R'keon, Veresch, Qalamath


R'keon feels Veresch out for a new calling.


It is the fifty-second day of Winter and 34 degrees.


Dustbowl Cantina

OOC Date 15 Feb 2016 05:00


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"It must be as cold as a hag's rack up there."


Dustbowl Cantina

To enter the Dustbowl Cantina is to descend: the heart of the ancient tavern lies half underground, at the foot of ancient steps, insulated from summer heat and winter cold by the volcanic rock surrounding it. A windowless place well-lit by glows, it is homey, even cozy, with a certain bijou charm - but for the deep gouges worn in wooden table and solid stone, some clearly lingering evidence of boisterous brawling. The wall behind the well-polished bar, though, remains free from scars or graffiti, as does the door into the small kitchen, and the stairwell up into the owner's quarters: the barkeep and his staff reign, and they guard their territory well. After all, only a fool angers the source of the booze.

The Dustbowl Cantina is bustling, filled with workers getting some of the hot, filled pastries and cups of strong-as-tar klah that an enterprising soul suggested the place starts selling. For those that are not here for the takeaway meals, the queue isn't nearly as long if they should skip the line dragging almost out of the doorway. With such a presence of people, Veresch is almost invisible curled up at a table close to the bar, wrapped in a thin coat and with her hair more closely approaching bedhead than anything else. There's a lassitude to the way she's speaking with one of the waitresses, a sure sign of a night spent away and likely up to no good. For the moment there's only juice in the glass in front of her, and a pile of still-cold coverings heaped up on a chair.

Once upon a time, R'keon used to steal from this place before it was the Cantina. How the tables have turned, thief to honest patron. He negotiates around the line extending from the door, and focuses on the Cantina's content. After a short deliberation, he strikes a stool to Veresch's left and sits there like he owns the place. Or at least poached from it a time or two. There's no omen to the words entering the cavity of Veresch's mind, a smooth depth like that tar-thick klah served hot. « There was an act of theft on my way here, but don't get up, they're long gone. » R'keon's head turns toward whom he believes is still a guard, eyebrows lofty.

The waitress scoots as R'keon makes himself at home like he's lord of the manor, which causes Veresch's eyebrows first to lift, then lift a little higher at his message. "I'm not really a guard any longer," she murmurs over the lip of her glass. For a moment she leans closer to bathe in the feel of cold air and outside wafting off him before she sits safely back just a little off the hearth. "Were they stupid enough to steal from you, or were they at least clever enough not to attempt something that stupid." Some of the riders of the Weyr are rich marks, wandering around with mark-fat pouches and poking their noses into too-shady nooks. Others… well, given the recent uptick of riders from the Bazaar, not all of them are easy any longer. "Kaley, could we have some klah over here, please?" she asks, eyes dipping over R'keon's frame. "And something like those meat pies of yours? Someone smells like he's from dawn sweeps, or about to head out to morning ones." She grins at R'keon. "They'll put some meat on your ribs. How are you? And Qalamath?" You know. Ear Candy Supreme.

R'keon habitually brushes the hair on the crown of his head back and forth a trio of times to displace any grit, if any, now onto the bar. He raises his head in recognition of Veresch's past career as a guard- at least she got to make the decision voluntarily. He shifts in the stool until comfortable and amends the order to include imported cognac. « No, not me, » He smiles, teeth a good shade but the bottom ones a little crooked. « But someone who ought know better, or soon will. » Head tipping, no affair of his how someone's street-smarts will evolve. He pulls the bottom of his riding jacket free from being sat of. « Right as rain, right as rain, » The bronzerider announcing their status through Qalamath's vocal poetry. « Actually, N'tael asked if we would try for Assistant Weyrlingmasters. » Fingernails are tapped on the polished wooden bar. Someone hasn't yet made up his mind.

Veresch considers R'keon quietly as Qalamath explains in her head, still a little unused to having her spine shiver every time, and as he adjusts she tucks her legs up on her chair to feel at her toes. Nope, still frozen. "Well…" She falters for a moment, thinking. "What Qalamath does, in my mind? His speech? So much clearer to understand than some of the others I've heard. I guess that will be a boon if you have to deal with confused candidates and weyrlings?" Her fingertips play with the moisture on her glass before her shoulders shift. "I don't know much about it, to be honest, but I'd feel comforted." Her smile is not quite successful, but it's hidden by the time the waitress comes with the klah, meat pies and cognac. "Eat," she mutters. "It must be as cold as a hag's rack up there."

R'keon witnesses Veresch's origami folding of her long legs, then nudges his glance to her klah, bumping his cognac over. « This might warm you. » Works for him, though that isn't solely why he's fond of hard alcohol daily. The meat pie and its compliment of spices soon draw his attention. « It's practice, and necessity. We he was a dragonet, he sounded much more variable, something like what boys get when their voices drop. But, if it can help a younger audience… » In other words, R'keon's more convinced he can serve a stint out of Whirlwind and into Mosaic. Before eating, he reaches for the cognac as a sort of liquid fuel that both burns and numbs his throat enough to say a few words in his own chapped voice lubricated for a few seconds by the cognac. "That's one way to put it." Hags and their cold racks.

Veresch wrinkles her nose at the klah, moving it back to him, and indicating that perhaps it would be better mixed with the cognac. She still steals an extra-small sip, shuddering at the fire-trail crawling down her inside. "Shards," she husks out afterwards, unapologetically girly about the whole thing. "Sometimes that top-shelf stuff burns even more than the stuff they cook up in tubs here. Dunno how you can do that the whole time." One thumb lifts to thumb at one of her cheekbones, thoughtful. "You mean that up-and-down warbling? Regardless… " A deep sigh follows, and a slow smile that warms her eyes. "I think you'll make a wonderful assistant, R'keon. Those little squirts had better be grateful. I'm falling nearly asleep though, had a long night out. I have to get horizontal before I fall asleep in the heat here."

The Cantina is still serving the masses eager for something both filling and warm in their guts without having to earn it from the Weyr. Some would rather pay than starve their pride. R'keon laughs at Resh's reaction, a satisfying sound reminiscent of what his voice once was. "Thanks." He commits, the single word not giving him much trouble after a third mouthful of alcohol. « Practice. » This, now, being Qalamath's quip about his rider's hollow leg. The bronzerider finally starts on a corner of meat pie, partial to the softer parts. Words like 'long night' and 'horizontal' are enough to make R'keon's blue eyes stick to Resh's face for a second. A pause, he chews. « Surrre, order me food and then cut and run. » It's damn good though. He's happy as a snake in a nest of hatchlings.

The young woman smirks as she assembles all the layers needed for outside, tying her boots and wrapping the shawl around herself, cinching it down with a thin belt. Surely the least pretty fashion statement ever! When she scoots out from behind the table, slugging back the last of her juice, she reaches out to ruffle the bronzerider's hair and leans in to kiss him gently on one of those very sharp cheekbones of his. "Watch it, with that kind of snark it'll be your shirts I steal next time, not one of my dad's. I need new sleepwear." Seriously, who wears silks in winter? Old, stretched shirts and two pairs of socks. "Bye, R'keon, send my love to Qalamath, please? And for what it's worth, I really think you should take him up on the offer." With that sage advice given, she makes for the doorway, humming happily.

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