Who

A'dan, Pim, Veresch

What

An evening at the Cantina manifests gender politics and missing Candidates.

When

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

Where

Dustbowl Cantina

OOC Date

 

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Dustbowl Cantina

To enter the Dustbowl Cantina is to descend: the heart of the ancient tavern lies half underground, at the foot of ancient steps, insulated from summer heat and winter cold by the volcanic rock surrounding it. A windowless place well-lit by glows, it is homey, even cozy, with a certain bijou charm - but for the deep gouges worn in wooden table and solid stone, some clearly lingering evidence of boisterous brawling. The wall behind the well-polished bar, though, remains free from scars or graffiti, as does the door into the small kitchen, and the stairwell up into the owner's quarters: the barkeep and his staff reign, and they guard their territory well. After all, only a fool angers the source of the booze.


After dinner, and the place is bustling, with everyone from carousers to those genuinely in the mood to unwind after a long day. It leaves the seats packed almost to capacity, and the waitstaff are bustling back and forth. In one of the back corners, closer to the bar, there's a messenger perched at one of the tables, with empty chairs around it, and her feet snugged up on her own in that bendy-body fashion teens can pull off so well. There are lines of exhaustion on her face though, and she's poking at her mug with a fingertip more often than she's drinking from it. Off towards the front, an intense corner of betting: who'll impress, what'll pop out of the eggs, so on.

With her hair pulled back into a messy tail, Pim's arrival is rather unremarkable. She glances to the betting, to some of the louder voices, but overall, the guard recruit seems disinterested in much of anything but her path to the bar. The drink she takes away is lacking alcohol, however. A spicy tea to settle in with. Right after she finds somewhere to sit. Apparently next to the teenage girl seems like a good place because that's where Pim goes, slipping into a seat without so much as a how do you do.

A'dan arrives at the common room, nodding to the bouncer and shouldering into the throng, head swinging back and forth, light eyes narrowed. In search. And woebetide the object of his search when he finds 'em. The assistant weyrlingmaster is wearing dun colored robes, warm against the early Spring chill. He pauses to speak with a barmaid who shakes her head and moves along through the crowd. Pressing further in he comes upon Veresch's table. He eyes the empty chairs suspiciously. "Veresch," he rumbles. He pauses in the relative openness of the unoccupied area to peer intently around the room.

Mmh. "Hi," Veresch mutters towards the blonde that slips in without a by-your-leave; one eye even slips open all the way, just for a moment, before her attention turns to the mug. "Weird, isn't it? How a little betting can make 'em forget all about a female guard walking in." The thought makes sense in her head; there's little indication she's drunk, and the mug is still mostly full. She's about to take a sip as A'dan arrives; there's startlement, and she barely manages to swallow. "A'dan," she greets warily. "D'you want to sit?" Her gaze flickers to Pim. "This is … uh. Guardswoman…"

"Recruit," says Pim like it's a toootally different, less real thing. A different, less real thing that she's not entirely thrilled with. But she does glance over toward the betting again, thoughtful, before her attention draws back to the rider that arrives. Or, more accurately, Veresch's reaction to his arrival. "Pim," she offers the name that the other young woman is prompting for but adds, "You don't have to say Guardswoman like I'm weird and different, you know. Anyway, just a recruit."

A'dan's withering gaze falls fully on the teen. "It's late." Eyes move to the mug, its contents, back to the teen, a weighing look. Then onto the recruit. The glower isn't softened particularly, as the young woman is identified as a recruit, it really doesn't change much at all, apart from another weighing look. He scans the crowd again. Without looking down, "How's that going?" The tone is flat, though the slight emphasis on going makes it a genuine inquiry.

"I was trying to be polite," Veresch manages to drawl out. "Besides, you're certainly not a guardsman. Pleased t'met you, Pim. I'm Veresch. Messenger." Her one-eyed gaze drops over the woman's more feminine attributes before she takes another sip. See? Not a man. Another sip is knocked back before she reaches out to tug at A'dan's robe. "For Faranth's sake, just sit down please, sir? You're looming. Everyone's going to notice you." There's a suspicious look up that tall, pretty frame. "I know it's late. What's going on?"

Pim just glowers back at the rider. It's nothing personal, of course, it's probably just all men. "It's going fantastically." She voice is think with sarcasm but whether it's because of how it's actually going or because she just doesn't want to talk to the guy about it is less clear. "I can be every bit a guardsman as any of them," she continues somewhat more pleasantly to Veresch. "Just cause I have an innie instead of an outie doesn't mean I need to be called something different. They don't call lady riders 'lady riders.'"

At the tug on his robes, A'dan's head swivels to Veresch, pinning her with a look. He holds her gaze until she turns loose, eyes returning to his scouring perusal of the room, "This isn't a social call." The intent look drops to Pim. His mouth flattens at her tone, eyes narrowing briefly, then returning to the crowd, "You'd think just 'guard' would suffice." All these female recruits with their chips. Tiresome.

That makes Veresch smile languidly. "I think you just did," she points out idly. "Call them lady riders, that is." Vindication! "But yeah, I'll remember for future reference." There's a moment of shocked hurt at the scowl, and her hand drops the fold of robe like it's burnt her. "What crawled…" No, Veresch. Drink. Don't insult the surly rider man. She fits deed to though, taking a deep sip of her drink, before focusing her eyes intently on Pim. "Are you enjoying it so far?" she asks at length. "The guarding. I've only met one other one — Cleora."

"You'd think," agrees the scrappy blonde with that tone again. Pim eyes the rider up and down, at least as much as she can with the table in the way, critical, then turns her attention with deliberate intensity onto Veresch. "Oh, people like him," she points at A'dan without looking away from the teen, "try to make sure we don't enjoy it. But it's not going to stop us." She has a big smile before she's leaning back into her seat and sipping at her tea. "I think they're scared we might be good at it."

"I got word of a Candidate in here." Being here wasn't against the rules, and there were, in fact, legitimate reasons to be at the Cantina. A'dan was there to suss it out. "If you see him, let me know," delivered quietly to Veresch and Pim. So, it's a him. What this 'him' was doing in the Cantina was anyone's guess. He hasn't introduced himself, "A'dan, bronze Narloth's." He blinks at Pim's off-handed throwing of him and everyone 'like him' (whatever that meant) under the wagon. "Recruit," he rumbles, "Veresch." With a bow that's more a sharpening of his looming, the bronzerider pushes off into the crowd towards the betters.

Veresch's face twitches a little at the mention of a Candidate in the wild, and there's a jerky nod for the request. She waits until A'dan's away before slowly slugging back the rest of her mug. "He's generally nice," she finally mutters to Pim. "But he's being such an ass tonight. Dunno why Candidates can't drink either." The mug goes away, prompted off by a fingertip, and she settles in for a nice, long staring-match with Pim. "D'you do that whole swinging-nightstick thing and swagger down the streets too? Seen some of the guys do it. An' then hitch up their pants and spit."

Pim watches after the bronzerider for a moment without looking particularly impressed. Thoughtful, maybe, but not impressed. "They're usually only nice when they want things," she tells the younger girl like this is knowledge she ought to take to heart and call upon often. "Can't they?" About drinking, presumably. Pim can't pretend to know much about the process. "I don't really drink, myself. And I don't do that, either. Not so preoccupied with dick-shaped objects as some of them seem to be." She's probably talking about the nightstick swinging.

"Think it's forbidden or something. Don't know." Veresch turns to wave down one of the barmaids, handing over the mug and muttering a request for a refill. Her glance cuts across to the loud bits in front, watching A'dan swirl away for a moment before she props one hand up on a chin. "See that guy back there, left corner, the one with the faded blue shirt?" she asks idly. "Third time now he's splashed his drink on the floor, and the others aren't noticing." There's barely a flicker of interest at the mention of phallic objects. "Boys," is her only comment before her voice turns admiring. "He's good at pretending to be drunk though, I'm betting someone's gonna find a sharp time in an alley from him tonight, and a lighter purse."

She looks at the indicated faded blue shirt, leaning forward to set her mug on the table after another sip and then propping up her chin in her hand. "Why are you telling me?" asks Pim, absently. Then she adds, "Maybe he just needs some company to keep him distracted. He can't be that desperate if he's spilling his drinks on the floor." And Pim might only be feigning disinterest, though it's possible she's more interested in Veresch noticing the man than the man himself.

Veresch's eyes flick sideway with annoyance. "Because I found it interesting, and you're a guard? If he were just in the mood for company, he'd not be spilling his marks like that, let along his drinks. An' he's laughing too loudly." The observation lessons are paying off, at least. "People are kind of fascinating," she observes. "If you want to walk like a guy, it's not just holding your hips straight and pretending you've got a dick. Its like their hips are wired differently." A long silence falls. "And I'm telling you because you sat down here, The nattering goes with the seat."

"Recruit," says Pim absently like she's getting used to pointing this out. "I was being facetious. I'm sure he's up to no good. Just like every other guy in here." The rest makes the blonde 'ugh' under her breath and sit back in her seat heavily. "I don't want to be one of them. I like being a woman. I'm proud to be a woman. I just… don't want it to matter that I'm a woman. It shouldn't." Her gaze breaks away from the faded shirt guy to look at Veresch as if wondering whether that even makes sense to the girl.

That's enough to draw Veresch's attention back. "So you have tits and an innie, so what?" she mumbles, taking a swig of her drink. "Until they learn that you're as good as them, they're going to be like this, I think. At least you're… you know. All there." She salutes Pim's evident figure with her mug, leaning back into her chair. "That one guard is nice. Rhiex? Doesn't seem like he's the type to worry that there are girls on his watch. The others'll come around once you pound 'em hard enough to drag them to the guardhouse, and the women must be glad, right? You know, to see female faces in that uniform."

The look Pim gives Veresch now is a little less friendly. Not unfriendly, really, but annoyed. Possibly frustrated. "I'm not stupid. I know, okay? I don't need some kid lecturing me about what I already know." She looks even more annoyed at the mention of Rhiex. "That boy isn't right in the head. Acts like an old gelding." There's just no pleasing her, apparently. "Look, it was nice meeting you, but I think I'll let you get back to your people-watching." Pim picks up her mug and starts to rise with a polite smile offered to the younger girl.

The girl blinks, sighs, nods. Clearly there's still a lot she need to learn about reading people. "I'm not a kid. I'm fifteen. Have a nice night," she gets out mildly. "And if you do have a chance to see him again, please tell him I said thanks for the fruit pastry. It made the bread go down a lot better." Scooting Pim's chair back in with a foot, she gives a dip of her head in farewell.

"Sure," says Pim like it's probably more likely that she'll forget. Maybe she won't. "You, too. Stay out of trouble." And then she's headed off in faded shirt's direction, all swaying hips and smiles, setting her mug down along the way so she has both hands free to convince him oh so nicely that he should totally come with her and let her do horrible things to him. Probably she leaves out that they might actually be bad horrible instead of good horrible.

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