Mailli, T'ral, Xaychil (cameo)


Mailli and T'ral discuss a variety of things - T'ral's gets a date with dolphins!


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


Southern Weyr

OOC Date


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The steamy fog of the baths could be an entirely different world, transitioning from the well-lit brilliance of the inner caverns: a different world entirely, one wrought in dreams and humid fog. Steam lifts from hot waters, obscuring those who bathe within, drenching any who dare enter. Well-maintained, well-stocked, the baths offer pre-netted portions of soapsand in various scents, fluffy towels in orderly rows, and five separate spring-fed pools, all of differing temperature: from scorching hot to soothing chill.

It is the sixty-fourth day of Autumn and 76 degrees. A light drizzle is all that remains of the storm. A soft breeze ripples leftover standing water.

It's neither morning nor afternoon. The skies outside neither sunny nor storming. The baths are neither full nor empty. Everything is a uniform, dreary, smear of neither here nor there. Like a certain bluerider, standing in the baths working carefully through a series of stretches, back and shoulder a mottled canvas of not-healthy looking bruises, eyes staring blankly into the middle distance, wincing occasionally when stretches pull contused, strained muscles.

On the other hand, Xaychil is a mottled canvas of painted handprints. All over his clothing — and he'd just got this batch, too — as far as the eye can see, he's got colors; red, yellow, orange. Looking none too pleased, he begins peeling off clothing, blithely ignoring T'ral and his stretching. Whatever float the man's boat; Xaychil cares not as long as he gets himself that much-needed bath.

It's a habitually sunburned face that enters into the scene. A small wince as the heat of the baths hits the heat of the sunburns. Mottled bruising is seen through the careful application of make up which in itself is done more for the sake of not distressing Nowtimers. Mailli nods to those already gathered as she prepares for her bath. Buggers, ever present nuisance that he is, decides to perch on her shoulder, "Buggers!" exclaimed in a very irritated hiss.

Situational-awareness is drilled into dragonriders, a key skill developed to keep dragons and riders safe while fighting Thread aloft. Their senses developed into keen tools. T'ral's own senses, under the training of the Weyr's Dragonhealer's, attuned even further to the slightest nuanced changes in his environment or in his charges. Mmmhmm. T'ral's boat is adrift without a rudder. Blank stare. Blink. Mouth slightly agape. Eventually signals penetrate the think-y bits of the bluerider's brain and he blinks with more cognizance, coming back to the now. "Uh." Had something been said. He blinks, "Morning…" Was it? It was when he'd entered the baths, but he wasn't sure how much time had passed. The young man shakes his head and moves aside, making room for the new comers, waters swirling in his wake. A brief flare of curiosity at the colorful, handsy mottling and a narrowing of eyes at Xaychil, memory searched for a name… the face is… familiar. Mailli gets a watery smile, "Mailli."

A warm smile from Mailli greets T'ral, "T'ral," she says in return. The brown firelizard is shoo'd away, and he settles himself into the warm waters, "Wish I could find something to protect my skin from the sun," this is said more to herself than to either T'ral or Xaychil, and as a result has the sound of an oft repeated complaint at how fair, and sensitive her skin is.

T'ral's eyes, now focused on his current place and time, track the short flight of the brown flit. He sloshes to the edge of the pool where he can lean out and snag soap sand. He's had enough stretching. "Clothes." He offers with a tired lift of his brows to the Master Dolphineer. Dark eyes catch the bruising she's covered, "You take some sort of hurt, ma'am?"

Mailli shrugs, "Hazard of my profession. There are more ways to acquire bruises than fighting," swimming into rocks will do the trick nicely," as for the suggestion of clothes, "Well the problem with that is that what is offerred as appropriate for my gender gets in the way of my doing my job," grin, and a lopsided shrug as she eases herself into the baths.

T'ral's eyes drift to Xaychil's be-hand-printed clothes. His brow furrows, blinking, a wry comment offered to Mailli, "Who knew high-fiving was a skill?" He winces at Mailli's enumeration of how to get bruises, "Yeah. There's dropping anvils on yourself," he gestures to another part of the baths, "There's swimming into rocks," he gives Mailli a 'really?!' look, "Getting knocked flat by a thrashing dragon's wings," he gestures to himself. "At least three ways," he says flatly, "Besides fighting."

Mailli laughs out right at T'ral's comment, "I think my last trip to Igen scandalized a few people," her outlandish manner of dress not withstanding that is, "I was not aware that a woman shouldn't enjoy sparring with others," a quirked eyebrow is given at that. Too bad no one ever told Mailli that her warped sense of humor would be frowned on some day.

T'ral's lips press flat, "Really? How long have you lived here now, Mailli?" A single brow arcs. "Two turns? Three?" He shakes his head, turning attention to the netted sand in his hands, "When does it become simply willful ignorance on your part?" Suds acquired he dunks and starts washing, fingers curled to drives soap into short brown hair. Igen. Sandy bunghole of Pern.

Mailli chuckles, "Oh I suppose there is that," she offers, "I've never really fit in anywhere," her outlandish height is probably the reason why, "In my own time I was often rediculed for not being a proper girl because of how tall I am," she shrugs, "So if I can't fit in, why should I bother trying?"

"Mmmnh," he grunts. Scrubbing moves to neck and shoulders. He winces, scrubbing at bruised skin, but doesn't make any effort to scrub less vigorously. "It's important to have a place where you belong." That's why. Woman twice my age who clearly doesn't know anything about anything. He glowers along a stretched out arm, scrubbing like it had given him some offense.

Mailli gives a nod, "The Dolphincraft is where I belong," a craft that has long had a tradition of noncomformity seems the perfect place for someone like Mailli. The dolphincrafter has begun her own scrubbing, and eyes the peeling skin as the sweetsand helps to slough it away, "I sometimes question the wisdom of coming forward," is admitted, "Then I find such wonderfully ancient artifacts," and the wisdom, or lack thereof is forgotten.

Scrubbing moves to the torso. T'ral's eyes drift towards Mailli as she speaks and move hastily away. Respect for the individually maintained 'privacy' and decency of the baths a deeply ingrained habit. He sloshes over to a seat and props a leg for scrubbing. "I'm grateful that you did. All of you. Especially the riders." He owed his own Esanth to one such Oldtimer. "It'd be better for everyone if they weren't artifacts." The young man's undirected glare bores into the rippling surface of the water. Glowlight glimmers in arcs off of the shallow waves raised by scrubbing. Steam hangs in the air.

Mailli nods as she continues to scrub, "There is truth in that. However, artifacts can teach us how things were made, and how they worked. This can lead to being able to replicate the items," she grins, "I have all manner of diagrams back in my office," she has finished the scrubbing, and submerges into the baths. After a long enough period of time to cause some concern, she resurfaces, "What I can't figure out is what was used to build some of the artifacts?" there is some degree of consternation in her voice as she snags up her brown firelizard and begins to methodically scrub him clean. Making sure to scrub areas of dry patchy skin until said areas are smooth once more. She'll have to remember to stop by the infirmary and pick up some oil for her 'lizard's hide.

T'ral nods, that's his point exactly. He doesn't really pay attention to the dunk until a little alarm in his head starts to sound, something's not right… she's been down an awful long time. He peers through the water at Mailli's form, nothing seems amiss… He starts a little when she resurfaces, "Got some lungs on you," he observes, returning to his scrubbing. Back to artifacts, "Study them. Sketch them. Learn from them." He shrugs, "That we are in a position where we have to reclaim old lore is very frustrating." He shakes his head, "What have we lost that we don't even know about?" he growls. The Healer and Crafthalls were clearly not doing their jobs properly. So much knowledge lost. So many lives. So many possibilities.

Buggers chirrs happily at the scrubbing, and does his own dive once released, "Indeed. I wish I had the answers to those questions," Mailli answers, "Some of the artifacts I have been able to fully restore are simply amazing though," she watches the small brown with the bandit mask across his eyes for a long while, then the comment about her lungs sinks in and her silvery laugh fills the room, "Product of my training. Anyone can develop that ability," she insists. The easy smile, and ready laugh is always just under the surface even when she's frustrated it's there, "I don't think it was anything deliberately done. Sometimes information becomes irrelevant so it doesn't get passed on, sometimes," a shrug is given, "Sometimes it's simply kept a secret until the CraftMaster is ready to share with his successor. That doesn't always work the way it's supposed to which results in the information being lost," Mailli's all reason and logic here which is something that most don't think of her as. "It's why my father's grandmother insisted on recording everything. My father and grandfather never advanced past Journeyman and Senior Journeyman respectively," Mailli can't help sounding just a little disappointed for her relatives, "I'm not sure if the dolphincraft is still recording everything or not, but I certainly hope they are."

The cavorting firelizard coaxes a grin onto the young man's face, hard to be grouchy around that. Still, he manages. "Nothing to do about it now," he grumbles. And, abruptly, he's tired of himself. Ugh. He sighs straightening. The young rider gives Mailli an apologetic look, "Sorry, ma'am, I'm…" so many things, "Tired." If it's not the complete truth, it's true enough. Bathing complete, he eases down onto the stones and stretches out, scrubbing hands over his face and slinging hair and water back before spreading arms to stare into the middle distance. "What's the most different?" He wonders aloud to Mailli, "Between now and then?"

Mailli settles herself to watch Buggers as he plays in the waters of the bath, "The most different?" she thinks for a long time, "There aren't as many women in the crafts now as there was then," she answers, "My job requires that I spend a lot of time in the water. Long skirts are heavy and hard to swim in," which is why she opts for the very unconventional manner of dress that she is often seen in, "Shorts aren't so heavy for when I don't have time. Dolphincraft used to do a lot of rescues, and we charted the seas. Dolphins are very useful at sounding the depths. Great for early storm or Thread warning, and always know where the best fishing can be found. People today? They don't think dolphins are worth anything, and that's simply not true. Our earliest records tell us the dolphins have been here as long as we have."

"I'll admit, I don't much think about them, 'cept that I know you," plural dolphincrafters, "and they," dolphins, "are out there." He waves a hand off towards the Sea. Eyes drift shut, "Could I see one?" Or more. He shifts down, just ears and jaw above the waterline, arms floating up as he relaxes. "You know, up close?"

"Of course," the answer is given without hesitation, "Dolphins really like dragons, they like to tickle the dragons bellies. They think it's a game," which goes a long way towards explaining why Mailli is always so easily amused. When one works with animals that see everything as a game, it's hard not to always be in a good mood.

T'ral nods, rippling the water around his face. "I'd like to." A deep breath in and out. Silence for a moment, considering her words. "Sounds nice. What do you do now?" Since the implication is that all that other stuff isn't happing in Nowtime. "I mean, beside recovering artifacts. And making jewelry," eyes still closed he snorts, rippling the water in front of his face, "And swimming into rocks?"

Mailli chuckles, "Rescue sailors too clumsy to keep to the decks of their ships, explore wrecks, update sea charts so they're accurate again," which is why she swims into rocks, "There's the restoration of things that are found. My great-grandmother was a cartographer, I still have some of the maps and charts that she made long before I was born," the charm that hangs on a slender chain at her neck is given a light touch, "The jewelry is fun, and it doesn't take much time to make. Gives me a chance to talk with people."

"Try to stay off of ships, myself," T'ral says. "Voyage down here was plenty." He sits up at the mention of charts, eyes opening, "Of Southern?" he asks. "I'd like to see them, if so."

Mailli nods, "I have a couple of Southern, but most of the ones my ancestor did were of Ista and Windcrest Island," slight shrug, "I love the sea. My uncle used to say that I had saltwater in my veins," she grins at that, "I'm working on making new charts for this location," a nod is given, "When I get them done I can get you a set if you like?"

"I like the sea," he shrugs, "Ships…" he winces, leaving the rest unsaid. He stretches a contused shoulder, kneading the muscle carefully, staring into the water blankly. "If I can help, let me know. Take you somewhere you can't get to easily." You know, fly.

Mailli chuckles as she stands to prepare for leaving. She has work that needs to be done, "I enjoy the challenges here," it's home after all, and it marks her as a very strange female indeed, "Though I understand that my tendency towards wandering alone isn't always the best thing," her voice is muffled briefly as she pulls on a clean tunic that falls to just past her knees. A skirt is pulled on next, for all she's said about skirts not being practical it's clear that there are times such things are very practical, "See you round," she says to the rider as she gathers her belongings up to leave.

T'ral's brow furrows, blinking as Mailli's words sink in. "I wasn't casting aspersions. I was offering help," his lips flatten, "Because I'd like to see the work done. And," he tosses his head with a shrug, "Help." Like he needs more things to do. "Yes, ma'am. A good day to you."

Mailli chuckles at that as she pauses at the door, "None was taken. Hearing the offer simply reminded me that it isn't always the wisest, or safest thing to wander the jungles alone," Mailli can't stop the mischief from dancing in her eyes, "It's not often a rider asks to help, and I do appreciate it," and with that she's out the door, and gone.

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