Z'bor, R'zel, Alyna


Three riders in the Kitten bandying about theories behind the mysterious illness.


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


The Tipsy Kitten, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 30 Mar 2018 04:00


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"Do you suppose someone might be systematically trying to poison people?"


The Tipsy Kitten

Here there be drunkards: a marble bar and the gorgeous array of colored bottles behind it would be enough to draw them in, but more yet lures those to enjoy the recreation the Kitten has to offer. Windows allow light to naturally illuminate the first floor of the tavern in the daytime, while green-tinted glows shine after nightfall. A door behind the bar leads to the tiny kitchen, while a stairway leads above to the rooms available for rent. Among the hubbub and the ruckus, a calamity of tables scatter through the open space, plenty enough for dragonpoker tournaments on restday eve.

It's been a long sharding day and Z'bor is ready for it when his shift ends. And with H'ris visiting family with Riski, and Zariel off with her Mama, Z'bor has an evening to himself and he intends to spend it with his fist wrapped around a good mug of ale and possibly, a bottle of that northern whiskey he favors so much. So, it's unsurprising to those that might have shared the day with Z'bor that he's whisking off to the Kitten as soon as he is able, breezing through the door and straight to the bar, he orders his drinks and finds a seat. At last. His time is his own for a bit.

R'zel really doesn't come here that often, but some days really require a beer, and this is one of them. He enters the Kitten clutching a pile of hides and a writing-case, and there's a jumble of knotted cords protruding from his pocket. He might just be looking a little frazzled. He makes his way to the bar, secures a large mug of something pale with a bit of a head, and looks round. Spotting Z'bor, he makes his way over to his friend's table. "Mind if I join you?"

Already sitting at the end of the bar, Alyna is turned around on her stool, facing the room at large, one leg crossed over the other and swinging idly as she watches the people milling about while sipping at a pint of dark lager, a rather light fare for the greenrider compared to her habit of consuming hard liquor. When her pale blue eyes register her Wingsecond come in, she tilts her head to one side and watches him for a long moment, noting his frazzled appearance and frowning slightly at that as she takes another quaff of her drink. She's tempted to go and say hi, but then he looks to be joining Z'bor so she hesitates.

Z'bor looks up when R'zel approaches and waves at a seat with a grin and svooching a seat back for the man. "Go for it. Need a hand?" Z'bor stands but then his ale and whiskey are arriving and he had to get out of the way of the barkeep. Once the barkeep has gone, however, he'll extend a helping hand. The more the merrier in his book, as long as its not kids or work.

R'zel has his own drink with him, and puts it on the table along with his other stuff. "Thanks." He drops gratefully into the seat. "It's been a day." Whether a good day or a bad day may not be entirely clear. As he reaches towards his mug, he spots Alyna at the bar, and gives her a wave. "Want to join us?" he calls.

He doesn't have to ask twice as Alyna hops carefully down from her stool and makes her way over to the table, giving a casual salute R'zel's way before finding herself a chair and setting her glass of lager on the table. "Thanks Sir." she remarks before turning to Z'bor, "I know I've seen you around, but I'm not sure we've officially met. I am Alyna, green Haquith's." her blue eyes give the man a quick once over.

Z'bor raises his eyebrows and reseats himself. "Oh?" He questions, his tone full of avid curiosity. "How so?" Z'bor has had an interesting day too, but it was all busy type stuff, nothing to really chat about. So the topic at hand is quite handy indeed. When Alyna is welcomed over, Z'bor gives a wide smile and offers a hand in greeting, being off duty, he's not so heavy on the particulars of social obligations. "Z'bor, Serval Wingsecond and rider of Green Ozriath. Nice to meet you." Even if he observes them to the letter himself.

R'zel takes a sip of his beer before starting to explain. "We've got three Ocelots in the infirmary with this confounded sickness, and Keitrill's really not looking good," he tells Z'bor. "Alyna, did you see P'her and Whitney last night? Say, at dinner?" Ocelot's on-again, off-again weyrmates are currently on-again, so that's quite possible. "And if they were, was Keitrill with them?"

Alyna smiles brightly at the other greenrider and takes his hand, shaking it firmly, "Well met Sir." she says once he reveals he's a wingsecond. When she takes her hand back, she turns back to R'zel with a furrowed brow at the talk of their ill wingmates. "Oh no, she's been sick for awhile now, that can't be good." When asked about the brown and blue rider pair, she rolls her eyes to the ceiling as she considers, "I think I saw them in the Living Caverns." she ruminates some more as she takes another sip of her lager. "Yeah, they were there, I'm almost sure of it. I remember thinking it was nice that they are on speaking terms again. And yeah, Keitrill was there with them." She leans forward and drops her voice, "Are they thinking it's the food again?"

Z'bor gets a looks of sympathy on his face when R'zel begins explaining Ocelot's woes. "Thankfully we haven't been hit too hard with all this, there's a few Serval's down, but nothing that's got us in danger of being spread to thin. Thank Faranth." Alyna is rewarded with a bright smile, though as gossip continues, Z'bor leans in to listen further, a hand briishing through his hair and across the scars that lie at forehead and scalp. "Circled back around have they?" He asks as Alyna asks about the food. There's been a few squabbles over that particular topic, from what Z'bor's heard anyhow.

R'zel also keeps his voice low. "Well, that's what I want to know. I don't know about the three from Jaguar who are laid up, but I'm pretty sure Marsha had been eating with the others from Tiglon who were so sick - you know how she used to give them pep talks over breakfast. Which isn't conclusive of anything, of course, but if people who eat together get sick together and people who spend time close together in other ways don't, maybe it does point at the food? Or something about the process of eating, which…" Which isn't immediately coming to mind, apparently.

Alyna looks thoughtfully in Z'bor's direction as he mentions the Serval riders who are ill but then turns back to R'zel, nodding at his words. As he goes on though, the furrow between her brows deepens, "But that doesn't make sense, what's to guarantee that everyone eating together are going to be having the same food? So again, food seems unlikely. I mean unless there's something wrong with certain areas of the Living Caverns or the furniture, I can't see how people grouping together there could cause illness." A long sigh escapes her lips as she shakes her head, "None of this makes any sense."

Z'bor leans forward as the gossip/news continues, listening very carefully as his mind works over the problem. "Things usually do circle back around when they make the most sense. And it very well may be the food. But maybe not in the way you think…" Z'bor takes a slow sip of his ale, cogs turning in his mind for a moment more as he mulls over things he's seen and heard of in the past. "Do you suppose somone might be sytematically trying to poison people? Food is easily tampered with if one knows what one is doing and when to do it."

It's a second before R'zel frowns at that - perhaps the idea isn't totally new to him. "All I can think of is something that gets shared at the table - a pot of tea, or something like that?" R'zel suggests, taking in both of them with his glances. "Taking slices of the same pie, or pastries from the same plate? Though why three or four out of a batch should be bad, unless…" He nods at Z'bor. "That's a horrible thought, Z'bor. But then, it's been so widespread." He stops and purses his lips. "Or has it? We've had people who've been mildly ill - some of them for a long time. And we've had people getting suddenly ill, and they're worse, and," here his voice drops much lower, "some even die. Keitrill…" He stops to think. "Keit started off not too bad, but she just got worse and worse. But it looked as if she was almost fit again - until last night. P'her wasn't ill at all until last night. Whitney had been sick on and off, like I was, but she was back on duty. How about the Serval people?"

Still furrowing her brows, Alyna is staring off into space, taking in the others words and processing them as they reach her thoughts. Z'bor mentioning poisoning does cause her to gasp slightly at the thought although…Her blue eyes gaze intently into the dark lager in front of her, raising her head at R'zel when he talks about their sick wingmates. Something he says triggers somehting and she raises a single finger in question, "What if.." she starts, pausing as she wonders how crazy this is going to sound. "What if it's not in the food? What about the dishes? Like you Z'bor, I've heard the rumours it's poison. But if groups of people are getting sick, chances are they went through the food lines together and so their dishes would have been from the same stacks." But then once she's said it out loud, the greenrider sits back with a sigh, "Actually now that I said it, it seems highly unlikely." Another heavy sigh as she takes a long chug of her drink.

Z'bor shrugs at Alyna. "That's not such a farfetched Idea. There's been a few poisonings I've heard of in my time, and one had the poison slicked right on the rim of a wine glass. There's too many different ways to subject a person to it. But I think it'd more likely be the food, and if it is being poisoned, then by someone who works the caverns and can see who gets what, it doesn't take long to get a person's eating habits if you pay attention." Horrible thought though it may be, it's not unthinkable. Turning to R'zel, Z'bor sighs. "I know it's not the most pleasant thought, but I wouldn't keep it far from your mind, with the issue we had with those refugees and the way people are getting ill, it seems highly probable to me. Serval sicknesses have been minor thus far, most recovering, only one still in the infirmary. But if you have someone that seems to get well and then is suddenly, violently ill again….I'd be testing the water for someone looking to murder folks. It just all seems too suspect to be something as innocent as a bit of rot gut from spoiled food."

"Well, from having no ideas, we now have rather a lot," R'zel observes. He starts with Alyna's suggestions. "So you think someone might be putting something on the plates? Or there's something already in the plates - oh, poisonous minerals in the glaze, or in the soap they were washed with, something like that?" R'zel is frowning hard; there's a lot to take in. He nods to Z'bor. "It's almost as if there are two different things going on. One that's making lots of people a bit sick, and another that's… well, what are we saying? Aimed at specific people?" Then he drops his gaze to stare at the table they're sitting at. "When you have a meal in the living cavern, what's actually on the table?"

"Wait a second!" Alyna exclaims loudly before she remembers herself and drops her voice again as she leans across the table, her finger tapping it to emphasis her words as she looks at R'zel, "I think you're onto something when you said things that are on the tables. What about the salt and pepper on each table? It's so innocuous, but it would explain why some people are only getting a little sick and others more so and why groups who eat together are falling ill as well." Her blue eyes flash from one Wingsecond to the other, her breath held as she awaits their responses.

Z'bor raises his brows and nods at Alyna, even though he wants to comment on what R'zel said as well, but his fellow greenrider may just be on to something. "Or the juice and water pitchers, some drink only a little, some drink a lot. But you are onto something there I think, though it is all hypothetical at the moment. But R'zel could be onto something too, it could be an over usage of certain minerals or substances used in the glazes on the plates and drinkware. There are things that could make someone incredibly sick, but make for a pretty glaze on pottery."

R'zel nods slowly, then more enthusiastically, and his forefinger makes tiny jabs towards Alyna.. "Or if you get klah for your table, and you get a tray and bring a sweetener bowl… or, oh, Faranth, if someone's actually doing this, they may not only be doing it one way." And that's a really bad thought, requiring a long pull on his hitherto neglected beer. He nods to Z'bor. "If it's the pottery, it would most likely be something new, or we'd have seen this before. That should be easy to check in the accounts."

"If it's intentional, it could be in anything." Alyna shakes her head, incredulous that they are actually entertaining the thought that the mystery illness is caused by pre-meditated poisoning causing her to shiver and grow even more pale. Nodding again at Z'bor and the R'zel about the pottery, "That might be one place to start. What about the Stores and the Kitchens? Have they been searched? I mean, if our hypothetical poisone has been smart enough not to get caught so far, I doubt we would find a jar with Poison written on it, but people have died now and morale is so low. We need to do something." She slumps forward now and rests her elbows on the table, propping her chin up on her clenched hands.

Z'bor takes another pull off his ale, sitting back and looking quite thoughtful. "Problem with doing something is knowing where to start, checking the records for a change in dish glaze is probably our best option, and I can get Serval to organize a search of the stores and kitchen again, if needed." He looks to R'zel on this, looking for opinions. "I can talk to Rielle about it right away if you'd like me to."

"I can organise some discreet Ocelots as well," R'zel says confidently, then flushes a little. "Seeing as I am now officially their Wingleader, as of today. Would you be up for a spot of quiet snooping, Alyna?" A moment's thought, then, "But it might also be helpful to talk to anyone who's recovered from one of the serious bouts and find out exactly what they ate, drank, and, uh, seasoned with, and from what, and with whom, and who gave it to them. And so on."

Z'bor nods. "Great. I'll get that set then. And I would be more than happy for the help." He then sits back to finish off his ale, the whiskey will have to go in his rucksack, because now he has work to do. He'll let Alyna and R'zel talk, that is, until R'zel mentions his promotion. "Congratulations man! Sorry the work upgrade comes with so much extra stress at the moment." He stands then though. "I should talk to Rielle before it gets too late though. See you both around?" He'll nod at both of them then, the question rhetorical and sets off towards the door.

Alyna is about to offer up her help, but R'zel's revelation of his promotion has her shooting him a warm smile, "Really? Congrats, that's great Sir!" she'll offer him a friendly clap on the back. When he asks her about doing some quiet snooping, her smile turns into a smirk and her blue eyes flash intensely, "I am so up for it Sir. I was just about to offer my help to Z'bor here if needed." And she inclines her head in the direction of the other greenrider as he leaves, taking another sip from her drink. "As for questioning the ill, that's a good idea too."

R'zel drains his mug. "And talking of questioning the ill - not that she's going to be talking to us any time soon, I'm afraid" or quite possibly ever, "I'm going to look in on Keitrill again before supper." He frowns. "You know, this conversation has quite put me off eating in the living cavern. Does this place do any food that can be taken away? Anyway, we must talk again and lay some plans." He sets down the mug and stands.

"I was just about to say I think I may find alternative arrangements for food for the next few days. And I'm not sure, I've never been here for the food" Alyna says as the idea of eating in the living caverns is making her stomach do unpleasant flops. Trying to settle it, Alyna chugs the remainder of her lager and then puts the empty glass back on the table. "If she's awake, give her my best wishes if she's fit for talking." the greenrider says when he mentions meeting their wingmate. "And we'll certainly do that, and I'll get to snooping as soon as possible. I'll keep you update Wingleader." She can't help a small smile at that as she ticks a couple fingers to her temple in a casual salute before she leans back in her chair as she throws her hand up for a repeat of her drink because a liquid dinner should be safe enought right?

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