Who

Mayte and Terrian

What

Mayte recruits Terrian to go investigate the reports of burned cotholds. They're not entirely welcome.

When

It is sunset of the fourth day of the twelfth month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Igen Weyr Stables

OOC Date

 

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Stables

The powerful odor of hot runner lies heavy in the air here, and even the relative open of the stable design - roomy stalls, lofty arches, this is incongruously one of the best designed buildings in the entire Weyr, legacy of a long-ago Weyrleader of Herder origins - cannot altogether dispel the stink of Animal. The Stables serve for the Weyr's population of runners, and house a small menagerie of other creatures. Avians, caprines and porcines all have their homes here, and all add to the earthy feel of the place.


"No, I ain't got authorization. Common Shev, you know how the guard here works." Terrian stands at one edge of the stables, arguing softly with one of the stables hands. It isn't going well, as attested by the way the stablehands stands with his arms crossed against his chest and shakes his head. "Be worth more than my job to be letting you take her overnight. If it was close, that'd be one thing, but…. Common Teri, they can't be that bad."

Into the midst of this argument marches Mayte. Her eyes are narrow, speculative, lips are pursed. She's making the slow marching stroll up the line of animals, stopping to peek in each stall. Totally natural. Nothing to see here. But sooner or later, her track takes her into the conversation between the stablehand and the guard. Fists on hips, she watches the conversation briefly, biding her time before that all-important question: "What are you talking about?" Glance from stablehand to Terrian and back: "Who's taking who overnight?"

Mayte's sudden apperance spooks the stablehand. He nods to her respectfully his tone falling into one which should appease those-in-power, "Just telling the guardsman that I cannot allow him to take a runner overnight. He doesn't have authorization from the guard captain." Terrian's lips tighten just a titch as the man lays out his plans to the almost weyrwoman. A deep breath is taken as he turns to the woman. No words.

The Stablehand's reaction has Mayte shooting a look at the man. Sheesh. "Guard captain, huh?" The almost Weyrwoman is getting used to at least getting listened to, as arms cross reflexively, "And have you heard from the Guard Captain directly?" The man shakes his head so Mayte loosens one hand to wave it impatiently: "Well, go find him then." And that? That's dismissal. Shev has his marching orders, and Mayte looks up at Terrian, "So. What do you need a runner overnight for?" Just getting in people's business, same as every other day…

Shev is gone. If it was a cartoon there would even be a cloud of dust trailing behind him as he books it out of the area. Terrian watches him go, a slight smile quirking onto his lips before he represses it to face the woman. "There've been some reports comin' in that the smaller cotholds are gettin' robbed when riders ain't scheduled to be flyin' over. Ain't been gettin' good reports, so I was wantin' to be goin' out to find out what ain't makin' it into the offical repots." His gravly voice is smooth as he watches for Mayte's reaction. He knew at least one person in the weyr was aware of the robberies, but not whom else was in the know.

Mayte doesn't even turn to watch Shev leave. Begone. Instead, she's waiting for Terrian's response. At least she's not tapping her foot, right? "The smaller cotholds, huh," the young woman muses, even if her voice holds deeper portent: "Well then." This level of cheerful means something's going to happen, "We should go check them out, shouldn't we." Wait, wut? At least Mayte is waiting for the guard's response without dashing off, but she's clearly impatient through raised eyebrows and a brief shake of her head.

Terrian BLINKS as Mayte's response isn't at all what he had expected. Then a slow smile spread across his face, "Aye. Headin' out would be good." Turning he offers the almost not-a-weyrling his arm. The hat, which is suspiciously cowboy in shape, is taken off his head and he uses it to gesture will. "I'll be followin' your lead ma'am."
You are empty-handed.

Oh good, she surprised the Guard. Mayte grins at his response and nods, "Well. You got something a bit warm to wear?" A wave to the riding jacket she's wearing, "Rhiscorath's waiting outside," carefully out of view of runners, herdbeasts and other assorted delicious things, "And it's a lot colder up in the air than down here." Now that we're all on board figuratively, Mayte makes her way out the stable door, looking over her shoulder only once to make sure Terrian's following.


VTOL Swamp Hold
Mud, muck, creatures and insects lurking unseen on, in, and above the water in twisted, moss-draped trees - the quintessential swamp exists in all its dark, damp glory all around the hold in its midst. Even so, the water is not entirely stagnant here; the ebb and flow of the river keeps things moving, and no growth (except for the ancient, gnarled trees) is ever permanent. For all it is a swamp, there is a subtle beauty to this verdant, humid area. Once you get past the vtols.


Silently, hauntingly, a large-and-still-growing gold swoops into the humid area, pulling up just in time to settle gently to the ground. Her foreleg outstretched gives Mayte and passenger a way to disembark, even if they have to jump to the ground. "Rhiscorath," Mayte explains, "Doesn't like wet things." Mayte's hop is pretty elegant - maybe she's used to this, but at least the gold waits for Terrian to land before pulling herself up: ew, grody, gross grossness. At least she's not leaving, right? "So. These cotholds." Mayte scans the swamp and then turns to Terrian, "Where are they?"

Once upon the ground Terrian steps away from the gold and bows slightly to her. "Thank you ma'am." It pays to be respectful to creatures big enough to eat him after all. And important enough to get away with it. Straigtening up he eyes the gold, and then Mayte. "Could she be waitin' a bit off? We got a bit of a trek, and mayhap it'd be helpful in loosin' tongues if she ain't around."

Rhiscorath scans the terrain carefully, taking in every nook from her perspective. A cough and grin from Mayte sees the gold turn and nod to Terrian with a soft huff. "Gladly," Mayte replies cheerfully, and something between rider and dragon has Rhiscorath rising to take off: "She'll hang out somewhere drier," Mayte says, "But not so far she can't be here in, like, an instant." Hear that, evil-doers? An instant. "So!" Weyrling Mayte says brightly, "Which direction?" Given he's the guard, she lets him take the lead.

Terrian watches the gold fly off, and relaxes just a bit. They've landed far enough away from the hold to not have been noticed by many so far, and as far as the guard is concerned that is the way it ought to be. "Now, 'bout you." He examines the teenage weyrwoman for a moment, and makes a decision. He steps forward without permission and around Mayte. His hat comes of fhis head and settles onto hers, as her hair is pushed up under that. It is a pretty terrible fit. "And this thing," her knot. He doesn't go to untie it though, leaving that for the girl to do.

Whoa, whoa, no touchy! Mayte recoils for a moment as Terrian's hat is on her, and hands around her head, "Whoa!" Her cry starts loud, but ends in forcedly hushed tones: "Gotta ask a girl before you do things like that." No touch. One hand goes to cover her knot cautiously, and it's a little reluctantly that Mayte takes it off and tucks it into an inside pocket in her jacket. "I thought," she grouses, "We'd be lookin' at holds where no one's living anymore." But whatever, the game is afoot, and Mayte peers over again: "Well. What now?" Other than looking like a really cute boy…

"They be suspicious folks out here ma'am." Watch him being all respectful after going all touchy on the teen. "We got to be talkin' to the livin' to be findin' out what happened to the dead. Think've it as guardin' one-oh-one." Because that euphemism totally exists on Pern. His long distance eating strides step out across the swamp, leading Mayte towards what looks like a whole bunch more of swamp. If she follows though, she'll notice he keeps on a fairly direct path towards a corpse of trees. On the other side of them is found a rather run-down cothold.

Just what the Shell is Terrian talking about? Mayte shakes her head a little but follows the man, careful to keep her tracks inside his larger ones. "So," and Mayte at least gives some effort to keep hush, even if she's having to work a little harder to keep up, "Why would anyone go and burn down cotholds?" It seems a reasonable question, even as they approach this one by the trees. "I mean, are they hiding something?"
"Most likely they're stealin first, and then burnin' to hide what they took." Terrian's tone isn't particularly quiet, apparently he's not too worried about someone hearing them. As they approach the cot hold he cups his hands around his mouth and calls out, "Ho! The hold!"

Mayte wrinkles her nose at the thought of this but there's some sense to it: "An' I guess it's too much to ask they just don't steal things in the first place." Such common sense! Mayte starts at the noise Terrian's making: "We wanna be that loud?" No, she's not nervous; hands are stuffed in her pockets as she stands abreast with the guard, staring up and over the cothold.

The reason for Terrian's call becomes obvious when the doorway to the cothold opens and a man with a bow and arrow steps out. "You all comin' to steal? Ain't got nothin' left after that last crew came through." The man before them is tall, wiry, and looks like he could use a few baths. He holds the bow steady on the pair, brows knit and looking very very suspicious. Terrian holds up his hands and put up a disarming smile. "No sir. We're lookin' to see if mayhap we could be talkin' to the holder. Jahm was sayin' you got troubles here 'bout?"

Nope, Mayte was not expecting the arrow. Hey, guess who looks like a great shield? Without actually taking a step, Mayte shifts slightly so ducking behind Terrian is a lot easier, but she does tip up the brim of her new hat to smile ingratiatingly, if a little nervously, at the holder. "And I'm with him!" she pipes up, to say something. In case the holder thought she was malfeasant or something.

Terrian's hands are still up, and his gravly voice is soothing. "Why don't you just be puttin' that arrow down and we can be talkin'. I'm part've the guard down in Igen, and we're lookin' to mayhap be seein' if we can help. You been robbed recently?" The wiry man eyes the pair of them, his eyes lingering on Mayte a bit longer then is strickly necessary before finally lowering the arrow. He doesn't put it away though, making it clear that shooting the pair of them is still very much on the table. He nods abruptly. "Aye. 'bout a sevens day back. Sweep riders had just gone when they came pourin' out of the swamp. Lizzy got hurt tryin' to stop 'em from goin' into her man's place. Took what they could and burned her place down."

Mayte just looks innocent. Or unobtrusive. She grits her teeth behind lips at the examination of the holder, but listens carefully, eyes squinting in suspicion. Instead of waiting for Terrian to ask more, she cuts in, a little quickly: "Just after the riders'd left?" She's totally with the band, and by 'band', she hitches a thumb at Terrian, "An… took what they could? Even things that didn't mean nothin' to anyone but her?" Mayte totally needs a pipe for this, and a deer-hunter cap. Even if her vocabulary is sliding a little.

The holder's eyes narrow when the woman starts spreaking. He'll listen to her questions, and shoot a look at Terrian. Is he really going to let a woman speak like that? Because he totally isn't fooled by that hat. An eyebrow quirks up from Terrian, oblique support for the slender woman. Finally, the holder answers her question. "Couldn't be takin' the kitchen sink. Ain't got no value. Got anything what was metal or ain't nailed down 'n was easy to carry. Was almost like they was knowin' right when them riders was goin' to be disappearin."

Mayte totally should have brought the pipe. Coulda disguised herself better. She does huff in response, a bit of laughter in her voice as eyebrows bounce in acknowledgement of the holder's comment. She is quiet, listening to the old man rant, eyes flicking to Terrian once in a while. When the old man gets to his last, Mayte's face sets and she mutters, "That fast…" Something's going on in Mayte's head that she's not letting on just yet. Fingers start to tap on her thigh, and the woman gazes over into the trees, glaring at them almost.

The holder on the other hand isn't finding any entertainment what-so-ever in his comments. The scowl that settles on his features is fierce and he raises that bow of his up again. "Why don't you both be gettin' gone? Ain't heard nothing from Jahm sayin' he was friends with no guard and his b*tch. What I got to prove you both ain't thieves comin' to be seein' what we got left to be stealin?"

That bow has Mayte narrowing her eyes; she's brave but not stupid, so she'll hmph; not even getting called a bitch can get her too riled. A brief look at Terrian and Mayte replies, as customer-servicey as anyone would like, "We'd like to thank you for talking with us," blah blah blah, "But we'd be the worst thieves in the world. Y'seen us, we got nothing on us," hands slowly inch out of her pockets to show they're empty, "And the sweep riders could come at any time." As disarming shrugs go, Mayte's could probably use some practice, but she does take a step back. Friendly-sauce!

What is the big muscled guard doing while Mayte talks? His eyes are traveling around the area, taking in any details. There is a hint of smoke in the air, the smell strong enough that it couldn't possibly be coming from a cook fire. He notices the extra locks hanging half-hidden in the shadows behind the man, and the pair of eyes peaking out behind blond hair. Even that arrow doesn't quite cause him to bring his attention back to the situation, satisfied to let the weyrwoman practice those diplomacy skills.

Yeah, what IS Terrian doing? Mayte looks over at the man with an impatient 'back me up here' look, but since he's off doing something else, cogitatin' or something, she'll just continue: "Besides, you said they came from the woods, didncha?" A wave in that direction, "And we're right up front." See, we're not dangerous! "Where was, uh, Lizzy's man, when the attack happened?"

The holder eyes them suspiciously, but it IS hard to deny the woman's logic. "Aye. Well." A pause while he continues to frown. "Was workin' in the swamp. They must've been watchin' 'cuz they knew he wasn't home. Everyone's the same. Been 'bout half dozen cotholds what have the same thing. Either ain't no'un home or just them kids. And right after them riders left the sky. Some've usa re thinkin' mayhap thems from the weyr. Ain't good enough t' be gettin' our tiess, them riders be gettin' greedy." There's bitterness in the man's voice.

Terrian keeps his mouth firmly shut as the accusation falls from the man's lips. He'll wait patiently to see what the newly minted rider has to say about that.

HAH, logic for the win! "So this isn't the first time," Mayte figures aloud, "When people are working, and right after sweeps leave." Suddenly, something smoulders behind dark eyes, "Were any of the kids hurt?" Mayte may not like kids, but abstract ones are just fine. The smoulder continues as Mayte looks around again, saying with simple logic, "Pfft. If t-a Weyr was involved, wouldn't they use dragons too? Instead of waiting for them to leave?" CSI Mayte is here. She starts to move away from Terrian, perpendicular from his side. "Any runners? Canines?"

The arrow is slowly drifting downwards again, pointing to the ground. Those eyes watching from the doorway grow bolder, and out from the darkness comes a child, no older then three years old. Her thumb is stuck firmly in her mouth as she walks forward to grab onto what has to be her grandfather's shirt. She stays shyly hidden behind the holder, just watching. "Don't know why them riders do what they do. They ain't like us." He finally allows the arrow to drop all the way. "Runners ain't much good in the swamp. But they got to have somethin' to be cartin' off our stuff with."

For all that Mayte seems infuriated by the allegations of hurting children, she doesn't spare the little kiddy much more than a quick look at first. Instead, she answers the holder, while making sure she doesn't get stuck too, "Dragons neither - they'd land and sink in." A narrow look at the holder, "Besides, where a rider goes, a dragon's not far behind, right?" That greasy little grin is to hide the lie, but Mayte switches quickly to hmming instead, "Besides, what would they want with furniture'n'sh-" eyes cut to the child, "stuff?" Eyes cant to the old man again, "'less they left that?"

"Everything they couldn't carry got burned behind 'em." Finally, the arrow is allowed to drop the rest of the way. The kid, growing bolder, peaks out from behind her grandfather. Her voice is soft, "You gonna tell the riders to help us? Grandther says they's too busy fightin' thread." Her voice is sweet, of course, she's a little kid asking.

Terrian kneels down so he's on eye level with the girl. "Aye, we're gonna be helpin'. You ever met a dragon afore?" And he'll cast a glance backwards at the young weyrwoman. Maybe it's time to tell them who she is? But he doesn't say it aloud, letting the suggestion lay.

Mayte is busy examining some brushed ground, but looks up suddenly, "Burned everything, huh." Her tone is soft, almost absent, as if she's taking notes, or at least repeating them for transcription later. "Yeah… Yeah, we're gonna tell the riders to help you," she says, turning to face the little girl and Terrian. And of course, the grandfather. A brief look over her shoulder and slowly, almost shyly, Rhiscorath who has managed to somehow hide just around the corner, comes padding silently, wings folded tightly. Mayte turns to nod tersely while Rhiscorath paces just a bit closer, craning her neck towards the little girl. O hai.

The smile on Terrian's face grows when he glances backwards and sees the gold coming around the corner. The little girl lets out a GASP at the large shiny dragon, and scoots behind her grandfather again, leaving only her eyes to peak out from behind him. The holder's grip on that bow loosens considerably has his face goes slightly white, realizing just who it must be that he had just been pointing an arrow at. "We don't mean no harm. Just tryin' to be gettin by. 'tween Thread and these damned robbers, things are gettin' pretty hard."

Watching the little girl, Mayte can't prevent the little grin on her face as she comments, "Aww, Rhiscorath just wants to meetcha." As for the old man, Mayte offers a little, old smile: "S'why we're here, sir." To get arrows pointed at her? Mayte continues: "My mum would have my hide if I didn't figure out what was goin' on." Rhiscorath is busy investigating small kiddies; a few snuffles while she's trying to peek around the corner of the old man, even as Mayte's saying, "We all grew up somewhere, right?" Hint, old man, hint.

The old man however, isn't about to let his granddaughter a single step closer to that dragon. "We're simple folk. We'll just… be lettin' you go." Reaching down the old man grabs the hand of the small girl, and tows her back into the cot hold. The last that is seen of either of them is the flashing of the little girl's eyes as she disappears through the door, thumb stuck back in her mouth as she STARES at the gold dragon. Terrian stands, and brushes the thick clay of the swamp from his knees. "Went better then I could've been expectin'." He annouces abruptly as the door slams shut.

Awww. Rhis huffs a little and watches the door close while Mayte just grins a little. That grin widens briefly but Rhiscorath's head is swinging and you don't make fun of the secretary. Eyes widen at Terrian's statement: "Better?" she asks incredulously, and a hand waves in the direction of the cot, "You thought that went well?" She pauses and admits, "We found out something, but…" Dark hair shakes, the hat falling askew. Mayte's scowl gets deeper: "They kept coming when dragon sweeps left." And that's something to chew on as she looks to Terrian with a sigh, "Is there anything more for us here?"

"Oh, we learned plenty. That bit 'bout the riders. That them rumors about burnin' what they can't be carryin' off, stakin' out. Shows this ain't no random band what is preyin. There's some'un in charge what is bein' careful not to be gettin' caught." Terrian's voice takes on a speculative look as he eyes the closed doorway. Finally, after a space he turns a small on Mayte. "Went well enough. Didn't get shot aye? You got stones lass, to be talkin' like that when you got an arrow pointed at you."

It's right when Terrian mentions 'burning' that Mayte goes thoughtful, then excited. In fact, she sniffs loudly and asks, "Smell that?" Without even waiting for Terrian to respond, "I don't know about you, but if they were usin' dragons to burn things, we'd smell firestone." A considering thought, "Or agenothree." Sniffsniff. Talk of her stones? Mayte shrugs: "I was standing close enough I could have ducked behind you without a lot of injury." Or so Mayte thinks, at least. "You're big and … prominent."

"I." Terrian pauses as her thought, sniffing the air himself. There is no hint of either substance, but Terrian makes a mental note to see if there was an acceleratnt used. "You're a sharp one lass." As for the comment about being a shield for arrows… "Glad you was able to be talkin' him down. Doubt that weyrleader've yours would've been too happy if his newest weyrwoman got holes poked in her too soon." Turning he offers Mayte his arm again. "Shall we be gettin' back to the weyr?"

"Pfft," Mayte replies, "Once you smell like agenothree or firestone, you can't miss it." As for Weyrleaders being protective? Mayte chews on her lower lip for a moment and ums, "Yeah." And then her eyes light up: "You report to Sadaiya, right?" Need she say more? Rhiscorath, subverted in her own investigations, turns and offers her arm as a mounting aid. Mayte clambers up happily, clipping herself in, and offers a hand up to Terrian. And his hat too, "Should probably take this back… Sorta not my style.” Rhiscorath waits for Terrian, who’s taking a bit of time to mount up safely, to be secured before stepping back a few paces, turning and making the first leap into the air to head back to Igen Weyr with news.

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