A'lira, Naneska


Naneska gets lost, A'lira finds her — and also Naneska sprains her ankle.



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

In Igen:

It is the nineteenth day of Winter and 40 degrees. It is a bright, sunny day.


Hidden Forest Cave, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 14 Jan 2018 06:00


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Hidden Forest Cave

The strange light of myriad glows reaches only so far along the sharp bends and twists of the rocky passage ascending from the pale-lit cavern…but is quickly replaced by luminescence far more familiar - and the source is a rather surreal revelation. Beyond the man-wide exit, another cavern opens - literally - to the wide sky above, forest breezes whistling across the tree-lined rim of the bowl that looms with craggy, curved sides around the sanctuary below. The misty trickle of a waterfall loosed by newborn cracks in the stone whispers down to the ruddy-earthed floor, tentatively carving a path for itself to join the shallow pond that stands at the foot of a cluster of tall, thin trees. Stretching pale, verdant arms to the heavens, these lonely sentinels stand in solitude at the edge of a world not their own - a sliver of the bright woods brought low to sate the curiosity of a darkly beautiful underworld.

With all of the nattering about 'miracle bug cures' and the hint of potential danger, it really isn't at all surprising that Naneska figured it was perhaps worth her while to investigate. However, rather than get all kinds of experts asking her innane questions like 'Who are you? And why are you stealing all those bugs?, Whats that down your shirt?' Nan snuck in and was doing really well at finding her own way around the cavern system. However eventually she must have taken a wrong turn, lured by the shiny, glowing mysteries of a series of pretty, pretty caves. Eventually though she found sunlight! However even that is fading now as Rukbat finds it's evening rest. For the moment Naneska appears pretty chill, settled on a rok beside the waterfall looking up into the sky, paitently waiting for whatever is going to happen next.

And what happens next is that she's discovered by a brownrider who, by no particular design, is in the same cavern system. Though he's not looking for either bugs or mysterious blue goo, there's something to be said for getting one's own glows — and escaping the forward march of determined women insistent on creating a truly memorable weyrmating ceremony. A'lira wants nothing to do with all that insanity, and deemed it prudent to be away from the Weyr — and his too-enthusiastic mother — for several hours, a surefire way to avoid one more Faranth-be-damned fitting for clothing he's never going to wear again. Emerging from the glow cavern, he emerges to find the waterfall — and Naneska. "Well, fancy meetin' you here." He comments with wry amusement.

"Aye, usually me outdoors have a wee bit more horizon." Naneska admits, gesturing grandly at the collapsed roof and the looming cavern walls. She doesn't admit to the slight jump he gave her with anything more than a hand flattened over her heart. But at least her paitence has been rewarded! She' won't try to look her gift-runner in the mouth. "Ye don't happen t' know t' way out do ye?" She asks, with guileless charm. "I seem t' have…" Snuck in uninvited. "…forgotten t' find a native guide." And any trader worth his or her salt knows, native guides are the best!

A'lira would certainly agree to that! Damn caves are so… cavey. Like, how dare they be all enclosed and horizonless? There oughta be a law! Looking A'lira in the mouth might be a bit… odd. If he even stood still long enough for such a thing, anyway. Absently, he runs a hand over his bald pate — as if he still had hair to pull out of his eyes, or something — and eyes the way out with a raised eyebrow. "Huh. I hate it when I forget to hire those guides, m'self." Gleam: he knows good and well she's among the many sneaking into the place; it's just too good a place to sneak into to pass up. But, since A'lira is a kind, helpful sort, he's perfectly willing to be of assistance. "Well, certainly I could help ya." He squint-eyes the girl, consideringly. "You're not carryin' something I would have to explain, later, are ya?" Hint: she should probably say no, even if she is.

Those squint-eyes get an oh-so-innocent flutter of her lashes. "There was such a ruckus in the main cave. And I'm such a shy, demure lass." Her lips twich with the over-abundance of her demure shyness. "I jist couldn't bring me'self t' bother all those important burly men." Whatever thoughts or reflections that had her sitting so still before A'lira's arrival seem to have slipped away, like so many minnows swept into the dark. "I've got nothin' but me clothes n' me wits." She confesses, in the same breathily innocent way. "I had almost given up on attractin' a stray dragon. So thank ye."

Really. Innocence can be overplayed. A'lira hikes up an eyebrow, still regarding Naneska with that steady, amused gaze. "Well, aren't you a polite young lady." He might even pat her on the head, were he so inclined — fortunately for Naneska, he's not the type to go about doing such a thing to women, no matter how overtly innocent they might be playing. "Hmm, this… ruckus you mention… might be of interest to the guards. At some point." A'lira, fortunately, is not a part of that wing that does the guarding — he's part of the wing that does the cleanup. And other things. But to the point at hand. "I guess I can take ya back, though. Leave the decision on whatcha plan on tellin' folks about the caves up to you." Anything to not be responsible for more duties than he's already got.

Naneska waves her hand. "'Twas nothin' more than a wee tussle. No need t' go botherin' those hard workin' guards. Somethin' about missin' samples or some such." Not that Naneska paid much more attention to it other than 'hey there's a handy disctraction!'. "I was raised right." She agrees, of course that doesn't mean that she continues to be right especially seeing as wrong is usually more interesting, and vastly more exciting. "'N what brings an… upstandin' rider like yeself down into the bowels o' t' earth?" Because she's not the only one who sticks out like a sore thumb mister! "I barely squeezed through some of the caverns yonder, I can't imagine ye dragon bein' able t' do the same."

Definitely not something A'lira wants anything to do with — not tonight, anyway. In the morning, however, he'll likely have to say something to the appropriate authorities. But, whatever, he's not even slightly upset about the whole 'wee ruckus' right now. A'lira smirks in amusement as Naneska points up his unusual appearance in the area — he's rather hard to overlook anywhere, given his size alone: he's rather a long tall guy. Languidly, the brownrider indicates his harvest of glows. "I prefer to gather my own glows." And collect… samples of the herbal variety along the way, all the better to stock his own little pharmacy to his liking. "Kyprioth finds himself someplace to sun — we ain't attached at the hip, ya understand?"

Naneska nods solemnly. "Aye, I've met a couple o' those." And usually adventure follows those encounters. "Ye've an interest in glows?" Naneska asks with a sudden cock of her head. "I know of a cave up Lemos way with the prettiest colors…" She would say more, but he has a dragon and can travel. "I kin get some t' see if they'll grow down here if ye like?" What is biosecurity? IDK. "'Herbs fer treatin' illness? Or herbs for treatin' 'illnesses'?" Not only does she emphasize the second sentence differently, she also uses the quotey fingers appropriately. Bugs or drugs, it appears her interest is non-judgemental and boundless. Naneska nods solemnly. "Aye, I've met a couple o' those." And usually adventure follows those encounters with unattended dragons. "

"Inasmuch I need them to light my weyr, yes." A'lira confirms with a shrug: glows aren't especially interesting to him as a whole; but the idea of different colors is rather interesting. He'll have to investigate that at some point, now he's got someone who might like a little color in his rather creepily pale abode. "I don't see why different colors wouldn't grow everywhere…" He rubs his chin thoughtfully, and looks towards that horizon. Out there somewhere, Kyprioth awaits, curled up in a wallow and likely chewing some random tree for his own amusement. That dragon, boy he's a pain. A'lira's well-loved pain. And then he's eyeing Naneska with something akin to deep interest. "Huh. Heard of those herbs." His tone is carefully neutral. Of course he's heard about them before — Naneska is not the only one who has an interest in 'herbal medication'. That cousin of his, for instance… but hey, A'lira is not one to pass judgement on a person's personal hobbies; he has a few of his own that he's unlikely to discuss in company. "I tend to prefer the herbs of the Healing variety, personally."

Naneska will try anything once! But her interest is also professional. In that it is her profession to find the things people want to spend money on, and then charge them money. Except for sex, she's not at all professional about that. "I shall git some. I figure t' orange ones will go well with my feline fur rug." She may not have a dank cave, but she does have a wagon that she takes pride in. "I think it's like wherries. Ye know. The ones by the sea are different t' the ones in t' mountains?" She's been around enough to notice such variations. "But on a small scale. Each cave has it's own… lil' world." I doubt 'ecosystem' is in the Pernese vocabulary. While she certainly isn't inclined to become the Pernese Charles Darwin, such thoughts are entertaining on the long hauls.

Good thing Naneska's about to experiment with all these new and wonderful things? A'lira certainly isn't going to gainsay her — it'll be Amarante's problem to revive the girl if that becomes necessary while the Traders are camped at the Weyr, not his. Whatever else can a Trader do on long hauls except think interesting thoughts about the variations of random species of wherries? A'lira considers that, shrugs acceptance. "Possibly." He decides now would be a good time to make a start toward his dragon, who seems to be getting restless enough to try digging into the soil to find out what's under it. "Best be headin' back before Kyprioth decides he wants a tree to take back."

Well if A'lira doesn't want to spend a sunset in a sunken forest with a pretty blonde… he just needs to say. LIKE HE JUST DID! There is a shrug even as Naneska's weight shifts and she starts standing up from her rock. Unfortunately, either she wasn't looking, or the temperature has dropped enough for ice. One of her booted feet slides, and catches in a gap in the river rounded stones and she falls forward with a loud gasp of pain, and a whole heap of quiet swearing. "Shit." She concludes, scrambling around on her uninjured limbs to relieve the pressure. "Ye said ye had an interest in healin'?" This time the sad tilt of her brows is genuine, even if her request for his professional opinion is rather understated.

A'lira is apparently quite oblivious to Naneska's potential prettiness — his mind's on other sharply beautiful ladies. Ladies he's planning to become permanently attached to. Were she interested in anything more… intimate, she'd likely have to be obvious. But perhaps getting her foot stuck in the viselike grip of those river rocks is not the best possible way to do that. Oops, poor girl. A'lira drops his little collection bag to assist the girl, wincing as she manages to get herself injured. Or so all the swearing would indicate. "Luckily for you, I've sufficient training to be useful." He considers the various ways in which to extricate Naneska from the rocks, and finally opts for the least painful — one hopes, anyway — option. "Hmm, let's see how tightly wedged you are…" He crouches down, considering things from all available angles. "… how tightly laced is that boot?"

Naneska isn't really one for deep introspection and careful consideration. "I'm going t' try somethin'." She announces, before adding. "I'd watch where ye put ye head least I kick it." That is always a possibility, then settling back on her hands and ass she is just going to try and pull that foot out of it's trap. Clearly from the amount of swearing she's doing, it's not exactly a walk through the bowl. And that usual burning curiousity of hers has taken a back seat. But she is going to try her best to get herself unstuck. "Lacin' 'em tight is part o' t' fun o' boots." She manages to return through gritted teeth. Okay so that latent flirtation of hers is a bit of a back-seat driver.

Apparently so. Well, that's possibly to her advantage under most circumstances. Except where that stuck foot is concerned. "Yeah, and make ya injury worse. Stop that." He's a good bit faster in reactions than his size might suggest; he's not too worried about getting kicked. "It'd be safer to lose the boot." He really can't attest to the 'fun' of tightly laced boots — but he can attest to having one break bones trying to wrest themselves free of traps. He'll take a moment to see if he's managed to bring with him even a small amount of oil — no luck. The one time he's left his emergency equipment elsewhere, someone decides to need rescuing. Well, necessity being the mother of invention and all… he'll simply move the rock — it simply can't be completely attached to the riverbed. "Hold still, girl, the last thing I want t'do is injure you any more'n you probably already are." Leverage's a great thing to have in these moments, and A'lira's learned over time how to deal with the peculiar hazards of Igen. He disappears for a moment, returning with a stick long enough to provide the needed leverage, he wedges it carefully beneath one rock, levering it downward until he can get it beneath one of those smooth, smooth stones, then pushes until the thing, resisting, is finally dislodged and rolls away.

But it is the nature of the barely tamed to struggle, and Naneska fits into that designation somewhere I'm sure. But when he returns with that very big stick she gets very still. Still enough to allow the leverage of the rock and the release of her foot. Instinct takes control again as she folds her legs so that her injured ankle is close enough for inspection, and sighs. "It'd be easier t' examine iffn the boot were gone yeah?" She asks in the tone of one who already knows the answer. The other foot is drawn up so that she can retrieve a pretty little boot knife to slice the laces. That isn't hearly as much fun. In short order (with a few hisses and curses) her ankle is exposed. THE HORROR! It is swelling quickly, the bruising will come later.

Well, at least she isn't going to fight him about removing that boot; A'lira wouldn't want to have to exert himself to bully her into good behavior. "Mhm…" And when the swelling is revealed, he sighs internally, preparing to deal with some very, very interesting results of wandering around on slippery surfaces. Long fingers gently encase the offending limb, bracing it carefully in very, very large hands. What follows may, or may not, cause yet more swearing (good thing A'lira's used to hearing such things): the areas from just above the ankle joint, right down to the foot and toes are gently palpated and manipulated, checking for anything broken, and for tenderness. "And here you were, just lookin' for a little adventure, eh?"

Naneska swears a great deal. Some of them are pretty inventive. But that stillness stays. "Aye, breaking me limbs and bein' left behind is exactly the kind o' adventure I was looking fer." An unusually bitter streak of sarcasm drips from her words, as she assumes the worst even before his professional opinion is offered. Now she gives the brownrider something more than a cursory once over and her expression brightens. "Looks like ye might be carryin' somthin' out after all!" Even this particular cloud has a silver lining!

A'lira snorts. "Such language, young lady." His tone takes on the offended, pearl-clutching tones of that old Auntie — everyone knows that Auntie — who finds ladies who swear simply dreadful! But soon enough, the painful examination is complete. "Well, nothin's broken, you lucky girl. Just a bad sprain. You ain't gonna like having to stay off it awhile." And the layering of bandages that will definitely be unsexy and unfashionable. As to carrying her out, there's a soft chuff — it might possibly be a laugh, it might not. "Bit more'n I bargained on, but whatever. Such is life." He'll have to rig up something temporary in the way of a brace — and some bandages. Ingenuity again, this time with the bits of a smaller stick and the strap from his bag. Naneska winds up with the ultimate in Healer fashion: a field-created bandage. "Well, you ready? Kyp's right at the edge, so not far."

Naneska listens intently, and a certain amount of tension is released with his pronouncement. Not all of her tension. "I don't suppose ye'd consider sittin' upon a runner 'off me feet?'" Because technically she would be sitting! Even with the unsexy, unfashionable bandages creating that coveted cankle effect. There is a sigh, and one last oath that would probably make auntie faint from shock once that even more sexy field dressing is complete. She'll just try and get all the way upright now, she's a strong independent woman who don't need no… NOPE! She requires a little help to negotiate the other river rocks, and probably even that short climb to the waiting dragon. But eventually they will make it, together. And she'll try her best to take some of the weight on her good leg.

A'lira squints hard at Naneska. "Nice try but yes I would. You still gotta stick your foot in a stirrup, and I wouldn't recommend that with a sprained ankle. Strong, independent woman or nah, she's going to have to accept some help from this dude. Who promptly wedges a shoulder in the appropriate place. "Last chance to get your hug in — since I don't do hugging." He grins wryly at her. There's always time for a little levity to distract a patient from the fact that she's now injured and crap, right? Right. He'll even slide one arm around her waist to provide some extra bracing for the Trader. "Might as well lean in while you can." He'll slowly help her negotiate all those lovely, lovely obstacles on the way to his dragon, patiently waiting, and markedly curious as to what, exactly, his rider's dragged out of the caves this time.

Not only does Naneska know rude words, she also knows rude sounds, which she treats A'lira too now. Of course this may be to disguise the assorted noises associated with moving while injured. She will never tell. But what she does do once they reach Kyprioth is say: "Thank ye rider." All prim and proper like, and then the pair of them can depart without offering pesky explanations. At least until Naneska gets to the infirmary and see's how far she can push her luck with the worst made up story she can come up with.

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