Beris, R'ku, Xanthee


Beris and R'ku are pouring over some records using the Archives magnifying glass, Xanthee pops in, looking for a cool place to write.


It is afternoon of the twentieth day of the seventh month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Archives, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 13 Apr 2018 04:00


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A remarkable legacy for those with the eyes to appreciate it, Igen's Archives are modest, in proportion to the weyr's similarly modest status; but though they be small, the room itself is mighty, with grandiose portent to the high, vaulted arches. These walls hold many treasures past their prime, from instruments to examples of older flying gear and agenothree tanks. The meticulous task of re-scribing old records is continually ongoing, with faded and disued hides replaced on a daily basis. The chairs and off-kilter tables seem to be heritage of a time long past, not in line with the rest of the vision of this room; but in all weyrs are budgets, and perhaps you've found one of Igen's budget cuts.

Igen is still in the grips of a typical hot summer. The archives are something of a relief from the intense sunlight and heat outdoors, the air much cooler here, tucked away in the Weyr's lower caverns. Beris wears long, flowing trousers and a sleeveless top; a light cotton scarf is draped over the back of her chair. The woman is sat practically on the edge of her seat, leaning way forward as she uses one of the archives magnifying glasses to examine a book full of crabbed handwriting. She looks to be about halfway through the book, judging by the number of pages to her left; the instrument currently resst over the right hand page as Beris squints through it at the writing, face tense with concentration.

There's only so much cramped handwriting analysis one can take. Thus, at some point R'ku had excused himself to get some refreshments to help fuel this mission. And now he's returning, laden with a small basket of various easy to eat finger foods that aren't going to stain any old records (some bread and non-oily cheese cut into cubes and some veggies), along with closed waterskins full of chilled juice. R'ku himself is dressed more casually today with wherhide pants and a simple white cotton tunic that hugs his form but leaves most of his arms bare. He does have his riding jacket with him as a necessity, though it's draped over a nearby chair. R'ku settles the basket on a free space on the table where Beris is and touches her back, "Any luck, love?"

Taking some time for herself after the ordeal of her third unsucessful stint as a Candidate and the Hatching that was just four days ago, Xanthee wanders into the cool Archives, looking for some relief from the heat, a finely tooled, dark leather bound journal clutched to her chest and a stylus tucked behind her ear. Wearing a simple sleeveless tunic dress that just brushes past her knees in a cool linen dyed a dark magenta. Her hair is piled up on the top of her head in a messy bun, with a stylus sticking out of it. Her eyes slip over the Archives for a free spot, and they land on a familiar couple, her eyes drawn to the way Beris is on the edge of her seat. With curiosity firmly piqued, she wanders over casually and waves at an empty seat at their table. "You mind if I sit?" she queries the two with a warm smile.

R'ku is a welcome distraction from the tedium of scouring the record, and when he touches her back, Beris finally takes her eyes off her work, straightening up in her chair with an audible popping noise. "Ahh," she says softly as she stretches her bent back, looking up at R'ku. "Not yet. There's so much." She sounds as overwhelmed as she looks, blinking her eyes a few times to ease their strain. Those blinking eyes get turned on Xanthee as she approaches with a book of her own. "I don't," Beris says quietly, closing her eyes and rubbing a hand over them. "I need a break." She'll probably notice the very thoughtful food in a moment, when her eyes have refocused properly!

R'ku sinks into his recently vacated chair with a thump, "Well - Traders record everything. It's going to take a sharding long time, I'm afraid. But … " He injects his voice with hope, " … I am sure something must be in there .. somewhere. But no use giving yourself a headache over it trying to do too much at once." He lifts a hand to wave at the approaching Xanthee and flashes the girl a wide grin, "Hey Xanthee - come join us." He starts to unpack the basket of snacks and adds to Xanthee, "Thanks for your help with the tea set, too - Beris loved it." He turns his grin to Beris at that, a hint of slyness appearing just for a fraction of a second before disappearing.

Xanthee winces sympathetically at the popping in Beris' back, "Ouch! That sounded painful." Ever helpful there Xan. She settles into the chair across from them, her journal placed on the table in front of her, but she just lays a hand on it's cover, her fingers running over the oval stone of green and black inlayed there, listening to the exchange between the couple. As the bronzerider turns to her, she just waves a hand dismissively, "Oh it was nothing, I just glad you liked it." She looks back at the other girl now, another warm smile before she opens her journal to a blank page and fishes the stylus out of her messy bun. "I hope it's worth ruining your eyes whatever it is." Xan will remark before she bends over and writes the date at the top of the page.

"I didn't realise they actually do record everything," Beris says, with a hint of humour. "But…there's descriptions of the trader families, so I'm hoping…." She trails off there, pulling her hand away from her face and blinking again. Better! At the mention of the tea set, she grins back at Xanthee. "I think my back needed it." About the popping! Of the tea set: "it's wonderful." She glances at Xanthee's blank page, and putting two and two together with the stylus's presence, works out the girl is writing rather than reading. "I hope so," she murmurs about her own work, looking down at the dense writing. "I've been working on it for days," she adds, looking at R'ku for his confirmation that this has, indeed, been a long task. And hey, food! Now Beris will reach over to snag some fruit, eating eagerly. Seems someone got so involved in their work, they forgot they should eat!

R'ku pops a few cubes of cheese into his mouth and takes a swig of juice from one of the water skins within the basket. He perks up slightly at the mention of descriptions, "Anything sound promising in the descriptions? Or is whoever wrote those records pretty bland and talentless in writing skill?" Rising smoothly to his feet, he slips behind Beris and peers over her shoulder at the current page, squinting through whatever bit of text is through the magnifying glass, "I do think whoever owned this was too cheap to purchase more hide to write on, so they made their writing as tiny as possible to compensate." He snorts a laugh. Since he's in a prime position to do so, he settles his hands on Beris' shoulders and starts to try to massage them gently, kneading his thumbs into knotted muscles. "Writing anything in particular, Xanthee?" he asks the other girl, arching a brow at her journal.

Xanthee will tip her journal over the edge of the table, just for a modicum of privacy before she brings stylus to page, her ears perked at the conversation going on around her, taking in the salient points. After some brief scribbling, her attention is brought back up when the bronzerider says her name, "Hmm? Oh, just my journal, a little bit of this, a little bit of that. It helps to process stuff for me actually." She answers with a smile, which widens as she sees R'ku start to massage Beris' shoulders, "Awww girl, you've got him well trained." she teases in an off hand way looking at the food pointedly as well. Clearing her throat she looks at the book they ar perusing, "So I just have to ask," Cause her curiosity is demanding it, "what is it you're looking for?"

When R'ku looks over her shoulder, Beris's attention returns to the page - though with a more idle interest compared to before, given she's tucking in to the food on offer. "Anything to save a few marks," she comments dryly. R'ku's touch on her shoulders, tense from hunching over her work, causes her to actually groan in relief (sorry, Xanthee!). "ughh. That's the spot." Her eyes close as he works on a knot, a smile on her face at Xanthee's comment. "No training required," she quips affectionately. She's still got her eyes shut when Xanthee questions the book, so although she's not seeing what the girl's doing with her journal, she does catch the query. "Uh…well." She pauses as she considers what to say. "I'm trying to trace my family…we think they might have been traders who were at Big Bay at a c ertain time, and this is a record of the traders there around the sort of time we think…."

R'ku kneads his fingers into Beris' shoulders some more and then starts to work along her spine, rubbing gently. He responds to her various noises, adjusting his pressure and hand placement based on where he thinks the best spot might be, "She's right - no training necessary. I'm just this nice." He flashes a mischievous grin, a flash of white teeth against his coppery skin, "But I don't mind doing it." He lets Beris explain about the book and the quest on her own, as it's really her information to divulge. Though he does pitch in once she pauses, "I'm helping as best I can. I think we'll need to head back to Big Bay to at least return these records or the steward there will have my head, I am sure. He looked like the sort."

Xanthee can't help a giggle as she drops her gaze to make like she didn't hear any sounds of relief at all, her lips curling as her eyes dance mischievously at the pair. "Lucky you, you hold on to this one Beris, he's a keeper." she quips before she continues with her writing. She hums thoughtfully at Beris' response to her question. "That's facinating. How much do you know of your family? I did my own search last Turn for my dad, and I almost had nothing to going on." She says with a sympathetic smile aimed at them both, forgetting her writting for now.

Concentrating on the conversation at hand is difficult in this situation, but Beris is doing her best. R'ku is finding the tight spots down her back, but Beris manages to work her eyes open. "I promise I'll be done with it in time for you to survive the steward's ire," she turns her head to grin up at R'ku. Looking over at Xanthee, with another curious glance at the girl's journal, tilted to hide what she's writing in it, she answers carefully. Not one to share too much, her words come a little slower as she considers what information she does want to give up. "Not much of anything, really. This is the first real bit of possible stuff I've got to go on." She looks curious about Xanthee's dad, asking: "did you have any luck finding him?"

R'ku pauses in his massaging, his hands resting lightly on Beris' shoulders, and cocks his head at Xanthee, "You didn't know your father then?" Because he really isn't all that up to date on Xanthee's parental situation - not something he usually bring sup in conversation, though he'll ask since it came up. He bends forward past Beris to grab a few cubes of cheese from the basket before continuing on his massaging, working his fingers up into Beris' neck and lightly rubbing at the base of her skull, "You're bound to find something. Then we'll go talk to that Harbor master guy even if we don't find anything in the records."

"At least that's something to go on. I kept turning up blanks." Xanthee says with a sigh before a wry smile, "But I did manage to find him, by pure dumb luck actually, otherwise I probably still wouldn't have a clue." then she realizes she's not being at all helpful and quickly backs up. "But I mean, in my case I was the product of a flight both my parents' dragons chased and lost, and the only person who knew, my mother, died when I was 4." She offers in indirect answer to R'ku's question. "But you seem to already have way more info than I ever managed, so you are ahead of me already." At that a little green comes bursting into the archives and making a mighty racket and projecting the image of a firelizard egg in a clay pot rocking gently. Up in a shot, Xan shoots an apologetic look at Beris and R'ku, "I gotta go!" She apologizes hastily before quickly sprinting out the door.

Beris's eyes are threatening to close again, especially when R'ku's fingers work up to the base of her skull. But Xanthee's experience is intensely interesting, and Beris looks disappointed when the younger woman has to dash off. "If Xanthee managed it on no leads at all, I've got to stand a chance, right?" She says, half to R'ku and half rhetorical. Her eyes finally close and she sighs. "Maybe I should take a break for today. But I just want to get through it and find something!"

R'ku pulls one hand away from his massaging to wave a farewell to the dashing Xanthee before starting up the massaging again, "True. You've got an abundance of clues. It's just the difficult part of putting them together to find the answer." He leans down to give Beris a quick kiss on the cheek - one of the few things he can reach properly at this angle, "You'll find them, love. Don't worry. I wish I could be more helpful." He eyes the records on the table, "Want me to take over for a bit? My eyes might be a bit fresher. You can eat some more."

"I'll be a fully trained harper by the time I've put all the clues together," Beris jokes softly, then turns her head at R'ku's kiss, to lean into it better. Now her eyes do open, when he talks about his helpfulness. "I never would have got that record if you hadn't been with me!" She protests. Then, softer, with an affectionate smile. "And I couldn't have done any of this without you. I don't think I ever would have…had the strength." She clears her throat and looks back at the record, reaching for some of that cheese as she does so. "If you'd like. Thank Faranth for this magnifier. I couldn't imagine without it."

R'ku slips his arms around Beris in a sort of awkward backwards hug and presses a kiss to the top of her head, "I'm glad I was able to help as much as I have been then. Anything for you, love." His voice isn't choked up, but there's a bit of warmth in his deep voice. Cue the sappiness. As he pulls back, he moves to settle back down into his own chair and carefully pulls the records towards him, "Where did you leave off?" He starts to peer through the magnifying glass at the tiny text, squinting.

Beris leans back against R'ku as much as she can, given the back of the chair being in the way. Sappy moment ahoy! She stays leaning back when he moves to sit down again, watching him with the record. She does lean forward, though just to point out the entry that she'd got to. "This one about…spice traders, actually," she grins. Snagging one of the water skins, and some more fruit, she relaxes back again. "Wonder if they're rivals of your family's?"

R'ku inspects the spice Trader entry thoughtfully and gives a rumble of a laugh, "Could be - or could be someone my father deals with. Sometimes other spice merchants will deal with him if they don't have an actual stationary shop like my father has." He considers the entry for a moment before shrugging, "Shard if I know, though. Doesn'ts eem familiar." He slides the magnifying glass down, scannig each entry methodically, "I'm wondering at how this man didn't have a hand permanently cramped into a claw from writing this tiny!"

Beris watches R'ku curiously as he talks about the trader relationships, a little nod here and there showing that she's listening and taking it in. "Could be they were headed anywhere though, if they're getting spices off the ships and things." She laughs at his next, covering her mouth since she's got food in it. "He probably has! And beady little eyes from squinting at the writing for so long," she adds on, grinning at the idea of this poor scribe.

R'ku carefully flips to the next page and leans forward again, placing the magnifier at the very top of the page, "If we're not careful, we'll join him in looking like that. Faranth's sake." He starts to scan the page, muttering to himself as he reads, "Fruit … more spices … alcohol … really? He even notes what he purchased for his own personal goods and what he ate for dinner?" Scowling at the records, he huffs a sigh, "I sharding don't need to know you ate a perfectly mediocre slice of herdbeast and mashed tubers." Onwards he goes, skimming past some of the more boring entries until he pauses on one, ".. oh. Huh. A destroyed caravan wagon?"

Beris is trying her best not to giggle at R'ku's intensity with the record - so much like she was not that much earlier! She distractes herself with some more food, and a long drink of juice., being carefully to keep anything potentially staining well away from the precious record. "Hey, if his details are what help us, we've got that to be grateful for." Her dark eyes watch him, amusement bright in them…until he comes to something that makes him pause. "Huh?" Beris pulls her chair closer, leaning to try and look at the entry herself (though it's one of so many on the page, actually finding it from this distance isn't easy). "What does it say?"

R'ku leans closer and closer to the record until his eye is nearly pressed up against the dome of the magnifying glass as he attempts to make out the cramped writing. "Something about finding a caravan wagon that had been attacked and destroyed. It looks like there's mention of a child found, too, though." He frowns, adjusting the magnifier to try to get a better angle, "… amybe you'l have better luck reading it? It's a potential to be sure." He carefully slides the records back over to Beris, ensuring to keep the magnifying dome in place where it is, "It's sort of at the bottom of the magnifier right now - there are several lines about it."

Beris's face is folding into a frown of deep interest, and when R'ku slides the record over, she leans over it to peer through the magnifier. Still frowning, as much from trying to read the tiny writing as from its content, she's quiet for a long moment. Then her words come, slowly. "Another wagon found the child…the wagon was on the way to Igen Weyr…" She looks up at R'ku, eyes wide. "The times…it all seems to add up. D'you think…?" She can't seem to dare believe there's a possibility this child could be her. Something else occurs to her too, and Beris adds, voice strained, "if that was my family…there's no mention of other survivors…."

At the strain in Beris' voice, R'ku reaches s over to rest a hand on top of one of hers, trying to give strength through the contact, "We can't be sure just yet, but it's very close." The mention of no other survivors mentioned has him giving Beris' hand a light squeeze, "If that is you in the records, it's likely that wasn't your only family. Traders of any kind have large families - there are probably aunts, uncles, grandparents and the like that could still be around. Or perhaps they did survive but were wounded?" He's grasping at straws with his last comment, but he exhales a breath, "Does it say anything about whether they know which Trader family owned the wagon?"

Beris lifts her fingers when R'ku puts his hand over hers, to let their fingers intertwine, drawing comfort from him. She's staring at the record still, hoping for more answers from its pages. "yeah…that's true. Um." She has to lean closer, eyes flicking around as she seeks out that detail. "Looks like - Palested?" She leans back from the book to look at R'ku. "Does it sound familiar? I don't know all the trader families here, but I guess a lot come and go and don't really stay long."

R'ku rubs at the back of his neck with his free hand as he considers the name. Before long, though, he's shaking his head in befuddlement, "Doesn't ring ab ell with me, though I really only know the families that usually stay around the Bazaar. Perhaps this one moves around a lot or is located more aroun Big Bay?" He exhales slowly and shakes his head again, "Probably another thing to ask the Steward when we return the records. Or the Harbor master." Now that a spark of some discovery has entered the situation, he gestures at the records, "Maybe there is some mention in another entry further along? Does it say what happened to the child?"

Beris nods agreement that asking at Big Bay about this particular family seems a good idea. "Yeah. Somebody's got to know them, and if they transport stuff from Big Bay…." She nods again, though this time at R'ku's question about the entries; she bends to continue reading, moving the magnifier to focus on different parts. "Um. Well, when the wagon returned the girl wasn't with them any more. If they were headed for Igen Weyr…that would seem a sensible place to leave a girl, right? Somewhere that would have the resources to take her on? And not like, a tiny cothold on the way?" She looks back up at R'ku, something almost pleading in her eyes. The excitement is picking up in her now there's a potential lead.

R'ku flops his hand on the table palm down and nods his head in agreement, "Exactly - the Weyr would be the smartest place to take her. But would that have given a family in Kurkar a chance to adopt in a case like that?" He looks curiously at Beris, unsure of just what sort of resources might exist for the underground hold to have somehow gotten a hold of this child, if the child was indeed Beris. "Either way - we can head back to Big Bay tomorrow, maybe, if you're up to it. To return the records and do some more information gathering."

Beris appears to be mulling it over, turning her head to stare, eyes distant, at the open book. "True…hm. There's a lot more to find out, I guess." Her eyes focus, and she frowns at the book. "Yeah, we'd better get this back before that steward comes hunting you down for it," she's able to find some humour again, smiling at R'ku. "And this harbour master…I hope he might know something. The more information I can take to Kurkar, the better. Somebody has to knwo something."

R'ku nods decisively at that and moves to carefully close the record book, "I think, for the time being, we both need a break. Time to absorb what we learned and not be frazzled for when we go to Big Bay." He sets the magnifier aside, as it's obviously not theirs to take with them. "I've, sadly, got to get ready for drills." he notes with a sour face, "But I can meet you after they're over." Rising to his feet with a sigh, he starts to move towards his riding jacket.

Beris gives the book one last look as R'ku closes it, then, with some reluctant, takes her attention off it. "Yeah. I'd probably stay up all night reading it…well, until I fell asleep midway through a description of a dinner or something." Her lips curl upwards in amusement. when R'ku moves to leave, Beris stands to embrace him, reaching up to kiss his face, wherever she can place it. "Thank you," she says, quiet but grateful, eyes honest as she looks at him. She won't hold on for too long though - he has his duties to get to, after all.

R'ku bends down to meet Beris' kiss head on, pausing only to slide his arms around her in a warm and loving embrace, "No need to thank me, love. But … you're welcome, anyhow." He flashes her a quick grin full of his warmth and love, though it soon morphs to include a little humor and amusement, "We do have the records for tonight - you can use it as a sleep aid to help you fall asleep. I think that writing would make /anyone/ doze off." He bends down to place another long, lingering kiss on Beris' lips before pulling back, "Can you drop the records off at the weyr on your way out? Can't have anyone filching them." He finishes slipping on his riding jacket then, preparing himself to head out to duty.

Beris smiles back, amused. "I'd rather have tea than use the records to sleep," she teases, before letting herself get lost in that kiss. Once it's done, she reluctantly pulls back to collect up the remains of the food, and that precious record. "Will do," she promises, putting the record to one side as she tidies up the crumbs from lunch. Oops - hopefully no archivists get cross about that! "I'll see you tonight?" She asks, looking over at R'ku as she wraps up the leftovers to put them away.

R'ku reluctantly buttons up his riding jacket - not only because it means he has to leave, though because it's damn hot outside even without a jacket. "Yes - tonight. Maybe we can have a nice dinner to celebrate the discovery?" he suggests, flashing a smile in Beris' direction. "Try tos tay cool, love - I'll send Cava if anything changes." He heads out, pausing briefly at Beris' side to pull her into another quick side-hug before heading out of the Archives.

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