Who

A'hali, M'noq

What

M'noq tries to get contacts in Black Rock from A'hali. Things don't go well.

When

It is evening of the thirteenth day of the fifth month of the twelfth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Black Rock Dockside Tavern, Black Rock Seahold

OOC Date 02 Nov 2017 05:00

 

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Black Rock Dockside Tavern

A long, low, dimly lit space down by the waterfront, this tavern isn't hiding what it is: a place to get a drink and maybe some company. Stone floors, littered with peanut shells; raw timbers for a ceiling; wooden tables, pitted and grooved and often grimy; a long bar against the backwall with dusty bottles lining the shelves behind it - it's a dive bar, plain and simple. Glowlights here and there cast a yellowish illumination through secondhand baskets, deepening shadows. Ale, beer, whiskey, brandy hard liquor and quick drinks are easy to come by, but don't try asking the barkeep for any specialty mixed drinks. There's not much of a menu to speak of, either: just bread baked every other day and thick seafood stew, served in wooden bowls with crappy spoons.

There's a kitchen behind the bar with a storeroom attached to it. A couple of side rooms are available for rent, complete with cruddy beds and locks on the doors. The place is never completely empty, a bartender and at least one waitress milling around. When the place is really hopping, it's loud and busy, full of sailors and waitstaff, and tavern girls willing to keep a man company if he needs it (and can afford it).


A'hali's wearing his perfect local-grunt outfit, not his leathers at the moment. Those have been left back with Ohanaveth. Into the tavern the large man lumbers. He's a familiar face, "Halkarie!" gets called out. A small smile spreads under Hal's beard and he raises one hand in a restrained hello. "Ale," A'hali doesn't even have to say what kind, they already know.

M'noq is already at the bar, a mug of something-or-other in front of him. He is wearing his usual Black Rock disguise of worn-out, non-descript clothes and strategic smears of dirt, though no hat today. Where he sits, he is toying with a couple of dice, though he doesn't appear to be playing a game. He casts a sidelong look at A'hali as the big man comes in, then turns back to his dice.

A'hali goes to collect his drink from the bartender who is dishing it out. He's as quiet here as he is in other places, though it sounds a little bit closer to stupid-silent than it usually is at the weyr. He's keeping it very chill. Even after he gets his drink he doesn't go right to M'noq's table but instead visits a few other patrons. Few words but some claps on the shoulder shared. Finally he ends up at M'noq's table and settles himself with a nod at M'noq himself and his dice.

The spot where M'noq is sitting is far enough from other customers that they can talk quietly without being overheard, and it helps that there is a couple of men having a loud, drunken conversation on the other side of the room. "Been visiting old friends, eh? Everyone still healthy?" M'noq says, arching a brow at A'hali.

When A'hali's angled himself so that his lips aren't clearly visible to the rest of the room. An elbow settles itself on the table and he inclines his head slightly in response to the other man. "Dockworkers." Back there, the ones he'd greeted. "Cotholder too." Reaching up he taps his chest with a finger. "Not bad men." It's like A'hali feels like he has to defend them simply because they are here in Black Rock.

M'noq just shrugs a shoulder at A'hali's defense of the people in Black Rock. He doesn't blame everyone who lives here, but there seems to be a more than average number of riffraff. "Picked up something about someone hiring crews for small boats. You hear anything about that? I want to find out who's behind it." Maybe it's nothing, just perfectly legal stuff. Or maybe it's regular smuggling. Or maybe it's something else.

A'hali scratches at his cheek as he turns slightly to look around at the taproom behind him. A contemplative look as he turns back to M'noq. "Phre's crew not here." Turning back to the table A'hali points at the dice. "You play?" Because it'd look less weird if they were engaged in a game. Not that either of them look like they have much to bet right now, but hey, it's the show that matters right?

That suggestion gets the shadow of an amused smile from M'noq. He reaches into an inner pocket and pulls out a few small coins, pocket change, really, but enough to make it look like they're betting. "Phre a friend of yours, or someone you keep an eye on?" He rolls the dice around between his palms and then casts them onto the table. Low doubles. He pushes the dice over to A'hali. "I want to know if they're branching out and hiring more, or if something is happening to the ones who have been doing it."

The look A'hali shoots at M'noq is full of injured dignity. "Friend," obviously. A'hali has ALL THE FRIENDS everywhere because well, mostly because people assume he's stupid and then don't bother to put on airs around him. "Phre hand for hire. Take any job." Someone's got to do the dirty work for all them people what got the brains after all! A'hali pulls out his own small marks and lays them down. "Can ask."

They play for a while and switch marks back and forth. "Everyone you know here a 'friend'?" M'noq asks then. "Because there are some people in his seahold who you should be keeping a better eye on." And he's going to start seriously questioning the other brownrider's judgment if he doesn't show at least some ability to judge character. "I gotta think at least some of your friends know people you should watch out for."

"Friends talk to friends." A'hali says this quite calmly as he reaches forward to take the whole pot like M'noq just lost ~everything~ on the table. JUST TRY TO RAISE A FUSS M'NOQ. "Friends are safe." It's hard to argue with the large man's particular logic, at least, A'hali thinks that way. The dice also get swept up in his big hands and handed back to M'noq with an upraised eyebrow.

M'noq rolls his eyes and fumes, crossing his arms tightly over his chest, though it may be difficult to tell whether this is acting due to him having "lost," or because A'hali is just being so unhelpful. "Apparently you're the one I should be watching out for, if this is the kind of shit you and your friends do. You're telling me all your friends are fine with the shady garbage that goes down here?"

"D'ex is from here." A'hali is going to pull out the example of someone from around here that HE feels perfectly vindicates A'hali's opinions of those who do things on the shade. "Not murder. But. If it hurts no one…" Like smuggling. (Usually) "Life is hard without a home hold." A'hali knows well the difficulties that comes from being unattached.

M'noq frowns slightly. "Telling me to watch out for D'ex isn't particularly helpful, you know. I'm not even talking about the petty shit like robbing someone's house or holding them up at knife-point. There's bigger things going on here, and if you can't help figure it out, I don't need you here defending them." He stands up, adjusts his clothes in that way he does when he's checking knives he has tucked away. "Stay out of trouble," he says quietly, then heads out the door.

A'hali still totally has M'noq's money and he turns to watch the other man leave. Fingers drum against the wood of the table. But he still has a drink, and it'd look super weird if he got up right now and left. So… instead he'll be normal friendly Halkarie. Standing he goes to sit next to another group, sliding into their conversation (with his lack of conversation) simply.

M'noq has other contacts in Black Rock, even if A'hali won't give up any of his. He'll ask around by the docks a bit before going back to find Ravaith where he left him, outside of the seahold. Quiet A'hali may get a sit-down conversation soon, back at the Weyr.

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