Fort Weyr - Guard Area

Just off the main bustle of the Southwestern Bowl is a large field dedicated solely to the intense training regimen of the Fort Guard contingent. Your average Weyrfolk isn't allowed past the corded off entrance for safety reasons but for the Guards that train here, much awaits their perusal.
To the west, rows of targets are set up for archery practice. Long bow and crossbow alike are used here thoughthe crossbow is certainly more travel friendly.
What lies directly before is an open area of packed earth for the one on one contests of skill, and training for the Guard members. The sight of many bumps and bruises, the expanse of dirt is often dreaded depending on who your next match is against. Skirting the back of this area is a beaten track heading to the north, where another field has been set aside for the purposes of emergency response training, in cohoots with the guards.
And finally over to the East is the dummies for exacting some more.. deadly force upon with out endangering your fellows. There's also a table with the first aid kit and a few skins of water for when a break is necessary to keep running at optimun efficiency.


The trek back to the Weyr should be uneventful enough, provided a certain individual doesn't protest too much. Regardless, the pace set is brisk and straightforwards and little is said. By the time they pass through the tunnel leading to the southern bowl, a small group of guards are waiting, their expressions impassive and showing none of the curiosity they're likely feeling right now. Th'ero passes Zapallie to them to start, ignoring her as he gives a few clipped and terse orders to the guards now tasked with leading her to the cells. The Weyrleader doesn't follow though, veering away towards the training area, the Western' bluerider he had called to his side prior to leaving the tavern likely shadowing him. Once shown her cell, Zapallie faces only a few minutes in it before a guard is unlocking the door again and gruffly ordering her out and to follow. Now it's to another room, a barren, simple and rather cold and boring one made of nothing but stone, lit by glows and having no windows. Just a simple wooden table and a few chairs and that is all that there is to see. It's purpose is obvious and it's there that they lead her and she is ordered to sit down. Somewhere along the line, she'd have been questioned on being armed, likely asked to hand anything over. When all is said and done, there is a brief murmur of conversation outside and then Th'ero is stepping through the door with the guard Captain, Breshir, right behind him and a third as well. It'll make the room cramped, that's for certain and the Weyrleader seems to have regained some control over his temper, though his features are set in a heavy frown and his gaze fixates on Zapallie with a hardened look.

Kimmila is the third, and after she steps inside she tucks herself into a corner, out of the way and trying to give the men as much room as possible. Her expression is bland, but she regards Zapallie with muted interest just the same.

Zapallie doesn't protest! She's almost cheerful, humming (quite sweetly) and moving her arms and legs like it's a parade. She grins and salutes the guards, "Howdy, friends," she greets them. She continues to hum to herself straight into the cell and the whole time there and all the way to the other room. "Glows, huh? Couldn't afford the electricity to light the place, is it?" She clucks her tongue sorrowfully. "I didn't know Fort was in such sad shape." When asked if she's armed, she chortles and pulls a knife out of each sleeve, off each ankle, out of the small of her back, off her belt — the best is when she reaches straight down her pants and fishes out the one clipped to her thigh. She winks at the poor guard for that one. "Aren't you sorry you didn't search me yourself, eh buddy?" She seems equally lackadaisical when the riders show up. "Well, I know I'm a good looking girl and all, but this is a bit cozy for a first date. I'm not really that kind of girl…"

The guards say nothing to the barbs, though they may pass a few pointed looks between them as Zapallie rapidly loses much sympathy among the few charged in dealing with her. Instead they grimly take all the weaponry from her, only muttering about the amount a girl needs to carry once they're out of earshot. The guard that is winked at only smirks and unruffled, mutters a brisk, "You'll have to come to the offices to get these returned to you once the questioning is completed." And then he's gone and replaced by Kimmila, Th'ero and Breshir. With Kimmila off to the corner, the guard Captain goes to the other, eyeing Zapallie with a studious look and not masking his disapproval as well, though the older man says nothing. Th'ero stands across the table, setting it between him and Zapallie as he scowls at her, "And this is hardly a laughing matter," The Weyrleader states flatly, not rising to her prodding or sarcasm. It's all business now, grim as though it may be. "The reason you are here right now is serious and not to be taken lightly. So I'll ask once that you drop the games and answer us honestly. Do you understand?"

Zapallie folds her arms and smiles crookedly at Th'ero. If she was trying to win a popularity contest — oh wait, she's not. She could obviously care less what the guards think. "How do you know what sort of matter this is? You're hauling little girls into interrogation rooms because they dropped a name… one nobody has been very hush hush on, might I add. Half of Fort and Xanadu know you're looking for him." She raises herself up a little, standing straighter and lifting her chin a little. "This… was unneccessary. I'll sing like a birdie if I get what I want in return." She lifts an eyebrow. "Do you understand?"

Kimmila stands in the corner, arms crossed. She won't speak up until she's asked to, or until something happens that she feels like she needs to respond to.

"You're not in the position to bargain right now or demand anything of us." The voice that speaks up this time is not Th'ero's but the Captain's. Breshir has fixed Zapallie under his gaze again, lips drawn into a half-smirk as he regards her cooly. The Weyrleader has gone silent, dark eyes flashing as he no doubt bites back the remark he wants to fire off at the girl, darting a quick look to where Kimmila stands silently. Instead, after a moment of tense pause, he speaks in a low and tight voice. "No one has /flaunted/ his name though," he stresses, turning back to Zapallie, "Or bragged on knowing the man. /That/ is why you are here." Then he pauses, adding in a colder tone. "We are not negotiating. Either answer or you will spend time in those cells until you're cooperative." This time he doesn't wait for her agreement on understanding the severity of the situation. "How do you know Laris?"

Zapallie glances at her wrist like she's looking at her watch. "Awesome. I'll see you…oh. Never. I get one call, right? Because I have this brother who's a Weyrleader at Western…" She's still not going to play his game, it would seem. "You haven't even asked my demands yet. I mean, maybe I just wanted a chair in exchange for telling you when and where Laris was going to strike. Or some water to tell you the names of the leader of the second group…" she trails off. "But hey, if you don't want to, I can go back to that cell…" She helpfully moves towards the door. "I'll tell you what, I'll tell you how I know Laris when you act like you actually want to hear what I have to say without threatening me."

Oh, so they're going to bring family into this? Th'ero seems hardly fazed by Zapallie's little remark, though Breshir shifts his weight and turns his head to regard the Weyrleader with a look obvious enough. This is news to them! "And? You think I am threatened by the fact you're another Shipton child?" the bronzerider drawls, giving her a lingering look. Try again. Zi'on happens to be a friend of his (or so he figures) and the Western Weyrleader also happens to be weyrmated to his sister, Kiena. As Zapallie tries to get up towards the door, the atmosphere in the room changes instantly. While Th'ero doesn't move, he does tense, anger flashing in his eyes and his jaw tensing. It's Breshir who blocks her, the Captain stepping to bar her path. "Sit down," he orders sharply, not backing down even when (or if) she complies. Th'ero's eyes narrow, absorbing all she's tossed at him and trying to sort out what could be truth or lie. "We are not threatening you. We only want cooperation and you are proving to be difficult. If you want water, that can be arranged but I don't think any of us wish to be at this all night." he says bluntly, "So I'll ask again, how do you know Laris?"

Zapallie actually laughs at him. "No, I was just asking if I got to call somebody. I wouldn't call the Shipton name anything impressive, unless by impressive you mean 'sluts'." As Breshir moves into her path she tilts her head and says sweetly, "I was heading back to my cell. Seeing as this interview is obviously over." But she puts her hands up and ambles right on back to the chair, which she doesn't sit in, prefering instead to stand cross legged, feet planted shoulder width apart. "You're threatening me plenty, telling me you're going to throw me back in my cell if I don't cooperate. I'm not a prisoner. I /came here/ to tell you what I know. But nothing's free, /Weyrleader/. The way I see it, this is a neat business deal. I have something you want, you have something I want. Play nice, and I will too. But…as a show of good faith, since I am an honest person.." and she points a finger at him, "And I /am/ an honest person. Liars are cowards." she clears her throat. "I ran away a couple turns back. Fell in with Laris around Ierne Weyrhold. Not safe, being alone in the world. They didn't seem so bad at the time… Anyway, they said they were headed east, and my ma is a rider at Xanadu, so I figured I could at least go that far with them."

Th'ero and Breshir frown heavily for her term of use for the Shipton name, neither seeming to approve of that at all, regardless of whatever reputation it has earned. The Captain remains by the door and the Weyrleader remains standing where he is, the only thing moving being his eyes as Zapallie takes her place again. His features twist, angered and distrustful at her words, "You came here to tell me? Then why the flippant attitude and the games?" he asks briskly and cuts off abruptly, catching himself just before he continues on in what /would/ be subtle threats. He restrains himself with great difficulty, dark eyes darting again to Kimmila as if either waiting for her input or simply a cue from the bluerider. Or is her purpose there for other reasons? A safety net, perhaps and then if so… for who? As she claims to be an honest person, Th'ero has to clamp down on his remark again and so she is levelled only with a heavy look. The information she shares is met with silence as he mulls over it and during the pause Breshir grows a little restless, glancing slightly towards Th'ero though the Captain seems intent on watching Zapallie. "And that's it then?" he says, sounding doubtful. "Followed them how far? And why leave them? Simply for an easy travel route to Xanadu?"

Kimmila snorts softly, crossing her arms and leaning easily back into that corner. She meets Th'ero's gaze, and then eyes return to Zapallie. "What is it you want? Out of curiosity," she finally speaks up.

Zapallie shrugs her shoulder and grins ferally at the Weyrleader. "It's fun." Duh? "Now before you get your panties in a twist," she says, seeing him gearing up. "Sure. That's all." She shrugs. "They had woman and children with them. I'm smug, not stupid. Young girls on their own get raped and worse. Felt safer in a group like that then meandering on my own. Been out there two Turns now, I know what's good." Her head bobs a little bit, thoughtfully. "I… had no desire to go home. Either home. Any home. I've had lots, you know. My ma and pa and my sister's pa all passed me around for awhile until they lost interest. Ma kept trying to ship me off to different apprenticeships, and when that didn't take she sent me off to Western and of course L'ton was more interested in wetting his willie…" she trails off, frowns. "That's not what you asked, sorry." She reaches up, scratches the back of her head. "I had meant to stay with them, you know, however long, travel around, see the world a little bit. Except… I didn't much like what they were up to, once I'd gotten in with Laris and his cronies and found out what they were really about." Kimmila's question gets her attention. "Two things, for now." Two fingers are wiggled. "I want somebody in that sharding kitchen to make some cookies for once… and I want to Stand for the next clutch… " What? she's 18. She's not about to ask for world peace. "Oh. And I want to be there when you take Laris down."

Th'ero gives Zapallie a wary look for her feral grin and if it wasn't obvious before, it's obvious now that the Weyrleader has little in the way of humor. His mouth twitches a bit for her remark, but he keeps himself in check and aided only in the fact that she finally cooperates to his satisfaction. There's a grim look for her brutal honesty of the fate of some young women alone, but he makes a quiet listener when she continues on. The deviation is met with a brief curious frown, but the apology is waved off. No matter. Though he's tucking away every piece she gives him, likely to puzzle it all out later. "And what was it that he was planning to do?" Th'ero asks firmly, some of his coldness ebbing away, along with his temper. Kimmila's question has him shifting his weight back a bit, head turning to regard her with an almost approving look. It's gone though, replaced by a sharp one that instantly turns back on Zapallie for her requests. His shoulders straighten and Th'ero has all the signs of a man who has no wish to honor them. "Then put in the request with the Headwoman or one of her Assistants." he remarks curtly. "And those are /three/ things. I cannot offer you a chance to Stand. That is up to the dragons when the time comes and will not be swayed any other way." As for the last? There's another sidelong look given to Kimmila and when he looks back again to Zapallie, his expression is closed. "Absolutely not."

Kimmila looks away when Zapallie takes the stroll down memory lane, feeling less and less sympathy for the girl. She smirks at the girl's requests, and then laughs for a brief moment. "Yeah…no. One out of three isn't too bad, though. Cookies…nice one." Sarcasm ftw.
Zapallie shakes her head and smiles at them both, cool and precise. "I'm sorry, but I've listed my requests… the first one wasn't serious, by the way. So we're still at two. You let ME know when you want to know what I've got. You won't EVER find him without me. And I won't tell you where he is unless you take me with you." She turns back to the guard and says politely but firmly, "I'd like to go back to my cell now. Where I know perfectly well no dragon will Search me, and even if one did, I'd never be allowed to Stand." She pauses, and adds, "Please."

Th'ero's reaction is instantaneous and the atmosphere in the room grows tense and cold as the Weyrleader's temper flares, barely held back. It's enough to have even Breshir glance towards the bronzerider, his expression grim and the look he gives Zapallie almost incredulous. The Captain has bristled a little as well for the girl's claims, but it's Th'ero who answers in a voice too calm and level for the look his features have settled in. "And you have overstepped your bounds. Nothing you have said leads me to trust you. Laris is a man and not invincible. He will blunder eventually and then we will find him." And he sounds stubbornly certain on the matter and for reasons likely only he, Kimmila and a select others know. Zapallie won't escape so easily though, as Breshir ignores her request to leave and Th'ero fixes her with another narrowed glare. "You won't be going back to a cell. We have no reason to hold you." Yet. "But you should know that /asking/ to Stand is not how it works. If a dragon seeks you out, then you cannot be denied." But she can be kicked out! Of course, the Weyrleader doesn't elaborate enough to mention that part.

Kimmila laughs. "Wow, you are so full of sh - yourself. Laris isn't hiding behind a locked door that only you have the key to. We'll find him no matter what, though your information would have been helpful in bringing him down and getting that revenge you so /desperately/ crave. But, alas…" she motions towards the door and shrugs. "Have a nice visit, kiddo. As for Search…a dragon'd have to be drunk off his ass to Search someone with as bitter a soul as you. Think about that, if you wish to go courting the skies."

"Enough!" The single word is spoken without so much as raising his voice, but Th'ero pitches it all the same with enough force to carry all his anger with it. The Weyrleader is livid now in his temper, hands clenched into tight fists at his sides as he first shoots his glance to Kimmila, though the longest and coldest is reserved for Zapallie. "We are done here." And he gives a sharp nod to Breshir, the command given silently. The Captain bristles, but is not as riled as the bronzerider is. "I appreciate your concern," he says with obvious sarcasm, before stepping aside and opening the door. He gestures with his hand and the look he gives her is one of contempt. "Off you go now. See to it you learn to curb your tongue in the future and keep some of the knowledge in that head of yours private." Otherwise she may find herself in this room or the cells again all too soon. But she has her freedom, for what it is, for now! Th'ero will have gone silent by now, seething as he is and knowing better then to allow the questioning to progress any further. It will not end well, at this point.

Kimmila smirks, her grin twisting. "I was much nicer when I was younger," she says smoothly. Then she laughs again. "Kid, you have /got/ to learn /pacing/ with the insults. This many so close just makes you pathetic. Really. Bragging about your mother being a slut just to get a dig in at me? C'mon. Grow up." But then she's silenced by Th'ero, crossing her arms and giving Zapallie a little grin. See'ya!

Zapallie doesn't look back and says, "Who needs to pace yourself when you've got a never ending supply?" Obviously, though, there's no fondness for her parents in there. "You're the one bantering with a teenager," she tells Kimmila with a wolfish grin over her shoulder. Maybe she likes Kimmila, just a little. That's not a grin she gives to just anyone. And then she's strutting out the door. And maybe she'll come by Th'ero's office some other day when he's cooled down and she's feeling charitable… or knows something worthwhile. Probably after the cookies show up in the caverns.


'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.