the rains come. And come they do, a final gift of Mama Steen: tears that more aren't fighting for their namesake.

"I'd like to see you try it." C'sei crosses his arms over his chest, he'll be here waiting.

Virgilio is behaving. He's a reformed man, after nearly having been killed by pursuing dragonmen on one of the Last Great Escapades of the Rustler era, than you very much. He stands, in fact, in the middle of a bunch of other well-behaved, respectable types, looking staunch and sober and.. Well… Perhaps that respectability will rub off on the novice goat-herder.

Ryker l-e-a-n-s forward, until he's close enough to kill or kiss, take your pick: "Where I come from, there is no try." Do or DO NOT.

"I feel horrible. You probably thought I was doing it apurpose, but I honestly didn't see you." Tyzana's tone and expression are both anxious; to please, to apologize, to not offend, your choice. "You danced wonderfully, Sir. One of the best nights of my life, even if my feet were sore the next day.." She laughs then "And not from you stepping on them. I about wore out my shoes, though." And her feet! "And yes, I've been searched," she adds, expression turning pleased now that it's clear he doesn't take offense at her ignoring him. "All I know about this," she indicates the procession "Is that they're finally burying the old woman." A grotesque tradition, to be sure "Though she's been dead for a while."

Ephrem catches word of the fighting, and various family and spectator reactions to such, but he can't see past the throng to actually witness it himself. Well.. He's done his part for this spectacle, and no one is going to notice him as he starts edging his way out of the pocket of family that he's close enough, and soon enough takes a mostly empty, narrow side-alley. Sucking in a deep breath of cooling night air, he shakes his head, muttering to himself before he makes the long trek back to the barracks by foot.

"We must come from the same place." Then C'sei sucker punches Ryker in the face.

As people begin to move about and a dull murmuring settles over the assembled crowd, R'xim makes his way over to Diem and takes hold of her elbow. "We're getting out of here before anymore weird shit happens." Diem blinks up at the bronzerider and is escorted away from the cistern after the Steens funnel out of the area and into the procession. Perrin is quick to follow leadership's heels as both R'xim and Diem make their way back to the sands where the Weyrsecond will deposit the weyrwoman safely… so Mayte doesn't yell at either of them~

One minute, you're standing up, nbd, picking fights with asshole greenriders, day-as-normal. Then you're reeling backwards. It's about now that Ryker's abandoned once-fellow-guard comes to save him from landing up on his ass, because a sucker-punch from a guy C'sei's size is going to put someone on their ass, even when the target is as trained as Ryker. "What the FU…" dge. The guard's voice trails off as C'sei's knot is spotted. Shit.

C'sei nods once, satisfied with the results of his turn at physical violence. He's a little uncertain when the other guard shows up, because he might be big but he's not the Incredible Hulk or anything. He steps back, totally willing to walk away unless something else happens.

M'tej grins at Tyzana, though he takes note of the departing goldrider entourage. Then, like the proverbial tunnelsnake to unguarded firelizard eggs, M'tej hears the distinctive thud of fist on flesh, and he entire demeanor sharpens with avid interest, tension sliding through his frame as he takes advantage of his meager height advantage and scans the crowd for the tale-tell forking of humanity to create a breach, a breath, a space for a fight.

Korsan lets his arms fall back to his sides, his light gaze lingering on the throng that battles in the wake of the wake, and even longer on the familiar candidate that earns himself that suckerpunch. But he'd not follow to be witness to the pyre itself or wait for the outcome of the latter, instead shifting to turn back, shoulder scratching softly against the corner he was keeping upright. Whatever dark amusement he'd garnered from either situation has not fully left him, but the tip of his head and exit back towards the Weyr proper shields whatever remains of it.

Raila gasps, hand clutching her escort's arm. She didn't see or hear the beginning of the fight but flinches away. "Oh!" Pearlclutch! She digs in her heels and unless he follows her (he does) she'll be beating feet away! The best way to not get hit! Don't be there!

Ryker's reeling a hot minute, but straightens with a stagger and a shake of his head. "I'm fine, I'm fine." He's going to have one hell of a shiner in no time at all. He narrows his eyes at C'sei (or at least the one that isn't already swelling at an alarming rate): "This isn't over." Whatever the fuck this was.

And then Ryker walks away like a little bitch, 'cause that's the responsible thing to do. :(

Harsh words and slaps of their own are enough to bring sense back to the fighters. "Get a hold of yourselves!" Saleh, wiping blood onto a vest, collects his soon-to-be wife. "Get to the Pit and see to it he doesn't go there alone." Sabotage? A woman for a business? There are New Akzhans with blood on their hands as well, and it just might be the bad kind. Their forgiveness often comes with a price tag. As night thickens, the smoke from the funeral pyre will hang black in the air outside the Weyr, eventually fading like the ashes into the sand and wind. Mama Steen's watching, yo. In the air you breathe, the sand underfoot.

Tyzana is blissfully unaware of any of the fighting going on at the back of the procession; but she is privy to the site of Ryker getting KO'd by C'sei. Her eyes widen, since she recognizes both; she gasps, horrified, because…"Should a rider do that to a candidate?" And, vice versa? Obviously, she missed out on some of the rules of engagement, here. "M'tej? Sir? Is that supposed to happen?"

Stiff with offended sensibilities, Harriet easily slips out of the crowd. Once free of most of the crush, she takes a moment to watch the column of Mama Steen ascending before turning her back once more and making her way back to the Weyr proper.

Her mentor-for-the-moment grins at Tyzana. "Merry! Not sure what the rules are here. I'd say 'no', in a general sense, but who knows what the situation is. I don't know either of those fellows." M'tej glances back at C'sei, and marks the visage of the Candidate who got punched, not-withstanding that the young man will be noticeable for at least a good sevenday, when the bruise fades. "Might be interesting to find out, though, that story. So why do they not bury her for a year, then burn her? Is that a trader thing or something peculiar to the Steens?" The question asked, M'tej continues to watch the rider and Candidate for another few moments, rather than smoke or pyre.

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