Who

N'yulo, R'zel

What

R'zel's firelizard may or may not have encountered something scary. R'zel and N'yulo work out the little mystery over lunch.

When

Lunchtime, first day of the third month of the fourteenth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Living Caverns, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 06 Jun 2018 23:00

 

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Living Caverns

Grand and spacious, the cavern curves high aloft in naturally-vaulted ceiling that soothes any sense of claustrophoba. Rich woods line the cavern floor, varnished and stained a rich mahogany, while round tables scatter about candlelit and intimate. The largest table lies southerly next the sideboard, long trestles that seem oriented to providing for the weyr's youngest. The rich blue of Azov can be seen from a distance in good weather, when the heavy stone doors covering the entrance are allowed to stand open.


The weather has taken a sudden turn as Autumn begins, and with lunchtime getting underway, the living caverns are full of slightly damp people. A few are even positively wet, as if they'd been standing in the blessed cooling rain. R'zel isn't that bad, but he's definitely got the rained-on look. He's having lunch at one of the smaller tables, or trying to. Alas, though he can control a bronze dragon and command an entire wing, he's met his match in the shape of a half-grown gold firelizard, who is demanding attention, NOW, and making full use of her quite considerable vocal power. Apart from his small friend, he has the table to himself, which is probably just as well for any potential table-mate's eardrums.

Lunch: the only reason to go wandering around looking like a drowned rat, as far as N'yulo's concerned. He moves into the Living Caverns, smoothing back his hair with a little moue of distaste for the now-wet, curling mass of it clinging to the skin of his neck and shoulders. Such is life in the Jungle Weyr, though; he's learned to live with it. Over to the table where all the yummy food is goes he, wincing in amusement at the sound of R'zel's hungry, hungry firelizard. "Kinda like a baby dragon, isn't she." He pauses, plate full of delicious meats in hand, to look at the other man, brows raised. "She always that loud?"

R'zel looks up, frowning. "No, she's normally pretty good about noise, though she does like her own way. Something's frightened her, and she wants to tell me all about it, but I'm not getting what it was." He extends a crooked finger to the lizard, who bats her wings. Apparently she's not going to allow herself to be petted until R'zel has solved whatever her worry is. With a sigh, he scoops her up in both hands and cradles her against his chest firmly enough that she can't struggle, which does reduce the volume to a low whine. "Come on, girl, calm down," he urges gently, rubbing behind her headknobs with a fingertip.

"Huh." N'yulo's brows draw down as he considers R'zel's question as he absently settles the plate on the table. Oh, wait, did R'zel invite him to do that? Ah, well, he's done it now. After that plate is settled, the long and lanky greenling will slouch himself into the chair, poking at his plate as though it's somehow going to grow legs and dance or something. He's still slightly suspicious after that whole debacle with the poisonings awhile ago. "Hmmm… maybe your Verokanth can help? Get in her head, or somehing? Heard they can do that." He smiles, crookedly. "I can't verify that, cause I dont got none, but still."

"She's not making much sense to him, either - she's really rattled." On the other hand, she's also now got her muzzle about four inches from R'zel's plate of sliced wherry and salad. The volume decreases a little as the small head is extended towards the meat. "Oh, no! You're not going to get into the habit of demanding food at that volume, young lady - or stealing mine." A hand intercepts the snaking head, and R'zel continues to pet the little gold. "Sorry about this, N'yulo. How are you and Jiagairanth doing?"

N'yulo snickers. He can't help it — the tableau is just too ridiculous! "'M thinkin' your lizard is hungry and just puttin' you on." Because Lizard. He lifts his gaze to R'zel, now, and shrugs off any apology for the ways of lizardly demands. "Nah, don't worry ya head about it. Lizards gonna be lizards. And we're fine. Jiagairanth and I gettin' along fine. She's about as difficult as yon lizard, but we work it out." He's a cheeky git today, grinning mischeviously at R'zel.

"Don't think so - at least, she usually is hungry, so she might well be, but this is something else - see how yellow her eyes are?" They are, too, but at least she's finally falling quiet. "There's a girl," R'zel murmurs fondly, and tilts his head a little as if listening, then closes his eyes for a moment. "Spots? Vero says she's seeing spots. What has spots?"

N'yulo leans in to look, studying the gold's yellow eyes with a tilt of his head. "Yeah. Yeah, I see." Wait, about that food: maybe it's N'yulo who is so hungry as to be unruly if he doesn't start in on his meal, a meal much similar to R'zel's in that its salad and meat. He'll take a huge bite, and commence munching, watching R'zel calm the lizard with every sign of complete interest in the goings-on. "Spots? Really?" N'yulo squints, wondering.

R'zel gets that distracted look again. "Spots. Black ones… background is kind of yellowish, yellowy-beige, something like that." Verokanth helpfully sends Jiagairanth what his rider is also being shown: the image of blurry spots, of different sizes close together, adding in a pale gold background. The blurring gradually resolves as the bronze manages to extract more from the little gold, until the whole image looks… furry. R'zel's jaw drops. "Zhiva, what have you been up to?"

N'yulo's face goes completely blank for a moment as he gets that picture from Jiagairanth, then rubs long-fingered hands over his face, sighing gustily as he lans his elbows ont the table to stare at R'zel. "Felines? Really?" He turns his gaze on Zhiva for a long moment, froning. "She went lookin' at felines?"

"Felines?" R'zel echoes. "Zhiva, you're going to end up someone's dinner if you do that." He shakes his head in disbelief. "Or perhaps she nearly did - that's why she was so frightened. Or maybe someone else did - you know how they pass their panics round." He eyes the firelizard, and absently picks up his knife, cuts off a thin strip of wherry, and offers it to her. That soon vanishes. So much for his good intentions of not feeding her at table. "I didn't think she went far enough from the Weyr to find felines. Unless…" He glances across the cavern to where someone else is now trying to calm a panicky firelizard.

Oh, now they're in for it: the entire Living Cavern is up in arms. N'yulo looks around, covering his mouth to smother his laughter. Oh, poor R'zel! "If I ain't know they passed their panics 'round, I do now." For the evidence is before his very eyes! "They can't have gotten this close — felines don't usually come crowding around the Weyr unless there's some kind of famine goin' on where they usually hunt." His eyes fall on the lizard again, a little wiistfully. "Hmm… Jia keeps telling me she wants one of those… The firelizard, not the felines.

The succession of images from Verokanth terminates in a toothy snarl which certainly didn't originate with dragonkind. Zhiva flaps her wings and squawks, but then seems to settle again, her story told. "Definitely feline," R'zel says firmly. "And I'm guessing she scooted between after that. I wonder if they were round the Weyr, though. Or it was: it might just have been one. Sounds as if you know a bit about them, N'yulo - do they scout out new territory, or get kicked out of their packs and have to go somewhere else, or anything like that?"

N'yulo knows enough: he's spent enough time quizzing various friendlyish wildlings to hve developed a decent dossier on their behavior and comings and goings. "Think they do, sometimes. Look for new territory. " He takes a moment to twist his damp hair into a hasty braid — it's dripping cold water downn his back. Not cool, man. "And, well, sometimes a young male will get kicked out and have to go looking for his own slice of land to hold." He smirks, then struck by an odd comparison: "Much like younger Holder's sons."

R'zel chuckles at that comparison. "They each have their own holding? That figures. You can't have too many people - that is, felines - living on the same patch of land, or they'll hunt it out. So there actually could be one or two hanging around, by the sound of it." He's looking thoughtful now, lips pursing. "The herders' beasts in the pastures might draw them, too - dinner on a plate."

"Mhm." N'yulo agrees complacently, listening to the sounds of people trying to settle their little friends. "They guard their food sources like we do — whatever comes through there is for each group and nobody else. And they ain't really afraid of people, I was told. They don't come after folk, usually, but they ain't gonna back down from nothin' less than a whole group." He takes more bites of his food, a convenient way to marshal his thoughts and dig up more information to proffer. "Yeah, might be a good idea to get those herds secured. Make sure the Herders are on good alert, t'be looking out for marauders. Them herds wouldn't be able to get away from huntin' felines."

"I'll make sure the word gets sent round," R'zel says. "Though, if there are felines hanging round the herds, I suspect the herders would notice before one ridiculous lizard." His last few words have a fond tone, and are addressed to Zhiva as much as N'yulo. She gets another rub of the head, too. "Spotted ones. Are those the really fast runners?"

"One hopes they might." N'yulo agrees thoughtfully, eyeing the remains of his monstrous salad thoughtfully. Is there room for what remains? Jiagairanth seems to think so, for she prods around the edges of his mind, insinuating feelings of hunger into the very recesses of his mind. He, of course, ignores the green, very certain he knows well enough when he's full. "Yes. They can't run long distances, but they're very fast. Those big blocky ones, though — the striped and the solid-color ones —they can run a long while. And they're very strong. They'll pull down a big herdbeast quick."

R'zel resumes eating his own meal, while Zhiva turns hopeful eyes on the slices of meat. "Amazing beasts, aren't they. I've not seen them that often, but they're great to watch - from a safe distance. Verokanth says they're not good eating, but he still fancies hunting one for the challenge. The spotty ones give attractive furs, too."

N'yulo nods. "Keep intendin' to get one of the silvery ones, with the spots. They're just gorgeous, you get 'em at the right time." Aren't those slices so temping, just sitting there uneaten? Poor Zhiva, N'yulo doesn't seem to notice her interest at all. "Hmm. Jai tried eating one, she didn't like it much."

"Vero hasn't ever eaten one, but I think it's the sort of thing they just know from each other. I've never thought it was worth risking his hide for - those claws would go straight through wingsails." R'zel's also not taking that much notice of Zhiva, between the talking and the eating. She's turned her attention to the uneaten food in front of N'yulo, which she is watching very carefully, gradually edging closer.

"Oh, the one she tried happened to have been killed already; ran across some hunters on sweep, and they offered, since we helped look out t'see there weren't any extras while they got the one they killed dressed out." He'd never allow his lovely green to get her wingsails torn up by the beasts; maturity has its pluses. Conveniently, he pushes his plate away, oh, so much closer to Zhiva. Mmm. Meeeat.

R'zel nods. "I've heard of dragons bringing them down, though." Zhiva takes another couple of dainty steps towards the plate, then sits down. What an obliging human N'yulo is, to push it towards her! While R'zel's eyes are on his own meal, the little gold stretches her neck towards the greenrider's leftovers. Well, he did offer! Sort of.

N'yulo scrubs at his chin with its dusting of hair, sliding a look towards Zhiva. Huh. Oh, well; he's done eating now and doesn't actually care if she's a doll and cleans the plate for him. "Yeah. I heard that too. I still ain't thinking Jia should do it. She's a big green, but them things rarely travel alone — likely t'get one leapin' outta nowhere at you. Ain't trying it without at least two, three other hunters." He looks up sharply, toward the Bowl. "I better get goin'. Certain parties are getting restless. She wants to take a flyover of the land — again." Restless Jiagairanth is restless.
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When N'yulo looks at Zhiva, whose jaws are now half an inch from the meat, R'zel realises what she's up to. "Hey, Zhiva! No stealing!" Can a firelizard look guilty? Who knows, but this one certainly doesn't, though she does sit up straight. Stealing? Whoever could he mean! R'zel shakes his head at her, then answers the greenrider. "I'll see you around then. And if you've finished with your plate, I'll cut the meat up for her in a bit, but she's not supposed to raid people's dinners and make a nuisance of herself. If you're flying round here, though, could you keep an eye out for felines, please? A reliable sighting would be useful, and carry a lot more weight than firelizard - panic."

N'yulo laughs. "Let 'er have at — contrary to what Jia thinks, I am hardly starving." He rises, leaving the plate to the voracious little lizard's tender mercies, and wanders toward the exit. "Seems like the best plan, I think." With a wave, the greenrider is gone.

R'zel grins. "Thanks." When the greenrider has gone, he finishes his own meal before slicing the left-over meat and giving it to the waiting Zhiva. Patience is a virtue!

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