Cascabel, Divale


Divale and Cascabel, coincidentally working in the same room, taking a moment.


It is midmorning of the first day of the seventh month of the fifteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Archives, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 14 Nov 2018 05:00


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"It's almost time."



A remarkable legacy for those with the eyes to appreciate it, Igen's Archives are modest, in proportion to the weyr's similarly modest status; but though they be small, the room itself is mighty, with grandiose portent to the high, vaulted arches. These walls hold many treasures past their prime, from instruments to examples of older flying gear and agenothree tanks. The meticulous task of re-scribing old records is continually ongoing, with faded and disued hides replaced on a daily basis. The chairs and off-kilter tables seem to be heritage of a time long past, not in line with the rest of the vision of this room; but in all weyrs are budgets, and perhaps you've found one of Igen's budget cuts.

Midmorning and it's already hotter than the gates of Hell outside… if Pern had the concept for 'hell'. Being in a desert means no real respite from the summer heat, but the Archives so far are reasonably comfortable. Still, there are few who occupy the room and that serves Divale just fine. She has likely just begun her day, but the shadows on her features are just not the faint ones under her eyes. Eerily quiet, she'll enter the archives and immediately ghost her way along one of the aisles of shelves. Slender fingers lightly brush over a few leather-bound hides and over dusty rolled scrolls, but eventually she finds what she seeks. Pulling out a rather well-worn tome, she'll tuck it safely against her hip as she turns to find a nearby vacant table and chair. The only sound that follows is the light scrape of wood against stone as she settles herself, already carefully flipping opening the heavy book before her to the necessary page. Should anyone else be present here, she's likely unaware… or faking it (which is most likely the case).

There may even be multiple people floating around the archives, looking for things to read or doing work or cleaning. It's Cascabel who is doin the latter; she is normally a kitchen worker, but some of the dust on the back shelves was offending enough people that she volunteered to go clean. Dusting is a break in the heat, and Cas has also been able to make the wood cleaner smell a lot nicer than it originally had. So it's a vague fruity scent wafting from a shelf Divale can't see, at first. Then it's Cascabel's meticulously trained bronze firelizard coming in for a very quiet landing on Divale's table. He is being exceptionally good but Cas has not fed him in over an hour, does this human friend have a treat?

Unfortunately, there are no treats to be had. Divale does lift her dark gaze however to the bronze and smirks. "She's not here." she intones in a voice just above a whisper. The 'she' implied is Mercy, her gold. Who has long since flown and is due to clutch her eggs soon enough, but none of this the brownrider is inclined to voice. Instead, she leans back in her chair, hand resting idly on the edge of the tome she'd been reading. "Cascabel?" Her voice is pitched just so to be spoken gently, but half-command. Not loud enough to disrupt anyone else using the Archives, however. She'll wait, features set as neutrally as ever and something her sister-friend would know well enough by now. It's a mask, one worn at all times in public… even here, in the Archives, where spying is less likely.

You are a let-down, Divale. No treats and no friends? Aquifolium lets out a tiny little sniff of disappointment, but fails to actually leave the wingsecond's table. Cascabel does not actually leave her shelf-dusting location, but replies in a similarly toned, "Yes?" as if it's no surprise at all, and each knew the other was here all along. Cas did have the tiniest warning from the firelizard at least. "I'm back here, cleaning," If she needs to stop cleaning and actually come out of the corner she will, but the idea hasn't occurred to her yet.

That's because Divale puts her firelizards to use most of the time. Primal and Curiosus maybe less, as they have unpredictable streaks, while Quixote is a few screws loose on some days. Eidolon and Mercy are likely perched somewhere and acting as extra eyes for her. It's how it always has been and always will be; even after all these Turns in the Weyr, she's not let much of her guards down despite the exhaustion of living a double life. Granted, it rarely intersects… except for when she's in Cascabel's company. "Join me for a moment?" Yes, she's going to pull her off duty but only because a subtle glance about their surroundings yield no immediate threat.

Technically, it could be argued Cascabel is obeying an order; on the other hand, Divale's rank is firmly under the Weyrleader's purview and not the Headwoman's such as Cascabel's work is. It doesn't seem to bother Cas, as she puts her cleaning supplies down on the shelf in question (to be sure no one else makes the mistake of putting anything she had carefully taken off back on before she is finished), then moves over to claim the chair in front of where Aqui has settled. While she's still just as thin as before — meaning relatively healthy at this point, as she's not as recently post-partum as when she came to work in the lower caverns — she's got more of a shine to her eyes and less of a sunken face. "Here I am," she proclaims, softly. "What are you reading?" And are you going to turn this into a surprise reading lesson, because unfortunately the shelf has a time limit that her poor reading skills won't be able to match.

Very true and Divale is aware of her overstepping bounds as far as rank is concerned. However, it'd be awfully rude to ignore a rider, even if to not politely turn down their request and that's all the brownrider is banking on. Her relief in seeing life back in Cas is kept well under wraps, though she'll allow herself a small smirk once the other woman has settled across from her. A finger taps the tome once, then twice, in the silence before she answers. "Old records on statistics and numbers involving Threadfighting in high temperatures. Some of the upcoming 'Falls occur during unfavourable times of day." In other words? Very, very dry reading. Also, questionable if Divale is really that focused on her work or merely indulging in a perfect excuse to be here. Gaze narrowing, she studies Cas for a spell before murmuring. "Since when are you delegated to drudgery?" Blunt and to the point, but she's curious what brought her to dusting the archives. It's likely quite the change in personality, given the recent events between them. Campion's first Turnday being the biggest (and most secret), where Divale actually shed her false persona and opened up a bit to her sister. It was probably incredibly sweet!

Cascabel can cope with it, even if she might prefer seeing Divale more relaxed. She is not expecting it by any means. She might also prefer to be doing her normal job, but, "It's a little bit oppressive to be gardening at the moment," the normal guardian of the kitchen courtyard admits with a small smile. "And it needed to be done, so I volunteered rather than get sunburned. Sometimes with the heat from outside and the ovens from inside I expect my face to turn red without going out of doors." And sometimes it does, just to make it worse. "Numbers actually — sounds more interesting than I was expecting, even if that still would not be my choice of entertainment. Is it yours, or is it work?"

"I suppose that's quite the valid reason. They wouldn't want their valued workers passing out from heat exhaustion or worse, would they?" Divale's tone remains dry and shadowed, her smirk broadening a bit to show that vague and continued displeasure for the role Cas currently holds. She's glad that she is safe, but she had expected more… and while they've likely discussed it in a round about way several times since, Divale's still of the opinion that Cascabel would've made a fine spot for herself in something more ? promising. Never mind that she'd just escaped being married to a merchant family and the Bazaar lifestyle! "It's work," she intones dismissively, closing the tome and thus ending that thread of conversation. Another glance around their immediate area and then her eyes focus sharply on Cas once more. "… how are you?" Whispered low and hushed, as though even speaking on such equal terms is a risky endeavour.

"I likely could have taken the day off if I needed to, but I hate to be idle." Cascabel is not yet entirely free of the whispers in the mind that come from trauma, nor has her post-partum depression fully lifted. And so she hates nothing like she hates quiet, and will do anything she must to keep going instead. Be focused, or be near people, or both. "I am glad to hear that statistics weren't your choice for something fun to do." Or she might be concerned that Divale had become even more nuts than she already was. "I'm well enough," she says with a one-shouldered shrug: she is physically fine, she's eating, she's warm, she's around people she likes.

Divale makes a quiet sound of understanding, low in her throat. They are similar creatures in that regard; even she cannot stand being idle for long. Which is why she makes a terrible patient in the Infirmary. She can understand the whispers of past traumas too and, were it safe or if she could be convinced that her 'friendship' with Cascabel would not be suspicious, she'd open up to her. Maybe they could BOTH heal then… but not with Divale as she is now, so firmly caged in her own walls. "I think you know well enough what 'fun' is for me," she muses dryly, one brow quirking up. She could be speaking of the present, the past or both with a remark like that! "Is that so?" Oh, somehow Divale does not believe her for a second and her eyes narrow in visible thought but she does not push Cascabel here. Instead, another sort of nudge and one that implies much in so few words. "It's almost time." She's probably explained this to her before: every summer, she returns to the wilds of Lemos, to both their past home, long lost to ruin and remoteness. It's a warning AND invitation, even if part of her wonders how wise it will be.

If Cascabel felt more confident, she might push. That time might come, in private, if they're ever in private long enough — for her to point out that it isn't that likely anyone would take all that much notice of who Divale chooses to speak to. On the other hand, she has her own fair share of skittishness and paranoia. "I'm all right," she insists, because even if she isn't all-encompassingly right, she is at least okay enough. It's basically true. Her head tilts to one side, a lock of hair tumbling out of the scarf she'd used to keep it out of the dust, "Did you want me along?" she asks gently, and then, just in case the answer isn't quite the same, "Or need me?"

Given the verbal invitation just set on the table between them, that time might be fast approaching. Divale blinks, her gaze levelled with Cascabel's as though she wasn't quite expecting that kind of answer and response right off. Her mouth opens and from the set of her jaw and the darkening shadows of her eyes, it may be that she meant to brush her off and claim she'll be going alone. Instead, she merely nods and swallows before rasping out a hushed: "Yes." She does want Cascabel along and while she cannot admit it, it's needed. Necessary, even, for the two of them. Another breath and she's rolling her shoulders slightly and grimacing. "That is… if you are willing?"

"I can't see why I wouldn't be." Cascabel hasn't got the same marred memories as Divale by far; her situation was much worse after her departure, which may or may not have included an illustratively falsified death. At least she was able to keep her name and not forced to return to the one originally given by parents who reclaimed her. "So long as I have the time, and I will," because yes, her job is nothing of fancy great import, even if gardens and food are important, "I'll come along. Just come find me when you're ready, that shouldn't be too difficult either." She keeps her world small.

Divale's gaze never wavers, holding fast to Cascabel's long after she's answered her. A smile flickers briefly, but soon her expression turns grim. "It won't be overly pleasant. There… isn't much left now." Yet it hasn't stopped her from returning ever since she gained the ability to do so! "I've already sifted through everything. Took what little could be salvaged and moved it." She keeps her voice low and hushed as always, but the last is hurried. There is so much to discuss and it's evident that she wants to touch upon some of it from how tense her posture is and the conflict visible beneath the shadow of her eyes.

While Cascabel's lips might press together, her expression doesn't darken, and her defining interest definitely shows through when she speeks a moment later, a relatively confident, "There's land left." But she won't push it, being in public-ish. Instead she relaxes into her seat a little more and watches Divale, giving a sense of waiting in her positioning that is probably just annoying enough to induce further speech. No matter how long that takes. One hand idly pets the bronze's neck, though her focus is still on the brownrider, and maybe the friendly version of pressure to actually say whatever it is. "Also, there's no one else in earshot," she adds, nonchalant, an afterthought.

"Tainted land." Divale corrects and there's a hissed and bitter edge to her tone as her eyes narrow again beneath a heavier scowl. She is silent for a half breath, before her shoulders drop and some of that tension ebbs, a low exhale escaping her. "… but ours, yes." Ours. Not just hers or even Cascabel's, but both of theirs by default, if only by their claim alone. Her gaze darts first to one side of the archives and then the other, as if to confirm Cascabel's observations. Regardless, it will be another handful of moments before she believes it safe enough to continue. "I keep to the old traditions when I am there, Cas and the very least in honouring those we lost. You remember them, don't you?" 'Them' being left ambiguous of course. It could be she means the traditions or their 'family' both.

At first it's just a nod from Cascabel; she rarely forgets things, for all that she has a lifetime of ideas she'd like to forget. These aren't those. Anything from before sixteen, she's happier to keep. "I won't misstep," she promises, a promise she likely first made to Divale and others around age eleven when she decided she'd rather be their sister than her actual brother's. He got a lashing for losing her. She went back eventually, got scolded, left again … "Land, though," she says in a way that's a little more insistent than just observing, but only the slightest bit more, as if she's afraid to push, "can be purified. Much more effectively than people can."

Now Divale smiles a hint of something genuine, as she tilts her head a bit. "Didn't think you would, Cas or I wouldn't have offered for you to join me." She's well aware of her mental state and that did make her pause before. Now? Not so much, but the concerns still linger there. Even she had a hard time returning the first chance she got when they were full riders and Lukoith could take her there. Granted, she'd been alone, too in the human companion-ship sense. Zavyr, of course, came along at one point but that was so much different (and did not end entirely well). Lips curve into a wry smirk, "Quite true. It would have been something to consider, if… both our paths had been much different than they are now. I cannot reclaim it." Pausing for a moment, she adds in a markedly softer voice. "And neither can you." It's not a place for someone to be alone in. Another pause, her fingers picking up a tick of sorts as they erratically tap against the side of the tome she's no longer reading. "Campion, though…"

"I could if I collected enough people," Cas points out, because the land part suits her fine, but — even she knows better than to attempt the by-herself aspect. It's not that she has a life that impedes the idea of having her own land so much as that she doesn't have those people. She has very few people, though a lengthy list of names of people she's seen twice, which is more than she could say two turns ago. "But I wouldn't. He might like it, when he's older, if it ends up being that he likes those sorts of things." And he has a proper name for the task; Campion, an entire genus of flowering plants and a lovely variety of teas. But it's hard to determine what a one-turn-old might choose to do with his life. "He may prefer to follow in your footsteps. Or … become a Harper, who knows." Cascabel shrugs lightheartedly. She's okay with him doing whatever he wants; it's not as if she has much right to input. "Making the option available to him, though — seems like a good enough idea."

Divale shakes her head, her expression tightening and grim again, but there's a spark of anger there too. "Don't be foolish," she mutters darkly. "That task is too great an undertaking. I would know… I had considered the same thing once. It's too much. Too dangerous. One wrong move and you'd bring…" She hesitates and in very rare form, stumbles on her words and has to swallow dryly before she can utter even the HINT of a suggestion. "You'll bring HIS suspicion upon your head." No explanation necessary, whoever this 'man' is. He was likely the biggest piece to the whole sordid end to whatever life they had before. As the conversation shifts to Campion, she sighs, "Perhaps. He may not want anything to do with his blood right or lineage." She scowls. "… and I suppose it's his right to choose a path of a rider." Given he was born in the Weyr and raised by the Weyr.

There's a differing view here in what counts as Campion's lineage; Cascabel is well aware that the child had two parents at one point, and while legally neither claims him … "If he wants nothing at all to do with any of his background, that's also his choice, and depending on what he wants to learn about it, not necessarily a bad one." She still seems somewhat lighthearted on the topic, though, because it's definitely a 'the worst is over' perspective on her end. She is trying so very hard not to look back — not on anything — and if not become someone new, become someone whole. "With Lukoith in his life he might think being a rider is the best possible future, though I'm not entirely sure yet what he thinks of him." Those he's and him's could go in either direction, since babies aren't the easiest to read in terms of opinions and Cas doesn't have a good read for Lukoith, either.

Unsurprisingly, Divale is not taking it so lighthearted. She blinks once, before her features harden. "He needs to know the truth, Cas. I won't hide that from him." It will be awhile yet before the boy is old enough to even understand, but she's already fully intending not to sugar coat it or lie. Campion will know his heritage and he will know just what his father was and the blood on that man's hands in his involvement in destroying what COULD have been Campion's true legacy. "It won't just be Lukoith that he is exposed to. He's in the care of the Weyr and the Weyr will raise him together as their own. Despite our involvement, he may very well find this… agreeable. But we speak of a babe and much can change…" Which means that Divale's had enough of this conversation for now. Her mood eases again and she vaguely smiles. "When the moons are full this month, I'll come for you at nightfall. You do not have to pack much… if anything."

"I certainly shouldn't be his primary influence." Cascabel had easily predicted her unfitness as a mother long before she'd given birth, and was glad the Weyr was able to step in when she couldn't. When she wouldn't in a way that was outside her control; if people believed Divale were actually his birth mother, and likely some did despite the wingsecond's complete lack of visible pregnancy, it didn't bother her. "It isn't as if I won't answer questions, but I don't feel like — he'll tell us when he's ready to know," is all she can say. And hopefully she won't have to be involved in the storytelling, even if she needs to sit there and hold his hand or provide a snack. She's just as glad to drop the topic, though, because much as Campion has a lot he needs to know someday, it isn't now, and she just hopes his early childhood is a fair sight better than hers. "A sweater, maybe some tea."

Is it so far out though for a rider to "adopt" a weyrbred child? Most female riders have a difficult time carrying to term and so, some may assume that Divale just took a liking to the infant too. Whatever speculation may be going around among some of the nanny and caretaker staff, the Wingsecond ignores it. "You can be of some influence too, Cas. Don't cut your ties to him so swiftly." She's not pressuring her, in the least, to be an active mother figure; but she does insist that she be there, at least, in some form. She nods, concerning Campion approaching them and then the topic is laid to rest for good — for now. "We will have plenty to make our own tea there, just as we did before." she gently points out, before grimacing. "For now though, we best remember our tasks here. You should return to yours and I to my own."

Cascabel the crazy aunt is entirely plausible as well, though there's no doubt that she will make sure Campion knows she gave birth to him. It's just that whatever that means, she's leaving to his decision — so much already on this poor boy who just a couple of weeks ago had the world's cutest little turnday party! "I won't lie either," she admits with a one-shouldered shrug, "I'll only do what I can." And she isn't doing too poorly, nor does she sound shaken up by it. The forced optimism method seems to be working pretty well for her. "I'll bring us both sweaters," she says with a laugh, "since I did just finish making you one," surprise, "But you'll see them later." She reaches out to obnoxiously tug super-gentle at the ends of a lock of Divale's hair so quickly that an onlooker would probably have missed the affectionate gesture, then stands up, spins around and returns to the dusting without a further word, no sign the conversation ever happened except that her firelizard remains with Divale until the brownrider departs.

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