Who

Ryott, Javid

What

Spyling makes an interesting revelation to spymaster during a rooftop chat, and difficult choices are weighed.

When

It is sunset of the thirteenth day of the twelfth month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Caravan Grounds, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 12 May 2018 06:00

 

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"There is a fine line to be walked here."


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Caravan Grounds

Deep grooves in the hard packed earth criss-cross a large patch of denuded ground, bearing mute testament to the caravans that frequent this area. Despite the midden holes set back a ways from the main center of traffic, the air is sweet, redolent with the sagebrush that forms a loose perimeter around the flattened expanse. In what is as close to its center as the vague boundaries suggest, a stone ringed fire pit has been dug and surrounded with the odd log or two, ash overflowing from its darkly blackened core.


For the last few days, Ryott's been rather more quiet than usual, if that is at all possible. Taking some time in between classes, the girl is hanging out on one of her favorite spots, on top of a wagon, the resident wagon to be exact. Legs dangling over the side, she is fiddling with something resting in her lap, hunched over as her fingers work the slender picks in the practice lock. There's a look of fierce concentration on her face as she wiggles the thin pieces of metal, sighing heavily as she can't quite get it to catch.

Being the start of winter, it's a rather pleasant time to be outside. Javid is taking advantage, spending time out among the crafters of the caravan rather than in the yurt or his wagon, discussing tweaks to some of the spy weaponry while those who provide it work instead of calling them aside to meet with him. He isn't far from the resident wagon now, his head down with the blade-smith over some daggers that don't gleam quite as brightly as those usually reserved for general purchase or commission. The heavy sigh from somewhere to his right and upward draws keen amber eyes to Ryott's perch, and he studies the young spyling for a long moment, listening to the man beside him with one ear. Should she notice him watching her, she'll see him make a simple gesture - a fist just below his heart, a slow breath taken steadily in and let out just the same. Breathe, steady, try again. As he tends to tell any in his charge who find themselves frustrated.

When the picks just seem to move in the keyhole without actually catching on the mechanisms that unclocks it, Ryott huffs again and sits up a bit to roll her tense shoulders and that's when she sees the Spymaster looking up at her. His gesture is met with a head tilt as she takes the unspoken advice, breathing in deeply and holding it before exhaling soflty. Picking the picks back up, she goes slower this time, trying to remember to breath instead of tensing up as she tries again. After a couple of minutes, her dilligence is rewarded when finally something catches and with a twist of her wrist, the lock clicks open. Her look of triumph is muted, like all her expressions, but there is a soft smile curling on her lips. Putting the lock to one side, she leans back on her hands and watches Javid as he goes about his business as her mind goes back to the offer the brownrider gave her. She only has a couple of days left before she has to give her answer, but she is still considering whether to talk to Javid about it. Her gaze narrows slightly as she slips into deeper thoughts, weighing her options.

It may be subtle triumph, but Javid sees it all the same. A small smile plays upon his own lips, a tiny nod given Ryott's way before he turns his full attention back to the blade-smith for a moment. Farewells are traded, a small, dark blade sitting in the spymaster's palm as he walks toward the resident wagon. It seems he may simply pass it by for a moment before he disappears around the head end. Suddenly he's on the roof to Ryott's right, folding down almost noiselessly to sit. "How many tries did it take you?"

Ryott follows Javid with her dark gaze until he disappears around the wagon. She's not startled when he joins her, merely shifting so that she's facing him, one leg tucked up as the other continues to hang over the side. "Four tries this time, so better than when I started, but it still takes me too long to be practical," she huffs as she picks the lock up in her hands again and fidgets with it. "So something happened the other morning in the Bazaar," she begins, not wasting time once she's decided to take advantage of this most fortuitous situation. "I was offered a job…well kind of…" she begins as she runs her hand absently over the soft brush of her hair.

"Yet each attempt counts toward when it will be practical," Javid notes, his gaze dropping briefly to examine the lock and Ryott's picks. The next thing the spyling mentions earns a subtle arch of dark brows. "I assume you hadn't revealed what you were, to be offered something directly," he says, though there is no accusation in his tone. Instead, there is confidence that his guess is correct, since discretion is something impressed heavily upon all of his spies.

Ryott drops her gaze to the lock as well as she clears her throat for her next words. "Of course not, all she knows is my name," she quips with narrowed eyes, looking a little offended by that. "This brownrider, she spotted me at the Auction Yards one time. Sic'ed her firelizard on me, but I lost him. Then the other morning I was practising in the bazaar before dawn," her head inclines towards the lock and picks, "And that same brown caught up with me. Before I could get back here, she cornered me with an offer." Her dark eyes swing lazily back to Javid, studying him for a second. "She wants to trade, turning a blind eye to my activities in the Bazaar for some information gathering." Waiting one more long beat before she tacks on, almost as an afterthought, "She's Parhelion's Wingsecond."

Practicing lock-picking in the Bazaar, while not something Javid discourages, is something he generally allows only the most able…which he considers Ryott to be among. Hearing that she got caught by a brownrider via flit, however, draws a slight frown to his lips. "Divale," he names said Wingsecond. "I have not met her, but I have certainly seen her, and heard much about her. She would have been a formidable spy herself. Many who come from Kurkar would have, it seems." He sighs thoughtfully, idly scratching the stubble of his chin. "Why she should think she would even be aware of the rest of your…"activities" is beyond me, though I suppose now that you've ended up in her sights, she'll use her firelizard as she sees fit when it comes to you." Pernese surveillance drones. Wonderful. "Though I'm sure you're up for the challenge of learning to lose him again." He considers Ryott carefully for a moment. "It makes me wonder how many others she's noticed," he murmurs. "Did she say who she wanted you to gather information on?"

"Her firelizards seems to be very well trained." Ryott adds in her defense with a hint of a sulk as she knits her brows together. "My best guess, she has me pegged as a two-bit pickpocket and thief, you can hardly spit in the bazaar without hitting one." The contempt in her voice makes it clear what she thinks of the skills of these amateurs, "I certainly never revealed any of my personal skills. I just let her do the talking mainly." At mention of a challenge, her dark eyes almost lighten up briefly as her lips curl into a smirk, "I most certainly am. There has to be a way to lose something that is hovering several feet above you in the air." her usual deadpan reeks of sarcasm as she snorts briefly before shaking her head at his last, "No. That will only be provided if I take on the work. I have to meet her in a couple of days if I accept and she said she'd elaborate then."

"Indeed," Javid says flatly over the matter of Divale's firelizards, the eye-roll that he doesn't actually do apparent in his voice. "That they can go ::between:: is what makes them both useful and annoying." News of the wing second's lack of elaboration makes the spymaster pensive again. "A promise to turn a blind eye - should she manage to catch you again - in exchange for gathering information that could be equal to the proposed trade…or could prove little match for the reward she names." A dark brow lifts in query. "Do you want the work, Ryott? Do you believe it might be worthwhile?"

"The little buggers, I will figure it out," Ryott says resolutely before Javid's next sets off a long moment of contemplation in the teen. "You have a point. I haven't been caught yet, and I'm making a killing off these rich toffs in the Bazaar. So what's to say I'll need her blind eye turned to anything?" She offers a shrug briefly before tilting her head in the other direction, "On the other hand, as you said, she could manage to catch me again, and I got the distinct impression that either way, she will be keeping an eye out for me." His last garners the most pensive reaction as she stares out over the Zingari camp for several moments before answering, "It could definitely be worthwhile. Getting to practice my skills with real work is almost enough to convince me, but I'm also really curious as to what kind of information she wants that she would risk bending the rules to acquire."

When Javid nods, it's to what Ryott says after the tilt of her head. Parhelion's wingsecond does have Ryott's appearance in mind now, after all. He rests his elbows on his knees, hands clasped save for his index fingers, which he keeps touching to tap against his chin. "It could be a good time to practice your disguise work," he notes, but that's not really what he's focused on. "There is a fine line to be walked here," he says finally. "If you take the work, and it turns out to be spying on someone who is an important tie for the Zingari…you must remain silent about belonging to us. If anything goes wrong, we will not be able to officially support you." He carefully emphasizes "officially," implying that he is prepared for something unofficial if needed…but that is nothing new for him. "If we sanction the work - in which case I will speak to Divale - and something goes wrong, we might be forced to disavow you. That is not something I wish to do to one of my spylings; you have not been fully trained about the implications of that yet. However, if all goes well, you would have all the support you need." Keen eyes are intent upon her as he straightens. "These are the things you must consider. Let me know what you decide either way, Ryott. I am not comfortable with this…but I also know that you thrive upon challenges."

The mention of practicing her disguise work garners a thoughtful hum and a nod of Ryott's head. It is a good suggestion. Then the rest is laid out for her and instead of being even clearer, as she hoped things would be after speaking to the Spymaster, she has even more things to consider now. Scratching at her scalp through her shorn hair, she scowls some more as she digests his words. "That is a lot to think about. Shard it, I don't have much time either, I'm supposed to meet her if my answer's yes in just a couple days." His assertion that he isn't comfortable with this does make her stomach drop briefly, but she is confident she mades the right decision by bringing this to his attention. "Thanks Sir. This has been a helpful conversation."

"I do have faith in you, Ryott," Javid amends, turning a bit more to the spyling girl. "This is not a common situation for those newer to the craft…but it is also an opportunity in a few different ways. If it helps, consider this - Divale believes you to be a useful tool. But you could be her tool…with eyes and ears gathering things more useful than she knows. You could gain some insight into one of the Weyr's ranking riders. One who seems far more embroiled in her own schemes for her own ends rather than those of the Weyr. What could that mean, when it comes to the rapport between the Bazaar and dragonfolk? Between specific Bazaar families? Between those families and particular riders?" Broad shoulders shrug subtly, intrigue glinting remotely in his raptor-like gaze. "You might have the opportunity to find all of that out. Do I protect my spyling and withhold you…or let you be the one to take advantage of the situation for our benefit? It is not an easy choice for me either." A corner of his mouth lifts in a rueful smile. "The risks are yours to weigh, Ryott. I await your choice in the next few days."

"Maybe I'm not a common spyling." Ryott will reply in her impassive way, but with a quiet intensity in her words. Listening closely to the rest of his thoughts, the girl can't help the subtle curling of her lips as he basically lists all the things that she had already considered. It gives her a little puff of pride to know that she's at least thinking like a spy, and if this job goes well, it could mean a whole lot for her future. Of course, if it doesn't, she might not get the future she wants. "I've been thinking much the same actually," she comments before bobbing her head slightly at his last, "I know, and you'll have it," once she actually figures out what she is going to do. With a heavy sigh, she grabs her lock and picks and stuffs them in her pockets before she swings both her legs off the edge, "I'd better get going Sir, I need to grab some food before my next class. Thanks again." She'll wait long enough in case he has more to say, but if he doesn't stop her, she will slip off the wagon's roof with ease before wandering off towards the cooking fire.

Javid certainly appreciates confidence from his spylings…though he does frequently worry about overconfidence, and often warns against it. Such is the way of teenagers, however. "You're welcome," he answers as he watches Ryott leave the roof of the wagon, amber gaze trailing her for a few moments before he, too, leaves the high perch. He'll find some food of his own, as well as enough for his wife, and spend dinner with her, giving vent to the stirrings of his mind in the wake of such a thought-provoking chat.

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