Who

Mayte, E'pha, and Rhiex

What

Mayte and E'pha go looking through the Stores for different things. Rhiex joins them and runs away blushing. It's not (likely) what you think

When

13th day of the second month of the 12th Pass

Where

Igen Stores

OOC Date

 

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Stores

Boxes, everywhere: some are buried beneath the fugue of dust and spinner-webs, thrust unceremoniously into unseen corners, full of mysterious contents, their solid lids as yet unbroached. Still others line the dirt-smeared walls, damage evident in the caved-in sides or lids set askew. Littering the floor, debris has been left piled in disorganization, left untouched by inattentive drudges and administrative staff. Dull glows splutter feebly in their worn baskets, and the air is fusty and moist, shrouded in the humidity that is Igen. Moisture collects, languid, in the corners of the cavern, lending their own fragrance of mildew and green, growing things,while the occasional dry scratch of scales suggests inhabitants one might not want to inspect too closely.


In the cold afternoon of Igen's Winter, the indoors are a relief because at least there's no mockery of sunlight that doesn't warm you, or a chilly breeze that strips right through your clothes. It's still dank, deep inside the Lower Caverns, and Mayte is huffing her dismay, fingers tucked under armpits in a warmer coat. "Sharding stupid… who thought this could be a…" She has a large basket at her feet, and a smaller one in hand which glows more brightly thatn the ones along the walls. One hand is untucked to touch something on a shelf and Mayte pulls her hand back in disgust, a resounding "Ew ew ew" in what she assumes is solitude.

Something something, saying about assuming, something. In tromps E'pha to Igen's box-strewn pit of a storage. Wearing the overused jacket he's often seen in, he's got one elbow crammed up near his face so he can childishly pick at the patchy strands coming loose on already once-repaired sleeves. At that odd little sound echoing towards him, he pauses, glances up. The light of Mayte's chest is like a beacon — you know, the glows — and he winds, picking a leg high over some spare debris, towards that signal. Swooping around that shelf, he's still got one elbow high in the air. "Ey now?"

Okay, so the footsteps were probably a good sign, but as E'pha comes around the corner of her shelf, Mayte mostly hides a little squeak. The basket is thrust high, lighting up both their faces, Mayte's looking just a little surprised: "Oh! Hi." Is there much more to say? The girl eyes the rider up and down once carefully and ers, "S'there anything you're looking for in particular here, sir?" Give her a few, Mayte could set up shop in here, though her other hand surreptitiously brushes off whatever was eliciting the 'ew' before.

E'pha's eyebrows raise but then dive to protect him from the new light on his face. Standing there, blinking, a moment, he notices his raised arm when he goes to gesture to it. "Bit of new scrap," as much sense of those two words make together. Shifting his weight, he begins to lower the elbow. Even in the dim light, it's easy to see where it's worn through, held together over his dusted skin by mere threads that he plucks at unhelpfully. "And then a steady hand to," tongue clucks as he mimes a sewing stitch. In nearly the same gesture, he raises his chin towards the shelf. "Were you saying— shoo?" And he steps right in close to her because, you know. Big rider man. If you ignore that he's shorter than many of his fellows.

Mayte doesn't miss E'pha's wince and lowers the glowbasket, aheming uncertainly. She does give him a blank look until she gets to eye the elbow patch and gives the man a little grin, "S'gonna be worse if you keep pickin' at it, you know," she'll advise the man, and clarifies for herself, "To sew the patch on, you mean." The girl doesn't cluck her tongue, but she looks over to the shelf before her, announcing, "Lots of patch things here. Almost any type or size you could need except," grousing tone, "the one I need." E'pha's question gets a little snort, or is that a sneeze on dust? "No, I was saying 'ew'. Cuz the cloths I was sent in here to find are gross and moldy." Mayte is aggrieved! She steps away to look at the next shelf, huffing, "Don't they ever clean down here?"

Rather than be disgruntled, E'pha obediently lets go of the well-abused elbow patching, shooting her a little sheepish half-smile for the telling. Looking up at the shelf in question, he's starting to lean closer until she clarifies. And then, with a startle as if something were alive, the rider scuttles a few steps backwards, a fist jumping to his mouth. Knuckles buried under his nose, he sort of coughs a tiny bit and nods in heavy agreeing. Hand rising to his waist, he sidles sideways, lifting his mouth away from the gnarly shelf contents to breathe. "Yah, they…" a skeptical eye now glares at the spot next to him, inspecting it for more of the same. His hand reaches out to flick at something, then thinks better of it. He wipes his palm on his thigh. "Should get some women in soon." A step backwards and sideways completes the haphazard circle he started.

Good boy. Mayte doesn't notice E'pha's moving back, her free hand pulling up to poke at a few more of the offerings on that shelf. "Just. seriously. They know it's going to be moist in here, why not bring in wood shavings to get rid of the moisture a bit?" And who's going to tell the drudges they have ANOTHER task? Mayte's search is put on hold for a moment as she looks over her shoulder: "Yeah, some drudg…" pause, "What about women?" Mayte doesn't seem entirely certain she heard that right, looking a little quizzical.

Out comes a handkerchief from E'pha's pocket. Finding an acceptable looking set of items, he uses the kerchief to surround a couple fingers to pick it up warily for inspection. He looks barely like he wants to breathe, which means glancing over at Mayte wordlessly at first. "Uhhh," what were they saying? He sets his potential quarry down and rubs the back of his hand below his nose, "I was agreeing with you." The kerchief is sailed generally in her direction without him looking again. "About getting women down to clean the place." Not maliciously said, that's for certain; nothing demeaning in the fact. It just is that: fact.

Watching E'pha's preparation takes more of Mayte's attention than a mere shoulder-check can devote, so the apprentice turns to watch in fascination that goes from bemused to a wide grin. Speaking of women… Anyways, Mayte has a pointed point to make, "Why not some of the man drudges?" she wonders artlessly, "They could reach the top shelves a lot better, right?" Mayte's arms cross so as she can tuck fingertips under armpits again, "'n help fend off tunnel snakes," but that soft shuffling sound turns out to not be snakes in the distance but Mayte up close, shifting her arms around for maximum comfort and warm. For every fact, there is an argument; Mayte has presented hers.

E'pha takes in and then double takes on Mayte, finding her close, where he can look those scant inches of difference down at her — but not down at her. Nothing contradictory nor argumentative flickers in his eye as she presents hers. Since she had to go and mention top shelves, he winds his gaze upwards then off into the stores' distance to acknowledge possible snakes, besides the wriggler beside him. "So they could," he agrees amiably with her, not seeming, or else ignoring, what she's suggesting with that. "Better be makin' themselves useful while the others clean, hey— " and his shoulder jumps, taking a couple of times to loosen his jacket before he starts to snatch at the worn elbow to tug. "Are you cold? It's missin' an elbow, but— " Here's E'pha's.

Wait, he's agreeing? Set Mayte's argument phasers to pause: "Huh?" After a moment, she gives him a narrow look, examining his face, even unbending her arms to hold the glows up a bit closer. Nope, he's not sneering, so Mayte is left looking a bit lost. And then the dratted man goes and offers his coat to her? "Uhhhh, thanks," Mayte's voice is a bit faint as she accepts th offer, "It is pretty cold here." There's silence for a moment from her side and then Mayte offers: "Mayte. Vintner apprentice."

"E'pha." Having been staring pleasantly down at her, the rider side-steps now, jacket in hand, to wrap its ragged but effective hide around one of her shoulders and then, "Hzrath's," the other. Standing directly behind her, he tug-tugs to nudge its overly wide shoulders better onto hers, then swivels back around to face her with a — charmingly? — stupid grin. "Well met, Mayte, vintner apprentice. Let's find some cloth, then, and get you outta here." His hand raises to gesture her onward, while the other fishes out that contrary handkerchief. With the jacket gone, there's just the faded, once brilliant, blue of his fitted shirt and that odd bulge beneath (of a necklace) seeming to come from the rope around his neck.

Oohhhh, waaaarm. Mayte's eyes close in momentary enjoyment. "Well met," she echoes to the man. And then critical thinking starts again, "Aren't you cold now?" She even takes a few steps down the direction E'pha shows, but pauses, "And a patch-job for you, right?" The 'right' is a little suspsicious, and Mayte isn't moving much further until E'pha comes up with an answer - this gives her time to eye that shirt curiously: "And maybe a new shirt for you." Wrinkled nose, Mayte does eye whatever bulges under the shirt but manages to not ask. "Hzrath, huh? Been at Igen long?"

"Nah." A shrug of his much barer shoulder and no trace of falsehood on his face. E'pha: fantastic liar, or strange unfeeling specimen. Or, "Some!" Not that he seems to care. "Y'know, if we don't move things along." A little grin and accompanying eyebrow waggle suggests she head on forward. All paused when his eyes widen slightly to let him glance down. Mouth a bit slack, fingers, with handkerchief clutched in his palm, pick at the faded blue. It probably used to bring out his eyes or something. Now, patchy and nearly white in places, it slips out of his grip as he raises that furrowed expression to her. "Imp… ressed— what's wrong with my shirt?"

Let's pick option C, until Mayte now has an option D. Good thing this isn't multiple choice. E'pha has answered her, so she moves forth, saying carelessly, "Well, it's a nice shirt 'n all, but it's so old. Mayte pauses in her step but doesn't turn around, because the next topic, while she crouches to examine something on a lower shelf, is, "Impressed here, huh? Were you from the old Queen's clutch?" Young vintners go by the vintage, not the clutching date. "Oooh, what's this?" She pokes something with a finger, a little like a hollow box.

Since Mayte doesn't turn, E'pha uses the opportunity by himself to grab up the shirt again and yank it to his nose for a contemplative sniffing. Eyes glance up to the ceiling to think. Seems fine. Shrugging, he nods, then realizes Mayte can't really see his nod, so, "Mmmm…" It's not quite a committal answer, because he's been distracted by her find. Dropping to his own crouch, knee bouncing with his momentum, he puts a hand up on the shelf above and leans, brushing her with a thoughtless closeness because she 'ooooh'ed. Nose slightly upturned, he murmurs, "Or… in it…" Suggesting not something of the pleasant nature.

"I didn't say you stank," Mayte says without turning around. Eyes, back of her head. They're closed tight right now. Or maybe she'll explain, "And tunnel snakes don't sound like sniffing." Do they? She shuffles aside as E'pha gets down close to the ground, offering the man an adventurous grin: "Wanna find out?" Her hand is already stretching out, bare btw, to grab what seems to be a handle.

And it's a good thing she didn't say that, because E'pha just confirmed: he doesn't. "You know what, sure." Though the wording's not particularly mighty, the rider grins lopsidedly at Mayte and bows his head to tell her to proceed — even though she is. Proceeding. Sliding a heel back, he inches a good shuffle to give her plenty of room to do just that, glancing once distractedly up.

Handle: held. Anticipation: high. Mayte pulls the bucket and leaps back, as if tunnelsnakes could leap out at any moment! … ANY moment now. Mayte starts to relax, leaning over to look, and huffs with disappointment. "Tubers," she says like a new-fashion curse, but points into the bucket, "S'old mouldy tubers." SULKfest for Mayte. "Thought there'd be something interesting in there, y'know?"

E'pha's chin jerks over to her as she curses, having missed most of the lead-up and been ready to pretend as though he were— oh. Tubers. She said tubers. "Tch," scolds the rider over the state. Pushing to his feet, he kicks out one foot to showily cross it over the other ankle as he leans into the nearby shelf. "PS," he announces in a stately fashion not quite supported by his humble accent. He also mimes writing in the air over his palm, "When cleaning, be sure to hide lots of interesting," he pretends to underline 'interesting' several times, "things for us to find. Love, love," and he's already pushing off, so that he's muttering, "kisses, kisses," to some pile of half-woven baskets on the other side.

Peering with more disappointment (like mold, it grows over time) at the rotten tubers, Mayte kicks the bucket back to where it was. "Well, that wasn't as exciting as I'd hoped!" she declares, and goes to rummage over another bin while E'pha's 'writing'. It garners him a strange look, but Mayte's game, "Tell them to leave jewelery around. Something that can be sold for outrageous amounts of money." You little Storage Warrior, you. Also, "Kisses?" Mayte asks with a disbelieving snort. Then after consideration, "Well, from you, they'd probably not mind so much." Fiddle fiddle: "What about this box?" which Mayte is already dragging out with much less show than before.

"Right. Outrageous…" and he mocks writing that out too, even though he's paces from where he started the letter in the first place. When she snorts, E'pha casts her a silly grin and a shrug that turns into a soft chuckle at her addendum. "Yah, well, mum— " his head turns away and he pokes at a few loud bits and particulars. Oh hey, a box. "Yah, what about that box? Treasure, then— oy— !" As it occurs to him, he looks to her, pointing, "Let's watch where you go draggin' that jacket, eh?" But as he strides over to see what she's dragging, his lips thin out and, with a clomp, he plants a boot on top of it to prevent any immediate openings. "Take a guess, then."

"We'll be rich beyond our wildest dreams!" Mayte declares, even if it echoes hollowly against the walls. Poor E'pha's coat gets picked up from where it could come into contact with air that might have dirt particles while Mayte gives the man a clear eye-roll, followed by a cheeky grin. At least, until E'pha's not letting her open the box: "Whaddya mean, take a guess? I'm guessing it'll be some old rosters, maybe," Mayte pauses to ponder, "I dunno. Someone's old letters to his mom?"

Bringing a hand up to stroke at his miniature goatee, E'pha supplies— an expectant breath that he suddenly lets out, dragging his foot anticlimactically off the box. "Yah, okay, old letters." A flourishing hand gesture allows her to continue again. Scraping his hands together, he returns to scanning what's nearby, even going so far as to sidle a foot towards the current enclosure's edge to see if any other groupings of storage look more promising. Hands rub together. "Or a giant box of jacket patches," is murmured mostly to himself. See, he's not greedy; he didn't even ask for a whole jacket.

Mayte would totally stroke her miniature goatee while staring at the box greedily, except that she doesn't have one. Instead, she's rubbing one dirty knuckle across her jaw, and staring at the box in fascination: "Look, see how there's some fingermarkings in the dust?" She indicates along the edge of the box and holds the glowlights closer. "Someone's been in this box recently. Maybe it's fabulous riches!" Mayte's hands move to quickly undo the latch of it and flips it open with a shout of deli… "Patches." Well that was a depressing denouement. Mayte fingers them and pulls out an old, tattered Sandblast patch, "Wing patches." huff.

"Why would someone leave fabulous riches lying around…" E'pha traces a hand against the dank wall then regrets it, "Not that anyone wants to— " Patches! She said patches! He whirls on a foot, nearly losing his balance, only to come to a disappointed halt at the conclusion. Seeing the patch she chooses, however, elicits a soft chuckle and he strides over to crouch into the box and push a flap aside to stare. "Sandblast, eh?" Raising a couple of fingers, he flicks at the one she's holding then straightens. "Third time's the charm, Mayte, vintner. I wager," he flinches, softly to himself, then shrugs, "you've the one more chance to find something, truly. Try a little harder."

Standing up from her own crouch over the box, Mayte leans against the shelf a little and raises her glowbasket, flipping the patch over a few times. "S'pretty raggedy," she gives her verdict, "A lot of the threads are close to wearing through." She drops the patch back into the box, and looks down into the dimmer light of the wall glows. "S'it just me or is it warmer the further back we go?" the vintner asks, shifting inside the much larger rider's jacket. Anways, Mayte uses her foot to close the box lid and push it back, moving a bit deeper into the room with a crooked finger for E'pha to follow: "They gotta start labelling stuff better in here - a Turn, details of contents, anything!" Mayte whirls to look at E'pha again, "Unless it's someone's idea of a prank…"

"Yeah… so was Sandblast to start." Another off-hand murmur gone to join the rest, as E'pha raises his eyebrows to be summoned thusly by her finger. Yet, like a large puppy, he tags along, eyeing bits of Igenite past and present calculatingly. When he's whirled upon, he looks over at the gust of Mayte-activity with a slower face of thought. "Then, I'd imagine… someone would've mislabelled everything." His expression makes the missing question mark, wondering it of her before sliding into that dull curiosity of searching. Lifting a hand, he grabs something rusty off an outcropping, turns it over, shows it to her. "A lock without anything to keep safe." It's chucked haphazardly back into— somewhere. Maybe E'pha organized the stores. Except, eww, now he has to rub his hand on his handkerchief again.

Off-duty and HUNTING for something, in comes Rhiex, straight-spine and furrowed brow. The guardsman's bootheels are crisp on the hard floor, click-click-click, and he rounds the corner to come upon E'pha and Mayte. The guardsman pauses, caught in a perfect moment of oh-shit-it's-you.

Oh. Yeah. "That's true," Mayte will admit grudgingly, her shoulders once so straight with indignation starting to fall. "S'kind of a bad joke to play… Unless they got interrupted." But there's no joy in Mudsweyr, because Mayte has struck out on possible devilry. "Sandblast, huh? K'vvan was Sandblast when I got here," she says, turning to eye another box at waist-height. Her fingers reach out to brush the handle but she snaps upright at the sound of footsteps: "Someone's here!" she hisses at E'pha, in case his ears aren't as sharp and as the footsteps turn 'round the corner, Mayte thrusts the glowbasket up high (sorry about your eyes, E'pha). And lowers it again upon recognizing Rhiex: "Oh." Mayte tries again, "Hi, Rhiex." The poor abused jacket starts its slow descent off of Mayte's shoulder, an disappointing underscore to her greeting.

"Yah, K'vvan— " Whoa! Rearing back from the glowbasket getting near again, E'pha looks a bit slower on Rhiex, blinking and offering a raised hand in greeting. "Rhiex," he picks up from Mayte. Upon glancing at the young woman, he reaches a hand over and picks up the draping jacket shoulder to drop it back into place. Clomping around a few boxes, over their shuffling noise, he raises his voice, "Don't suppose you managed to tear the labels off of everything in the stores last time you were down here?" It's difficult to tell whether he's serious or not, with the practicality of his tone, and he's not looking at the guardsman to give him any clues in his expression. He kicks at an old pair of boots, but as they flop over they reveal a large bite-marked hole in one side.

Rhiex blinks- owlishly- in the glowlight. "What in Faranth's name are you doing?" comes the guardsman's baffled voice, cut in his eternally-precise ways of speaking, as he squints over at whatever Mayte's getting into. And then, a little embarassed, "Vintner Mayte." You'd THINK he could manage to say her name. Just her name. "Rider," because it's too dim to pick out ribbon-colors. "Oh, there is certainly a system here. It took me a bit to get used to when I came down here, as it is… eccentric." Rhiex's voice is politic.

"Looking for things," Mayte replies quickly. A thumb is hitched at E'pha, "He needs a patch for the elbow of his jacket, and I need some un-moldy cloths." The glowlight is brought over to the box Mayte was readying to pull out, "But so far we've found wing patches and moldy cheesecloths." Mayte's wrinkled nose indicates her pleasure at that discovery. "What kind of system is this called?" she wonders, turning to look over the shelves, "Cuz I can't make heads or tails of it."

"E'pha," said rider supplies distractedly, poking his toe into that mysterious boot hole to ponder its maker. He listens for any possible scuffling nearby, but there is only Mayte. "It shouldn't take a 'bit' to get used to," he decides, an idle edge to his amiable tone, "People needn't spend their whole blasted day down here." But the second his voice begins to potentially raise, he lifts his hand and lets them slap down, murmuring, "Alright, alright," which has a calming enough effect. Boot shoved under a different box by his toe, he grabs a random assortment from nearby and strides over to get the benefit of Mayte's functioning glows. The first thing turns out be old parchment, but the next two are leftover swatches. Nothing in a color or fabric that would suit the jacket in need of repair, but he looks generally uncaring.

"Prineline's," Rhiex returns, his voice simple. Doesn't that explain it all? "It's by purpose, not by thing, I think. If that makes sense." It's vaguely apologetic, in the vein that he likely shares E'pha's thoughts on the matter. The guardsman meanders closer. "Un-moldy clothes will be down the way, or maybe…" He CONSIDERS a nearby wall of storage cubes and pulls one off on the top. It turns out to be filled with FRILLY FRILLY dresses. Whups. Probably not what Mayte's looking for.

Mayte's dark head swivels to watch E'pha talking to himself, her expression turning cautious. That boot he's nudging gets eyed but there's no treasure for the taking there, so Mayte steps closer to eye the shelf just above eye-level. "That makes some sense," she'll agree, but, "Shouldn't there be, like, a supply list or something?" That's right, Mayte, tell Prineline she's doing her job wrong. The Vintner peers at E'pha's discovery and cheers, "Oh! Is that what you need, rider?" Rhiex's box is met with less enthusiasm and maybe a quiet 'ugh', but after a moment, Mayte brings her glows over: "I could use those… If Prineline doesn't mind them getting torn up?"

Several glances go between Mayte and the patches and Rhiex and Mayte and the patches, while E'pha makes up his mind. Finally, two of the fabrics are smacked together. "It's gonna do." Even though he's managed to randomly select something in a hideous green 'decorative' pattern. Though he checks out the guardsman's find, he's at least not going to go for any frills himself— this time. Right now. Shh. "We'll see about that cleaning, at least," is offered as he strides past them, shoving his handkerchief back into his pocket and distracted enough to forget that, as he goes, the purpose of his coming down there in the first place is still being worn by a vintner. Maybe she'll patch it in pink frills.

Oh, great, and now it's awkward. Rhiex looks unwontedly formal in E'pha's exit and these dresses — oh LOOK, it's not just dresses, there are some fancy arse bras in there too; it looks like a donation from an old-timey holder's lady, since all the fashions are at least three decades out of style, but bras are bras, aren't they? — and he's come across one because he's holding it up, staring at it with a fascinated sort of mortification before dropping it abruptly back in the pile, face red. He'll just be silent over on this side of things.

The rider's exit takes a moment for Mayte to dawn that there's something amiss, but she tries calling out, "You forgot your ja…cket." The man seems truly well and gone, so Mayte sniffs, shrugging her jacketed shoulders while turning to find Rhiex holding up ladies' undergarments. For a moment, there are no words, Mayte's eyebrows rising. It's hard to control her voice, evidently because it cracks once, "Uh, that's… sort of not my size." There's a cheeky grin with that, but she holds the basket over the box curiously: "Whaddya think, would Prineline be peeved if I took one of these and tore it up?" She cocks her head and looks up at the guard, then wondering, totally off topic as one hand reaches in to touch the fabric below, "Hey, what are you looking for in here anyway? Anything I can help you find?" Now that Mayte has this place figured out, of course.

"That's his?" Rhiex's eyes drop to the jacket and then back up to Mayte's face. The guard pauses, schooling himself at mention of SIZES, and moves on. CHARGES onwards, actually, picks up the box and shoves it back up on the shelf. THERE, go back up there you OFFENSIVE PINK THING. :( "I think Prineline would hit you with a wooden spoon," the guardsman informs the Vintner. As to his own purpose here? "Spare strops, or leather hard enough to make them with."

"Yeah," Mayte says and then continues after a pause, "It was cold in here. And, uh. Now I have to get it back to him somehow." So inconvenient! She even picks up the sleeve to show where any patching would be required on the elbow. See? Evidence! The punishment of getting smacked with a spoon has Mayte recoiling a little from the range of boxes that Rhiex is putting back, giving a hurried, "Yeah, I'd better not then." She moves to another box and pulls it out, sniffs, and ughs. "Gross," she declares, pulling out a tin of something and sniffing, "It smells like shaving cream that went off or something." The vintner ain't opening that, so the box gets pushed back. Some more get pulled out along that row and set back before she asks, all polite bright tones, "Sooooo. How have you been lately?" Nothing awkward here!

"I'm sure you'll be able to track him down," Rhiex assures the girl, squinting at the jacket and the mending it apparently needs to have done to it. His eyes follow her antics for a moment and then he's starting abruptly at the question. "Oh, I, uh. I've been fine. Thank you, miss Mayte. I…" And because he is apparently a wuss when it comes to Mayte, the young man states, "I've got to go," quickly, "It was nice seeing you," before turning around and fleeing like a little bitch.

Mayte was just warming up to the conversation, when Rhiex flees. Blink blink. Cinematically, each glow in her basket would go out one by one, but the only finale is Mayte muttering, "Again?"

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