Who

Talya, Neryk

What

Let's put two strangers in a bar to talk about Firelizards, Eggs, Firelizard Eggs, Dragons, Impressing, and let's try to not be too awkward or heavy about it.

Vague mentions of Death, Mild cussing

When

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

Where

Dustbowl Canteina

OOC Date 22 Mar 2018 07:00

 

talya_default.jpg neryk_default.jpg

Man, firelizards are weird.



Dustbowl Cantena

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.


Hot. Miserably Hot. Miserably hot might be pretty common in Igen, but 109 is enough to make even those who have lived in Igen for years want to crawl into a dark hole. Neryk is one of those. He'd long since started to think that perhaps he was finally acclimated to this climate, this dry, sandy, hot place wasn't this miserable most of the time. Now the young man sits at the bar over an iced drink, four firelizards lay on the bartop around him, melted into the wood and unmoving as slowly Neryk fishes ice out of his drink and places the little cubes ontop of the little lizards. Consequently, each lizard lays in a little puddle as the heat still manages to attack the ice. Still, the bartender has yet to complain about the four growing puddles and no one else is close enough to the young man to notice his activities. It was too hot to pick a fight with a guy over cooling his firelizards and it was too hot for anything tonight really.

At least the sun is going down… but it's still absolutely miserable and Talya comes into the Cantina with a dazed hot look on her face. She is not alone either, having come following some errand for a rider. Shadowing again? Who knows. Either way the rider and her part ways at the door and she bobs her way towards the bar. This would be the best time to desperately request something on the rocks. Instead she croaks out, "Juice. Anything. Cold." Her eyes turn from the bartender to the firelizards decking the top. "Lots of ice," she says, half-distracted, as if the bartender did not assume that already. She reaches out and puts her own hand into one of those melted puddles, doing her best not to touch someone else's firelizards (or get bitten, who knows) and then pats her own heated face with the hand. "Thanks," she says to the young man doing this strange ritual as she plops down on a seat.

Neryk doesn't bother looking up as someone joins the bar, but the lizard does, a bright bronze with pretty golding swirls patterning his wet wings. His tail flicks and the slowly whirling eyes will blink ever so slowly. He watches without moveing much more than this until Talya's iced drink it brought. This gets his full attention where Talya's one word could not get Neryk's. However, the Bronze is not the one that is up first, instead, a large tropical-colored blue is up and at Talya's glass before she can take it herself. The blue's wings are open, his slight form arching against the cold condensation of the cup with a feline-like attention, each movement dripping. This will drag Neryk's attention, "OH! Sorry! Oh! Castor-" But the words are stopped as the bronze is following his clutch brother, leaning into the fresh glass. "Pollux! Hey! I'm so sorry Miss!"

Hey, if Neryk is quiet who is Talya to complain? The quiet seems to be appreciated, and she is mopping her face with the coolness of the melted ice happily so that it looks like a fresh sheen on her darker skin. The hot days definitely require as little movement as possible, after all. “Thanks,” is said to the bartender (because she’s been there and understands the sentiment and won’t be a bitch about it). Except she can’t even reach her drink first! “That’s my juice,” she growls out to the blue and then the bronze, yelping when they both seem to want to take the coolness away from her. She lifts her arms helplessly, then makes a waving motion… but she’s not going to attack someone else’s firelizards. “You think they weren’t happy with ice dripping all over them?” she gives Neryk a side-long look, then does her best to reach /over/ the firelizards (this may require her putting a leg up on the stool to get some height and does her best, with fingers barely gripping the rim, to slide the drink right away from the firelizards. If she’s successful, she’s going to grab that thing against her /own/ skin and give the firelizards a glare.
~

Both of these firelizards are above average size for thier color and neither take well to the cup of cool being taken from them. Castor is fluttering up almost instantly to try and stop the glass’s removal and Pollux rears up on his hind legs, little claws reaching out to scrap harmlessly against the wet, slick surface. However, neither will get much farther than this, Neryk is leaning forward quickly, a swipe of an arm and he is scooping the bronze up and against his chest and a quick grab with the other arm and Neryk has the blue. Both cheep pitifully, neither fighting him but clearly thinking that they are definitely in the right and he in the wrong. “Awe! I’m so sorry miss! They are not very polite in the best of times, I’m so sorry!” His other two lizards have not moved from thier puddles, but the little sky blue and the gold will watch with a thinly veiled amusement as Neryk starts to stuff Castor and Pollux into his large jacket pockets. Castor squirms and gets away, blinking between before he can be caught again and repremanded, but Pollux will resign himself to his fate of a pocket. The bronze head peeks out of the opening looking like a kicked puppy, wide eyes on Talya’s juice. “Here, um, I’ll cover your tab, I’m so sorry Miss, really, they don’t mean to cause a fuss, please don’t mind them!”
~

“Really, drop the miss stuff please, I’m a candidate anyway,” Talya mutters when the poor young man continues to apologize for his rowdy fair. She glares at the firelizards, having somehow (miraculously) gotten that glass of juice away from the firelizards without spilling a single drop. How she did that will forever be a mystery. She immediately takes a long gulp of it after she corrects the man trying to control his firelizards. “It’s Talya. /Talya/. Not that miss stuff,” she grumbles out to the man, finally settling back into her seat with wary glances at the firelizards, not quite subdued. “They’re useful little beasts, but I’ve never seen ones attack someone’s drink like that before. They do that often? Is redfruit juice even good for them?” Gulp. The coolness makes her sigh and sink into the stool even more. Free juice? “Add some cheese curds and I may forgive your firelizards.” Because free drinks is only good if they were alcoholic. Free food, however, is always a good thing.
~

Neryk looks embarrassed, his eyes never quite meeting Talya’s but skimming over her face, then down to her shoulder where they will settle for a time, “Ummmm, no? No, definitely not! They, um, just sort of take what they want. OR! No, just some of them do. Mine do. Mine are rather, um, what’s the word for it, um, spoiled? But most lizards do mind their manners, just those two sorta… don’t.” His eyes skip away from her all together now, finding his well-mannered gold and other blue, “See? They are behaving, they are okay with what they have, just that Castor and Pollux just kinda.… . take? I’m sorry Miss. Oh, Um, Miss Talya. Sorry.” At the mention of candidacy, his attention skips up, looking for a white knot and instantly, surprised he didn’t notice earlier, Neryk relaxes. “Congratulations. Welcome. When did you get here? Searched recently?” He almost looks up at her. Almost. Instead, his hand moves into his pocket, scooping out the pouting bronze and cradling him. There is no reprimand, no return to the topics of lizards or thier behavior, Neryk just holds the bronze and the bronze will relax into it, wings flopping open and paler tummy skyward to be stroked. “Rumor has it the eggs will hatch soon. I wish you luck. Where are you from?”
~

Talya has the complete opposite problem of Neryk. She is all about making eye contact with people, whether for being interested in the person or to make them uncomfortable. This seems to be the former, though she unfortunately does not make eye contact at all with Neryk. The young man makes her curious, as if trying to put a puzzle piece together. “So you spoil them rotten,” she notes with a head bob. “But not all of them, or they are just lazier than the others?” Her dark eyes finally move off the man and towards the other blue and gold. She still clutches her glass desperately to herself, but it already is mostly empty. The problem with it being hot and thirsty. She digs out an ice cube and slides it on the bartop so that it finds the other blue, giving the more hyper one a /look/. See, nice firelizards get something. But then she’s waving her glass on the bartop, trying to get another fill before the firelizards attack again. “But really, only Talya,” she repeats. Yet again. “And I think I was here almost from the start. At least it feels that way, like forever. Got Searched all the way from Southern, even. I have to say I miss the humidity, you don’t feel so /thirsty/ and desperate.” She gives a big heavy sigh, then a smirk to the bartender as they fill her up. Another ‘thanks’ and she turns her full attention back onto Neryk. “Do you really think they will hatch soon?”
~

“Not Lazier, just, um, I like to think I got better at raising them but-” The littler blue is shrinking back from the attention, flattening himself more to the table as if she might not see him if he is smaller, only approaching the noew ice when she looks away, “I think it’s more of a luck of the draw with personalities.” Pollux only shrinks back into Neryk’s hands at Talya’s look, his tail and wings curling around him, though he has much less luck in making himself smaller than Alzirr did. “Southern? Nice! I love Southern. Very pretty place, so much life.” Neryk nods, then shrugs, “No clue really, some folks can tell, or, um, some dragons can, but really, it’s all just guess-work. Still. I would bet that they will be with us very soon.” Neryk does not notice Talya’s interest and though he has relaxed, there is no attempt to look at her in the face again, instead, the small smile and eyes remain on his two lizards on the bar, he wears no knot, though is dressed well. Comfortable and plain, though the four lizards might be an oddity, Neryk seems content to keep the conversation on her, “Hoping for a particular color? Thought much of staying in Igen if you can? It’s a nice place here, I”m sure you would like it.”
~

Good thing for the smaller blue, Talya’s glares are mostly for the first pair that were causing trouble, in case they want to come and take that ice she’s offering to the nicer firelizards. “Guess I am used to the little guys always just flying around independently on their own with the occasional ones looking for trouble or bothering their own humans.” There are some exceptions, but the way the man is doting on them and the way they attacked her drink seem to be new for her. She distracts herself momentarily with her drink again, not daring to set it on the bar top even as she requests some snacks from the bartender. “Southern is livelier than Igen as far as plants and all, but if I Impress I don’t plan to move away any time soon. Why would I go and do that?” See, she was still paying attention to the man. Her interest may have waned from being obvious, but she hasn’t left his side. Yet. “Do people actually hope for a color? I’d just hope to walk off the sands with a lifemate— I mean I am. Ain’t that all we can hope for, finding a dragon and never being alone again?” Of course comes the work, the Threadfighting, and all that? Little does she know about Neryk. Sorry.
~

Neryk might own the four most spoiled firelizards on the planet. Perhaps. At any rate, the only time when he is not friends with a dragon is when they are not being nice to his lizards. Or at least the few times that he has threatened dragons has been over one or multiple of the little things. “They are an experience, I suppose. Like owning a very spirited runner or canine.” He shrugs slightly, his fingers tracing the fine bones of Pollux’s wing, the lizard relaxing almost instantly. “Oh sure, I’ve met folks who wanted nothing but a bronze, then impress a little green and couldn’t be happier for it. A lot of people walk onto the sands with the wrong idea about it all. An-” His words taper out at her last words. Neryk’s mouth opens. Then closes, his fingers tracing Pollux’s wings again, “Um. Well, yeah. That. . . .. . yeah, that is always the hope. That is the feeling and the promise. But…. well, um,-” He shakes his head, paler now, but trying to push it away. He shakes his head again, shallowing thickly and his eyes closeing. His form is tense, and the little shy blue and the gold stand now, abandoning their little puddles. The gold is up and around Neryk’s neck, humming softly as Alzirr hops up, clinging to Neryk’s shirt. For a third time, Neryk shakes his head, “Good luck.”
~

“Never owned either of those… Or have a firelizard.” Talya seems to consider her options in life of pets, her eyes on the man’s firelizards. “Not even a cat.” Her lifetime before the weyr certainly make her frown, not that she is looking into having a pet now. She gives the thought a shrug. “Too busy and all that, though Mom had a firelizard that wasn’t really around much.” Had. She savors the juice a little more slowly, waiting on her meal, and listening to Neryk’s words about hopes and —well, not disappointments. She may have a bad case of foot in mouth disease (out of ignorance) but she definitely can read the man’s reaction. Her eyes turn away from firelizards, from bartender waiting for some snacks, to study the man yet again. “Thanks,” she says after a quiet contemplative moment. Her lips pinch, obviously wanting to ask on that man’s ‘But’. “Your firelizards may take all your time anyway from the looks of it.” For dragonriding… her mind liking is going to the scenario of the man not able to stand, though her curiosity seems to be stomped down when her basket of cheese curds arrive. She nods her thanks and then slides them over to the middle of the two of them, by way of apology for whatever she may have said to upset him. … Perfect opportunity for firelizards to attack again, since the candidate has forgotten.
~

However, none of the three lizards move. Neryk manages a nod, the three that are still here do turn and look at the basket, Pollux looking particularly interested, but none leave their current cling-spot. “They do. They take a lot of management.” After all, spoiled should not’ mean rude, though in Castor and Pollux’s cases, it clearly did. Neryk’s eyes open again, he shifts Pollux’s cradle to one hand and accepts a cheese curd. However, rather than eating it himself, it is lifted to the coppering gold curled scarf-like around his shoulders. Seren sniffs it. Accepting the treat slowly, testing it, hmmmm, okay, Seren Approves. “I didn’t have any lizards til a few years ago. It’s never too late to get one, if that is what you want. Though I would suggest waiting til after Hatching. Raising a little dragon and a little lizard at the same time would not be good for your sleep schedule.” Neryk glances at Talya, a quick thing, eyes skipping away again quickly and his form still tense. “I’m sure that if you wanted a star of your own, you could find someone willing to help you out. They are…. very good to have.” Another cheese curd is selected and offered to Seren and again the gold will take it daintily, chewing and swallowing with all the airs of an empress.
~

Talya gives the fair draped around Neryk a look, not quite a glare this time. At least the food was safe. “Only a lot of management up to a certain point. Or did you get them all at once?” More than one at a time certainly sounded like a handful to this young woman. She grabs a few of the cheese curds, popping into her mouth with her free hand. Drink still rather full, food at the bartop, she seems to finally relax more. Her attention drifts from her companion to the rest of the place, occasionally straying to the rider that she arrived with. Maybe it was her desire to come to the cantina, but they are certain she doesn’t indulge (not that someone would serve a person with a white-knot, it’s a glaring sign that says DO NOT GIVE ALCOHOL). “Yeah, getting a firelizard ain’t going to happen any time soon, even if I am that lucky to find an egg without any strings attached. It’s no problem, I’ve got more of an immediate desire that’s quite a bit more of a handful than a firelizard.” And bigger. Much bigger. Dragon sized. Her dark eyes seem to catch the moment that Neryk looks her way, and she grimaces at him. It may have been an attempt at a smile. “Listen, sorry for… uh, whatever I said.” Because Tal has issues with guilt, and she seems to feel bad for this man. In her mind, she probably assumes he’s too old to stand or missed his chance. Yeah, totally.
~

“No, got Castor and Pollux, um, the big blue and this guy.” He taps the bronze lightly then points to the little blue, “Got him about half a turn later? Seren only about a turn ago. Maybe it’s a little more than that now … One at a time is much easier. Much, Much easier.” He continues to feed the smaller curds to the gold his speech still soft, “Sometimes one isn’t planning to get one, and it happens anyway. Sometimes one is planning, but still, if you don't want one, then perhaps it would be good to skip. Focus on the Hatching.” Neryk holds his fingers to Alzirr, who will lick at the weyr before making a face and turning away. Alzirr does not Approve. Pollux, however, is happy to lick Neryk’s fingers clean, gentle and slow. When clean, Neryk will again pick up his own beverage, something that is coppery in color and definitely alcohol, strong, perhaps scotch. He takes a few sips, not minding the moments of silence, but takes a much bigger drink as Talya apologizes. The now-empty glass is put down and the bartender is filling it without instruction. “Don’t be. It’s not you. You did nothing wrong, nor said nothing wrong. I’m just… um… . “ He struggles for a word, his lizards starting to hum again as his distress rises. Neryk doesn’t come up with whatever word he is looking for, instead, the drink is abandoned and Nerky reaches into his pocket. He takes out wing-patch, however it bares the insignia and colors of none of the current wings of Igen. This is a patch of Hogback, wing decommissioned two turns ago. A black band has been sewn across the patch, and a close look will seen names embroidered across the band. Some white, the names of riders, and some colored, the names of dragons, sewn in their respective color. One colored name is not paired with a white name, near the bottom of the band, the small word ‘Eorannuth’ can be seen in brown. “It’s not your fault. Please don’t apologize.” The words are almost softer than they had been, Neryk’s eyes locked on his glass, “But a promise of never alone again doesn’t always… .happen… . .”
~

“One at a time,” Talya repeats with a head nod. “I think just one is good enough, so long as it’s one willing to help around, deliver a note sometimes… Definitely the worst problem of not having one is not able to write to people long distance, even if I had someone to write to.” She purses her lips at the thought. Okay, she may write to someone once or twice, but definitely not a common occurrence. “Pollux, Castor, and Seren eating all the cheese curds. I’ll remember those names, as well as yours and the last little guy, just gotta learn them.” There is a teasing note to her voice, not insulting him in any way that the man has yet to share his identity. It’s rather uncharacteristic for her to have been the first to provide that gesture. She leans over, closer to the young man, to get a very good look at the patch. She probably did not expect what she did see on the patch, though her face shows some confusion— weyr life, after all, was still a little bit of a mystery. She didn’t go out of her way to learn back at Southern, only the basics. And here in Igen she’s obviously been trying to cover the gaps. Still, her face goes from furrowed confusion to sudden understanding. Oh. Shit. She leans back into her seat, takes a drink from her juice, and then says, out loud… “Shit.” She is not going to apologize again, because the man said not to. But she does suddenly go thoughtful, not having considered that alternative lifestyle.
~

Neryk takes another few gulps of his drink, the patch again vanishes back into his pocket and he nods, “Yeah. Shit.” It was a good word for it. ‘It’ was not something he talked about alot. People who knew him well knew not to bring it up. The healers he still visited where gentle with the topic and even other dragons never broached the subject of ‘it’ very often. It. That massive hole in his existence. The empty plane in his mind that had once been the link to the tangy smell of pain and the never-ending impressions of color and emotion. Eorannuth had been a very emotional dragon. A very sensitive one. But even this, Neryk didn’t talk about often. There was no point, and the scarring on his legs had long since turned to thin white lines where straps had cut into skin. It had been years now. Years. Alone. Years. Shit. “Don’t… .don’t be discouraged though. It’s all worth it. In the end. Even the really unlucky. Like me. It’s always worth it. Your dragon is out there. Maybe not this hatching,Maybe not shelled yet, but hopefully you will get to meet it. I hope that for you. For everyone.” Neryk drains his glass again, then lets it go, steels himself and turns to Talya, his free hand offered forward, “Neryk. At your service. Formally N’yk of brown E-Eorannuth.” The last word is almost choked on, but Neryk’s eyes flick up, just a moment, to meet Talya’s, “Good luck at the Hatching Miss Talya. We will all be rooting for you.”
~

Talya is not normally a talkative person and she takes that to her advantage right now to bite her tongue and keep from saying anything wrong. Not to mention the whole idea seems to have terrified her. She actually does look away from Neryk, unlike before when she kept studying him. She studies the remaining cheese curds instead, then her drink. Then the bartender— Shit, yes. Shit, she could use a drink. She downs the rest of her juice and then requests a third fill, turning back to Neryk finally while awaiting the bartender. “I hear that, about them being out there… though I’m hoping I only have to go through this one time.” She smiles ruefully as she gets her new drink and swirls it about… sadly non-alcoholic. “Well met, Neryk,” she says sincerely. “And thanks for the luck, I’ll have to keep my eyes out for the galleries. I’ll give you a wave from down there.” Letting the somber moment settle over them, she takes one more cheese curd and chews on it thoughtfully, finally breaking up the moment by asking, “Are there really as many candidate deaths during a hatching as people have always told me? Cause I haven’t actually even seen one before…” And here she is standing for one. She arrived to Southern when the last Weyrlings were already hatched and half grown.
~

Neryk nods, he can wave and his little lizards can perhaps remember Talya, but perhaps not. He shakes his head, “No. Just a few. Sometimes it happens, but there will be people on the sands to try and prevent death and too much damage.” Neryk nods slightly, his movements till tense as his very alcoholic drink is again sipped. “It is very exciting. Very scary. Just try not to be… … . well, actually, just be you. And that is enough. If your dragon has shelled, then just being you is enough.” His finger runs over the rim of his cup, then again is offered toward the smaller blue. Alzirr licks this and seems to like it, licking up all of the drink that has clung to his skin. “It is an experience. One always hopes that you don’t walk off the sand alone, but it doesn’t always happen. I… .I impressed my first go. I was one of the youngest in my class, but he was … it always seemed like he was made for me.” Neryk shakes his head, his eyes closing, “I’m sorry Miss, I don’t mean to be heavy. I should go. But please, know that it’s worth it. No matter what. It’s always worth it.” The words are a repeat, but he nods again, lifting his hand cradling Pollux and the bronze is airborne quickly, “Don’t worry about your drink and food, it will be on my tab. I hope you enjoy your time in Igen. I hope you end up staying.”
~

The last thing that Talya probably wants is firelizards on the sands… not that she’d think Neryk’s fair would fly down to her, considering their first impression of her. Probably best they forget. “It’ll be interesting,” she muses with a stare down at her drink and a shudder. “Well, I have no problem of being myself. I wouldn’t change that even to try to pretend for a dragon— wouldn’t be right.” Which means if one came charging at her looking ready to kill, she’d probably shove a different candidate in front of it for a flesh shield. “Thanks, Neryk, and you don’t have to—” oh, he’s already recounting his own Impression. She winces guiltily and tries to hide it by drinking from her glass agin. Just keep drinking. Even if it doesn’t do anything besides rehydration. “Don’t be apologizing either. But that is definitely something I’ll take to heart.” She turns away to watch the bronze firelizard and there is a grin tugging at her lips again. “Thanks again, for the free advice and the food. I’ll definitely treat you the next time, since I do hope to be staying as well.” Well, with a lifemate. She probably wouldn’t say she’d run home from the heat otherwise.
~

Neryk doesn’t speak, but he nods, waving a hand dismissively to her. He would apologize a lot. Pollux circles up, gliding bird-like through the high ceiling then circling back toward Neryk. The gold at his neck will straighten, her tail still curled around his throat, but her from now latching to his shoulder as he starts to leave. Alzirr, however will drop from his spot. Neryk’s hand rises in a mute farewell and while Pollux will follow him from the air, Alzirr’s wings angle downward. The ice that Talya had given him is very small at this point, but little sky claws will fish it out of it’s puddle and flutter up shyly. He does not swoop forward toward Talya, but rather, the little bit of ice is returned to her. He places it next to the bowl of cheese curds, studies her a moment with small, green-whirling eyes, then Alzirr breaks and is up again. He darts after Neryk, landing on his head moments before the dragonless man reaches the door. The blue perches backwards, still watching Talya with a half-wary, half-curious expression. But even this is sort-lived. The door is opened, a swoosh of that wretched heat enters the bar and Neryk and his firelizards are gone.

Talya will stare after that bronze, then turning to the blue. Just watching— man, firelizards are weird. She will lock eyes with that little blue, drink from her glass, and give them a farewell wave finally right before they vanish. Then she’ll finish off her cheese curds and head out when that rider she arrived with is good and ready.

Add a New Comment