Va'os, Amani, Mayte, D'wane


Henceforth all Weyrleadery meetings will now take place in the Kitten.

This time on Deaths of our Lives


It is evening of the seventh day of the eighth month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.


The Tipsy Kitten

OOC Date 31 Mar 2018 06:00



This time on 'Deaths of our Lives'


The Tipsy Kitten

Here there be drunkards: a marble bar and the gorgeous array of colored bottles behind it would be enough to draw them in, but more yet lures those to enjoy the recreation the Kitten has to offer. Windows allow light to naturally illuminate the first floor of the tavern in the daytime, while green-tinted glows shine after nightfall. A door behind the bar leads to the tiny kitchen, while a stairway leads above to the rooms available for rent. Among the hubbub and the ruckus, a calamity of tables scatter through the open space, plenty enough for dragonpoker tournaments on restday eve.

The Living Caverns are not a happy place tonight, not that there has been a large amount of cheer going about the Weyr in general since the storm and the plague and all that general not-fun stuff that's been happening. But taking away all sweets and butter and bread and leaving just vegetables and meat, well… not everybody is happy about it. Luckily, the Kitten has been spared such ration orders for the moment and the beer still flows or they might have an actual riot on their hands. Work done for the day, or at least enough that he can duck away and things not crumble completely, D'wane ducks in to the Kitten and heads straight for the bar to order a whole pitcher of ale. It looks like he might have to stand and drink, but then an awkward little table tucked in the back out of sight of most opens up. Someone else also starts making a bee-line for the empty table, but he's not going to hesitate at all in claiming it for himself. #sorrynotsorry random bluerider. Go find your own table.

Apparently Mayte brings bad luck wherever she goes. She wanders in to the Kitten with a folder in hand, opened and peering through the contents, while careening through the crowd and chairs. For a moment, Mayte lifts her head to peer around, spotting the same table that D'wane does and heading thusly in that direction. The bluerider, if she had any questions about D'wane, spots Mayte and evacuates for another table. Maybe outside. Mayte's nose, however, is in the file-folder and she's so distractedly pulling out a chair while still reading. Until she pauses and looks up, and up at D'wane: "Oh. Hey, D'wane. Were you sitting here?"

From a certain perspective, this is all Amani's fault. Or Amani and Alyna's fault. Fortunately, that perspective is limited and not too widespread. People can grumble all they want, but until the tunnelsnake poison is moved somewhere more secure and the sweetener is all switched out, at least no one else is going to die because of this. Still, the junior Weyrwoman can't help feeling a bit self-conscious as she walks into the Kitten and notes just how full it is. She orders a drink herself, a concoction of mango, rum, and ice, and doesn't bother trying to find a table. She does, however, see D'wane and Mayte and drifts toward that table as well, just in time to hear Mayte's question. "I think he is sitting here," she notes with a smirk, taking a considerable pull from her glass and remaining on her feet for the moment.

At least they're not back to eating bugs? It could be worse than just vegetables and meat! Va'os has been frequenting the Kitten more and more of late, but it's old news that the Weyrleader is often drinking when duties don't require his complete sobriety. Be it in the tavern, caverns, war room, council room, his weyr… doesn't matter! He'll skip ordering at the bar and instead zero in on D'wane when he spots the Weyrsecond beating out a bluerider to one of the last tables available. Ahh, the perks of rank! He'll spot Mayte about a half beat later, then Amani as well and he almost turns and veers away to hopefully disappear unnoticed but decides against it. Too late to change his mind now and his path continues forward. "Mind another?" he asks, grinning as he just takes the last empty chair. Even if he's wondering if he'll regret it later!

D'wane isn't too afraid of Mayte. He's at least not going to vacate his table at her mere arrival, although maybe the bluerider was the smarter one. "My ass hasn't gotten that big that I need two seats. You're welcome to that one." And he'll continue sitting in his, as Amani did point out. The arrival of the second goldrider and then Va'os has him raising an eyebrow. "Was there a meeting I missed a memo on or something?" And it's a good thing that pitcher happened to come with multiple glasses, even if he wasn't planning on sharing originally. Since Va'os doesn't seem to have a drink, D'wane will hold out an empty glass in an offer.

You know who appreciates a smart-ass, Amani? Mayte. She wrinkles her nose a bit at the other goldrider and plops into one of the seat D'wane's ass isn't occupying. A waitress squirms by through the crowd and Mayte asks for a pint of not-what-D'wane-brought. She looks up at Va'os' voice and snickers, "Nah, but maybe we should move our meetings here?" Closing her folder and setting it primly on her knees, Mayte snickers a little at D'wane: "Even with all that bacon?" It's teasing! Teasing, right?

It's probably safe to assume Amani has learned this by now, which is why she seems fine with sassing Mayte with a little smart-assery. She grins a bit at the notion of meetings being in the Kitten, almost giving herself a brain-freeze on another long pull from her drink. "The bacon is half of what makes the meetings bearable." She'll own up to being all about the bacon; it also helps when she's feeling prickly at the man who brings it. "And at least we can eat as much of that as we want right now."

Va'os won't be against mooching off of D'wane's pitcher of ale and gives an appreciative grin to the bronzerider. He'll buy the next one, honest! The offered glass is taken, though he leaves the pouring to the Weyrsecond because he's distracted soon enough by the conversation as his gaze darts to Mayte. "Hey, I wouldn't complain if they were! Heard L'xan often did his work here. Just sayin'!" He may be coming off as in a good mood and joking, but his eyes carry a hint of weary exhaustion. At least he seems whole and healthy again? "You make that seem like it's a punishment, Amani!"

To be fair, D'wane and Va'os have probably brought each other enough rounds at this point that it'd be impossible to keep track of whose turn it actually is to buy. Sharing is caring, okay? And he will indeed pour the drink neatly before sliding it on over. Almost like he's actually worked in a bar before instead of just drinking in them almost constantly. "Hey, the bacon did work to get the refugees out." Bacon can solve problems! That's his story and he's sticking to it, although he's going to abruptly switch his focus over towards Amani, no hint of smile now as she brings up eating. "About that… got something you want to share with the rest of the class, Amani?" Maybe about what all happened since whatever message was passed on this morning about the new measures in the caverns.

Mayte tips her head thoughtfully in Amani's direction: "Well. The good cooked stuff. Bad bacon," and here she holds two fingers up D'wane-wards as if pinching an imaginary slice of limp bacon and flapping it up and down, "is just weird." Her pint ariving is enough to distract Mayte for a moment or two before turning to Va'os with a beer-stache from her long sip: "And there's a reason why I keep having to re-write most of his paperwork." An elegant scrawl, it is not, per Mayte. She's even about to contribute more ideas but she turns to Amani instead: "Have you found anything new?"

"How?" Is she making it sound like a punishment, that is. There's nothing but enthusiasm for the bacon coming from Amani's corner! As for what else has gone on with the whole poisoned sweetener thing… "Nothing new, no. Alyna and the baker apprentices got everything cleared out of the caverns and Nighthearth. No one's come after the bait Alyna left in the stores yet, either, but we'll know if someone does. And Laeiva is being…very hard to pin down. I've been trying to reach her all day with no response. Elonoora reminded me about Laeiva having family among the people who were in the barracks…and I can't help but wonder if it's tied in somehow."

Va'os has his turn to snicker for Mayte's mimed flapping of bad-cooked bacon and he'll raise his glass to D'wane in thanks for the pour. Mid sip, he'll only shrug to Amani for her prompt of 'how' but he never explains. Because the conversation takes a sobering, serious turn and he frowns. "Not sure if I'm liking how suspicious that's sounding…" he mutters in concern of Laeiva being unreachable and the discovery in the stores. Grimacing, he'll scrub a thumb along the curve of his jaw in thought. "I asked R'zel if he could look into getting a start on gathering and compiling those who fell ill. When, how many. I'd get the reports but they're separated among the Wings. Figured if we had something whole… Maybe there's a pattern? Or at least some way to trace backwards. 'Cause now, I'm really starting to wonder," He darts a look to D'wane. "If it was coincidence that three Jaguar riders went down, as well as the Guards, not long after we turfed the refugees."

D'wane doesn't quite no how to feel about Mayte's flapping of limp bacon. He just shakes his head and takes a sip of his drink. "You gotta get the crispy stuff." Near burnt bits might be his favorite, but not actually burnt. He bites on his lip as Amani elaborates a bit on the activities of the day, and then Va'os says his bit as well. He gives a rather glum nod. "Yeah… if it really was something being mixed in with sweetener, could just have easily been mixed in with salt. We moved on to cooking steaks later in the day near the barracks…" And the only true was to season a proper steak is with a lot of salt and pepper.

Wiping at her upper lip, Mayte shivers a little: "Bacon's gotta be crisp or you can feel all the fat you're eating…" Could it be Mayte doesn't mind this most recent revision to dietary norms at Southern? She shares a commiserating look with D'wane over yucky bacon. The turn to more serious conversation earns a longer sip of her beer this time: "I've asked M'noq," with an apologetic look to Va'os, "to keep an eye out for anything funny with the firestone. Just in case." Vague enough? "Or… What about the way we're bringing food in? The sacks themselves? Are we re-using them or something?"

Amani shakes her head a little, though it's in commiseration with Va'os; she isn't liking how suspicious this all seems, either. The possibility of poison also being mixed in with the salt garners a grimace. "Guess we'd better pull all of that too." So not only just meat, veggies, and fruit, but bland meat and veggies now. Between the rest of what Va'os says and what Mayte suggests, the younger goldrider feels like her head might explode. "Wait, are we…thinking there's still something else besides the tunnelsnake poison getting in the sweetener? And what would be off about the firestone?"

Mayte's not the only one to shiver, though Va'os pulls more of a face for the visuals. "Ugh… thanks for that." Not what he needed, okay? D'wane's input is met with a heavy frown and he'll tap a finger against the side of his glass in restless thought. "… going for something as widespread as seasoning would be a way to do it but that doesn't explain why only riders seem largely affected. If it was sugar or salt, wouldn't the weyrfolk be dropping like flies too?" Too dark? "… no offence or anything." Ahem. Don't mind him as he just drinks a little more ale! He blinks for the apologetic look from Mayte, but he's more curious than offended. "Firestone?" Echoed probably in time with Amani, though he seems to give an understanding look her way. He's not having a great time wrapping his head around this either!

D'wane has no problem with the new diet since bacon is still apparently a-ok, but doesn't look forward to facing those that DO have problems, like the ones that won't have sweetener for their klah in the morning. "Some weyrfolk have been dropping." he's just going to point that out as he tops his glass back up again. "There was that herder for one and uh… maybe some more." He doesn't see nearly as many reports on non-rider deaths as rider ones understandably. "But if its things like a salt shaker or a single sweetener bowl, could be placed at a table where riders normally sit at. Tiglon pretty much always has that same table for hours around breakfast. Same for most the other wings as well when they're eating in groups…" But his neck audibly creaks as he whips around to face Mayte at the mention of firestone. "Firestone? But the dragons haven't been sick." This is more in a hushed whisper. No need to possibly alarm other folks in the crowded Kitten needlessly. "And they're the ones eating the stuff."

Holding up a hand, Mayte says tiredly, "The firestone… Let me explain. I came across a reference," waving a hand vaguely, "ages ago about a load of… corrupt firestone. It caused havoc in the population and was thankfully contained. From what I can tell, the symptoms don't match up but I asked him to check because I needed to know." D'wane's point is a good one but the older goldrider repeats, "Yeah, but… I need to know." Looking into her beer for a moment and then back up to her fellow leaders, Mayte asks plaintively, "Is it bad that I'm hoping it's just the food supply? Have we looked at… the glows? Could they… be emitting something?" It's a bridge too far beyond pathetic but even a 'no' is better than uncertainty.

Amani nods over the fact that some weyrfolk have been affected. She remembers reading those reports, and so does Zymuraith, somehow. She's intent upon Mayte as the Senior gives her firestone explanation and scrubs her hand over her face once it's over. "That's all we'd need," she grumbles. "I'm all for it being just the food supply, and we had sharding better have found the source in that tunnelsnake poison. If it were glows, wouldn't we be hearing about illnesses in the holds, too? Even among the willings…" She trails off and promptly downs the last third of her drink in one go, looking a bit rosy afterward. "We need to find Laeiva and question her, see if anything new comes up from that. If we keep making stretches without solid proof of possibilities, we're all going to look like a pack of deadglows." They probably already do to some.

"When was this?" Va'os is clearly out of the loop and has either been swamped by worrying over the numbers of ill riders and how to balance out the Wings or those reports missed him when he was ill. "Damn it," he curses under his breath, chasing it with more ale as his expression sours. Well, there goes his theory! Only to be further compounded by Mayte's explanation on the firestone. His eyes close briefly and he scrubs a hand wearily over his face. "Probably best if we keep that one as quiet as possible," he mutters. Hopefully the added din here in the Kitten is sufficiently drowning out their conversation? He nods to D'wane, "Exactly why I wanted a cohesive list! And I don't blame you, Mayte… Cause I'm kind of on board with the same thought." And joining Amani on that too! He just shakes his head at the idea of the glows being the culprit. "I'll second the plan to finding Laeiva, along with what we've already set in motion."

"I think that may have been when you were busy puking your own guts out," D'wane will respond quickly enough to Va'os about when the herder may have died and how he missed it. He lets out a small groan that's mostly stifled by holding his face in his hands at Mayte's firestone theory. "Well, we can't stop using firestone. Ain't enough flamethrowers on Pern for that." And the smiths would kill them if they suggested it, probably. "But good to have M'noq investigating." Not just any Lynx rider. Presumably the wingleader can be the most discreet when needed. He just shakes his head as yet more ideas start being tossed around. "unless there's solid evidence of why something might be the culprit, we probably shouldn't be throwing around completely new suggestions at the moment or we'll be too busy chasing everything to actually narrow in on what it might be. We have clusters of folks eating together falling sick, the healers were missing that one rare book for a while, that ledger about the odd tunnelsnake poison shipment, a mysterious sweetener jar and now a missing disgruntled headwoman. HAs anybody had any luck sending a firelizard looking for her?" He'll look over towards Mayte and Amani. They're both more familiar with Laeiva and we all know how well trained Peeble is not.

Being the most imaginative player of 'What's Killing Us This Week', Mayte presses her lips together and only opens them to take more beer, probably against another idea. "Laeiva… Ugh." Eyes flick to D'wane and Mayte sighs, "I tried sending Minerva, myself. But she doesn't know Laeiva well. No dice." Another sip of ale and Mayte looks over to Amani, "She… left because her kid was in that hurricane, right? And her son," ol' Wh'ats and Hispickleth, "went *between. Do you remember where they're from? Any other relatives?" A look to the men, "I'd have to look to see if Bailey or Hannah wrote where she's from."

Amani gives Va'os a little nod of commiseration. "S'vion, wasn't it?" She feels like she might be mispronouncing at least, but maybe not. She's slept since that happened. "Anyway, M'noq will do well, I know. I hope he's able to find something. And I did try to send Dhahabi looking for Laeiva, too," she answers D'wane. As for more on Laeiva… "Her granddaughter and…son-in-law, I think it was, were the ones who were in the Barracks, and now they're back at Black Rock. She wasn't happy about that, I know. But maybe that's where she was from originally? Or at least some of her family." With a sigh, she lifts her glass again and remembers it's empty at the last moment. "I think…I need a refill. I'll be back." Or not, if she gets sidetracked by someone on her way to the bar. It's been known to happen wherever she goes.

Va'os snaps his fingers to D'wane's helpful timeline reference. "Right. Thanks for filling me in there!" And maybe that was a jab for also failing to keeping him up to speed. Which is forgivable since they're all kind of stretched thin at the moment and completely swamped. There's a nod to the suggestion, "So we start with those then. When we get answers… IF we get answers, we'll move on." And hopefully not open Pandora's Box or end up with a hundred more threads to follow. "I don't see a problem with that…" Va'os points out to Mayte, while quickly draining the rest of his ale. Amani won't be the only one leaving the table; Va'os is next, as he pushes to his feet and grimly nods to the last two remaining. "I've got to go take care of something… but maybe we can revisit this in the morning?" Oh, the joy of morning meetings! He won't linger, turning to weave his way on out of the Kitten. If he's needed, they only have to send word through Tsiroth! At least he's easier to reach than this Laeiva woman.

"Wasn't happy is an understatement," D'wane just shakes his head and downs the rest of that glass. And he clearly filled Va'os in when needed. And there was a report somewhere or other and more pressing issues. "I think I'll go check with the seacrafts. See if any vessels left for Black Rock ways recently and if Laevia might have been on it. Because if she didn't go by dragonback then it'd have to have been by sea… travelling through the jungles in winter rains would be crazy." And with that, D'wane's also going to depart because who doesn't love a late night visit to the docks?

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