Cha'el, Katzir (NPCed by K'vvan)


Cha'el goes protective on a particular greenrider's cousin.


The third day of the fourth month of the first turn of the 12th pass.


Igen Guard House

OOC Date





Ancient, half-crumbling, and more than a little pathetic: Igen Weyr's guardhouse is a weathered thing, one to which little enough love has been shown. Theoretically a two-story building, the staircase into the upper quarters has long since rotted away to collapse, and a creaky ladder leads up into what once were barracks, but now serve as storage for miscellaneous and half-forgotten equipment and assorted rubbish. The downstairs has fared little better: trestle tables serve as both crude desks and cruder staging areas, while the small administrative office reeks more of booze than paperwork. Only the brig is halfway well-maintained, though it's still a pathetic thing: cramped and unsanitary, with a single dingy cot and dusty latticed window.

In just the space of time from night to day, the stench of too many unwashed bodies crammed together into cells of insufficient dimensions is repugnantly evident the moment Cha’el steps foot in the guardhouse. A steady hum of sullen voices interspersed by the odd cough here and there and dotted with colorful curses weaves across the odorous air. A few being incarcerated perk when they recognize the Weyrsecond and immediately begin calling out for mercy or declaring their innocence. All ignored with nary a glance even flicked in their direction. A salute is given the Captain’s way and just one name uttered. “Katzir.” With a nod one of the man’s underlings is sent to retrieve the prisoner that answers to that name while the battered brownrider, looking rather less on the ‘pretty’ side of things, waits with his thumbs hooked into belt loops.

It does not take long for the guard to fetch the requested man. Having given himself up to the riders without a fight the fat man who follows the guard bears no such markings like the weyrsecond. The stank of body odor however, could easily be equal of a repellent force. What was stale drink has ripened with time into a full cacophony of putrid sensations. The man's hair is thick with grease, it is possible he hasn't bathed in quite a while.

The smile that lights his face as he approaches the weyrsecond seems mildly genuine, if slightly too oily sweet. "Glad to see the weyr is finally realizing that not all if us are common criminals! I've two boys with me, I assume they will be let out also?" His voice rolls out with the full Bitran accent tainting every syllable, supreme self confidence making itself plain.

If the sight of the man, let alone his odor wasn’t enough, the thick roll of his Bitran accent added to it, is enough to draw a cold smile from the grim Weyrsecond. “You’re not going anywhere,” Cha’el returns, his Istan accent clipped. “Your office?” That asked of the Captain with a lift of uninjured brow. A nod from the head of the guards and they’re being led to a small room. Once inside, the brownrider makes a deliberate show of closing the door and then drags a chair to the center of the room. “Sit.” He orders the Bitran butterball.

Katzir eyes the dust and clutter that still manages to linger in this space at least, and wrinkles his brow, as if it is that dirt, rather than his own stink, which is causing the room to be unpleasant. The chair in the middle of the room is eyed silently, eyes calculating every movement of the weyrsecond. There seems to be little choice though, so when the directive comes he sits, the chair creaking under his weight in complaint. He’ll not give the weyrsecond a chance to start this interview, as his smooth voice flicks back out, “This is highly irregular weyrsecond. My boys and I had nothing to do with whatever has brought this onto your bazaar. We are visiting only, trying to see about business connections for my father.”

While he might look like he’s just gone four rounds with a weyr, of the two of them, Cha’el is the one recently bathed and freshly clothed thus it is that the other man’s distaste is noted with a streak of dry amusement. Ignoring the pull of stitches down his bicep, the Weyrsecond folds his arms across his chest, watching intently as Katzir does as directed and sits. Quite content to let a length of rope play out, he’s silent while the Bitran professes wrongful internment and only once he’s done flapping his gums, does the brownrider speak. “Business connections for your father, eh? You’re rather a long way from home.” Noted of the man’s northern accent. “Must be important for a man to risk his hide with Thread falling. Perhaps if you tell me what I want to know an arrangement can be made to get you and your boys back to Bitra in one piece a-dragonback. Or…” Pause is taken and the dingy room they’re in is given idle inspection, “you can just rot in here like the rest of them.”

"There's little enough danger, there are thread shelters along the trade routes, and of course, you riders do a magnificent job of keeping all safe!" Katzir actually seems dismissive of the threat falling from the sky. His eyes narrow slightly as the weyrsecond offers to have them deported back to Bitra or continue to be held. "We tithe of all of our work, my father to Benden and I to the local authorities. Has there been an error made? We have done nothing which might cause the weyr concern. I will, of course, answer any questions you might have, but I assure you that our records are in order."

Katzir leans back in his chair slightly, hands settling into his lap. His green eyes, the one trait that he and his cousin share, fix upon the weyrsecond. "Unless I have been misinformed by the bazaar patrons. Perhaps if the tithe was to be raised to fix whatever…" He pauses to raise an eyebrow, as if he and the weyrsecond might come to an agreement on his next statement. "Error might have occurred."

The turn of lips that Cha’el puts out, edged with a hint of sly passes suggestion that perhaps the riders are in knowledge of something that people on the ground are not. There are however, no words to go with that look, instead unsettled by eyes of green he’s closely familiar with, he poses a question as he leans a shoulder against the closed door. Exit blocked. “Why here? Explain to me what brings you to our little patch of sand and perhaps we can discuss….errors.”

Katzir’s eyes flick towards that doorway just for a moment, but then turn right back onto the weyrsecond. A slight smile curves onto the fat man’s lips as Cha’el and him seem to be speaking a similar language. “What can I say? The bazaar is a unique spot, and perfectly suited to business. Not to mention how perfectly accommodating the weather has been these last sevens! We seek to find new places for our services to be utilized. So far, it has been a venture well worth the expense. ” He leans forward, the smile of one which might bring the weyrsecond into his confidence. “If you’ll allow, I’ll have one of my men fetch our records and we can discuss what would appropriately, ah, cover our mistakes.”

Beneath the bruises, split lip, cut brow and eye swollen shut, Cha’el’s expression is one of utter interest, appearing to be riveted by everything the Bitran butterball has to say. He even goes so far as to push away from the door and flicking a glance behind him as if perhaps someone might be listening in on the other side, takes a step forward, his baritone lowering to a conspiratorial level. “You seem like an intelligent man,” he praises, “and right now the bazaar is a dangerous place for anyone, uh…new to the area. I’ll have a guard escort your man as it would be a pity for our little arrangement to be cut short by a mishap, aye?” That having been said, the Weyrsecond steps away again and pauses with his hand on the door handle. “Anyone in particular you’d like to send?”

This really is going better than Katzir could have possibly imagined. The smile that spreads across his face makes he clear he is more than pleased with things. “Jat knows where we are staying and can fetch everything.” He relaxes further into his chair, leaning back into it, though the feet never leave the ground, enough to make the wood creak again in protest. “He is a native though, recently come into my employ. I know how busy your guardsmen must be at this time.”

“Jat, eh?” Cha’el echoes as if he needs to make sure he’s gotten the name right. “Even the natives were restless last night,” he points out and opening the door calls for one of the guards. A quick, lowheld conversation ensues and then the guard is stepping away with a nod and the Weyrsecond closes the door again. “So, what sort of business are you in? Loading the dice, betting rings, fencing acquired goods?” A few of the more nefarious dealings of the bazaar tossed out as if he were mentioning little more than being a belt-maker or a cobbler.

“Aye, Jat.” He doesn’t protest the guard, after all, he’s got nothing to hide. He even manages to look injured, a mournful expression creasing across his face as the weyrsecond accuses him of the worst the bazaar has to offer. “Not at all! My business is perfectly within the accepted norm. There is no crime in honest gambling! It provides a useful diversion for the time from the everyday grind.”

“Honest gambling.” Cha’el’s mouth curls carefully about a line that could be either a smirk or a sneer. Hard to tell with that split lip of his. “And what of those that lose to the house? Do you have a contingency plan in place?” Spoken as if he might be interested in being Katzir’s Heavy Hand Of Collection. “A man could earn a good cut by debt collecting.” He goes on to elaborate just in case the Bitran butterball is a little slow and doesn’t catch his drift.

“Well, men should keep the promises they make after all.” Katzir’s smile isn’t as nice as it was before, settling down into a smirk that could border the one he thinks the weyrsecond is wearing. “If you make an obligation well.” He shrugs gently and spreads his hand as if inviting the weyrsecond to agree with him. “I’m sure the weyr understands that there are rules which must be kept.”

Strung along by how friendly, and reasonable! the weyrsecond is being, Katzir will continue to talk, explaining how bets are placed, though he glosses over some of the nastier ways they go about collecting on those who do not pay back their debts quickly enough. “And of course, we are more than willing to accept reasonable compromises in payment. After all, services can be as valuable as marks. I’m nothing if not willing to be flexible.”

A knock rings out at the door, and a guard opens it, “The man named Jat is back.”

Listening as if rapt with interest, Cha’el nods and grunts where appropriate. Shifting as the stance of having his arms folded across his chest sets a throbbing in his stitched upper arm, he stifles a grimace and pockets his hands. “You just passing through or planning on staying?” He asks, attention snapping to the door when that knock comes. “Bring him in,” the Weyrsecond directs wanting to get a look at and commit the face of Katzir’s man to memory.

“Right now is a trial period. If the distance and services are worth it, we’re looking to set up shop proper.” Katzir stands as the door opens, and Jat walks in. In one hand is a leather bound set of hides, another, a large sack. With a wary look Jat skirts around the weyrsecond, and heading towards Katzir to hand over both book and marks. Then, uncertain of where to go, he steps off to one side, glancing between the Bitran bookie and the weyrsecond. “Weyrsecond, now we can clear this all up. You’ll see my books are all in order-” he moves over to the captain's desk and opens the book, flipping through the pages rapidly, “Here are my tithes…” he points to the appropriate column. “You just let me know what numbers need to be fixed to get us back where we need to be.” He turns to eye the weyrsecond. “Five, maybe ten percent?”

As soon as the sack and set of hides is handed off, Cha’el fits Jat with a hard look and jerks his thumb over his shoulder. “Fuck off.” Assuming the Bitran butterball’s lackey does as told, he’ll amble over to where Katzir flips a little too quickly through the pages for his liking. Silence wraps tightly about the brawny Weyrsecond as the oily tunnelsnake makes his offer of bribery. But once he’s done so, cold blue eyes meet deep green, menace and threat lurking in ocean depths. “How about you tell me what you want with K’vvan first.” And there it is, the boot that drops. “And then I’ll decide whether you walk or crawl out of here.” The smile that appears is anything but pleasant especially when framed by battered features.

Yep, boss man or not, Jat isn’t about to hang about, especially as he catches the twitch of the weyrsecond’s eyes. He’s gone.

Katzir, doing sums swiftly in his head and hands reaching for that bag stops. For just a brief moment an emotion crosses before his eyes, undefinable, but not at all pleasant. It breaks the car-salesman facade for just a split second. Then a broad smile is crossing Katzir’s face, one of real pleasure. “So you do know my cousin? I was just about to ask. I have so enjoyed being able to rebuild our relationship. Poor kid.” though Katzir appears only a few turns older than the greenrider, he throws the kid out easily enough. His hands fall away from the mark bag- they’ll get back to it soon enough. People always do. “We have only been able to talk the once- but I understand how busy he is these days. You will encourage him to look me up again? I’m afraid he is still carrying some old baggage,” he waves thick fingers to show how much baggage, “but it simply isn’t right to be estranged for too long.” Earnestness drips from Katzir’s tone and posture, please believe him.

Cousin. The thread that ties it all together drops into Cha’el’s gut like a rock and features tighten as he schools back the tidal wave of anger that threatens to come crashing down. Not for a second does he believe the fat little bastard’s posturing. Especially not given how K’vvan had evaded his questions about the note he’d received. Stepping right up into Katzir’s space, lips pull back over teeth in the beginning of a snarl. “That’s where you’re mistaken, you fat fuck. You’re on my territory now,” the Weyrsecond growls. “You so much as look in K’vvan’s direction again, I’ll personally string you up from the Star Stones by your balls. You got it?” Breath pulling in shallow draws as he battles the urge to snap the Bitran’s neck, stabs at cracked ribs. “If you’re released, you’ll leave Igen and go back to the hole you crawled out of and if I so much as think I’ve seen your fat arse anywhere near here, I’ll take you on a long ride Between. Are we clear!?”

The cool facade doesn’t break once as the weyrsecond breaks himself over the idea. Katzir’s smile doesn’t even twitch as violence is threatened upon his bodily form. “I’ve no desire to cause any injury to Kavvan weyrsecond!” He protests this harsh characterization. “The boy and I grew up together, Bitra has not been the same since he left us. I will of course,” not, “do what the weyr wishes but I must ask- have you spoken to K’vvan about forbidding me to see him? Perhaps he could come and clear this all up?”

Again, Cha’el is disinclined to believe the Bitran schmuck with regards to his intentions, however, what he says next does give him pause for thought. In that brief moment, Katzir might glimpse a thread of hesitation sifting across battered features before they shut down tight again. “You’re right, of course.” Stiffly spoken though with no less heat attached as he takes a step back. “K’vvan should be the one to see your sorry arse off of Weyr land.” For he’s certain that will be the greenrider’s choice of course. “You’ve just bought yourself another day or so in the brig while he decides what he wants to do with you.” K’vvan can drop off a flame-haired ‘gift’ on his ledge? He’ll offer his wide-arsed cousin in return.

The cocky smile that replaces his oh-so-innocent one makes it clear that the Bitran knows how that conversation is going to go. “You just let Kavvan know I’m down here and I’m sure he’ll take care of it without you needing to spend another moment on it Weyrsecond.” He pats the bag next to him, satisfied- this couldn’t have come out better.

A menacing growl rumbles in Cha’el’s chest at the cocky smirk the Bitran dares to wear. “Your days are numbered.” The Weyrsecond warns in a tight grind of words. Fitting Katzir with a look that threatens seven kinds of unimaginable pain looming on his horizon, the brownrider turns swiftly on his heel and stalks out, slamming the door behind him. “Get him back to his cell and make sure he gets the dregs of any meals sent down here.” Is told to the guard outside and then Cha’el is gone, a powerhouse of frustration.

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