Ainslee, Divale


Ainslee has a little stand off with a Guard canine and Divale further disrupts the seamstress' life… by offering a new (white) knot!


It is evening of the sixteenth day of the fourth month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Central Bazaar, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 22 Feb 2018 05:00




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.

With night setting in, the central bazaar is… less busy than it might be at high noon, though certainly not quiet. Ainslee is walking from the direction of the baths, a basket balanced on one hip, and she's not paying quite as much attention as she could be, poking through the contents of the basket as she walks. It appears to be full of towels or linens.

The Bazaar being as it is during daylight hours is certainly no better when the sun sets and the shadows grow long. Mercifully, Ainslee is spared the fate of being tagged or followed, but her lack of attention will no doubt lead her to a scene that would have otherwise been avoided. Whether a thief or common pit pocket, someone’s run afoul of the ‘law’ up ahead and is not going down quietly. The Guards have him pinned, however. It’s the Guard canine, some hulking brute of a breed, that she needs to be cautious off; it’s picked up her proximity and has turned to stare at her in a very tense, alert and Not Good manner.

It's the scuffling and struggling that catches Ainslee's attention, though not until she's close enough that it's distinct from the rest of the market's commotion. She slows, resettling the basket a little further back on her hip, and keeps an eye on the Guards and their target as she shifts her path - that's when she notices the canine. She stops, a little abrupt, with an awkward backward shuffle-step to keep her balance, and now the basket's shifting again to her front, as if it will provide an adequate shield, should the need arise.

That basket, however, is what has the canine’s hackles bristling. No barking, no snarling. Just a very unsettling tense body language and lowered head, stiff movements as it takes a few slooooow steps forwards. Just when it comes to the final line, a low, dry voice speaks in sharp command. Not one of the (still preoccupied) Guards, but a different one from behind Ainslee. The canine desists and goes ‘at ease’ into a sit, though it continues to watch the woman with focused interest. “Well done, not screaming or running! Lots of folks make that error and then wonder why the canine chases.” Divale muses.

"I'm not about to outrun a Guard's canine in these," Ainslee doesn't turn around to reply, still keeping her eyes on the animal, but she gestures to her feet, clad in worn slip-ons. She seems careful not to meet the canine's eyes, even as she still doesn't turn. "Are you his handler? I didn't mean to get him…" she seems to grope for a word, "unsettled."

She may not be able to see, but there’s the quiet sound of shifting riding leathers as Divale tilts her head to get a better look at Ainslee’s foot wear. “True,” she agrees, bemused. “You’d be better off bare foot.” Sage advice? Or is the brownrider teasing her? A low chuckle, “No. I do work indirectly with the ones who are, however.” She’ll step around the woman now, giving her a sidelong look and a crooked smirk. The Guards have got their man now, and one breaks away to approach the canine. “Sorry, ma’am. Miss.” He respectfully nods to both, before whistling to the animal, who instantly obeys and falls into position at the Guard’s side. “A little more caution, next time, Rehan?” Her tone is chiding and dismissive both — and she can get away with it too. With that out of the way, she turns to face Ainslee again. “I’m Divale,” she offers in greeting, though no hand is offered. “Parhelion’s Wingsecond, rider of brown Lukoith.” A brow quirks, while her mouth draws up in a ghostly half-smirk. And she is…?

"How silly of me to wear shoes today," Ainslee's remark is dry but good-humored, said not quite under her voice. She tracks Divale with her eyes, still not moving until the canine is called away - then her shoulders lose some tension, and she shifts her stance to something more relaxed. "Ainslee," she returns the introduction, not offering a hand either, though her grip on her basket shifts, as if her instict would be to. "Were," she hesitates, glancing from the rider to the departing guards, "you in the Guards? Before?" Her tone is a little hesitent, and she's giving the brownrider a solid once-over from a slightly lowered gaze.

Divale scoffs for the dry remark in turn from Ainslee, but there’s a hint of approval in the younger woman’s tone. It even earns her another cursory look over. Hmm… “Well met, Ainslee.” No apology for the encounter with the canine, as the brownrider merely goes along with the turn of conversation. “Shards, no. I lived under a rock!” Old joke, still a favorite and delivered completely deadpan! Divale will let that brew for a beat or two before adding, around a wry smirk to break the neutral look. “I’m from Kurkar Hold,” A half-lie that but a lie she’s carried so long it’s truth. “Formerly the Underground. Anything but a Guard. Was a healer aid…” Her shoulders lift in a mild shrug and doesn’t even bat an eye that none of that will likely make much sense. “And yourself? Igenite born and raised or…?”

Ainslee's eyebrows lift a little for the varied history, but makes no comment other than, "Sounds uncomfortable," for living under rocks. At that last question, she hitches one shoulder, then nods, "Yes. It's not very exciting, is it? But someone has to be. I'm a seamstress." She tilts the basket a smidge, showing, yep, towels, and what look like crumpled robes. "So then," she glances past Divale again, as if checking to see if she can still spot the Guards, "how do you work with them?" She sounds curious, but also drops her tone a little, as if discussing something very slightly indiscreet. Like body odor.

“I’d not recommend it,” Divale’s quips in her typical dry tone, only to look thoughtful for Ainslee’s answer. “That would depend? Being Igenite does not instantly make you boring.” So there’s a chance still! There’s another smirk, as basket and position are revealed. “Guess I should’ve known better?” Cue some sarcasm, before she’s regarding the woman curiously again. Oh, she’ll play along too, by pitching her voice to a more subdued level. Such secrets, they’re discussing! “Parhelion riders will often go on patrol with a Guard or Guards. The Bazaar and Weyr are large areas to cover. We also train with them. Often train in the Pit, most days.” Why does that sound like an invitation? Divale may not outwardly grin, but her eyes carry that mischievous edge. “Thinking on becoming a Guard?”

Ainslee smirks - but it's very small. "No, of course not. Not instantly." Give it time, though? She listens to Divali's answer with apparent interest but - oh! That last question! Ainslee draws up, pulling her basket closer, looking generally like a turtle pulling inward to its shell. A slightly prissy turtle. "No, of course not! I was just - curious. I mean," she gets a little hasty, as if that curiosity itself wasn't meant to be admitted to, "I wasn't aware. Of riders training with those who aren't, often." And then, just in case Divali missed it earlier, "I'm a seamstress."

Divale quirks a brow and seems to bite back a vague smile, as her jaw subtly works to keep her neutral facade in place. Ainslee wouldn’t know, but she’s played beautifully into the usual traps the brownrider enjoys setting. “Relax,” she remarks, bemused and shadow-like. “No crime in admitting curiosity or showing intrigue.” She almost said ‘intelligence’ but catches herself in time. “You’d be surprised of what riders do when we’re not otherwise absorbed in our primary duties…” Oh, the amount of possibilities to THAT statement! “Yes, so you are.” she agrees and, in subtle movements again, draws a white knot skillfully from a pocket. “But how does ‘Candidate’ sound, hmm? Shall we stir the pot, a little?”

"I'm not," Ainslee denies, somewhat automatically. "I was just wondering - making conversation!" She interrupts herself to pounce on the excuse. "I was just making conver - pardon?" She's tripping over her words again, and she keeps that knot in a solid side-eye, like it may bite if left unwatched. (But it can't /know/ it's being watched.) "But, I mean…" And third time's the charm: "I'm a seamstress." One hand pats her basket. See?

Aww, she’s playing hard to get! Divale’s kind of woman… and Ainslee will learn that the brownrider is not so easily put off. “Of course,” Brushing off the conversation bit and cutting right back to the chase, she will brashly step forwards and set that white knot in the woman’s basket with a little mock-fond pat. There! “And you can be a seamstress and be a Candidate. You’d be surprised how many chores are of a… similar nature.” Compromise? Her smile, while vague, never quite reaches her eyes; the humour lurking there is something else entirely.

Ainslee tracks that knot, keeping an eye on it as it sits in the basket, looking so innocent. "But, but," she's grappling, and finally looks at Divale - the other woman might notice there's genuine conflict in the steadfast seamstress's eyes. "That means standing. For dragons." She's quiet a long moment, "But… to say no…" She says this very softly, more or less to herself. Her lips thin, and her gaze goes a little pleading. Is there an option C? Please?

Divale nods her head, keeping her expression neutral though she has to shift her lower jaw a bit to keep from smirking again. “Yes, exactly. Zsaviranth and Wendryth’s clutch, to be specific. It’s considered an honour… even if some may frown over a woman Standing. No shame in it!” There’s a flick of her hand to the knot in the basket, before she holds up a lone finger. But! Maybe there is an Option C? “By no means are you forced to Stand. You can accept and… change your mind. It’s been done before.” Does that offer some comfort? Divale waits, patient as ever, for Ainslee to absorb that. “At the very least then, you can say you tried it.”

Ainslee doesn't look terribly comforted by Option C. "That seems… cheating, somehow." Even as she chews everything over, her free hand is creeping toward the knot, until it's in her palm. She studies it. "Many see shame in it," she points out, voice mild, gaze still turned away from the brownrider. "No offence meant, of course. But. It is what it is." She looks back at Divale, gaze even, as if expecting a reaction. "I'll," her fingers curl over the white cord, "do it. It's a duty, I suppose." And doesn't she sound so excited? Almost as if Divale were suggesting she also take a jog over hot coals.

“Mhm, more or less…” Divale will even tip her hand a bit from side to side before letting it fall back. She nods her head, not entirely disagreeing with Ainslee’s remark. “None taken, because it’s the truth. However it’s generally down to your opinion, as it will be you Standing and not those folks.” Close minded ones — but again, she minds her tongue! No reaction from her, save for a shadowed look and unreadable expression. Acceptance at last! That brings about a ghost of a smile, as well as the sound of her hands clasping together. “Wonderful!” Mildly sarcastic again, but she will gesture towards the heart of the Weyr. “Curfew is soon, so I’d advise that you settle anything that needs to be done and then report to the Headwoman. She’ll see that you’re settled properly in the barracks.”

"Right," Ainslee states, nodding. "Right." She's gone all steely determination, though her expression flickers with - something - at 'those folks.' "Anything I need to know?" She shifts the basket again, the knot now solidly in her other hand. She seems vaguely reluctant to depart from the brownrider's company and move to The Next Step. Or maybe she just really enjoys sarcasm. "Like, um, dress code?" Her lips twitch, as if even she recognizes the silliness of that question.

Divale blinks and for a moment looks a touch bewildered. What? Oh. “No dress code, save the obvious. You keep that knot on and come Hatching Day, you’ll have a robe to wear. One you’ll be mending yourself…” See? Perfect for a seamstress! She’ll probably have all the less-abled with thread and needle begging her too for ‘help’. “Headwoman Cremla or Assistant Headwoman Magdaline will brief you on the rest of the rules and what’s expected.” Wait, what? Rules? The Wingsecond glances skywards for a moment, before motioning with a tilt of her head. “I need to head back to the Weyr proper. We can discuss more along the way?”

The brownrider's last seem to bring Ainslee back to herself. "Oh! Of course." She moves as if to tuck the knot in her pocket but, having none, puts it back in her basket instead. "In fact - I'm sure you have things to do. I can go by the Headwoman's office myself. But, thank you." And at least she sounds genuine - if somehow wary at the same time! - about it. "I appreciate, you know," and good manners take her only so far as she concludes with a vague, wave-y gesture.

“You’re welcome,” Divale muses in that low, strange voice of hers but she will dip her head respectfully all the same. “I’ll leave you to it, then, Ainslee. Best of luck, for when the day comes!” No salute or farewell wave, she will simply turn on her heel and walk away, casting an alert glance about the Bazaar as she takes her leave. A busy night already and likely only just begun for her! And perhaps she can be a little secretly smug for snaring yet another one bound for the Sands and those hardening eggs.

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