Beris, Xanthee


Beris and Xanthee bump into each other in the Menagerie and chat about finding things lost.


It is midmorning of the nineteenth day of the ninth month of the fourteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Menagerie, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 12 Aug 2018 04:00


beris_default.jpg xanthee_default.jpg

"Lost something?"



The labyrinth of square geometry was once a familial compound purchased by the Steens and reinvented to display animals of a different kind. A 10-foot high wall of neat stone and adobe encloses the menagerie's total property and in front, a trefoil arch with a gate leads the way into a small courtyard improved by several rock gardens and succulents, some many meters tall. Beyond brilliant alabaster pillars are quarters for a variety of animals: a pair of giant white cattle on loan from Igen Hold's closed herd, whersports from southern jungles, a dynasty of desert-dwelling snakes, and in a well-shaded enclosure heaped with boulders: a young watchwher still growing into his wing stubs.

In the northeast corner stretches many desert willows and a freshwater pool 3-feet deep at its margins, stocked with a breeding colony of pinioned waterfowl, striped and vivid-colored, once called mandarins.

Many benches are placed for strategic loitering, though a full troupe of firelizards with the run of the place monitor for wrongdoings and safety of the animals. The newness of the menagerie and several empty quads tell of more animals to come.

It is the nineteenth day of Autumn and 86 degrees. All throughout the day, the air is strangely still and unmoving. Overhead, the skies blaze a brilliant, cloudless blue.

It's autumn hot, a relief from the blazing heights of the summer temperatures. On a late morning like this, without a breeze to offer some relief from the sun in the clear sky, shade is a welcome thing. The menagerie has plenty of that, thanks to the foliage planted here and there around the place. Beris is taking advantage of one particularly tall and broad-leaved plant, sitting in its shadow on a bench opposite the enclosure with the watchwher. Even with the welcome shade, she wears a headscarf and long, loose clothes to shield her from being burned, her dark eyes on the animal as it paces in its enclosure, pausing only to worry at a big bone, tossing it this way and that almost playfully.

With the autumn sun almost high in the sky, Xanthee is looking for something but it isn't shade at the moment. Dressed in a simple white cotton dress with short sleeves and a hem that falls to her ankles, she is in the bazaar afterall and knows the more conservative bent of its inhabitants when it comes to women. Wearing a white hat with a wide brim to match, the raven haired girl makes her way carefully through the labyrithine nature of the menagerie, eyes wandering the path and the benches as she furrows her brows together muttering under her breath, "It's gotta be here somewhere…"

Beris's musings about the watchwher are interrupted by Xanthee's arrival. Not that there's any irritation on the woman's face when the muttering teenager approaches; rather, it's curiousity that causes a few lines to appear on her brow, her eyes narrowing with interest. "Lost something?" She asks, loud enough to hopefully be heard, her eyes flicking to see if there's anything obviously hanging around on the floor, waiting to be found.

Pulling herself out of her thoughts long enough to register that she's being talked to, Xanthee greets Beris with a smile, "Yeah, one of my favorite scarves. I'm sure one of my greens made off with it, Banshee is always stealing my clothes for nesting materials. She gave me a vague image of some benches and a path, so I figured this might be a good place to look." She straightens, her hands on her lower back as she stretches enough to cause some audible pops. "I don't usually mind if I can't find their clutches, but this was a handmade gift, it kind of means a lot." With a sigh, she turns to look at the older woman, "What were you looking at? The watchwher?" she asks curiously.

When the explanation comes, Beris's expression becomes sympathetic, a downturn of the lips; a softness to her dark eyes. "Makes sense as a starting point," she considers the immediate area. "This place is like a maze, though. Maybe someone found it and handed it in to the guards?" She's trying to be optimistic, but she knows what the bazaar is like, and there's a hint in her tone that she knows the scarf's survival is unlikely if it was out for the taking. "Hm? Oh, yeah." Beris turns back to see what the creature in question is doing. It's laid down now, gnawing the bone enthusiastically and blinking out at the world. "I'm never quite sure how I feel about it being kept like that."

"If someone found it, they probably would have kept it, although it wouldn't hurt anything to ask the guards with something was found," Xanthee adds, not really convince it will do any good, "I know it's silly. It's just a scarf, I have a whole drawer full of them knit by my foster mother, but…" she shakes her head a bit before worrying at her lower lip and turning slightly in the direction of the watchwher's enclosure, desperate for a change of topics, "Well I've always been told they aren't like dragons or even firelizards, and don't Holders keep them mostly chained up anyway? Here at least he doesn't have to work, he just has to laze around and let people watch him while they feed and take care of him."

At least they're both thinking the same thing. Beris's mouth pulls down morosely when Xanthee hints at the personal value of the scarf. She knows when not to probe at least, and lets the conversation change onto the topic of the watchwher. Her gaze rests on it, watching the animal. "Yeah. They're supposed to be less intelligent, right? No idea about what Holds do with them but…aren't there wild watchwhers?" Apparently it's not a thought she's considered before, as she voices that question naively. "I guess it must be nice to just be kept and looked after, but I wonder if it'd prefer to be running free. Him, I mean."

"Whersports yeah, but I've always thought that watchwhers were all used to guard Holds," Xanthee muses as she cranes her neck to see more of the creature as he works at the bone he's gnawing on. "I had heard that too though, that they were less intelligent. Must be if they don't impress like dragons and firelizards. Maybe I'll look through the records we have on Holds. Spend a lot of my working time in there anyway." Her last is delivered with a good-natured grin, showing just how much she loves her job despite the small jab. At the idea of being kept versus running free, Xanthee ponders for a moment before replying, "Well not if it's never known anything else, it probably couldn't survive on it's own at this point."

Beris nods mute agreement with that thought. "Would be interesting to know more about them. They must have some kind of intelligence, if they can be used to guard places…." The watchwher isn't doing anything different, so she turns her attention from it to Xanthee. "That's a good point…especially if it got turfed out into the desert." There's a small, almost mean smile at the idea of the creature having to survive out in the unforgiving Igen desert. "How is your job going? Must be way more interesting than serving tea." She doesn't sound jealous, more truthful - most jobs probably are more interesting than being a server in a shop.

"Well if I find anything out, I'll let you know," Xanthee replies with a friendly smile before chuckling, "I don't think most people would survive that, and we can at least claim intelligence." Taking a few more steps, she ducks to look under a bench cause she thought she saw something, but it just turned out to be a weird shadow. When asked about her job, Xanthee beams, "Well, I don't miss the customers that's for sure. It's a lot of work, but I love to be busy. I hated slow times in the Tea Room, I would do all my extra work and then just have to wait…" She shudders with frustration. "Although now whenever I go in there, I have to keep myself from jumping in and helping out," she admits with a giggle before tilting her head in Beris' direction. "What about you? Still at the Pit right?"

"True. I wouldn't fancy my chances out there." And Beris considers herself fairly intelligent. She bends to peer at the bench Xanthee's looking at, but apparently there wasn't anything there to begin with. "Hah. Yeah, sometimes I think I jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire going to the Pit, but it does keep things lively." She has to laugh when Xanthee mentions wanting to jump in and help at the Tea Room. "Yeah, I was like that. It does get better. I swear the sound of people coming in has like, conditioned me to look at the entrance, though, like I need to be ready to take their order." She nods to Xanthee's question. "Yup. Serving alcohol is pretty fun, especially mixing drinks. Not something you'd get in a tea room," she adds with a grin.

Xanthee grins a bit as she moves down the pathway a bit, peering in the enclosure with the waterfowl, preening at their plummage in the shade, "Lively can be a good thing, keeps you on your toes," she grins at the girl's next, "Oh yeah! I do that too, constantly! It's total reflex by now, can be a little annoying at times, but it's still the best place for a cup of tea in the bazaar." Turning to lean slightly back onto the fence around the enclosure, Xan raises a brow, "Oh? You're mixing drinks and not just serving them? That's got to be fun. What's your favorite mixed drink then? To either drink or mix, or both." Cause the girl's curiousity has been piqued with the mention of alcohol. Bad Xan!

Beris sits a moment longer, then makes a decision and rises, moving to join xanthee by the waterfowl enclosure. "Definitely. The customers can be rowdy, but I'd rather than that something boring." No offence, Tea House! She grins, too, at their shared misery in learned reflexes. "Yeah. I always try to sit by the window if I can help it, so I can watch people and not think that I should be going around cleaning tables." The smile stays as she watches the waterfowl, particularly one that's a bit larger than the others, and preening on a rock. "Hah," Beris lets out an abrupt laugh. "Well, to drink - I like a sweet drink, so there's ones I can make with fruit syrups. You can layer the spirits and the syrups, it looks really good. To serve," and her eyes get a mischevious twinkle as she looks sidelong at Xanthee. "Ramita's spicy-hot drinks are always good for a laugh if you give it to someone who asks for 'anything'."

"Layered drinks? I love it!" Xanthee says, emerald eyes alight with interest as she ponders inviting her besties over from Southern for a much needed girl's night out, but unfortunately quickly remembers that Reve, or Evka, can't even fly between yet. Sigh. At the mention of spicy-hot drinks, she gets a bit of quirked brow of interest. "I don't think I've heard of those before. Aren't drinks supposed to be refreshing? Although…" she muses, "I suppose it could make people drink more, in that case it's rather genius if you ask me."

Beris can't help but give a satisfied smile that her work is exciting to people other than her. "You should come by and try some. Though depending on how you are with spice…maybe work your way up to Ramita's creations," she laughs. "They probably do. Usually people have to have something right after to wash away the spice." Her eyes are alight with amusement at such memories. "You're working under Nasrin, right? Do you get to travel anywhere with her, that sort of thing?"

"I like a little spice, in food anyway, not sure about it in drink, but I'm game to try," Xanthee says before reaching up and adjusting her hat slightly, "I am. She's great." the girl replies with no small amount of hero-worship in her sparkling emerald eyes. "Oh yeah, occasionally she'll take me out to visit Holds with her, seeing all kinds of places I haven't before. I feel like I've been kind of sheltered so far, but at least now I'm spreading my wings as it were." A memory springs to mind as she looks at Beris, "Didn't you…weren't you looking for family or something a while bad? I don't think I ever asked how that went."

"You definitely should try it," Beris says. Is she a salesman even outside of the Pit? Free walking advertising? She doesn't linger on the topic though, leaning against the fence and watching Xanthee as she talks about her work with Nasrin. "Sounds pretty nice. Getting out and seeing places, doing important work." She doesn't sound jealous, exactly - she does some travelling herself, now and then. But there is a genuine interest in what Xanthee's up to. Beris seems almost surprised that someone would remember something about her, and she pushes a stray lock of hair back under her scarf before she answers, with a muted pride. "I was, and I found them. In Katz Field Hold, of all places. Mother and father both, and a brother and sister." She can't help but smile, though she's turned her head to look at the waterfowl again.

"Drumming up business huh? I know how it is," Xanthee replies with a sly grin as she giggles, "It's been awhile since I've been to the Pit, I'm should make it a point to visit soon." Cause who doesn't like a little gambling and blood sport? It's one of the girl's not-so-secret vices. Listening then with interest, and chuckling only lightly at the surprise Beris displays, "I have a very keen memory for this kind of thing, besides, it was shortly after I'd found my own dad, so I guess it kind of stuck." she shrugs, falling silent to hear the rest of the tale, smile growing brighter until the end. "That's marvelous! I'm so happy for you! What a surprsie you must have given them, did you just turn up on their doorstep or something?" She's assuming by the smile on Beris' face that it was a good reunion.

Beris laughs at that. "Caught me out," she jests, vefore the whole topic of family absorbs her. "Pretty much, yeah. I didn't know how they were going to react. I'd lived most of my life believing they'd got rid of me on purpose, so it was a real…well, emotional time to find out they hadn't." With a fellow family-reunited type with her, she gives Xanthee another sidelong look. "Did you find the same, with your dad? Not knowing how he'd react to meeting him?" She can still remember her own nerves, even though it's well and truly clear her family did care for her. Hindsight and all that.

Xanthee grins along with Beris, the older girl's excitement seems to be catching, as she continues her tale, eyes widening near the end as they glistens briefly with emotion, "Wow Beris, that must have been amazing to find out. And it must have been amazing for them too. I bet they never stopped thinking about you." Taking a bit of a deep breath when asked about her own father, she just lowers her eyes breifly. "Kinda, I guess, but not really. I figured it would be a surprise, but I never figured that anyone would mind finding out they had a daughter." She pauses for a beat, eyes unfocused as she is reminded of that time, "It..it wasn't what I expected though. And Ha'ze, he's not exactly an involved father. Seems to like making babies, but not so much the parenting. I can't fault him for the way he is, but sometimes…I just kinda wish…I hadn't found him." The softness of her voice relays that this isn't something she's voiced with very many people.

Amazing as her experience was - and Beris confirms it with soundless nodding, finding herself a little choked up thinking back to that moment of finally meeting her true parents again. The smile fades, eyebrows drawing together in concern as Xanthee talks about Ha'ze and the less-than-perjfect relationship she has with her father. A number of possible replies go through her mind, but none seems quite right to say aloud. In the end, she settles for reaching over to touch a hand gently to Xanthee's nearest arm, if the teenager allows the contact. "I'm sorry to hear that," Beris adds, softly. She still can't think of anything else to say that doesn't sound trite in her head.
I don't understand that.

"Oh don't, it's ok. I probably would have kept looking anyway, so it's better that I know," Xanthee offers with a reassuring smile for that comforting touch to her arm. With a vaguely dismissive wave of her hand, she turns the subject back onto Beris, "But a sister and a brother too? Younger? That's the only good thing that did come out of my search, to find out I have all kinds of half-sisters out there, and even a little half-brother here at the Weyr who was born, I wanna say, a turn and a half ago? He's a doll. I visit him in the creche whenever I can."

Beris's hand retreats when the comfort seems to have been given. She settles her hands on the fence, pushing herself away from it a little as she talks about her siblings. "Yeah, both younger. Though they're both pretty much grown up - my sister's twenty, and my brother's eighteen." She still sounds like she's coming to terms with the fact she's got two adult siblings. "Do you have contact with your half-sisters? And that's nice about your brother - you can get to know him while he's growing up." She doesn't sound like she's jealous of that, more thoughtful of what might have been for her. "I don't feel like an older sister. I don't suppose I am, since I've not been around. But it's nice to know I have a family." Beris's thoughts come to that rambling conclusion, and she adjusts her headscarf, giving the waterfowl a final glance before she turns away from them.

"One so far has introduced herself," Xanthee replies, "But she lives at Southern, so I don't talk to her all that much. The others are spread all over if I remember correctly. But yeah, getting to know Maize from a babe has been so great, I finally get to be a real big sister." She blushes a bit thinking she might be sounding daft, before grinning in reply to Beris' last. "Of course it is. Wanting to know where you came from is natural. And I'm so happy for you that it's been a good experience so far." Suddenly a touch of green just slightly different from the bush it's peeking out from under, has Xanthee gasping and rushing over to bend down and pick it up. Sure enough, it's an emerald green scarf, much the same color as her eyes, although quite grubby with patches of dirt best left unidentified. "Ugh! At least I found it right?" she asks, holding it at arm's length because of a foul ordor wafting from it. "I better take it down to the laundry for a scrub so it doesn't stink up the place tonight. It was great bumping into you Beris, maybe we could go out for drinks sometime? My girl friends have all seemed to abandoned me for Southern's rich jungle, so I could use the girl's night." There's a bit of a hopeful pleading in the girl's owlishly round green eyes.

Whatever reply Beris had for Xanthee is lost in the excitement of the scarf sighting. She looks pleased for Xanthee's reunion with the thing, though she does cover her nose and mouth at the smell of the thing. "A good scrub," she emphasises. Face still half covered, she nods enthusiastically at the talk of meeting up for drinks. "Definitely. Let me know when you're free, and we'll work something out. I'll leave you to your laundry," she adds, eyes smiling above the top of her hand, before she heads out of the maze with a little wave of her free hand.

Add a New Comment