Zeyta, N'cal, E'bert, Kaliya


N'cal runs across two brownriders and a Harper Apprentice while visiting the Archives on a hunt for information.


It is the afternoon of the nineteenth day of the tenth month of the first Turn of the 12th Pass.


Archives, Igen Weyr

OOC Date


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A grand room, lost to more pressing concerns, the Archives hold many treasures well past their prime, from instruments to examples of older flying gear and agenothree tanks. Faded and disused Records lean tiredly against their shelves, their bindings peeling and creating layers of dust on surfaces long left without maintenance. The floors are dirty, various footprints creating crisscrossing paths between rickety wooden chairs and drunkenly off-kilter tables. Columns rise upward to the ceiling, hung with glow-baskets scarcely tended and fast losing their strength. The hum of activity is duller, here in this forgotten space — few visit in search of historical facts.

Sweltering outside, blessedly cool within: the archives avoid the merciless elements of the desert, supplanting chaotic weather with the clutter of tomes and artifacts. Zeyta lurks here, per usual, eschewing company when off-duty from drills or fall. Instead of books, today she studies equipment, desk cleared of the usual stacks of tall volumes and replaced by a selection of riding jackets laid out for inspection. The brownrider herself is disappeared down an aisle, collecting all her materials before she settles to complete whatever self-assigned task she's busied herself with this evening.

N'cal is looking for neither company nor respite from the heat of the day by coming into the Archives this afternoon, as his long, determined strides might indicate. Mouth set in a line of troubled thought, the tall bluerider enters upon solid footfalls, which he immediately lessens by slowing as he slips into the silent room. The riding jackets on the desk are noted, alerting him to the possibility of another as he slips between the aisles in search of a particular set of hides. This just happens to land him in the same aisle as Zeyta - someone N'cal has not met thus far but has seen in passing. "Afternoon, brownrider," Fortian baritone greets distractedly with a nod in her direction as he glances about for his target, spies the label, and lifts up slightly on the balls of his feet in order to get at the records he needs.

Pacing off the shelves, E'bert is picking out material on dragonhealing. From time to time he stops and goes over the list he carries with him. Zeyta has been missed in his perusal of the stacks of hides and such while he mentally ticks off the material for study. From time to time the young brownrider pauses to make sure he has the right book or hide. If asked what time it is, E'bert would probably not be able say for absolute certain. Drills, sweeps, study, rinse and repeat with only Threadfall to break up the monotony of his routine. N'cal's voice has E'bert blinking around, not seeing anyone he shrugs and continues with his search. Of course the jackets are noticed, which makes him question just how long had he been here?

Funny thing about hiding out. Someone always finds you. At least Kaliya has some sort of excuse since she's wearing her knot but that peaceful expression and those closed eyes are a give away that if she's studying? It's the inside of her eyelids.

Zeyta resides at the back of the aisle, fingers traveling along the spines of books as she rifles through her mental catalogue to select the correct one. Her visible arm bends at her side, a brown jacket draped over it, its leather soft and cracked with age and use. She exhibits a purposeful economy of motion, every movement deliberate and sparing overall, confidence carrying in her stride when she grabs her book and pivots to face forward and return to her desk. Meeting the figure of N'cal her harrowing gaze travels upwards, lingering first on his shoulder, then finding his face, her own a blank slate of zero emotion. Not yet in the general area to note and dismiss the others present, she answers with a terse, "Bluerider," and accompanying dip of her chin.

N'cal's blue-green gaze falls to Zeyta's shoulder in turn, her Whirlwind patching helping to confirm her identity in his mind. While he hears another moving about beyond his current field of vision, he makes no move to see who it is just yet, instead discreetly taking a measure of the woman. He's heard various things about Zeyta - some negative, some neutral, many concerning what she does or has done in the past… Perhaps he ought to put what he's heard to the test, if it means possibly moving toward a solution regarding the current issue. "You must be Zeyta, if I'm not mistaken," he states with a small smile. "Wingsecond N'cal of Arroyo. I've heard you know these Archives quite well. Might I impose upon you for one moment?" he asks, tucking a few folios under his arm.

E'bert blinks a few times before he makes his way to a near by table where he seats himself to begin studying. He looks up at the sound of the voices, and gives a shake of his head before he gets back to work. The hides are sifted through until he comes to the one he's looking for, and then it's down to reading.

Kaliya hears… voices? She starts upright and into view with the announcement of "Onions!" The people present are given a bleary eyed look of apology before she settles herself again. "Y'know… records and… such…" Now where did she put that ink? "Onionskins… or…" She finally settles on closing her mouth and trying to get herself together. Sometimes you just have to wave the white flag and admit you've been caught.

Zeyta places her book on top of the jacket, pinning the items between her forearm and her abdomen, her free arm slack against her side. A single brow arches when N'cal supplies his identity and hers before she can offer an introduction, breaking her expressionless facade to frame intrigue. "Zeyta, of brown Kczyslawborth, yes," she confirms, standing stoic still, immune to amiable overtures such as smiles, bouncing off her, stonewalled. "Mm, I know them quite thoroughly. Tell me your question." Despite their difference in rank she wields authority in her weighted monotone, re-initiating her heavy-footed gait to proceed towards her desk, expecting him to follow along as she multi-tasks, pursuing her own ends whilst fielding his question. Entering back into the open space of the archives, she surveys its occupants, first neutrally, as she passes over E'bert, then disapprovingly at Kaliya for her outburst.

N'cal is an observant man, tending to keep names and faces straight quite well with little prompting and sometimes to the puzzlement of others. The expression he draws from the stoic woman due to that habit doesn't surprise him, though not detecting any change in her when he smiles may a little bit. He does follow her, not one to harp on rank, and gives E'bert a quiet salute before turning a gaze on the Harper girl - not frowning, but curious. "Perhaps some klah is in order, Apprentice?" he suggests with a slight smirk before turning to face Zeyta once again. "I'm looking for the most recent records and maps regarding current trade routes and main roads, specifically any outlining topography and prominent landforms and landmarks." Why isn't supplied, not having been asked for. The bluerider rather has the impression that Zeyta is the sort not to be given extra information she hasn't asked for.

Kaliya gulps and shakes her head. "Er… no…" Zeyta gets an apologetic look before she begins to read again. "I'm not supposed to leave until I've either…" She puts on a voice that's clearly a mimic of someone of higher rank. "Memorized everything here or learned that sleep is not something we do during a lesson." See how happy she is to be complying? Yeah. "Didn't mean to interrupt or nuth." Pause. "Anything."

When N'cal is noticed so too is Zeyta, and both are given a salute while Kaliya is given a sympathetic smile before E'bert's back studying. Shh, don't tell Karkath he's not sleeping.

Zeyta knows N'cal, at least in name and on the page; his position in the Weyr guarantees she investigated him that much. Encountering his actual person affects her little, except providing an image to information. Pacing toward her desk, she lays the jacket out first, atop the other specimens pulled from the racks earlier, tucking the book under her arm to carry with her. Brisk, she motions the bluerider towards another work space, monotone rising, "Veresch has no doubt acquired the most recent charts. She also has the most current ones as regards the geographical features of the main roads." She stops, glancing at Kaliya. "Either way, you might be here forever," she remarks, bearing grim. "I don't know how accurate the accounts detailing trade routes are; our relationship with bazaarites and the traders has not been cooperative, historically. They doubtless possess that information, but retrieving it via oral or written testimony is a task I imagine might have also been assigned the weyrwoman's assistant." No, she does not ask why — but, having shown him where to look she hovers, mildly expectant of something in return.

"And how is whoever assigned you here supposed to know whether or not you've learned?" N'cal questions Kaliya with a raised eyebrow, and he smirks again. "Try standing up through lessons when you feel yourself falling asleep," he suggests, his tone indicating he might know the usefulness of the tactic firsthand. With that, he turns his attention back to Zeyta, nodding his thanks as he peruses the contents of the workspace. "I can speak to some of the traders at least," he muses, "though it seems Veresch would be the person to find from here. Still, some of these will be helpful." Zeyta's somewhat expectant hovering is answered with a question that will likely reveal some of his intentions. "Complaints have reached the Weyr of incidents somehow missed by Whirlwind sweepriders as well, I assume?"

And now E'bert is paying attention to the conversation between N'cal and Zeyta for all his eyes are trained on his own hides. Best way to listen without seeming to be listening, but only if he continues to actually study. A yawn is stifled the hide is turned carefully to reveal the one below, and the younger brownrider continues to study.

"I s'pose they figured I'd get caught. …or learn to keep myself awake so I could get outta here." Kaliya frowns. "Guess it doesn't quite make sense." A glance is given E'bert before she turns back to her own reading. "Y'know, if you really wanna find out about their routes an' all the features of the roads and stuff, as 'em to tell you stories. There's always 'it happened by that big rock shaped like a wherry's head' or somesuch." Oh wait, her mouth is making talking noises again. She should see to that.

"Mm, I believe they are trying to stress the importance of self-discipline," Zeyta surmises, rolling her eyes at the harper apprentice. She perches herself on a corner of the desk with the regional studies laid out, flattening the corner of a half-unrolled scroll to glimpse over its illustrations and notes. Without achieving eye-contact, "Mm, just be sure to leave a note as to what you borrow; this is the girl's territory, and acting on behalf of the weyrwoman, I believe she has precedence. Perhaps you should start, mm, exchanging stories first." She acknowledges Kaliya for her suggestion, flashing an undirected smile, all teeth and more arrogant than genteel. "I've heard rumors, but as Cha'el has not made it my business, I've not lent them credence. Curious that Whirlwind would miss them in the first place, no?"

E'bert perks at the mention of stories, and files that away under 'useful information'. Still being silent, it's E'bert's default when he's tired, "Shards. Someone snitched," E'bert says as he looks up and out. A deep sigh is given as he collects the hides and begins to put them away. Once the hides have been put back where he got them, E'bert salutes N'cal and Zeyta before he's slipping out to go get sleep. He did promise Karkath after all that he would not kill himself studying.

N'cal smiles as well, though his does get sent Kaliya's way. "Exactly so," he affirms to her suggestions. To Zeyta's words, he nods. "Certainly. I'll just make a note of these ones…" He pulls a straight-edged scrap of hide from a pouch at his hip and scratches the titles of some of the more useful things he's found on the table onto it with a stylus. "I take it you've not had the misfortune of flying a sweep with that result thus far," N'cal says with a nod. "Hopefully it remains so for you. It is curious, just as it's been curious for Arroyo, and I've heard it's been a problem for the other wings as well. It can't be a coincidence. It's almost as if we're being…anticipated, somehow." His brow furrows momentarily, and the he shakes his head a bit, finishing his notations. "At any rate, I'm to investigate as I'm able. Hopefully we can figure out what's going on before things get worse." With a final punctuation, he replaces the hide in his pouch and sets what he's made note of back neatly on the table. "Thank you for your help, Zeyta. I'll let you get back to it." He returns E'bert's salute as he straightens, shifting the folios he's taken from the shelf to his left hand and moving to return them to the appropriate shelf before leaving.

Kaliya has the presence of mind to not stick her tongue out at N'cal but she does do a comic wrinkle of her nose and slight tilt of her head before remembering herself and turning her head down toward the same words she's read about sixteen times already. She might have muttered something under her breath about stiff unders but she's not owning up to it. Instead she stifles a yawn.

"Mmmmm," thoughtful for the dull drawl elongating her most habitual sound-substitute for words, Zeyta mulls over her newly found suspicion. She relieves the pressure of her palm against parchment, edge furling closed once more; her body returns to its most common state too, standing (short) and straight, buttocks no longer leaned against the desk. "I'll let Cha'el know it's occurring with more frequency. Perhaps there is something afoot." Could N'cal possibly have excited her to the point of inflection? Her voice at least carries a hint of curiosity now, even if her face remains glacial calm and impenetrable to further discernment of sentiment or mood. "Very well. You may hear more from Whirlwind soon." With that, she salutes and revisits her desk with its pile of jackets. Just what style will she give as a model when commissioning her new leathers? All else fails to capture her attention, she is all dedication to fashion, likely late into the evening.

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