Nika, Cha'el


Cha’el is Nika’d in the stores.


It is sunrise of the twenty-fifth day of the first month of the second turn of the 12th pass.


Southern Weyr, Stores

OOC Date


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A vast and sprawling cavern, the main storage area of the weyr is well-tended by the loving and stern hands of those who oversee the bounty stored within. Depending on the time of day, it is a place of illuminated neatness, stacks of dry goods and foodstuffs labeled clearly… or it is a place of werelight and stygian darkness that taunts those who would dare challenge the depths thereof.

Outside at Southern is swealtering, the middle of the day and the tempatures top over 100 and the jungles humidity few that don't have to be outside are. Those lucky enough to work inside, or in one particularly tiny bluerider's case, have a rest day, it has become a game of amusing oneself. Never really one to have any problem doing this, Nika has costumed herself with a variety of different looks — the extra clothes stacked in boxes are tossed about the room, clearly she has been at this game for a while. Now, with mens tights apparently brought over from Igen, a dress too short to really cover the fact she isn't in real pants and a hat of Benden style she's stradling cushions on a couch, knots littered around her. One headman's knot, found tucked away in a box, is donned, "Drudge! How dare you steal from the stores! Shall all the weyr starve?" And then knot switched with a drudges she drops into a sitting position, fake and meladramatic weeping ensue, "I swear, sir, it wasn't me! Don't leave me in the desert for thread to devour! Oh, sir! I shall do anything!" And so the game of dressup continues.

From the depths (if one can call it that) of Igen winter into the sweltering cloy of a Southern summer, has the new Weyrleader moved. And its MIND boggling!! Clearly given that when he finally finds his way to the stores, he’s quite sure he’s in the grips of sunstroke going by the sight that presents itself. Coming to an abrupt halt, the brawny brownrider is able to do little but stare at the tiny woman playing dressup. Woman? Child? Nope. There’s a vague familiarity about the bright little hobbit. “I uh…I think I’m…” lost for words. Clearing his throat, arms fold across his chest and Cha’el affects a very stern expression. “Confess your crime and perhaps your punishment shall be light, drudge. Was it you that took the last redfruit from my bowl this morning?”

The woman seems unphased by the newest entree into the stores, even as he stumbles over his thoughts, she simply stares with innocent eyes at the man. And then, oh and then, character is broken for the slightest of seconds as the man plays with her, sunshine sparkles in her smile before she lapses back into contrition. A lucky break for Southern's newest weyrleader, his willingness to plunge into the rabbit, nay Nika hole, after minature woman means he's spared her usual barage of new person questions. Of course, the reprieve may be brief. Still, the make-believe drudge folds her fingers in a plea of mercy, "Oh Weyrleader sir, I confess it all!" The back of her hand pressed against her forehead as she slumps into the cushions, "It was all for little Johnny, my brother is so sick and week. The healers said only the finest and tastest redfruit in the land would save him. Have pity on me, your lowly servant."

Dark brows are fetched toward one another in a fairly good facsimile of a scowl, one that if there were any true anger behind it, might be a fearful thing to be on the other side of. “A fruit a day keeps the healer away,” the Weyrleader intones, advancing a step so that his bulk crowds in front of a glowlight and casts a bigger than life shadow to one side. “Your choose your brother’s health over that of the leader of the fighting forces. How shall you repay this treachery?” Deep blue eyes latched to the littlest drudge glitter with amusement.

The last question and Nika can barely hold herself together, "Oh! Well I can make really pretty bows for your new weyr, Weyrleader, sir! I can make a couple for Sikorth's headknobs too. He deserves them after that win." And the woman melts into a fit of giggles, eventually drawing her feet up so she's perched on one side of the sofa. Character left behind, she gives a little salute, even though it is as informal her her position. "You're fun! Your the funniest weyrleader I've ever met." She wrinkles her nose up at the man, "Have you moved in yet? Do you need help? How is Igen doing? Do you miss it already? Did you have to leave a girl behind? That's always so sad. What are you going to change? Southerns the best! But if you need help I'm in, Mr. Weyrleader, sir."

Sikorth senses Atmanth drifts in on the sweet stench of swamp decay, the bitter smell as relaxing as the cicadas that are soon joined by the rythmic creak of an old rocker against the worn out wood of an unfinished porch. Rain tinks against a rusted tin roof, all the sounds of nature playing a haunting song, as fingers pluck at a gnarled guitar, the humity inside the head as dense as Southern's own. « Ain't that life, man? Sudden and unrelenting. The end, the beginning. Welcome to Southern. It's a nice place, can you dig? »

“Bows?” Up shoot Cha’el’s brows and yes, he looks somewhat worried about that. From somewhere in the bowl beyond, there’s a big brown dragon snorting his disdain. “You are never to go anywhere near Ksenia.” For he’s pretty sure if the two of them get together, he’ll return to his weyr to find the Pernese edition of Barbie’s Fun House in progress. And he’s a man dammit! When Nika erupts into giggles, the Weyrleader holds onto that stern pose for a moment longer, eyes lightly narrowed at the corners. Truth be told, he’s trying to navigate his way through the sudden barrage of questions. “Not a lot to move in.” Not about to explain that one. “So it’s all done. I’m sure I’ll miss some of those I worked with at Igen and the friends I made there.” The one about a girl given a faint smile that cracks through the façade but nothing more. “Help, huh? Maybe you can point me to a reliable Woodcrafter or two. Most of what I had got damaged. And I’m going to need,” thickly muscled arms unfold and a list is pulled out of his pocket and held up. “All of this.” Cutlery and crockery mostly with a few other smaller items added that most men wouldn’t think of looking for.

Initially Sikorth recoils from the stench of rotting vegetation but only in so much as he might examine it from afar before getting any closer. Through ancient mists of time wrapped in thick embrace about a circle of solid monoliths, lifts the clean beat of blades thumping on the air underscored by the hum of a power war machine lurking just out of sight. « I can but I don’t. » Dig that is. Sikorth is literal. « The welcome is appreciated. » Silence as the brown withdraws, the air stirred when he returns. « Rank and wing are needed for you and yours. » His rider is cheating.

"Who's Ksenia? Is she your daughter? Your twin? Your weyrmate?" Welcome to no boundaries day at Southern Weyr, which for Nika is everyday. "Oh oh! Is she your long lost lover who you rescued from bandits in the desert only to have to leave her after this fateful flight?" The woman's hands twine together and press against her cheek, before dropping again with a solemn nod. "Yah! The woodcrafters are in the craft complex." Duh. "And now everybody is a for real crafter now, soooooo…." She waggles her fingers in the air as if magically it means they are all good. "Oh! That stuff's easy. The spoons are over there with the bowls!" Tiny finger juts toward the far wall with zeal, "The wood spoons make exceptionally good pretend swords." Because really, why else would the man be looking for them? "The metal ones make too much noise and sometimes Renalde gets grumpy." Of course he's in the ice caves now so noise and nonsense abound. "How about this couch? It's real nice. I'll help you drag it." Leaping over the side, she grasps at the arm and attempts with all her might, tiny grunts included, to move the furniture. Anywhere. For all her effort little happens.

Sikorth senses Atmanth slips easily into the mind of the brown, taking with him only the softly strummed guitar which echoes through the ancient walls, played in time with the machine. His laughter rolls like thick molasses, « Ain't no thing. » Is the answer to the mistaken comment. « Serval wingrider. Dragonhealer. » His voice gravels as it wafts easily through the new surroundings. « Nika and At-man. »

Having the words ‘bandits’ and ‘desert’ combined with reference to the exotic looking woman he’d arrived with, Cha’el’s expression tightens briefly and he glances away. Perhaps seeking out those spoons Nika had spoken of. “She’s my…” and he blanks for labels haven’t been established yet, “uh…she’s from here. A trader with the Roma.” Safe. “I’ve seen you before, in Igen I think.” Yup, all the questions are ringing a bell. Jangling actually. The Weyrleader can’t however keep the amusement off his mug for long, not when the tiny bluerider is equating wooden spoons to swords and then trying to heft a couch several times larger than herself. “Careful there, Nika.” Thank you, Atmanth! “You trip and land up under one of the cushions we might never find you again. And Faranth knows we need all the dragonhealers we can get right now.” He doesn’t however move to help and instead eyes the couch uncertainly. “I’m thinking of getting something made.”

« Your name is broken. » Sikorth astutely observes in a grind of machinery when the blue answers the question put to him. Mists continue to wrap thick and mysterious about the tall fingers of rock placed seemingly haphazardly in his mindspace, the strains of the guitar embraced with a questioning air. « You are good with the broken ones? »

Things are not so easily turned away from the curiosity that rages in Nika's mind, "That's what she does, that's not who she is." Even as the straining continues she turns her head to study the weyrleader, "That's like saying I'm from Oldtime. I mean I am, but that's not WHO I am. You're the weyrleader but that isn't who you are. Who is she? To you?" She carries on like the difference is easily decifered. "Like you! You're my friend! That's who you are." Her nose wrinkles up with a nod. "Yah, I got up to Igen sometimes to see friends." Of course everyone she meets is pretty much put into the 'friend' category. "I'm little, but I dunno think I'm that little." Still she lets go of the couch, before she really stops pulling, and she stumbles back a few steps. And then takes a moment to study the cushions as if she might actually get lost. "Have a couch made? But that'll take a long time. Where will you and your …. female lady person friend not friend sit until then?"

Brassy riffs of ruminating guitar ever alive beneath the fog of Sikorth's mind, Atmanth's voice carries the taste of cheap moonshine. « Ain't broken, man. Just different. All kinds of ways to jive, that's just how we play life. Know what I mean? » His words rolls down some unseen gravel path, but even in the mist the road is too well known to be dangerous. It leads home. As for the question. « Very good. It's our jam. » (From Atmanth)

With a huff of consternation, Cha’el eyes the tiny bluerider – What is it with Southern and tiny women? – And the awkward questions. “Ksenia is…” He tries again and then a completely boyish grin falls into place. “Intelligent, warm, funny, wild as a Southern feline, hot,” What? He’s a guy. “As flame and as for what she is to me?” The Weyrleader suddenly looks more than a little bashful. Probably an odd look on such a big guy. “Everything.” Simple as that. Now can they PLEASE move on before his flaming ears get going? So says the look he shoots Nika. “On the floor?” That’s for where he’ll park his ass until he’s had some furniture made. Or would have done as a bachelor. Thus the look he shoots the bluerider is somewhat hesitant. Yes? No? Wrong answer?

To say that Sikorth is as bemused by the dragon as his rider is by the human half of the pair, would be an understatement. For a long time there hangs little but the throb of engine and blades in the air between brown and blue and then he glides back in again. « Different. » Is the concession made. « A valuable asset. » The commander of the skies decides. « What others can be so trusted? »

Nika just STARES for a good long minute at Cha'el, judging everything he has said about the woman who inhabits his old weyr. "She. Sounds." Each of the words pronounced slowly and then the final thrown into the air along with her hands, "PERFECT!" Twirling about from one foot to the other the bluerider takes a moment to sing, "Theweyrleader'sinlove! Theweyrleader'sinlove!" Once the song is over she turns to listen to his ass-home needs, his question met with a slow single shake of her head. "When you love some one you don't want to boink them on the floor. Weyrleader. Sir. That's flight style. You need to make her a bed of flowers! Or you know, at least a fluffy couch so her head won't bang on the rock." This all delivered as if nothing were at all strange about the conversation. "Side, you're weyrleader won't you be entertaining a lot? Holders don't like to sit on anything that might bruise their little cheeks - and I like eating. There is a corellation there I think. Happy holders and me having food." And so she jabs a thumb at the couch.

She sounds…? Cha’el narrows a warning look onto the little rider – Careful, lady. And then blinks in surprise at her reaction. “Uh…Aye well…” Yup. There goes his ears. Flaming at the tips like a pair of candles bridged by a heavy scowl at the chant she takes up with. “Fucking crazy.” He mutters under his breath and moves to randomly scoop a few spoons, knives and forks. Haphazardly and mismatched. Suddenly her whirls around and fits Nika with a mortified STARE!! “The fuck?” More staring! “Uh…” Nope. Still nothing. “You…she…We HAVE A BED!” Dear Faranth just take him Between now, please. KTHNX!! “Fine! FINE!! I’ll take the damn couch.” Humiliation, Thy name is Cha’el.

Sikorth senses Atmanth plays with the sounds in the empty fogs as he thinks, the darkness occassionally lit by the twinkling of a firefly, but not like his own mind, they don't stay long here. « Everyone got their place, mind you. Ain't life without a little struggle, and some struggle different than others. But…if you are looking for those who are true souls… » The blue's graveled voice disappears for a moment before returning. « Vossuth and his, their hearts are true. » Whiskey curls through his voice as he continues, his clutch brother pronounced next. « Dhioth. Not a dragon I understand, life isn't always lived in the lines. Bronze is about as rigid as Khalyssreilth's voice. But I'd trust him with Nika's life. » Which says more than almost anything could.

In the stillness both externally and internally that Sikorth is capable of, he digests the sounds, sights, smells and information being filtered through from Atmanth. Each is inspected and turned over. That of value discarded the rest passed along to his rider for the dragon himself will surely otherwise forget. « Vossuth’s, paired with Dhiammarath’s. Dhioth is strong, serves his Weyr well. » This the Weyrleading brown’s summation.

"Well to be perfect she has to be a little bit insane." Nika totally misses the mental stability comment is directed at her, and not the weyrleader's whatever. "Me? And her? And US? I dunno wanna share a bed with you! Sicko!" This seems mostly a joke as she grasps at her sides and doubles over in laughter. "Oh good! It's a solid couch. Very comfy." She pats the seat. Try it out. "Sits three, our maybe five if they're small like me." She settles a wink at the weyrleader before going back to selling him the thing he already says he's taking. "Good construction. And it can't have been here more than … a hundred turns. AND I don't remember finding any dead people on it. So that's a plus. Especially around here."

There is little but a quirk of lips that greets Nika’s summation of what constitutes perfect and then once again Cha’el is staring at her aghast. “Not you and her and…” He throws up his hands and flops down onto the couch next to the little woman. “You’re crazy.” He tells her shooting her sidelong look and then jumps right back up again when she speaks of dead bodies and eyes the couch as if there might be one hidden beneath the pillows. Or at the very least, a few bones. “I think we’ll stick with the one chair I have left and…I can entertain down at The Kitten or in the Council chambers if need be.” Yeeeeah. He’s so not putting any funky-ass-dead-body couch in his weyr. “You can have it. Want it?” Not waiting for a reply, the Weyrleader puts his shoulder into it and with Nika still on the thing, starts to shove it toward the door.

"Yes." Nika affirms at his clincal diagnosis of her mental health. "But I'm a pretty good rider, and a really good dragonhealer. So no one seems to mind much." And she was smart enough to know she wasn't a great wingleader and turned her knot in. She wrinkles her nose up at the man with a giggle. "Oh well. If you're going to avoid anywhere around here that every had a dead body I can send you a list. I'd start with not eaching anything out of the kitchens. When we first got here I was in the kitchen with a friend and a crispy-toast dead guy fell right out of the stove. Good thing he was all burned up, it would have been way more uncomfortable to be alive!" Truth. She leans closer cospiratorially, "Don't worry though, we cleaned it up real good. So I doubt there was much of a taste left of him…at least for long. I mean, I would think maybe it got baked in. Who knows." She shrugs helplessly, as if it was no big deal. Really. "No, I don't want i…." But she gives up as it starts to move, instead tossing her hands in the air and squealing, "WEEEEE!"

Cha’el looks positively ill at the revelation about the dead in the stove. “I knew there was something funky about the food here when I was here the last time.” He grumbles making mental note to speak to Hannah about just that. Clearly the man likes to live dangerously. “Who puts anchovies into cream? That’s just…cruel.” The last word a grunt as he shoves the couch all the way to the door and then, jams it in there good and proper. Vaulting over the back of it with the ease of one used to mounting a rather large brown dragon, he dusts his hands off and sets Nika with an assessing look. “How good are you at teaching the dragonhealing?”

"ME!" Nika claps her hands happily, "Anchovies and cream are the best! I like them cause you use the cream to make little clothes for them, and then they still have their faces so you can pretend they are at a masqurade ball and then suddenly a giant." She points herself, "Shows up and starts eating the guests." The jamming causes the girl to tumble over on her back on the couch with a gleeful shout. "Yah…" She draws out looking at him suspiciously. "T'ral and Esanth are me and At-man's mentees…You…You aren't going to take dragonhealing from me? Are you?" Her eye brows quirk upward, as she looks mournfully at the man. "I mean. You're the boss, so if you do….But…"

On the hallway side of the couch-jammed doorway, Cha’el fits Nika with a long, long look. Several times lips part to say something but each time he remains mute. Finally: “That’s…” Once again she’s left the Weyrleader speechless. Quickly he clears his throat of the bile that has suddenly lifted up and focuses on the reply she’d given. He doesn’t answer the question she puts to him in turn but instead has another for her. “Who holds the rank of senior dragonhealer?”

NIka matches the look, because socially that seems the right thing to do, in fact for a long time after the question is asked she continues to just look at him, until finally tiny fingers wrap around one of her tight ringlets, pull and release so that is bounces wildly about. "Oh. Me. I guess. I'm the most senior dragonhealer person we have." She shrugs helplessly. "Not that it was every officially assigned. Arianne would have had about the same time as me but she's the wingleader…was the wingleader? She's all busted up right now." She blinks slowly, "Why?"

There really is something quite adorable about Nika, even if she is a diminutive version of a grown-ass woman. Like a little doll you could tuck under your arm and carry about for amusement’s person. Or so goes the idle meander of the Weyrleader’s mind which might explain the strange twitch of lips toward amusement. But even he knows better than to underestimate a woman no matter how tiny she might be. “You.” A nod follows and Cha’el appears to approve of this. “Good.” As to why? He merely fits her with an enigmatic look and winks. “All in good time, bluerider. Aaaall in good time.” Reaching over the back of the couch, he takes up the dropped bundle of mismatched cutlery. “You have been most helpful. Thank you. And next time, try threatening your pilfering drudge with being sauced and left out for wild firelizards to feast on.” Grin.

The rest of the conversation is lost as Nika gloms on to his last idea, "That's the best idea EVER! You should remember that for when you need to punish someone!" Because the bluerider thinks things should be ruled with an iron fist? A very small, teeny-tiny iron first — OF DOOM. And with that, still mismatched in clothes and knots, she lifts to her feet, takes a two step running start leaps pecariously off the couch, without hitting the new weyrleader and goes tearing down the hallway back out into the heat. All while yelling, "Firelizards will eat your guts! Eat your guts!"

Up go dark brows and Cha’el’s mouth pulls about a sly grin. “Whose to say I haven’t already employed such a thing to pull an unruly rider into line, hmm?” Nothing about his expression leans toward either tease or truth. Beware Southern, there’s a new Weyrleader in town and he rules with a LARGE iron fist. Or so perhaps the rumors will begin to circulate. Startled he jerks aside when Nika goes flying passed him and he stares down at the hallway at her oddly garbed figure. “This…is going to be interesting.” He mutters to himself and leaving the couch right where it is, heads off in the opposite direction.

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