Cullen, Sadaiya, Veresch


Veresch brings a surprise guest back from her ill-advised explorations.


It is evening of the twenty-second day of the third month of the first turn of the 12th pass.


The Council Chambers in Igen

OOC Date


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Council Chambers

However disheveled the corridor outside might lie, THIS room - the sole dominion of the Weyr's upper elite - is always sparkling, ever swept, ever dusted, its walls scrubbed free of the grime of ages. A certain spartan grandeur fills the Council Chamber, with its foreboding stonework and heavy wooden door. A round table fills the bulk of the space, an ancient creation of fire-hardened wood, carved with the three dune'd symbol of Igen Weyr. Chairs surround: hard-backed things (with thin cushions) for the most part, but two grandiose chairs, on opposite sides of the table, that seat Weyrwoman and Weyrleader. The walls are lined with elegant old tapestries, depicting scenes of ancient Igen glories.

Like Minnesota Fats over a pool table, so is Sadaiya over the table in the center of the chambers. Several pieces of hide and parchment are spread out, and she leans for all her squat body is worth to adjust one here and there into an existing stack, securing it with one of many different colored paperweights. It's not exactly graceful, or ladylike, the way her stunty limbs flail in the air as she grunts her way to organization, but ostensibly, no one's coming!

It is certainly the most unique angle Veresch has ever had of Sadaiya, and that counts the time she was soaked with juice. She looks back over her shoulder to the tall, sturdy man she's led through the cavern-complex to this spot, and her shoulders shrug idly as her hand drops the wrist she's been guiding him with, all excitement and avid curiosity. "I think she's busy," she says, rubbing tingling fingertips against her pants. Then, at least respectfully, she looks back again. "Weyrwoman? Sadie? I've got someone here that says he knows you, and he'd like to say hello again?" Another pause, as if she's thinking. "It's not that drunkard in Piss Alley, I promise."


Close enough though~

Poor dear Veresch - to take Cullen by the wrist and run excitedly will likely result in a lot of running in place and boundering forward like a canine coming up against the end of its leash. He's coming along, though! He's just - heavy. And an asshole. And seems for the most part to be amiably ignoring his eager sled dog escort, glancing around at his leisure (or whatever passes for leisure in the hungry-coyote lands of Cullen's innermost psyche) at the these, the better side of the tracks. It's like a very large dog loose in a museum, "Might be a drunk in Piss Alley, mind." His voice ratchets low on entrance of the room. And the view it offers. His voice drops low into a dangerous growl, "Goldrider Sadaiya." Now he does come forward, alone, to stand in the center of the room facing the tiny woman. His fists at his sides, his head low to view her beneath his heavy brows. "Face me, woman."

The crumpled goldrider jumps initially, her legs going straight before the owner of the voice is identified. With a slight sigh, while pushing herself to sitting on the table, she replies, "Awww, and here I was hoping. Let me guess, Tan: You're taking me to lunch because I'm working too… CULLEN!" The exclamation echoes off of the rock walls, and some of Sadaiya's work gets mussed as she struggles to the floor, too excited to notice. As soon as her feet hit the ground, she's off and running to throw her small arms around Cullen with a squeal. "I MISSED you! Where have you BEEN!"

Poor dear Veresch - to take Cullen by the wrist and run excitedly will likely result in a lot of running in place and boundering forward like a canine coming up against the end of its leash. He's coming along, though! He's just - heavy. And an asshole. And seems for the most part to be amiably ignoring his eager sled dog escort, glancing around at his leisure (or whatever passes for leisure in the hungry-coyote lands of Cullen's innermost psyche) at the these, the better side of the tracks. It's like a very large dog loose in a museum, "Might be a drunk in Piss Alley, mind." His voice ratchets on entrance of the room. And the view it offers. His voice drops lower into a dangerous growl, "Goldrider Sadaiya." Now he does come forward, alone, to stand in the center of the room facing the tiny woman. His fists at his sides, his head dips to view her beneath his heavy brows. "Face me, woman." (edited version; thx!)

Poor dear Veresch is scrappy though, and could probably use the endurance training to build a little more muscle tone. Still, she has the intense pleasure of seeing Sadaiya straighten and squeal, and toss her arms around Cullen's neck. She's absolutely beaming; though she steps a little away to let them greet each other, she merely fades to the nearest wall, there to rest from her ordeal earlier. She even gives a happy sigh, having done her good deed of the day.

"Prowlin' backyards and stompin' ass, where you THINK!" Cullen's laugh is full-stop HAH HAH HAH's like a pirate, his broken teeth bared fiercely right back. It should be no real surprise that he's not a 'tearful embrace' kind of guy, but Sadaiya's impact with him will find her scooped beneath the pits, spun, and then crammed up beneath a solid Cullen-arm to smush her down to the solid slabs of his flank. Like a football. He's timed this moment to deposit them both facing Veresch, passing the blame gladly, "You've this one to thank, 'rider. Hauled my ass in from a dry desert road like a dead animal. — Senior. How'd you pull that off?"

With another squeal, Sadaiya's whipped around with her feet kicking in blithe glee. "That sounds about right. Oh dear. Thank you, Veresch, so very much," she half-pants, hair mussed and smile dopey. "What were you doing out there, Cul'? For that matter, Veresch, where on earth did you go to! It sounds too far from the weyr!" Fret fret, as she does. "Will you be staying, Cullen? We've plenty of refugees here, right now, but I can squeeze you in one of the better spots. I mean, what's the point of ruling a whole mess of people if you can't do nice things for your friends? Either way, I do NOT want you out in Thread, sir, or the weather." One finger comes out to poke Cullen's chest, emphasizing her point. "And you, Veresch, be careful. There are unsavory people about the further away from here you go. And I don't mean this doofus."

Veresch's eyes go wide in perfect hazel innocence, and her lips settle into a rueful, slightly wicked pout. "I had to see if I could do it," she finally admits to her motives for even accepting the crazy run. Her eyes flick to Cullen, measuring his frame intently, and finally she nods. "He was … you get a feeling, right? If not, I'd have left his ass out there with that nightmare runner, I would never have brought him and potentially put you into danger, Sadie. But… you're happy though, right?" That's her reward, and she bestows a beautiful, brilliant smileo on Cullen for his role in it. Then, lazily added, with a wink. "Besides, the bigger you are, the harder you fall, right?"

"Oho, she means this doofus," is contended; between Cullen's perma-gritted teeth, eternal grimness and that lack of vital depth to his flat animal eyes, it's always hard to tell when he's joking or dead serious. Because he always looks dead serious; it doesn't change when Sadaiya pokes him in the chest only to find his hand locked around her tiny finger, trapping it RIGHT where it is. He's just gonna hang onto that, while talking to Veresch, "She speaks a truth; this of ours is an ugly world, with uglier men in it." He is now patting Sadaiya's hand. Like it needs to be soothed. Pat. Pat. Pfff fine he finally deigns to answer, "Mgh. The Chadey are away; scouting the roads further West. I'm covering the desert lands. I'll be about, but save thy sharding rooms for those that'd make a /use/ of them. Crowded in with the mouth-breathing masses and I'll likely as not climb the walls. Beat the eyelids off a man's face in a sevenday."

"I'm very happy, Veresch," assures Sadaiya, pretending NOT to notice Cullen's deathgrip on her digit save for her futile struggle to get it back. It makes her voice jiggle oddly with the motion, though her expression stays aloof. "Still, no more of that. What happens if you get lost? Though, I mean, I suppose firelizard, but what if there's a dust storm or, Faranth forbid, Thread?" The choppiness in her voice stops as her hand is patted, earning Cullen a wry sort of grin. "I suppose you're right, as much as the idea of the Chadeys being out these days makes me cringe. Um… how's… how's Raikel holding up?" Her smile takes on a definite wince as she mentions her wayward son. "Has he been good and all that?" Mother of the Turn.

Veresch's smile stays there, stays polite. "I appreciate the concern, Sadie," she murmurs as she walks closer, still graceless from now-cold muscles. She stands to tiptoe, she has to, in order to press her lips delicately to the top of the woman's head, what with the Weyrwoman held as she is. "I really do, but with things as they are… don't you think I already know that there are dangers out there? Truly. I will stay as safe as I know how to be." Which, given what she's sometimes happy grappling with, is admittedly not very. Her gaze flicks up-and-up to Cullen's animal-dead eyes, and she reaches out to pat him delicately high on the chest. "Take care of her and make her stop working, please? I have some more messages to run, but it looks as if she can do with a break." She's such a managing, uppity wench at times — perhaps she gets it from SADAIYA.

The bless of lips to Sadaiya's brow will be easy enough; Cullen lowers her to receive it on the journey to be set down, turning loose Sadaiya's finger as well. "Make or break world, is it," he muses, sizing Veresch up and down critically - it's so steady it's almost like he doesn't also clamp a hand around her wrist juuust shy of touching his chest, and move it aside to clear the way for him to MUSS HER HAIR. Or make a decent attempt to, "Mind you, girl. A breaking rarely heals to what had been before. You got cheek. Don't rush so fast t'get it smacked outta you." By Cullen. He releases her and jerks a head towards the exit, "Ayuh, then. Let's see those heels. Mayhap I'll run afoul of you again. It's brought me fortune so far." If this is business, it's probably not pleasure that draws out an exhaustive growl to turn back to Sadaiya, "He's spoil't. Indolent. The sharding princeling of the Chadey 'van - think Akadriel'd sooner give the knife to another man than a rod to his offspring." His jaw rolls forward, turning head away to raze the room with his searching eyes, "—you hadn't heard about Mir, I'd guess. Or Eli, that matter."

"Affection from everywhere! My afternoon is blessed." Veresch's Cullen-pat gets a slightly shocked raise of Sadaiya's perfectly plucked eyebrows, but she doesn't say anything. She DOES, however, grin a bit at the distraction, and the status of her only child. "He's at least a good boy thoough, right? Wait… what ABOUT Mir and Eli?" Her face drains of color (well, as much as it can), the smile sliding off of her face to be replaced by a look of worry. There's practically a CLUNK as her heart hits her stomach.

"If it does you," is all Cullen grumbles about Raikel being good, the privacy in the room allowing a few degrees of ease in the room now, and he drops away from Sadaiya to pace. Not in any specific direction, he'll soon enough the table. And eyeball the hidework on it, "The lads taken the fairest looks from either parent. Thy golden skin, his sire's bastard-blue eyes." Whatever hide he'd been scanning is found wanting, because he picks up its edge, stares at the hide beneath it, drops it again. Turns around to SIT on the desk with a loud exhale. So singly, he drops it all like an axe blade: "They didn't make it through."

The description of her itinerant son has Sadaiya smiling for a moment, but then it's lost as a hand raises to clap across her mouth, tears springing into her large, expressive eyes. "N…no! How could … how could that have happened? How?" There's a convenient chair nearby that's perfect for the Weyrwoman's behind to collapse into with a half-swoon. "Did their dragon get lost? Have YOU been okay?"

"Rmngh," just this sound, at first, Cullen's hard face wholly unchanging behind his blank-shallow eyes — slowly, he falls into a short, slow shake of head, a hiking up and dropping of shoulders. Scrubbing a hand up the back of his dusty neck, one eye squints shut, his mouth on that side absently exposing his teeth to say, kind of - casually? hopefully? "Elly made it through." Maybe these are his answers enough, watching the Weyrwoman cry before him without discomfort. This could, from his end, sound as though they were talking about a disappointing luncheon.

Slowly, Sadaiya nods, dabbing at the corners of her eyes with a knuckle. "That's … that's good at least," she manages after a bit with a voice as watery as her eyes. This time, it's Cullen's turn to get a pat on his hand, grizzled as it is. "Have you two been in touch at all?" Her expression changes slightly and she pauses momentarily, brow furrowing above her still glistening eyes. "I wonder why Sienna didn't tell me about, y'know. She's not usually the sort to brush it under the table. Though it's hard to say how people will react to pain like that." The hand pat becomes a squeeze, now, and Sadie's silent for a long moment.

Cullen doesn't shake off Sadaiya's hand - it's allowed to remain, him appearing to mostly ignore it, which by the laws of Cullen's Personal Space probably mean she's classified as part of His Territory for the moment. "Dunno if she knows - or knows f'sure. Not exactly a body to sling around." Nice, Cullen. He makes a different more prolongued exhale, "In touch, the willful childe - she's gone off on her own. Bought a wagon of her own marks off 'Kadriel, headed down to Southern on some wild dream to draw together her own 'van. I've no part in it. It was Mir's job to—" SHRUG.

WINCE. Sadie winces so are that it's practically audible, her face a sincere mask of 'like, gross me out, dude. The conversation, fortunately, continues on and, if her expression is any hint, she manages to put body-slinging firmly out of her mind. "Ha!" blurts Sadaiya, her voice still cracking. "Thatta girl. She's grown so quickly. You SHOULD make sure to make time for her. We're in a totally different, like, almost world here. Family's important, so important, if you have it." Her lecture is accompanied by a piercing look and accentuating squeeze of Cullen's crusty ol' hand. "Though coming to see me is for certain a start. I'm glad you're here, and if you need ANYTHING, let me know. Though, likely, I should go to check on the Chadeys sometime. It's just been… well, crazy. You've likely heard about the previous Seniors. Didn't much leave room for checking on my loved ones until recently."

"I don't envy you that," Cullen drops back his head and rasp-laughs. It sounds like crunching old leaves, "This place has been wrecked a few times since we even got here. Bazaars up in arms, caverns are overflowing, you got that sharding smartmouth Farmcrafter-Goldrider clutching on sands," he can somehow curse Tuli's name and sound savagely angry-pleased at once. "It's not small wonder you couldn't keep me here full-on with a chain. Pffffff. "Y'not gonna find the Chadey til they finish a circuit - no betweening points between here and ass-fuck nowhere. They'll turn up." Again, shrug, patting Sadaiya's little dainty paw, "Or they won't. An' they'll be gone, too, then." Just like that. He doesn't SAY it pessimistically, either. Just… blunt as a bag of hammers.

"Hey, you can't say it's not exciting." In an effort to add conviction to her statement, Sadaiya does a stupid little arm-swinging dance in place. "Wooo, party. But, yes. We're awfully glad to finally have a NEW goldrider in our future to contend with, and Tuli's not that bad. You're too hard on her. She's done so much for Igen that it's a wonder I've this knot at all. Sadly, I do, and thus have to deal with all sorts of fuckery." A sly grin curls her lips up to reveal even, white teeth. Teehee she cussededed. "Have you guys been able to shelter, at least, when Fall happens? That's my biggest worry, though leave it to you lot to have everything planned out ahead of time."

"Too hard, pff. I've known that brat since she was a chicken-legged little beanpole with all that," Cullen opens his fingers above the side of his head, "Poofy. Head." ALL that. He nods, snorting, "Ayuh. 'd lie if I said we didn't have to adapt. It's rough riding, but all our routes sought out water. All our routes sought out caves - some've even lasted all these years. And I'll tell you this?" Now it's Cullen's turn to turn up a bit of energy, leaning forward with his flat eyes open and lively, "There's gonna be days. Gonna be /'vans/ 'n supplies and tithes, that'll need a guide, in these changing lands. And that day comes, lady goldrider," he jerks a cocky thumb at his chest, "you call me, huh?"

Sadaiya's eyes crinkle at the corners, her face alight with affection for the rough man. "You bet!" she replies, grinning still. Her eyes turn speculative for a moment and she 'hmms' thoughtfully. "I just might have to contact folks in the outlying holds and see if I can't make sure those caves are well stocked, just in case, or at the very least tended to. Don't want you guys to have to deal with those REALLY nasty tunnelsnakes that sometimes crop up in the desert. One of my riders brought one — dead, thankfully — for me to see and it was the size of my ARM!" Her free arm sticks out to her side to illustrate. "Plus all sorts of creepy crawlies that gather when there aren't firelizards around to chomp on them, or people to squish 'em."

"Ho yeah. They get big," except Cullen sounds kind of rowdy about it. Like 'yow!' For just a flickered moment, you could almost see a child-Cullen chasing around little girls with crawliebeasts like it was NASCAR. "Heard Elly's been doin' a little side pest-control, down Southernways." He's rubbing his hands together, his tongue pinned down to an upper lip while his eyes take on that recognizable back-and-forth doubleswitching that is a brain running down a plan very, very rapidly. "—y'know. Why not." He's up, standing, throwing out his arms and grinning like a funhouse mirror, "Put me on it. It'd take a while to pull t'gether, recruit 'n inventory. But you get some nonparishables t'gether, some ceramics of water, seal 'em with wax. Give me a few workers, a guard're two mayap? I'll stow 'em. Shells-yeah."

Clapping her hands together, Sadaiya is the picture of glee, her eyes following Cullen's antics, laughter bubbling from her. It's quick to settle back into simply a smile tinged with sadness. Whoa, moodswing. "I'll get right on that! We've some promising guard recruits — a lot of women, too, much to W'rin's chagrin." She blinks, then huffs out a little laugh. "W'rin. Chagrin. Not to mention Cha'el, but, I mean, they've got to learn sometime, and I'm Senior here now. Man, can you even IMAGINE them meeting Cer… Kyri? With her speed, she might even be able to take W'rin down in The Pit. Eh, they'll learn. Anyway, I'm more than certain we can figure some accomodations out, and I'll make sure to send word ahead and hook you up with the necessary. Gotta keep mine safe! Some of our guests may even be willing to help the efforts."

Once again, Cullen seems immune to moodswings - there's a job at hand, and now that it's on the table his little rawhide workaholic's heart is caught. He's just helping himself to Sadaiya's desk, turning over hides until he finds a mostly empty one, licking the nib of a pen to loosen it for ink from a well. "The Killer'd cream 'im," Cullen agrees, "Shells, I did." It was a good brawl, W'rin against Cullen. All bloody teeth and lively eyes. "I can help ya plan it, ma'am, but I'mma need a lotta help. Smiths 'n Healers, to start. Storage'll be a thing, an' temperatures. I'll scout a few trails out along the road, but if ever was an opportunity to hit a supply train, it'd be a party like this." Almost wistfully said - if the shoe were on the other foot…

"I'm sorry I missed that fight! Usually I'm down there when time permits. Though, admittedly, that's sadly infrequent." Scooting the chair closer to the table, Sadaiya imitates Cullen's idea, grabbing herself some scrap hide. "Don't worry about most of this," she murmurs idly while flicking through the stacks. "It's a lot of it useless past information on supplies. I was just doing the super exciting job of acquainting myself with all the numbers from the past. Now, we might want to make sure scurvy doesn't happen by…" And, as the day winds on, the two reacquaint over the excitement that is administration.

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