Who

Thierry, Zeyta

What

What's island life without a little smuggling?

When

It is midmorning of the nineteenth day of the fourth month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Ista Volcano Island - Steamy Volcanic Bowl

OOC Date

 

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Steamy Volcanic Bowl

Steam still permeates the the dormant cone of the volcano, lifting from the element-swept crust and drawn away as at the will of the winds. Warm here, but not outrageously hot, the ground will always have some temperature to it. Along the edge of the cone is a spectacular view of the tropical Istan seas, from the Big Bay to the Southern oceans. A few more islands dot the landscape. and the larger expanse that is Ista Isle.


Midmorning shines with the gathering intensity heralding noon over the small, tropical isle of igneous rock, blotted by a spectral shape in the sky. Kczsyslawborth overshadows, billowing bone-white 'sails coasting a warm ocean thermal as he circles, lower and lower, the bruised lavender of his underbelly unmistakeable against his ecru hide. Descending into the bank of steam curling into the air, the monstrous brown grips the scorched earth, transitioning into a liquid surge of brutish muscle. Limbs absorb the shock of impact with no loss of momentum; he pours along in a crawl, wings collapsing against his sides until he arrives at a gradual stop. Enthroned, Zeyta peels back her flight goggles, scanning her surroundings.

He /almost/ made it to the top before Zeyta and Kczyslawborth appeared in the sky; almost before they landed, too, but Thierry was just too slow. So it takes a few minutes after the pair is grounded before he crests the volcano, puffing, panting, red-faced and hairy, since he's not shaved in several days now. Thi pauses, watches Zeyta for a few seconds, then settles into a slow-paced jog to cover the rest of the ground between them. He's still breathing heavily when he presents himself before her, brows raised curiously, hand held out to invite her closer with a single finger-beckon.

First is first: Zeyta divests of all those insulating layers of flight gear, shedding helmet and goggles to hang from hooks on her straps. She even sheds her jacked, stripped down to the light, sleeveless tunic beneath, untucking it from her waist. Navy made gaudy by the silver designs stitched into it, the metallic threading catches in the sun. Still seated, she loosens the untied braid previously coiled under her helmet, fingers combing her hair into waves. Ever imperious, she drops a silent gaze on Thierry as he climbs higher through so much effort and physical endurance. Kcyzslawborth hunkers lower, snarling muzzle right in front of the unkempt candidate as he hunkers lower for his 'rider to dismount.

"He's pretty fucking huge, y'know?" Especially so at the angle that Thierry gets to look up at the monstrous brown. He steps in cautiously closer, hand still raised, only this time to offer it to Zeyta as she dismounts that last little bit - should she want it, of course. His other hand brushes through his messy hair, then knuckles brush over his several days old beard, scratching the sun-caught skin beneath the scraggly growth.

Kczyslawborth shreds the very breath exhaled over his rows of sharp teeth, ragged and panting with his jaw agape. "He was born at the beginning of an Interval. Dragons decrease in size during periods without Thread, hence why all the ones of Your Time appear stunted." Zeyta smirks, pleased with herself to answer in mini-lecture. Swinging her leg from the silver bar striping the groove of neck she occupies, she reaches down to accept his hand; doubtless a superfluous gesture, given her turns of experience. Employing a typical scare tactic, the quid pro quo response from her brown earns a sinister hiss.

With his hand still in Zeyta's, Thierry backs up quickly at the hiss from her lifemate - he's still uneasy around dragons, especially ones of Kczyslawborth's size. In that jerking-back movement he curls his arm around the brownrider's waist, twirling her sideways and a step or two away from her brown. "You smell good," he purrs, leaning down to breathe in a good lungful of the scent of her hair. His hold loosens then so she can escape if she wants, while he simply smirks, tucking one thumb into the beltloop of his scruffy trousers - which have gained a hole in the knee at some point. "Couldn't keep away, huh, pretty lady?"

"He won't eat you, as thin and malnourished as you are." Zeyta checks the brown with a glare, resting a palm on his forearm to pacify him. Shorter and smaller than Thierry now, her physical separation from her lifemate incites an astonished protest of flailing legs. "I—" Spun back onto her feet, she inhales sharply to master her facial expression, cooling the faint blush blooming across the bridge of her nose. "Am civilized is why," she grumbles belatedly under her breath. Pacing back from him, she conducts a cursory sweep of his figure. "I'm here to repay a debt." Pure business.

Thierry lets her go, digging both hands into his pockets and watching her with a curious, amused expression on his sun-blushed bronze face. "Aw shit, Zey. All the way up on top of this volcano, not a fucking soul in sight… and you're gonna play hard to get, huh?" He teases, of course, giving her a cocky, crooked grin. "What debt y'gonna pay off then, oh civilised lady?" A step closer, and he then leans in the rest of the way. "Y'can come closer. I ain't gonna eatcha, no more than he's gonna eat me."

"I'm not playing. And you do realize discipline only truly comes into effect when there's no one there to enforce it, right? It turns into instinct, proves your integrity." Zeya returns to the shade cast by Kczyslawborth's hulking presence, shielding her pale skin from the Istan heat. She accesses the largest cargo bag affixed to her brown, hauling a wooden crate covered with a blanket in her arms. "You hid my trunk and put up with N'ayl. I'm paying you to forget the incident."

"Would you rather I stand to attention?" Thierry isn't confused as such by Zeyta's behaviour, but it does leave him frowning. At least until he sees her pulling that crate out, and he steps forward to help. Only by holding out his arms to take it, though; she'll have to put it in them if she wants him to hold it. "You brought me shit for that? Really?" He's surprised, and frowns even more deeply. "You rider-types like ta give stuff away for the little things, don'tcha?" Not that he's complaining - that frown's turned upside down, and he's grinning lopsidedly now. "Whatcha got in there, pretty lady?"

"Actually, that's preferred. Technically, you owe me a salute, too, and a formal address as 'brownrider' at the least," Zeyta explains with dull monotony, as if reciting from a textbook. But here she is, unnanounced, with arms wrapped around the wooden crate, she advances enough to thrust the weight of it into Thierry's waiting hands. "Are you, mm, actually going to question the reasons for a gift at this point in time, given your circumstances." A querying brow lifts as she relieves herself of her burden. "A blanket for sleep. Cured meats. Loaves of bread. Fruit preserves. Cheeses. Non-perishables to sustain you."

A salute. Really. Thierry wrinkles his nose at Zeyta… but then she's loading his arms up with /goodies/, and he can't exactly touch fingertips to temple then, can he? "Shit, Zeyta - brownrider. For real?" His grin comes back, grown huge and thankful. "Aw fuck. Now I owe you something. And I'm guessing this is on the quiet, huh? You're sneaking on in here without them," he tilts his head in a down the volcano direction, to where there's Mirage representation keeping an eye out, "knowing?" The weight of the chest is shifted in his arms, awkwardly swapped to a one-arm hold. "You're fucking awesome. I could come cuddle ya, lady." And he holds out his arm, inviting her in for a snuggle as he takes a step towards her.

Kcyzslawborth cranes his neck around, twisting his body into a half-circle around Zeyta as she remains in the protective awning of an unfurled wing. Stone-faced, she nods, caught in a nostalgic piece she regales him with, "When I was a candidate, there was a famine that plagued the Weyr. The leader of the trader caravan I had been a part of before delivered me a chest of foodstuffs to see me through it. I was the envy of all the others." With a nod, she indicates the excess she provided him, his newfound bartering power implicit. "Burn the crate. Smash the jars." She wont' admit it, but Mirage does not know, perhaps responsible for her caution, and her steadfastness, even as her dragon twines the tip of his tail about her ankle, rooting her in place.

It couldn't be clearer that he's not allowed closer, so Thierry hangs back, dropping his arm, then switching the crate back into both arms. "A famine, huh?" That's interesting. "You oughta tell me more about your Oldtime. Betcha it's more interesting coming from you." The cant of his smile makes a dimple almost appear in his cheek. "You wanna tell me more about it later? When I'm back? Don't wantcha getting caught here, brownrider. Betcha it won't be good for either of us, if you're seen."

Zeyta is nothing if not self-preserving, holding herself in severe posture, rigid and held together by her iron will. "They fed us on meager rations. Stew with spoiled meat and stale bread." While she permits no physical closeness, the quiet, reflective tone with which she relates her past holds the same worth, to her. Casting a glance down from the summit of the volcano, she frowns. "I'd have gone down in flames with my Oldtime." Literally. Returning her sight to him, "I might tell you. Depends how well you learn the list of, mm, vocabulary I wrote for you. You'll find the hide nestled in there." Wait — what? "First is 'foresight', then substitutes for the expletives you're so fond of using." Her smile is devious. Like a predatory feline.

"Spoiled meat? Shiiit." That doesn't sound like fun. Thierry pulls a face, bending down to carefully set the crate on the ground. Why? So he can fish about for his tokes. Hey, if Zeyta's staying that far away, he's going to indulge a little! "You wouldn't have come here? But… why? Din't all them what stayed die?" That anyone would even consider facing death in that manner boggles him… though the fact that he's got learning to do knocks him for six. "Wha? Vocabulary? You serious, la— brownrider? C'moooon." It has to be a lie.

"If everyone died," here Zeyta sounds cross and defensive, "Then there would be no High Reaches today. Even Crom survived." In colonies, but she skips that particularity. While she maintains a distance, her looks reach across from them: she musters a fierce glower from afar, lowering her chin to darken her scowl. "It was my home, and I would have been Weyrsecond at minimum." Of ruins. Now, learned indifference about her past merits a shrug from the brownrider. "I'm not dumbing my conversation down for you. Learn if you want me to tell you … things." Her lips shrink into a more wry grin — it's more serious.

Thierry's all sparked up now, exhaling his first smoke-laden breath. "But I like hearing you talk all fancylike. Makes certain bits go all tingly… a tongue that can wrap that well around words is gonna be good at other stuff, too." He winks at the brownrider, clicking his tongue in his cheek. "What d'you reckon woulda make you Weyrsecond, huh? I know they let girls do shit like that then, but what woulda made you good for it, lady?"

Zeyta bends her elbows to fold her arms across her chest. "Uh-huh," she murmurs dismissively, choosing to ignore his insinuations. "Why wouldn't I. I come — came from a prominent family with strong political ties. I have spent my life studying what it takes to — lead well. I don't owe anyone an explanation." She frowns, pensive as she bites her lip. Apparently, she has pushed past her threshold for sharing, today. "I must return to Igen. The wingrider will do a sweep of the island soon."

"Hey, Zeyta?" Thierry tosses his toke away as he steps towards her; he's learnt by now that she doesn't like it. Stopping a respectful distance away given the draconic presence that ensconces the brownrider, he dips his head, giving her a warm smile… then salutes. It's sharp - the guard's clearly trained him well. "I reckon I'd follow you if you were a leader." The salute drops, and his smile grows. "Thanks, lady. For coming to visit, bringing all that shit… it's awesome. I owe you in return now though, yeah?" He winks at her as he blows her an kiss, then goes to collect the chest. "Gonna be a bitch carrying this down." But he's laughing about it, so he can't mind all that much. "See ya soon, pretty. Catchya back home, yeah?" And there's another wink, before he begins the long journey back down the volcano, bearing so many delicious things to show off once he's back at camp.

"Hm?" Expecting little compared to what she receives, Zeyta focuses her attention, unflinching gaze directed in all its hardness on the guard-candidate. The ensuing series of smiles and proper salute from Thierry elicits mild surprise, masked well behind the smirk she retains control over. "Yes, well. That makes one person." Up she erects her stoic facade, nodding at him as she retreats into blank apathy, beginning to turn back to her dragon. "I believe this was a debt repaid. There is nothing owed. We'll see what I have time for — candidates are not generally on my radar." Taunt, denigration — who knows. Ever the enigma, she clambers atop her beastly brown, lifting off with to disappear into the sky, unseen phantoms returning to when they came.

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