Linden, Threvobek, Veresch, Ravene


A sandstorm sends two boys into the Cantina, where they meet two women.


It is midmorning of the twenty-second day of the eleventh month of the first turn of the 12th pass.


Bazaar, Cantina

OOC Date


Central Bazaar

Central Bazaar

All roads in the weyr ultimately lead here, to this center of commerce. Canvas awnings jut out over time worn, sandy cobblestone, sheltering customers and wares alike from the majority of Igen's elements, and funnel scents both mouthwatering and vomit inducing through the thin streets. Almost all store fronts are open air, delineated by sandstone arches with intricately carved facades. The insides of these stone-shingled buildings act as an amplifier for the salesmens' bawled enticements, and are held up by the chipped swirls of marble pillars.

It is the fifty-second day of Autumn and 72 degrees. The small dark cloud has grown rapidly over night, covering the blue sky. It blows a furious rush of stirring wind. In a moment, the daylight is gone as visibility plummets. The clouds of stinging sand mercilessly flog all living things as the air itself turns against you. Every living thing chokes on sand and dust before escaping inside.

What could have been isn't prominent on anyone's mind; the day had potential and now it's shot. And stinging, there are small stones flying out here! A lone figure, body's outline visible from the force of the wind, has a hanky tightly over his mouth. His eyes are uncovered unless you count the hand tenting above his nose. Faranth knows what he's doing out here, there's nothing in his hand that would suggest business— not like there's much selling. Brown hair whips around his head where it isn't in place with the handkerchief but it looks like there's some method to his madness. The crazy and sane alike hate sandstorms.

Linden has ducked into the archway of a closed store, the stone arch offering some protection at least, when the door would not yield to his knocking. He's dressed in loose clothes, with a headscarf wrapped tightly and sloppily around his head and his face, leaving a small slit for downcast eyes. The sight of someone stumbling down the road though, that gets his attention and he tries to shout.

Linden has brains, Threvobek a purpose. And clear desire for macrodermabrasion. It's a trailing end of the younger boy's clothes flagging just out of the archway which identifies him as also being caught outdoors. Realizing the shop is closed, Rev comes from behind and nudges Linden towards the Cantina. Nothing can be heard over the hiss of windborn sand grains and desert grit, but it's not like he's volunteering to open his mouth and eat it. Rev has paused to see if he truly has Linden's attention, eyes incredibly narrowed. It looks as if he isn't expecting 'no' for an answer.

Linden watches Threvobek approach, trying to shout again when he's nudged. What was that for? But…oh. /There/ is a place that's open. With a nod, Linden steps into the storm once again, head down, struggling against the wind and stinging sand to get to the Cantina's entrance.

To burst through the door is an overstatement, but the duo are announced with a hail of fine-grained friction and immediate ire for those close by who now have a new not-so-secret ingredient in their leek soup. The ones drinking heavily are too hammered to care what minutiae's sinking to the bottom of their mugs. "I've seen worse." Threvobek testifies as the hanky comes off and half a private dune with it. "Had to file down your teeth? What brings you out in the open?" Hazel eyes scrutinize Linden more closely now that his retinas aren't scoured clean. Man, he's blinking like a fiend though.

Dustbowl Cantina

To enter the Dustbowl Cantina is to descend: the heart of the ancient tavern lies half underground, at the foot of ancient steps, insulated from summer heat and winter cold by the volcanic rock surrounding it. A windowless place well-lit by glows, it is homey, even cozy, with a certain bijou charm - but for the deep gouges worn in wooden table and solid stone, some clearly lingering evidence of boisterous brawling. The wall behind the well-polished bar, though, remains free from scars or graffiti, as does the door into the small kitchen, and the stairwell up into the owner's quarters: the barkeep and his staff reign, and they guard their territory well. After all, only a fool angers the source of the booze.

Linden gives himself a good shake as he steps through the door, pulling down the wrap and breathing deep…then coughing loudly. "Shopping," he grunts, lifting a sand coated bag of Things. "I didn't see it…" And he was oblivious to everyone /else/ scurrying for cover.

Threvobek removes a poncho-like shell of clothing with lots of fringe and a half stripe of purple on the edge (hey, it was cheap and the old lady had run out of blue halfway through). "Shells." Here he shakes like a dog, but has a calf's kick at the end. Despite the sandstorm Rev looks invigorated despite digging something out of his right eye. "Hope she was worth it," the elder grins despite the continued battle with sand-reinforced eye gunk. "If you can find a spot I'll get you something to drink." Be his Seeing Eye Teen for a second.

Linden glances at the shopping bag. "She?" he asks, wiping a hand through his hair and coughing again. Scanning the room, he sees two seats near the wall and makes his way towards it, hand on Threvobek's elbow if the older boy doesn't resist the physical contact. "Over here, this table looks like it could use a good layer of sand on it."

They're a yard away from the selected table when Threvobek finally has his vision back in full force. "Good choice, faces the server's station." Where full-hipped Elda is already pouring water into the soup to thin it out and thicken profit. Rev wags a finger her way with familiar brashness and is self-seated. "Yeah. I presume you were out thinning the outer crust of yer skin because of a girl. Maybe not. I assume all sorts of things. What was it you were shopping for?"

With so many fleeing to a covered location to escape the dust storm, it's not strange to see Veresch stumble into the place, weyr-dressed but trader-scarved, and coughing on the sand that swirls in after her. Standing right there, prodded by a lifted finger from one of the barmaids, she obediently twirls, unwraps and wiggles a small bucket of sand off herself before making for deeper into the bar, and a cool, cool drink. "Hey, is Chel in?" she asks at the counter, and her face falls when she's advised that indeed, her best friend isn't in. Turning, she brightens again at seeing familiar faces, and lifts a hand to Linden and Rev, fingers wiggling in obvious plea — got an extra seat?

It takes him a second, but then Linden gets what the other boy means as he sprawls into a seat, making it creak beneath his lanky build. "A woman, actually," he says with a crooked grin. "My mom. She needed a few things…well. She doesn't know she needs them but she does." He peeks into the satchel and seems relieved the items - though dusty - are at least there and intact. Looking up when another arrives, Linden smiles when he recognizes the girl, and gestures to her to join them. C'mon over!

Threvobek brushes dust-laden hair back and follows Linden's communication with, look, Veresch. A trio of fingers briefly beacon and his exact seat is offered for the table of two. The stableworker just subtracts a chair from a close table with excess. "Shopping for your mother, that's… sweet. It's sweet." He's convinced himself. "Is it her turnday or one of those 'because I incurred your wrath here's a bracelet' type gift? Hi." That's brevity for Veresch.

Scooting over with some kind of fruit drink, Veresch makes herself at home on the chair, nodding her thanks to Threvobek. "Thank you. Hey, guys." A little sliver of conversation overheard, she winces at the mention of Linny. "Yeah, how's that going?" she asks curiously, sipping at the drink as she eyes the shopping, curious as to what's there. Too-brief Rev is shrugged at, one shoulder lifting and falling. "Bad score," she explains from the corner of her mouth, wiggling a finger up at the roof. "Really bad."

Linden exhales a bit, not quite a snort. "One of those 'I'm sorry deadly Thread burned the sh-" he looks around, amends, "crap out of your back and your hand, so here's something because I think you need a present. Though I think the gloves might have been a bad idea…" He looks at Veresch for confirmation on that. "They matched the scarf…the sales lady was talking really fast." Hmm.

Elda affords time to see to the youthful trio though the veteran server knows she won't be receiving any tips outta this table. Oh well, they're cute. And the one that smells like horses usually tries to leave something. "Three ales, but boost two with a little juice." Assuming Linden's youth for what it is and Veresch's gender. As the buyer he's got monopoly on unequality. "You two are getting the glorified juice." Just in case either harbored doubts. "-She's- your mother," comprehending with an upward tilt of his head. "I heard. I'm sorry."

Poor Linden has obviously never heard Veresch pronounce all the words she learnt from Tuli's tutelage; she acknowledges the half-swear with a mumble around a sip of juice. Fingertips poke around the mix until she gets the scarf, eyeing the gloves as well with a little forehead-furrow that bodes ill for their fate. "It's sweet that you thought of her," she finally delivers the verdict. "But I can't see her wearing the gloves soon. Perhaps you can keep them back, give them to her later?" Pause, sigh. "It's a pretty scarf though, really pretty." She tucks everything safely back as Rev announces the drinks; there's a grin for him. "That's sweet too!" she coos, though it's certainly laced with sarcasm and a narrowing of her eyelids. 'I'll Remember, and get you weak tea sometime', the look promises. "Thank you."

Linden doesn't protest when Veresch goes through his shopping bag, glancing at Threvobek and snorting. "Gee, thanks, but I'd rather have cookies and milk," he drawls with some amused sarcasm. Then his eyes flick back to Veresh, worry creasing his brow a little bit. "Yeah. I'll save them for later. Just in case." In case she can't ever wear them. He swallows, clears his throat, and takes the bag back, resting it in his lap.

Threvobek watches Elda leave with halfhearted gusto now that the mood is damp. He rides Veresch's act of encouragement, peeping at the gifts. "She'll like all those things." Because it's a prerequisite for mothers universally. At Linden's batch of cookies and milk sarcasm, "Hey I'm doin' you a favor, she waters the ale enough as it is. At least cutting it with juice give you energy." And less of a funny walk. Elda delivers the drinks with complimentary rice crackers. With a gentle wink, "it aint much but it's on the house." Threvobek is the first to try one. "Almost forgot," as the buxom server turns to leave, "a bottle of vodka too please."

Veresch looks from the table, to the bar, to Elda's retreating form, then the rice crackers, and her expression shifts, becomes bland. "Thank you," she murmurs for the crackers, and takes one, breaking it up into bitty pieces to nibble on. "She's going to love the gloves later on," she murmurs, trying to be encouraging. "Her hand'll heal well, I'm sure." Beneath the table, one foot searches for Rev's ankle. Be More Encouraging, Dude.

Linden smirks a bit at Threvobek, but he nods as he takes his ale. "Thanks." That is genuine at least, as is his enjoyment of a rice cracker. The order of vodka has the boy's brows lifting. Glancing back to the girl, he smiles. "Thanks." Cradling the bag in his lap, he sips at the ale and leans back in his chair. "So…storms like that, they come here often?"

Another enters the Cantina so that the patrons have another bout of sand to sneer about. "Shut the door, fool!" Threvobek gets residual pinpricks of sand on his ear. The mobile object hooking his foot causes pause in rice cracker consumption, Rev's jaw still for a few beats. Without much indecision Linden's drink is switched with Threvobek's slightly harder version. "Here, don't ask why." At least he has consolation crackers. "Once, twice a month," hearty drink. "Sometimes more and sometimes less so everyone does inside work. A little like a rest day." For those working outside at least.

Sipping slowly at her new drnk, and devoutly hoping it doesn't end up with her nursing a sick headache, Veresch lets the conversation flow over her a little. "The more we have them the better really," she murmurs moments later. "It stops Thread, and the bandits can't operate in the muck either." She grimaces. "I really hope they get them caught soon, or figure out how they're doing it, we really don't need any more bad gossip about Igen. I feel sorry for the traders though, out in this sometimes. I wonder how they cope with it. Do they pull into some kind of camp?"

Linden doesn't protest when his beverage is swapped, and he won't ask why. He'll just nod his thanks and take a deep pull from it. Ahh. "Twice a month? Ugh." His nose wrinkles. "No offense but I"m looking forward to going back to Ista." Tilting his head a bit to listen, he nods and then shrugs. "I guess that's true…what bandits are those? And I'd guess they would? Kind of have to, right?"

The door opens once more, and the shouts to close it again follow very soon after. Ravene doesn't spend time standing in the doorway as she steps through closing the door quickly behind herself. Shawl removed, it's given a quick shake before it's draped over a chair at an empty table. The baker's face is drawn tight from lack of sleep. The majority of patrons give her a wide berth as she sits quietly looking around the cantina, not really seeing anyone.

"Good points." Threvobek imparts after Veresch's sticking points with a voice husky from a large mouthful of juiced ale. "The traders retreat to their wagons or find a cave, they're always resourceful." Often seedy, but resourceful. "They have much bandit strife in Ista, fella?" Threvobek notices Ravene lurking at the entrance and tries to place her face.

"I'm from Ista too," Veresch says quietly. "Once upon a time. I've not … been back." She swiftly moves from the topic. "Um, there's been a string of bandit attacks here recently. No one's sure, but they're crafty. They got me, they got a friend of mine… it's anyone's guess who they're going to come after next." A quick glance to Rev. "Thus the runner. My father kind of freaked and put his foot down. Or dragon delivery." There's no sarcasm there, the remembered fear still too recent. "And I… oh hey, is that Ravene?" She pauses to tilt to the side and look at the baking goddess, lifting one hand hesitantly.

Linden glances to the doorway as well, before looking back at his tablemates. "Bandits in Ista? Naw. Where would they hide? S'an island…" Peeking at Veresch, the boy's head tilts a bit. "Oldtime?" he asks quietly. "I'm from Oldtime High Reaches. Haven't been back there either." There's understanding in his voice. "They got you? You got attacked by bandits?" Forgive his sudden little boy thrill. He's sure it was terrifying and awful, but he sounds almost excited.

Ravene blinks a few times before she returns the wave to Veresch. The baker continues to sit where she is, not quite seeing anyone but still manages to place an order. The young men seated with Veresche get a blank look before she's back to gazing around the cantina. Ravene just doesn't look quite right, "Thanks," is said when the whiskey laced klah is set down in front of her. No food? Someone's going to hurt later.

The vodka Elda brought over in a sealed bottle is turned over in Threvobek's hand. Looks like stuff they can work with. "Hiding places are found or made if you think like a person or animal who needs 'em." Rev kicks back the rest of the drink, hair resettling around his ears. He knows Veresch has a story to tell, somewhat hungry for it actually, but as the vodka warms in his hands, he's reminded it was the reason he was here to begin with: making tinctures. "Maybe you'd better get her into this flock." Not directly knowing Ravene but recognizing when something's 'off' he leaves the table to meet her. "Maybe you're prefer to sit there, miss. I'm leaving, have my chair." Chivalry might not thrive, but Rev feeds it pretty regularly.

Veresch's nose wrinkles. "Some other time? I'll catch you before you go back, promise." That to Linden, wiht a pinky wiggled in the air as visual component. "Ravene looks…" Well, she looks like she's about to head down the bad side of a bottle of whiskey, and the girl is worried. Nodding to Rev's suggestion, she waves Ravene over. "Come and join us, please? This is Linden, Linny's son, and Rev … sorry, Threvobek. Big name, that. Guys, this is Ravene, the owner of the bakery near here, and pretty much the reason why I can face every morning. She makes this breakfast bread with bacon and… ahem." Throat-clearing. "You ok, Ravene? How is E'bert holding up?"

Linden studies Ravene for a moment, and then he sits up a bit. "Her son," or sort-of-son, "was scored too. Brownrider. E'bert." He sits up a bit straighter when Rev leaves, hands curled around his ale, nodding agreement to Veresch. "Hello, ma'am," he says, quietly respectful. To Veresch, the boy's pinky lifts to curl around hers in a firm pinky swear. She's committed to it, now.

Ravene gathers her drink, and moves to join the small group, "He's.. Better," she says slowly. The mug is sipped, and she's back to mostly silent before mention of her breads sinks in enough for her to comment, "Best selling item I have. The breakfast breads have bacon, thin sliced boiled eggs, and cheese. Others have thin slices of roasted wherry or herdbeast, cheese, and seasoned crusts," the baker's voice is distant, distracted. Between a sickly infant, and an injured fosterling she's understandably distracted.

Threvobek's chin lowers in an efficient nod to Ravene once the introduction train stops at him. His mind isn't sharp enough at the moment to untangle who's from where, when, and whichway so the table's dynamics should really bear some fruit. Rev's closing remark after paying Elda becomes, "keep the sand outta your ears." After some cloth's wrapped around his face, the stableworker bolts out the door.

There's a grimace from Veresch. "I was on 'crew, it was really bad." Certainly enough to inspire nightmares all around. She reaches out hesitantly to try and squeeze Ravene's shoulder. "Hey, it's okay. We know. They're excellent. They've got great healers here, I'm sure he'll be back on his legs in no time." Rev's quick disappearance is blinked at - "Perhaps he has a date with Elna - Elsa - whatever later?" - and sips at the weird juice-ale mixture he bought them. "When are you going back to Ista? I … do they still have that beach there at the Weyr, that one hidden cove, where it's all beachwood and salt ocean and quiet?"

Linden tilts his head a bit as he listens to Ravene, sipping his ale. "Sounds good," he murmurs. Watching Rev go, he glances at Veresch. "Elsa? You were on crew? I've never been on crew…" Not yet anyway. Slouching a bit in his seat, he adjusts the shopping bag in his lap. "I'm not sure. Dad keeps going back and forth to do his duties and fly with his wing in fall, but…he hasn't said when I'm going home. When Mom's better I guess? Or at least out of the infirmary? Roslin doesn't even want to be in there, so when Dad's gone I kind of take over." The kid shrugs. Then he perks up, grinning. "Yeah, they do. I found that one pretty quick. Few other kids know about it so you have to be careful you don't surprise them doing…things." He winkles his nose a bit. Gross.

A weak smile is given as Ravene sips (at least she that smart) at her klah, "Always liked that part of the beach," it was always quiet. Ravene keeps looking around, it isn't that she's expecting anyone it's more like she's just not able to focus completely on any one thing for very long.

Seeing Ravene kind of fall apart is distressing to the max; the woman's normally so grounded that it's painful to see her like this. "Ravene," she murmurs, reaching out to give her a diffident one-armed hug. "It'll be alright." It's a hope, devoutly voiced. Linden's explanation makes her eyebrows arch; there's something that flashes behind her eyes, but she keeps it in. "It's nice that you can. Keep her away from work and so on, okay? We just got her. We don't want to break her this early." A small joke, accompanied by a smile. "Ask her if there's anything I need to hand over to someone else." Pause. "Things," she mutters, blinking. "That was always my favourite place, that and the garden."

Linden shifts a bit uncomfortably in his seat as Ravene slips away from them again, darting a glance to Veresch. His smile widens, his eyes understanding. "Maybe you can come back with us next time we go, for a visit! I can show you the beach and we can hang out or something." He looks down at the shopping bag in his lap. "Yeah, I'm trying. She keeps asking for hidework because she told Sadie she'd do it, but that was before she got scored. Dad keeps telling her no." There's a little smirk. "So whatever that hidework is, maybe if Sa - The Senior Weyrwoman (whoops) can take it back? So she doesn't have to worry about it?" Since asking his mother outright would get a 'no' to that question. "I haven't been in the garden much."

And that hug is enough to start something that's almost never seen from Ravene. Tears. Tears flood silently down the baker's face. When was the last time she did that? Cry? It had to have been a long time if one were to judge by the silent shaking of shoulders. Any offer of comfort is shrugged off, and slowly the shoulders stop, and the tears dry. Ravene takes a large drink of the klah before she offers, "Gardens were always nice in the spring," oh look who's trying to keep up with the conversation. Still the eyes aren't really seeing much, so she closes them as she takes another large drink of the klah which seems to empty it.

"I'll make it work somehow," veresch mutters to Linden. "She'll have to go past me to get hides right now anyway, and I think I can still run faster. Well. I hope. But Mayte's out and learning about diplomacy and the archives and so on right now, so perhaps she can help a bit as well?" Having caused the downpour on Ravene's face in a way, Veresch grimaces, but does not try more than a pat once it becomes clear that she doesn't want it. Instead, she'll just hand over a hankie quietly, not looking for the moment. "I … kind of don't want to go back to Ista," she finally says. "I'm too afraid things will have changed. Y'know. Well. I can't explain it. But I'm afraid. Perhaps? If you promise me a guided tour?"

Linden looks very uncomfortable when Ravene cries, and the only thing the teen can do is pull out a handkerchief (mostly clean) and offer it to her. Then he frowns a little bit. "He's not gonna die," he murmurs. "So…" Pull yourself together? Looking over at Veresch, Linden chuckles. "Sounds like a good plan then. I'm sure you can run faster than she can. She can probably yell louder but just keep running." The teen speaks from experience, then he sobers, nodding. "I understand. Don't mean to pressure you or nothin'. Things /have/ changed. Dad knew Ista well before he moved to Reaches, so…yeah. He says things have changed but it's also really beautiful. I understand." He hesitates, and then offers her a rather awkward pat on the arm. "I promise."

Ravene gives a nod to Linden, though it's not just E'bert that has the baker so anxious. The mention of Ista has her trying to pay attention, "I'm with Veresch. Kind of don't want to go back," she says softly. Too much time passed from when she left to now. Too many friends, family, and loved ones left behind.

Veresch throat-clears, buoyed a little by the understanding and the arm-pat. "I'll think about it," she temporises as she stands, draining the last of the juiced ale and blinking her eyes clear. Ugh. Such a cheap date. "We can meet up sometime, and I'll tell you the other story? I'll go and see what I can do for now with the records. Nice meeting you, Linden… buck up, Ravene? Or if not, talk to Prineline maybe… she can always help me." With a quick nod - unwise, given her inebriation, she re-wraps and idles out the door.

Linden smiles up at Veresch when the girl stands, nodding his head (gently). "I'll be around." As she leaves, he sips his ale and looks across at Ravene again, awkward once more with the sad grown-up.

Ravene blinks as Veresch leaves then stands, "It was nice meeting you," the words have an empty ring. She really did enjoy meeting the youth, but it's just not reaching her voice, "I've got to run," the bakery is manned by apprentices. Apprentices, do you understand what kind of trouble that can cause? Ravene does, and with that she too is taking her leave only the shawl is left behind. Completely forgotten in her haze of worry, and anxiety.

Linden tries to catch her in time, but when he can't he picks up the shawl and tucks it gently into his shopping bag. He'll get it back to her somehow. Later. Right now, he's got an ale to finish and he's not going to waste it!

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