The Weyrleader's (Somewhat Fishy) Brains

Fort Weyr - Living Caverns
This cavern, having been created by bubbles in the volcanic flow of this extinct volcano, has a breathtaking ceiling — a vast dome that arches high above the heads of the weyrfolk that scurry around beneath it. A hollow echo can be heard from loud enough noises, and the chatterings of various firelizards are consequently multiplied into a chaotic babble. All in all, the living cavern is a loud place.

Tables are scattered around the room, apparently in no particular order. Over to one side near the kitchens, two medium sized serving tables are constantly spread with snacks, klah, and other goodies. The tables look worn, yet perfectly fitted to the atmosphere of the caverns. In the 'corners' of the cavern, smaller two and four place tables are set up for more private talks or just a less chaotic atmosphere in which to eat.


Brebain is new, here, which might be kind of obvious to anyone looking at just how brand-spanking-new his fancy I Am A Master Weaver And I Live Here knot is, riding high on his shoulder. It's also probably pretty obvious to anyone who's looking at just how baffled his expression is, as he stands in the Living Caverns, staring at the menu board. "Weyrleader's Brains?" he asks the air. "What, in the name of mordant, is that supposed to be? Someone please tell me that isn't actually a weyrleader's brains in the special."

"It's not," comes from nearby; the person who speaks up is Inri, who is not wearing any knot at all. She has on her riding-leather pants (black) and a frilly blue blouse, with her hair up in cornrows and a sparkly knit headband keeping wayward half-bangs from her eyes. She's holding a glass of something frothy and sweet-smelling, and smiling a little. "It's actually a stew. You've never seen these dumb signs before. Creative kitchen staff."

"I imagine," Brebain gets his reply from behind him, the speaker finally made clear as Thys steps forward to draw level and thereby coming into the Weaver's line of sight, coming in beside Inri, "that Th'ero's brains would be somewhat bitter, for some reason." She smiles crookedly, looking side-on at the unfamiliar face beside her. "Do you think they're being creative to make up for the lack of fish? Though they could've picked something else, surely…" She purses her lips and frowns, then shrugs. "I think I'll be having salad."

"I suppose that it's a decent way of covering up whatever they've put in it that isn't fish," Brebain allows — warily — and bows his head in a respectful greeting to the one goldrider who's actually, you know, wearing her knot. "It doesn't rule out other brains being involved, I'm afraid. Do you happen to know what's actually in it?" he asks the … completely unidentifiable woman who claims familiarity with the stew.

"It's good," is also helpful but entirely not descriptive, coming from the tall-ish young man with a newly healed line of scar up near his hairline and an otherwise cheerful mien. He's in uniform, but not on-duty; that is, his uniform is a little bit askew and while his knot proclaims him a guard sergeant, Alister looks a little bit baby-faced for it. (Fresh-shaved: it's terrible). "Most importantly, not fish. Also not brains, I think, those are chewy — meat chunks and root veg and stuff. Tasty." He's probably going to be eating it.

Inri shakes her head, laughing a little bit. She has soup. She's sticking to it, and gives Thys' choice a nod, too. "Afraid I have no idea, but brains are chewy, so I'm guessing it's not brains — Alister knows what he's talking about. All I know is that it isn't dangerous." Either she checks for those things, or — okay, it's Inri, she probably has spies in the kitchen. She has spies everywhere. That was once her full-time occupation. (Masuqeraded as bartender.) "Here," she adds as an aside to her fellow goldrider, the identifiable one, and passes her the glass, "Try this." It's VERY orange, and somewhat alcoholic.

"I think I must have missed every time they had this on the menu before." Thys frowns, crossing her arms over her chest. Braaaaains. Eurgh. She drums her fingers against her upper arm, then loosens her self-hug to slip her hands into her pockets. "Though I'm glad it's tasty?" Alister gets a dubious look. Thys doesn't believe him. She takes the glass Inri offers, sniffs it, then wrinkles her nose. "Oh, Faranth, that's far too strong! I'm headed off to the Glasscraft after something to eat." In other words, no booze before betweening! "You know, gentlemen, I don't think I've had the pleasure before now." Because she knows neither Brebain or Alister!

"If you simmer them long enough, they pretty much just dissolve," Brebain mutters, about cooked brains, and then bows more politely to Thys. (Again.) "Master Weaver Brebain, at your service, ma'am. Now posted to the Weyr, and specializing in design, so please do come by the next time you're looking for a new garment. I promise," he adds with a smile, "to leave brains out of the materials used." Maybe not out of the techniques, though.

"Definitely tasty," Alister assures the goldrider he doesn't know save by reputation, and because it's hard not to know which one's which at least in passing. "Sergeant Alister, ma'am. Sir," because Brebain is new to him, too. He makes a little gimme-gimme gesture toward Thys, to request the further transfer of Inri's drink. Even if she does want it back. "It's a special. I don't know what makes it special," not special, numbnuts, a special, "but that's what the cooks've all said."

Being a Weaver and her being a total clothes horse, and the Hall being so familiar with her, Brebain is probably going to be familiar with Inri's name at least in passing. She's also been a Fort goldrider for ten turns now, so her name is familiar for that reason as well, but … not everyone pays attention to the juniors' names. The Weaver Hall knows Inri well, though, and so when she says, "And I'm Inri," with no rank supplied, he may well yet know it at this point. Alister's interest in the drink gets a tiny grin. "We grew up together, sort of," she tells Thys about the sergeant. "I grew up with his brother, really. He grew up behind me."

Thys extends a hand to Brebain and Alister in turn, offering a solid handshake if they accept it. "It's a pleasure to meet you both. I'm Thys, gold Rhenesath's." Then Inri is given a handshake, and she winks at her peer. "Pleasure to meet you too!" Then, back to Brebain; "Thank you, Master - Brebain. 'Master' alone sounds a little… well, you know. I'll bear you in mind when I've a need. And you…" Now she's looking at Alister. "Given my ability to attract trouble, I'm surprised we've not yet met. And here we all are, bonding over the prospect of Weyrleader-brain stew." She smirks, slipping her hands back into her pockets. "What is that that you're trying to get me to drink, Inri? I would, only… Ralik." Her shoulders bob in a shrug, and her cheeks flush as she drops her gaze in embarrassment.

Brebain is, first, struck with the light of, erm, enlightenment, about Inri — and then spends a solid twenty seconds trying to figure out if he's somehow been offensive in failing to greet her properly, as either a valued client (including some of his own work! not just at the Hall!) or as, well, a goldrider. Crap. Maybe not? She certainly doesn't seem offended… Hrm. He also has a hand to shake, which is keeping him from being too introspective. "I know," he agrees wryly, and then glances back to Inri, pursing his lips briefly, and — "Sapphire-blue wrap dress in satin with an asymmetric skirt, about eighteen months ago, yes? Did the extra fabric we sent get made into shoes like you'd wanted?"

Alister accepts and returns the handshake with one of his own, as well as a self-effacing grin. "Took a spill on the ice that had me off active duty for a while," he says, rather than admitting that other than Inri, because she's Inri, he tries to avoid the notice of the assembled goldriders as much as possible. He also takes possession of the drink, poor sad unloved drink, and sips. "Still better than fish," he declares it, then opens his mouth to say something to Inri and — closes it. Grins around the closing of it. He's good, no, really. "Your memory's pretty impressive," is side-directed toward Brebain, but since most of what he wears is uniforms, well. His attention's mostly on the goldriders.

Inri is answering Thys, "I completely understand, of course, that comes first, no worries, it's not that alcoholic but you're wise, I'll have you try it another time. It hasn't got a proper title yet and I'm interested in what people think, always, though 'too strong' is acceptable —" when Brebain talks again, and her eyes widen a little. Congratulations, you have impressed Inri. "Yes, that's me, and they only just got recently finished. But the set's fantastic, I'm sure you'll get to see it again soon. Actually on me. Maybe at a Hatching dinner or something." Provided any of the hatchings will cooperate with being timed for dinner. "Oh, and Alister, there's creams that'll reduce that if you don't want so much of a mark. If you want it to look cool, though. It does."

Thys also seems Impressed by Brebain's memory. "I remember clients by what I've sold them, too." She grins - then her smile falters a touch. "I sell jewellery. I'm a Smith." Just to clarify, in case they thought she was selling something… else. "I'm so sorry to hear that you were injured, Alister. I hope you're on the mend now? I'm quite fond of a lot of your compatriots, you know. I seem to need them every time I try to throw a party." She gives a nonchalant shrug of her shoulders, brushing away her bad-luck reputation. "Inri, we'll have to come up with an excuse to get you to wear that dress and shoes before the next Hatching feast. Unless you're talking of going to one elsewhere? Ista's should be hatching soon, I believe."

Brebain looks utterly delighted at Thys' not-slip, actually. "Jewelry? Oh, wonderful — I don't suppose you have anything with sapphires we can put on her along with the dress? The neckline is low enough it really does need a necklace." Oops, wait. "Unless you already have something, of course," is added quickly to Inri, and Brebain's attention finally turns toward the fourth member of the party: "Thanks," and also "What's wrong with fish?"

"I've been told it looks rakish," and while someone may have been putting him on, Inri's endorsement of Alister's Cool Facial Scar earns her a grin that makes him look anything but. If he had ears to perk and a tail to wag, they probably would be. He looks intrigued by Thys's mention of her profession, because he may not have much personal use for it, but he does have a mother. And. Know people. Who like jewelery. "I'm sling-free and on more than just escort duty again, ma'am, so I think that's considered pretty-much mended. Although," back to Inri, "that doesn't mean that I'm not available for escort duty." Brebain's question gets a (stank) face, and a succinct, "I hate fish," of explanation.

Like someone's sister, or a lot of people's sisters; Inri is definitely not laughing at Alister, though. Instead she's answering, "I do have something, actually, and Thys did make it, so that's just about perfect. I was thinking of our own hatching feasts, I've got a different dress to debut at Ista's if you want to go. You, too," she informs Alister with a wink, "mister escort." He knows she has a boyfriend, right? Does he care?

"What Inri said," Thys chimes in after her fellow junior, replying to Brebain. "Nowadays I only keep limited stock on hand to work with, but if you ever do want anything, I'd be more than happy to source what you need. It just takes me longer to make things nowadays, what with all the other duties I have." She gives a little roll of her eyes, then flicks her short hair out of her face where it falls to cover her gaze. "I'm glad to hear you're better, Alister, and I absolutely agree with you; fish is awful." Pulling a face to show her disgust of aquatically-sourced foods, she also sticks out her tongue. It's back in when she answers Inri. "Aren't we months away from our next hatching feast though? Possibly even a turn or so?" That's too long to wait for a dress's debut! "I'll be going to Ista if it happens at a decent time for us here. If it's the middle of the night, I've got better things to do."

Like so many someone's sisters, probably. If Pern had business cards, Alister would totally be asking Thys for one right about now. Instead, she gets that dumb-puppy grin and a, "I am so keeping you in mind the next time there's a turnday I'm in trouble for," which is high praise. Really, it is! His grin for Inri is a lot broader, and his, "You know I'm always up for it," just a little bit cheeky. He totally knows she has a boyfriend; he just doesn't care. (Besides, his dress uniform looks totally bangin' beside someone in a fancy dress.)

It does. Alister and Inri manage to match well, and that's something that at least she's pretty sure her boyfriend appreciates. "You should keep her in mind even if you aren't, maybe get something for Lady Breakwater or one of her daughters," there is absolutely no hint here about Alister's age and the singleness of Lady Melyssra's daughters, of course, not at all. "Master Brebain can help you with a gift for your mother and sisters, as well. You'll be the talk of the town."

Thys winks at Alister. "Oh, for sure, I've got a decent stock of things that'll placate the ladies in your life." Wink wink. "Actually, it's been a long while since I had a jewellery display set up; perhaps we could talk about that sometime, Alister? Given past experiences, I would appreciate a guard presence… just in case." Trouble-magnet's events always go wrong somehow! "Perhaps Ralik would even do a joint exhibition with me… Have you seen him with his hair all cut, Inri? I can't decide if I like it better short, or long."

Alister totally gives Inri a little bit of that fish-related stankface when she mentions those daughters, because Alister is aware of both his age and the relationship status of each and every one of them. (His mother writes.) "It's easy to be the talk of the town when you're doing anything that isn't related to fish," although to be fair, Lady Breakwater is probably significantly more fond of it than he. "Do you have any fish-related designs?" he stage-whisper-asks Thys, managing to look both passingly interested and a little bit pained that he's actually asking that. "I'd love to speak with you further in a professional capacity, though. I'll even dress sharp for the occasion." (Button his uniform shirt, probably.)

Inri and Alister's mother probably write letters, even; a lot of the women of Breakwater keep in touch with Inri now, considering her providence as weyrwoman. It's convenient for them and their trade arrangements, you know. "Mm," she tells Thys, thoughtful, pressing her lips together, "I think the length is probably nicer, not because it looks better, because they both look very good, but because there's — you know. Something to tug on." So helpful, Inri. At least her heart's in the right place. "And now I am imagining a sparkling crystal fish brooch."

"At least," Brebain manages sympathetic instead of laughing at Alister, "if you're wearing a fish-shaped bit of jewelry, or looking at it, nobody's eating it, right?" He's maybe been distracted by actually trying to get food. (Despite taking a pass on the Weyrleader's Brains.) At least he isn't adding to the innuendo. "I'll be getting cards, soon, and a space done up as a workshop, as soon as I find out where it's supposed to be — the family's having some trouble with your Steward, apparently, so I think a delay of some sort may have been manufactured, unless it's actually genuine — and it's been a pleasure to meet you all, but I think I'm going to try to actually eat this, now." Whatever it is.

"I agree," Thys replies so-quietly to Inri about hair to tug on, with a whole lot of blushing. That colour's still strong on her cheeks as she talks fish jewellery. "I don't think I have anything specifically fish-themed right now, but…" Inri's inspired her with the mention of a crystal fish. "Have you ever seen those little bright-coloured fish people keep in bowls? Using those colours in gems would be spectacular… I may have to go sketch this later. Ralik may even be able to make something in glass." Brebain is given a warm smile, and she bows her head in an echo of the way he greeted her - twice! - earlier. "It's been a pleasure, Master Weaver. Welcome to Fort Weyr. I hope we prove a lucrative market for you… though I'm sure Inri alone can line your pockets with marks." She winks at the other goldrider.

"Colorful fish," Alister says like this is a wonder; he seems pleased by it, though. (So too will be the ladies of backwater Breakwater, to be sure). "That's more flattering than when everything smells like the— yes, good." That is delight on his face, although Brebain's departure — and the reason for it — reminds him of why he's here. "I'll let you get to that, and come find you again. To talk business." After she's done her //business/ with Ralik, don't worry. As for Inri: familiarity and friendliness collide in the way he extends her the crook of his elbow, and his, "Come on, let's eat before it's all gone," is explanation enough as he takes his leave of one goldrider to escort the other away.


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