Ksenia, Xieli


Xieli goes to give the Roma a routine health inspection. It… doesn't go as planned.


It is the fortieth day of Summer and 99 degrees. It is sunny and bright. White fluffy clouds drift lazily across the china blue sky.


River Clearing, Southern Weyr

OOC Date


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River Clearing

Just north of the river delta, the jungle's grip loosens enough to expose the sand-enriched soil and lichen-kissed rocks as the river battles through the rapids before dumping into the gentler delta. Cacophony of sound is made through the roar of the rapids, the spray of white water as it rains upon the nearby shores, and the shrieking of birds and wild firelizards that call from the nearby jungles. Treacherous to cross, most would follow the bank to either the river's delta or the calmer river bank, but a few courageous souls find the lure of the rapids too tempting to not cross as the far bank holds the promise of accomplishment.

Candlemarks have passed, enough time that what was bright and sunny hovers on the edge of late afternoon. The Roma's circle of wagons has the milling look of people going about their business, but there's an edge of tension written in the moves that they make. In the way that sly glances are cast towards the wagons at the back of the cheerful facade. In one in particular — painted in shades of reds and oranges and yellows; shades of fire and tangerine — there's a man that stands in front of the only doorway, blocking entrance with a hard, shuttered and unapproachable look.

Down the path from the weyr, here comes a little cadre of Healers for the every-so-often mandatory health check of all the caravans. Southern is PROGRESSIVE. Mandatory health care for ALL. They probably adopted this policy due to the transfer of the most abrasive healer Pern has ever seen: said woman is leading the charge, a handful of apprentices following docilely behind her. They disperse throughout the camp, checking here and there, mostly focusing on reported ailments and how the babies are growing. And then… then there is Xieli coming up to that particular fire-painted wagon. "Hello sirrah, have you any ailments to report or aid needed?" she questions, her alto rich and carrying.

The guard, who was utterly bored but doing his job well, turns to stare at the sudden appearance of a healer. The cadre of healers will find the usual aches and pains, but the Roma are a tribe that move the with the flow of life, not finding change something particularly difficult so long as customs are adhered too. "Nothing in particular in here. Carry on." But something knocks about in the wagon, a face appearing at the barred, tiny window. "Hey!" A female's voice drifts out, along with the appearance of a slender forearm, waving what might be a scrap of hide. "Are you — are you from the weyr?" The voice comes strained as if she's perched upon something to give her access to this tiniest of windows. "Please can you deliver— " Her request is abruptly shut off when the guard slams his fist into the door and growls, "Shut up!" The woman disappears as disdain falls upon the healer, black eyes empty. "Be gone."

Xieli had already vexed eyebrows together at the guard's brusque dismissal — nothing suspicious about THAT, really — but her expression clears to an incredible level of surprise at the woman's face appearing in the window. Xieli draws herself up to her middling height; her gaze would shoot frostfire bolts if such a thing was possible. "By the responsibilities given to me by the Healercraft, get out of my way." Her chin's lifted. By now an apprentice has scraggled back, an alarmed look on his face for That Tone.

The guard looks surprised, shooting a glance towards the knot of folks getting their ears, noses, and throats checked. "What? In there? You aren't going in there, girlie. That wagon is off limits." It is quiet in there now, although the sounds of someone scrambling around can be heard as a chair is dragged. It's a big enough wagon to have more than a teeny bit of space to move around. Again a hand appears, waving something. A hissed, "Just a — " The guard, irritated, bangs on the wagon's door. "Don't make me go get your father!" To Xieli. "This one's healthy." Promise. Who'd never not believe a trustworthy guy like him, right?

"Oh, really." Xieli smiles, but it's not an expression like a smile. It's kind of a baring of the teeth, really, a cute little oh-did-you-really-just-say-tht. "Listen, shit-for-brains, you may want to go get your boss, because this is out of your paygrade. If you do not open up this wagon this instant or find me someone who is authorized to, I will return to the weyr and bring a flight of dragons down on your heads." She clears her throat, cocks her head, looks at him expectantly.

"Listen…" The guard eyes the people and the healer. "She isn't coming out." Because that won't happen. Not until things are settled, "But I'll let you in." He makes the sign of the evil eye for the mere thought of dragon riders coming upon their camp. That is no bueno. With a glance cast to the side, he jerks a key out and plunges it into the lock and opens it with a savage yank. "You tend her — she ain't hurt — and then you get the fuck out." That door? Will be slammed and locked the moment Xieli is in that wagon.

Unruffled, Xieli inclines her chin. "Very well." A faint edging of a toothy smile yet again, as if she has completely considered the possibility that she may get falsely imprisoned from all of this and doesn't give a FLIP; she may mutter something about where exactly the guard could jam all of his outmoded trader superstitions before she ascends into the wagon, fearless with her kit. She blinks into the dimness of the wagon once she enters, trying to reaccustom her eyes.

It's a pretty wagon, strewn about with the knick-knacks of a person's life. Pretty cloths in royal purples and tangerines and lavenders and orange; the sign of a woman with a flare for the bright colors. A round table is set up in the front, from whence to tell fortunes from and gather the marks left behind as favors. However, none of that is set up, and instead, Xieli finds a woman wearing bright colors of purple to magenta, a gradient died to the cloth of her dress that has criss-cross of straps woven 'round her body. It looks to be almost one piece, just artfully wrapped. Long, reddened espresso hair hangs around her face as she wrings her hands together. "You're a healer? You live in the weyr?" Ksenia's natural reservations with the Healercraft have clearly been shoved aside for now.

"Yes," Xieli obviously wasn't expecting this well-groomed woman, and her eyebrows raise in suspicion. "Have you committed a crime, then?" Right to the point, Xieli. She gestures at the nearest chair. "Sit. I am Xieli of the Healercraft, posted to Southern Weyr." And now she'll be rummaging around her bag for her listening tube, one task accomplished and leading naturally to the next.

"No, no, no, I'm not sick," Ksenia hastens to address the healer's instruments of torture first, skittering back a step when the healer digs into her bag of things. "No, I didn't, unless you count running away from home and your betrothal and impending marriage as a crime? I suppose, then yeah, I did. But I didn't expect him to lock me in here." An exasperated sound spills out from her lips as the trader eyes the healer, warily. Not unlike a cat eyes the promise of a bath. "I just — can you deliver a message for me?"

"Not until I've ascertained you are healthy," Xieli returns, a touch of asperity to her voice. Why do people make it SO HARD to CARE FOR THEM? Faranth. She advances on the trader prisoner. "Take deep breaths," she unceremoniously advises before placing her listening tube on the woman's chest. "Don't talk. Just breathe." Important messages to the weyr are just going to have to wait. SORRY KSENIA.

AUGH. Healers! Always wanting to check on your vitals. Ksenia would have long since bolted if she could have gone anywhere. As it is, Xieli will have to back her into a corner to get her to stand still for that listening tube. She tries to just breath, but the thing looks like something out of a nightmare (not really) and so she squeezes her eyes shut and suffers through it. "I am healthy," she mutters, voice strained.

It's okay, it is not the first time Xieli has employed psychological warfare and situational context to get someone to submit to an exam. She *is* a mindhealer, after all… just a very strange one. In her own way. "Your heartbeat is crazy. Calm down." Xieli does all the normal things, checks her pulse, shines her little pocket glow into the woman's ears and mouth and nose and eyes. It's like TORTURE but slower, and eventually the woman's backing up to consider the trader. "So. You are seeking asylum with the weyr from," she gestures vaguely around her. "Is that it?"

Ksenia suffers the healer's brutality. Shhh, she's over-dramatizing it in her mind, the big baby. How she SUFFERS so, before it's finally done and she cracks her eyes open to peer at Xieli with wary, tawny brown eyes. "I told you," she hastens to point out, "that I am healthy." Because that is what's important here, k? "Um… asylum?" Never quite put that way before. Then: "Oh! No! Um, no. I just want to get a message to someone. This," her surroundings are gestured to, "is something I have to figure out." That's right. She's got to be a BIG GIRL and it sucks. "Would you deliver a message?" Beat. "To someone?"

"Are you meaning to tell me that you are willingly standing imprisonment because you didn't want to get married?" Forget all the other stuff, Xieli stares at Ksenia as if she's quite sure the trader has lost her everloving mind.

"NO. I mean. No." Ksenia lets her butt fall onto the cushions of her bed. She buries her face in her hands and plants her elbows on her knees. "I don't want to be here, imprisoned. But I did a wrong to my family and I need to get that sorted. And my father — I — " She sneaks a peek at Xieli and struggles to find a way out of this mess she's, in part, created. "There's someone I think who could help." And so she nibbles her lip, "I guess… in that way, I am seeking asylum from the weyr." Hey, Xieli. Using big healer words, they take a while to comprehend.

Yes, that IS exasperation on Xieli's face. "Well, which way is it? Asylum or not? Who at the weyr is it that you expect to help you?" Her dark eyebrows raise in query. "If you wish to leave this place, we will leave. The Charter does not," she darkly adds, "Give Traders any jurisdiction to imprison people!" Maybe her voice rises. A LOT. On that last part. What? She is a healer first and foremost, and her heart can bleed with the best of them.

"If I left, I could never come back and I don't want to abandon my family." Ksenia trembles like a proverbial fish on a hook when Xieli seems to dangle freedom in front of her. "I don't know if you could get my father to let me out. But if you think you could get me out…" Pulling her hands away from her face, she jumps up and fishes out that little scrap of hide and waves it. "To brownrider Cha'el. He'll help me." Pulling her arm back, she eyes the healer. "My father…" Hey, maybe Xieli can work her magic and get them both free. Wouldn't that be a Faranth-sent blessing.

"Brownrider?" Xieli's eyebrows lift up. "You mean the weyrleader?" Hold the phone on all the rest of it for the moment, because this is particularly important. She does wave off the rest of it, though. "I came here under the aegis of the Healercraft. If they want to treat ill with a sanctioned Healer in the line of her duty, well, they can treat well with Southern's guards. I have firelizards and I am not afraid to use them." It's a good thing Xieli wasn't born to Holder stock: she'd be the next Fax, truly.

"Erm," Ksenia pauses and shrugs, "Yes? I suppose that is his job now?" She's wholly nonchalant about, not giving too many whits for the fancy rider's rank. It's just another knot to shred, right? "But he, ah, would come and help." She watches the healer for a moment and then frowns. "I don't want my family under attack. Most of the people here have done no wrong! It's just my father and his lack of …" Still, escape is possibly the better part of valor which would leave a chance for reconciliation later. "If I don't get out of here, it'll be worse for them. So yes, yes, please. Help me escape."

Xieli stares at Ksenia for a long moment, considering the woman's words, her eyes going unfocused as she thinks. A hand lifts to absently scratch at her ear. She's thinking, okay? She's thinking. "Fine. We'll try this and if doesn't work, we do it my way." What? The healer is turning with a flairing of her tunic to pound on the door abruptly. "GUARD. GUARD." She braces a hand against the doorpost.

Ksenia waits. TOO MUCH THINKING. Xieli is slow. Then she's uttering her words and pounding on the door. The guard does yank it open, staring at the healer. "You done? Good, get on out now," he growls opening the door wide enough to let the woman slip past him. Ksenia watches the healer. And the guard. And the healer.

One thing Xieli is completely ballsy. With an imperious, cold tone she announces, "This woman requires immediate medical attention with tools I do not have here. She is coming with me to the weyr." What's that? Xieli's other hand, reaching out to snake a deathgrip on Ksenia's wrist as she goes to PULL the both of them out in a surprisingly quick little move, aiming to dodge that guard by pure mettle and surprise. Hey. What he can't see coming…

If he was a trained guard, battle ready and experienced, that move wouldn't have worked. But the Roma are a loosely held group of folk that value family and fun over experienced guards. The dark eyes of the man widen as the healer charges out with her charge, a little squeak coming from Ksenia as the late afternoon, nearing evening, sunlight touches her face. "Hey…" Maybe he's a simpleton. "… Uh. I don't think you can do that…" But Xieli and Ksenia are free, for the moment. The guard? Will be gathering his wits in zero point two seconds.

"I'llbringherbackwhenshe'sbetterthanks." Xieli in a rush, hissing something to Ksenia that sounds supsiciously like, uh, RUN. Because that's what the healer's planning on, high-tailing it for the runners that the healers came in on. This shit just got real. And the apprentices that came with her are just figuring out something's going on, the gawky dude stepping forwards towards the guard with a, "Wait, what's going on here?" since obivously the GUARD knows what's going on, and why Xieli is planning on hijacking his HORSE. Whups. Too bad, gawky kid. Shoulda chosen the Harpercraft.

"What the… you can't do that!" Ksenia doesn't have to be told twice; she starts running after Xieli, pushing towards the runners with all the fear in the world choking her throat and pushing blood through her body. The guard gets it right at that moment, as he starts yelling. "KSENIA GET BACK HERE!! YOUR FATHER IS GOING TO KILL YOU!!" But he's a little too little and a little too late. That poor gawky kid, well, he might be spared a sympathetic look as the Roma suddenly start stirring to life. "Gottagogottagogottago…" The runners? Ksenia will throw herself across the animal's back, even if means running off into the river lands. Or she'll follow Xieli's lead on this, since the healer OBVIOUSLY has world domination genes.

What's bad is that Xieli is LAUGHING when she flings herself on her weyr-borrowed mount, a spirited little paint gelding that half-rears and requires some severe checking before the healer is riding hell-for-leather towards the weyr, an anxious look cast over her shoulder as she checks her mount only to ascertain that Ksenia is making this getaway with her. LOOK. ESCAPE! Fortune favors the bold.

ESCAPE! Ksenia is clinging just as hard to her mount as the pair of them make their way back to the weyr. Surely, once in the safety of not being chased, they will have a moment of downtime to figure out the best course of action, but at the very least the trader woman is free from the confines and imprisonment of that wagon.

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