El'ai, Alecsei


Just Alec and El'ai, hanging out. With some meat. And some ice. Totally normal.


It is early evening of the thirteenth day of the third month of the first turn of the 12th pass.


Cold Storage

OOC Date


el-ai_default.jpg, Alec4.png


Cold Storage

Halite forms a thick, hoary frost on the walls, forever preserving the contents held within and offering up a somewhat bitter aftertaste to the still, chilly air. Frozen solid, carcasses are stacked like grotesque statuary against the far reaches of the walls, row upon row of foot-tagged herdbeast and fowl gleaming amid solid blocks of ice. The wintry chill of the place does little to dissipate the stench of blood that hangs,ominous, in the air; dry, coppery, permanent. The floors are covered in hides to contain any melt-off, while raised walkways between the aisles of food prevent contamination by human foot traffic and make it more difficult for the occasional pest to get at the Weyr's precious foodstuffs.

Well, this room is gruesome. And it would seem that even this place isn't off-limits as a possible location for candidates to perform their chores. It's sometime before dinner and a group of them comes trudging out into the main cavern, yet one remains behind. Alec leans against the rails on the walkway, staring down at the rows of carcasses that hang on hooks from the ceiling. His expression is caught somewhere between fascination and disgust, his work smock covered in blood that's begun to dry. He picks at the gloved fingertips of his hand, brow furrowed together.

Why on earth would a tame bronzerider be lurking in Igen's cold storage? Quite possibly because he got lost, that's why; El'ai's footsteps are unhurried, coming at a quick clip-clip pace until he stumbles into this graphic room with it's graphic representative (Alec) and comes to a barreling halt. "This." He stares at the Candidate and then at the bodies, and then out the door, "Isn't the latrines."

Alecsei is honestly startled at the voice behind him, probably because he assumed that he was alone. The teenager jolts upright and takes a moment to compose himself before turning around to regard the bronzerider. "…No." He agrees somewhat tolerantly, eyes sweeping the gory background of their current location. "It's that way." Helpfully, he points.

A ghost of a smile curves the bronzerider's lips for causing the other teen to startle — hey, El'ai can appreciate when he ends up on top for once. "I see that. It's a warren here, in Igen. In Southern, I know everything like the back of my hand, but I'm constantly getting lost here." His natural cat-like curiosity has the boy peeking in further. "This place is nasty. How do they keep it so cold? It's not like," blue-blue eyes flick to Alecsei, dark brows lifting, "it's all that cold here in the desert."

El'ai doesn't appear to be all that threatening, at least not in the way some of the other people he's run into lately are. By degrees, the tight tension begins to ease away. "You're the…" Alec waves a gloved hand vaguely seeking a more specific word, failing to find one, "The rider of the clutch father." His attention drifts from the Southern rider to a carcass that hangs near him. "Ice blocks. And we're deep enough. There's a lot of it." It's not exact, but he's likely referring to all of the meat that's in here. So very much.

"Yeah, I'm the," El'ai waves his hand in response, "the — that. I'm here until the eggs hatch, though it feels weird to be not home. Especially when Thread is falling." Some measure of remorse touches his features before the boy quickly masks his expression. "Ice blocks. Do they fetch it every day, then?" Another, questioning look is given 'round this little storage room before peering more intently at the stacks of meat. "That's a lot." Of meat. Or something.

"It'll keep falling." Alecsei says matter of factly, as a grimace crosses his features. He exhales quietly and turns from El'ai again, arms once more resting on the rails. "I don't know. Maybe?" Eyes moving to one of the aforementioned blocks of ice, he stares at intently. "You're probably used to it." The stacks of meat that is.

"But I am not with my wing," El'ai's tone is quiet, serious. Contemplation is for later, not now with the Candidate standing there. "What, this? Not really. We don't store frozen meat in our weyr." He wrinkles his nose. "We have pastures of animals that we kill when we need and cook fresh. I've heard of practices like this, and I guess maybe it happened at Fort and Telgar, but …" He shrugs, then reaches out to poke one of the frozen slabs. Hey, maybe it dethawed!

"Not everyone is where they want to be all the time." Alec's gaze is briefly unfocused before he twists to turn that intent stare onto El'ai, sweeping inspection over him. "Still. You have a lot. It's a lot." Why exactly that's so utterly baffling to him is likely not readily obvious. When he reaches out to touch the frozen slab, he wrinkles his nose and shakes his head. "I don't know, I wouldn't put my hands on it."

"You think it's poisoned," El'ai's eyebrows shoot up in surprise at the other boy's caution. "I mean, it's just frozen meat." An inherent practicality in that statement exists, though he does withdraw his hand. "Everyone," is that a mournful sigh escaping the bronzerider? A youth struggling to rise over the edge of childhood into maturity, it weighs down the rest of his sentence of, "has so much to worry about these days, it seems. I remember when we worried for nothing except whether or not Khalyssrielth would get us booted out of another weyr."

"It could have germs on it." Alecsei theorizes, his bloody gloved hand pointing at it. "Then they're on your hands. Then your hands touch your food and now you're sick and shitting out blood." It's the longest sentence he's come up with since meeting El'ai and it's as morbid and awful as the room they're standing in. "Some of you are just playing catch up to the worry that other people have had to deal with since before the Pass started." He's not an especially sympathetic character to the plight Khalyssrielth has caused El'ai and his sister.

"Playing catchup?" El'ai's considers Alecsei for the longest moment, before deliberately wiping his fingertips across his pants. "You have no idea what you're talking about." Flat statement, that. "There was plenty to worry about but it was less life or death." Anyway, he's not going to argue this point, never mind that he already has. "It's not diseased. It's frozen for Faranth's sake."

"It wasn't life or death for you. Easy to say someone has no idea what they're talking about when you're on the other side of the fence." Alec shrugs his shoulders then, turning bland attention back onto the hanging meat. If he's actually annoyed, it doesn't quite shine through. He just appears borderline indifferent. "Suit yourself. I'm not going to have to take care of you when you're violently ill later on."

El'ai stares at Alecsei, trying to place the other boy's response and slowly coming to the conclusion that they are talking at cross purposes. "I didn't mean — " But that thought is left unfinished when laughter escapes. "You act like I licked my fingers. What's your name?" Because hard topics are easily and readily dropped by the bronzerider in favor for more interesting things. Like names.

"That's what you're going to do eventually. You'll just do it through a sandwich or an apple or- whatever." Alec lifts his hand up, wiggling his fingers before his hand drops limply over the side. He'll drop the other conversation too, it's not as if he's invested in arguing with the young bronzerider here and now. Eventually he'll answer, "Alecsei."

"Not if I wash my hands first," El'ai counters, shoving both of his hands into his pockets to regard the Candidate. "I'm El'ai. Well met." Beat. "And why are you so concerned with germs, anyway? Your hands," gloves, "are covered in blood and I'm sure you've probably inhaled some blood or flesh dust while you were — say." As if it's finally occurred to El'ai to ask Alecsei, "— What are you doing down here anyway?"

"You better wash your hands then." Alecsei's eyes flicker to catch El'ai putting his hands into his pockets. "Now it's in your pants." Just in case he wanted to a blow by blow of where the contagion he might have touched now rests. "…Flesh dust?" That hasn't occurred to him. He wrinkles his nose and knits his brow, staring around suspiciously at the meat hanging from hooks. "Helping hang things." He answers distractedly, "And it's better to not get sick than to get sick."

"I'll do one better. I'll go take a bath," El'ai comments, humor lighting his sweet face. "Come on, Alecsei. This place is obviously not for you. I can almost taste the flesh dust." He could be teasing. He could be telling the truth. Either way, it's cold and gross and weird in this room with a weird boy-Candidate who was picking at the ends of his gloves. "Besides, you're starting to smell like blood." Even if he isn't. "I'm hungry." Non-sequitor. "The disease can stay in my pants. My balls are totally safe." He's confident and then, without even making sure Alecsei is gonna follow, strides right out of the cold storage. Hey, a bath and dinner sound great… right?

"Flesh dust." He repeats it again, the distaste at the idea filtering into his tone. He watches El'ai exit, that furrowed brow still plainly in place as he tracks the other teenager with his eyes. Alecsei sighs then, staring up at the racks of hanging meat. He peels the bloody gloves off of his hand and tosses them onto the ground, not really caring who's going to pick them up eventually. He strolls out after the bronzerider, but whether he follows him to dinner or not is another thing entirely. More likely, he stays for part of the trip to the living cavern and then just… drifts off like ghost.

Add a New Comment