Who

Ryott, Javid

What

The evening after Consequences, Ryott is summoned by the Spymaster.
Backdated

When

It is evening of the twenty-ninth day of the second month of the fourteenth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Javid's Wagon, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 19 Jun 2018 04:00

 

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“You dressed the part and you changed your voice. Tell me what else you should have done.”


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Javid's Wagon

Deep, rich shades of green highlighted by silver are the prevalent hues in Javid's wagon, lending the entire atmosphere a cool, shadowy calm quality that reflects the man himself. Countered by the warm light given off by the brazier sitting in the middle of the wall to the left of the entrance, each emerald accent can be seen in the drapes over slat windows, the intricately woven rug in the center of the floor, and the embroidered covers swathing the generously-sized bed that dominates the rear of the space. A hammered bronze washbasin stands beneath the window across from the brazier. Cabinets holding some food, liquor, instruments, props, and other necessities line the wall to the immediate left of the door, and between the end of this and the brazier sits a table and two chairs wrought of carved, polished hardwood. A wardrobe that stretches nearly floor to ceiling stands to the right of the washbasin. A hanging brazier for incense is often burning, lazy tendrils of smoke carrying the subtle fragrance of sandalwood - his favorite scent - throughout the wagon. And where does he keep the tools of his spy trade? That is for visitors to guess, and his secret to keep.


The sun has set and early evening has settled over the Zingari camp in the Caravan Grounds. Since arriving back in camp just in time for breakfast, Ryott spent her day keeping her head down and her nose clean. She paid extra attention in her classes, pushed herself vigorously during PT and actually did all her own camp chores before supper. But even though she put in the extra effort, the young spyling could feel her anxiety growing every candlemark that passed without being summoned to account for her actions that led her to spending the night in the brig. It was at supper when she received a message delivered by the Spymaster’s bronze Dusk, instructing her to report to Javid’s wagon as soon and she was able. Suddenly losing her appetite, Ryott dumped the remainder of her curry and set off for her reckoning. When she arrives at Javid’s wagon, she takes a couple of deep breaths to steady herself before rapping smartly at his door.

It isn’t often Javid has to make use of his table for reports, but he has a few this evening, apparently. Whether they’re new or things he’s been procrastinating on might be up for debate…though it’s highly likely that there’s one in particular dealing with a certain spyling of his on top of his small layering of hides. His table is something that hides itself normally, a wall slat for all intents and purposes, most of the time. Now it’s folded down, the spymaster sitting in a chair on one side, an empty one facing him on the other. When the knock comes, he rises almost soundlessly and opens the door, amber eyes surveying Ryott inscrutably for a swift moment. “Have a seat, Ryott,” he instructs quietly, waiting for her to pass him before securing his door and turning to resume his own seat.

“I have an accounting from one of the adepts regarding your little…adventure into the Bazaar brig last night,” he informs her as he sits, leaning forward just enough to settle his elbows on the table’s edge. “I want to hear it from you. Leave nothing out.”

Swallowing hard against the knot that rises in her throat when Javid answers the door, Ryott steps swiftly past him and settles in the nearest chair with minimal fidgeting. Her hands rest together in her lap and she sits with her back held straight, shoulders back. Hooded ebony eyes stare straight ahead of her, as she recounts the events at the racetrack that in turn led to the chase through the bazaar and her eventual capture. She doesn’t try to excuse herself, or lay blame elsewhere, her recounting sticks to the facts alone. Finishing her tale with her uneventful night in a cell, she goes on to explain how Divale ‘escorted her home’ and the salient points of their subsequent conversation. “And even though she definitely didn’t look pleased with the situation, she said she still has use of me. Although she did threaten that next time I was caught and brought under questioning she won’t save me. Not sure if I believe her entirely, she is definitely worried about me saying something to the wrong person about what she is doing.” And with that Ryott finishes her telling and returns her face to it’s usual impassive mask as she awaits the Spymaster’s response to her report.

Javid listens with an almost statuesque stillness, save for the subtle rise and fall of broad shoulders and the necessary blink of raptor-like eyes. “Yes, well, let’s not do any unnecessary provoking, regardless of what you believe from the wingsecond or not, hm?” The spymaster sits back, dark brows leveled in the subtlest of frowns. “This guard seemed unusually tenacious,” he observes, “though with the uptick in thefts around the racetrack he can hardly be blamed. But his suspicion wore down your disguise. It was much too close a call.” He draws a short, soft sigh. “Your face was seen when you were caught, yes?”

“Yes sir,” Ryott says after Javid’s first, agreeing that the brownrider is best left unprovoked. Shifting slightly in her seat, the spyling sighs softly, “Yeah, he seemed to be extra vigilant, he just wouldn’t lay off,” there’s a small huff of frustration before she continues, “Yes, they saw my face. There’s wasn’t much I could do about that. But Divale had her firelizards after me, and the other guard’s as well, and they called for a canine. I know it was a risk letting myself get caught, but I wasn’t going to lead them back here, and there was no way I was losing that kind of a tail.” At least not yet, Ryott’s been brewing some ideas though, she just needs to test them out. “I was pretty sure Divale wouldn’t let them question me though, and she stuck around to make sure,” shaking her head then with a sigh, the girl’s dark gaze settles once more on the Spymaster, hesitating about saying anything else, but clearly anxious to find out her fate, Ryott slips into silence again.

“You did not ‘let’ yourself get caught, Ryott. It was inevitable at that point. You did not enter the racetrack properly prepared. Clearly you are not yet skilled enough to understand just how many layers there are to a convincing disguise.” There is disappointment to Javid’s tone - very subtle, since what he says is simple truth, to his mind…but there nonetheless, as though he had hoped to find Ryott above average in this particular skill. “You dressed the part and you changed your voice. Tell me what else you should have done.”

The cocky teenager in Ryott wants to rail at the Spymaster's reprimands, balk at the idea that she wasn't up to the task. She manages to bite back her words as teeth sink into her lower lip hard and she draws her brows thoughtfully over near ebony eyes. When she once again trusts herself to speak, there are faint impressions upon her lip as she takes a breath to steady herself. “I could have used makeup to give my face a more masculine appearance. Maybe a shirt wig as well as the hat I was wearing,” the spyling takes a moment more to really consider her response before adding with a shrug, “If I actually had a runner waiting for me, the guard probably would have parted ways with me sooner.” Lifting her brows then, she looks back at Javid and waits to see if she has the right answers.

Javid listens to Ryott’s answers in a state of inscrutable stillness. He doesn’t disagree with her…but the answers aren’t what he’s looking for. “In the grand scheme of things, the material is easy,” he replies, sounding almost bored. His keen amber gaze is anything but bored, however. “Things are easy. What else?”

Clearing her throat in the face of the Spymaster’s bored tone, Ryott’s hooded gaze deepens as she drops her eyes to better focus inwardly as she considers her next reply. Though, on the outside, she may look quietly pensive, inside her heart is beating fast and its roar in her ears is making it hard to think. This isn’t how it was supposed to go. Her confidence slips just the tiniest bit as she finally brings herself to answer, words lacking her usual resolve, “I could have studied some other jockeys, tried to match their mannerisms more…” she trails off hesitantly as her dark eyes flick up again to meet his razor shape gaze. She doesn't like this feeling, this doubt that causes her to question if she really is as good and she thinks she is. It rests uneasily in her gut like a ball of ice.

Now you’re getting closer.” Javid leans forward now, fingertips settling on the wooden surface between himself and Ryott. His gaze never leaves hers, intense and unwavering, as though he might will her to understand. “There is an art to disguise, Ryott, not the mere practice of throwing on different garb and makeup and affecting a voice or an injury. A adept spy cannot afford to let a pretense run so shallow, or else something like today happens. You are not simply trying to blend into a crowd. You are inhabiting another person entirely. And a person is more than the sum of the material things about them.” A fingertip thumps the desk softly in punctuation of his words. “A disguise is a shell, yes. But a good disguise is a shell with many layers. There must be study. There must be observation, and that, I know you can do. Yes, it takes a considerable amount of time, but it is necessary in order to live convincingly in the skin you choose. You must patient and thorough to do as well as you possibly can at this. Do you understand?”

Is that a flicker of relief in Ryott’s eyes as the spyling’s eyes widen under the intensity of his gaze, caught but also in awe. Hanging on his every word, she burns them to her memory, knowing it would be foolish not to absorb every possible scrap of knowledge she can from the Spymaster, even if he’s scolding her in the meantime. Nodding almost imperceptibly as he makes each of his points. When he asks his last, with one final, firmer nod of her head, the girl simply replies, with quiet sincerity “Yes sir.” She had cut corners, acted cocky and it had got her in trouble. She wasn’t about to make that mistake again. Grasping on to the tiny hints of praise in Javid’s words, Ryott bolsters herself with a soft sigh, knowing she’s not out of the woods yet. There has still been no mention of consequence for her actions.

Javid is silently dubious that Ryott truly understands, but he is at least confident that she will understand eventually. Consequences are something the spymaster never doles out with the sole intent to punish, and now will be no exception. He sits back with a nod, folding his report and then his arms. “I expect to hear nothing of you missing any more classes, Ryott,” he tells her after a beat of considering silence. “Furthermore, you are to attend acting and improvisation classes with the players in order to explore more of what I have just talked about. And you are to cease pickpocketing until you are able to do so without tipping your hand. You want for nothing, and it is an activity that’s barely tolerated among us as it is. We cannot afford to have it draw attention to us, or come close to doing so. Any questions?”

Ryott has to clench her jaw against the teenage rebellion threatening to spill out of her over the Spymaster's words. More classes? No pickpocketing? The first doesn't bother her too badly, if it will help her become a better spy, she's all for it. Although extra classes means even less free time to do the work she is for Divale, and beyond any other reason, the girl's gnawing curiosity over what the brownrider is up to keeps her from wanting to end their association. But no pickpocketing? That's like telling Ryott not to breathe. She's been honing her skills for as long as she remembers and it's one of the things she prides herself in doing very well. One mess up in over a Turn of being at Igen… but she knows that's not the point, it only takes one time to ruin everything, pride be damned. Sitting in silence while she processes this all, her face remains in its carefully crafted mask of neutrality, the only tension visible in the line of her jaw. When the spyling can finally trust herself not to speak rashly, she shakes her head, “No questions sir. And I just wanted to say I am sorry, and I will do better.” Though her voice is its usual indifferent deadpan, there's an almost childlike quality that insinuates itself into her tone. Upon hearing it herself, Ryott winces and clears her throat as if it was merely a tickle to be taken care of.

Javid knows quite well that there’s more going on behind Ryott’s mask than meets the eye, but it isn’t necessary for him to try to force it to the fore. This time. He simply gives a nod to her words and straightens in his seat. “I expect you will. Dismissed, spyling,” he rumbles, and gestures toward the door, allowing the girl her escape.

There’s a moment of relief as Ryott’s dismissed. She’s still a spyling at least, that’s something. But she knows that’s a tenuous thing to hold onto when she has to prove herself even more now, show this one misstep is the sole exception and not the rule. With a firm nod of her head, she pushes herself to her feet. “Thank you. Good evening sir,” she signs off before she slips out of the Spymaster’s wagon and into the night, letting the shadows swallow her, out of sight.

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