Who Sephany, Zevuki
What Sephany and Zevuki talk about life, apologies, and choices.
When Summer - Day 9 of Month 7 of Turn 2714
Where Igen Weyr - South Bowl


Igen Weyr - South Bowl

The orange hued sandstone layers comprising the bowl walls curve gently, but ever presently in your view. Fine sand shifts underfoot, a slightly paler version of what is found upon the walls. It gives way along the eastern edge to a section of contrasting green grass where a series of cleverly engineered pipes provide water to the fenced off area of the feeding grounds, and keeps the shimmer of the shallow lake beyond from dissapearing during the dryest periods of the turn. A distinctly squared entrance farther south is the tunnel leading out to the lands beyond. Traders and tithes arrive here at regular intervals and it is not uncommon for part of the bowl to be set up with a series of tents and wagons as wares are displayed and sold. To the west, the bowl wall has been eroded by the desert winds into strange shapes. At their base are found the weyrling barracks and training fields.

It's been a hot, dusty afternoon — typical of Igen in the height of summer. It's late afternoon now, and though the sun is beginning to set, it's still warm. Hair still wet from a fresh bath, Zevuki is coming off an afternoon of chores, stepping out in the bowl for fresh air. He nods to those who pass — even those he doesn't recognize — back habitually straight, looking every inch the guard he isn't presently.

Perhaps Sephany has become fluent at the time-change between Fort and Igen, and specifically timed her visit to avoid the worst of the heat. Or perhaps it is just dumb luck that finds her here at this hour, having stolen a ride on a young green dragon (the same green dragon, if one is keeping track) to hitch a ride to the desert. She descent from the beast is practiced, and she manages to avoid the tangling of both skirts, scarf and hair in the myriad leather straps utilized to make her way to the ground. A grin and a wave to the green's rider before she hastens to put space between them. A lift of her scarf protects her face from the sand and grit that is kicked up from the dragon's launch, and she turns her body away from the buffeting wind… which is how she finds herself facing the very direction necessary to spot the straight-backed guard walking through the bowl. There is brief moment of hesitation before she stands herself just a touch straighter and begins walking purposefully toward him.

It doesn't take the guard that long to notice someone paralleling his walk to intercept him; Zevuki slows down, and then steps, when he realizes who it is. Nothing about his posture changes in any way — it's his default setting — but he does offer her a flickered smile as she nears. "Sephany," he greets, adjusting his position subtly — just enough to block her from the worst of the wind. "How are you?"

As she approaches, there is a general taking-in of the guard-turned-candidate, a brief assessment made before Sephany offers her own smile and greeting of, "Hello Zevuki," as she comes to a stop. She drops her scarf as the worst of the dust passes, letting it settle at her throat though it's still draped across her head to protect from the sun. "I am well. Busy, but well." A small pause, a little tilt to her head before she asks, "And you?" in a way that is much more than simply being polite. She genuinely wants to know. "How are you doing?"

Not unaware of the assessment, Zevuki bears it without a shift of expression. "Bearing up." While an abrupt answer, it is no less than the truth. "All things considered." A pause, and then he inquires, "Walk with me? Unless you've somewhere else to be?" he gestures, towards the south side of the bowl. Down that way, there's a few wagon trains visible — visiting traders displaying their wares to the interest of various residents coming and going.

"To be expected," for his 'baring up', "Though you don't appear any the worse for wear." Sephany follows his gesture with a glance, eyes narrowing slightly in consideration for the wagon trains. An incline of her head is her affirmation to the offer of a walk, followed by a quick and sincere, "No one is expecting me. I am free to do what I wish at this time," to explain that there is nowhere else she should be headed. "I come to Igen to see you," she explains, falling into step beside him. "And my sisters. Though they're more of a nuisance than anything else."

"I was… out of sorts… the last time I visited. I apologize if I upset you." Zevuki says, gaze fixed firmly ahead. He falls into an easy pace, steps slowed to match hers, not even a falter when she mentions having come here to visit him, though it does earn a quick, sidelong look, it goes pointedly unremarked on. "I'm not sure I know your sisters. I heard you've been having trouble with your brother, though?" he asks, brows raised. As they near the wagons, there's the expected sound of haggling and interested murmurs as various Igenites persuse the goods — everything from clothing, material, to herbs and home-made craft-items.

A bit of the tension that is carried across her shoulders lessens, but it is another step or two before Sephany acknowledges his apology with a quiet, "it's alright," followed by a quick, "and I am sorry if I overstepped and struck a nerve." Her steps are quick, maneuvering with familiar ease along the rocky and sandy ground that makes up the weyrbowl. She has not been so long from Igen to have forget how to handle the terrain, though she steps mindfully and with intention so as to avoid an accident. "I doubt you would have met them," of her sisters. "They are not 'riders or administration. Those that still remain in Igen are wives and mothers; content to tend to children. So unless you've had the unfortunate assignment of working in the nursery," and she flashes an amused smile at the thought, "it is likely you have not met them." As for her brother? There's a little shift in her stance, a little hunching of her shoulders and a twisting of fingers into each other in a nervous-habit sort of way. "How did you hear of that?" she wonders, flashing a glance his direction before looking pointedly forward again. "He is… he's…" and a low sigh is exhaled. "He is distracted. Busy. Thoroughly involved in his own life. As he should be. I interrupted him. We had a few… words that I regret."

Zevuki gives her a silent nod in turn, accepting her words and just as readily moving past them, it seems. "Thankfully, I've only had nursery duty once — and I swapped with a girl who was all too happy to give up hunting tunnelsnakes for the pleasure of children-minding." His steps continue for a moment, before he says, "Perhaps you can point them out before you leave. I can keep an eye out, let you know if they get into any trouble. Give you the heads up, as it were?" he suggests, with a flickered smile as he regards her sidelong for a moment. "Rio," he admits, of how he heard about her brother, looking sympathetic. "Ah. Well, it must be difficult. From everything I've heard, people change a lot when they Impress." The guard goes silent, musing, turning attention towards the nearest wagon's displays as a form of distraction, undoubtedly.

The idea of him minding children is thoroughly amusing to Sephany, grey eyes dancing with unspoken mirth. But she holds her tongue, and no teasing comments are forthcoming. "I… suppose I could," muses the weaver thoughtfully. "Though you really don't need to do that. You have enough to occupy you with candidacy, I'm sure, to also be keeping tabs on my sisters." But she offers a helpful, "we seem to share pale hair and grey eyes as a family trait. When you see them, I am sure you will recognize them as my kin." As for the snitch? "Riohra. Of course," though how she feels about this may be difficult to discern, as both tone and expression are neutral as she considers discussion the hunter had about her. "I don't think it was Impression that changed him," she decides dryly. "It was —" and here her cheeks color rather prominently before she clears her throat. "He's in love. Our argument came about because I… interrupted them." Grey eyes turn toward the vendors as well, welcoming the distraction as she pointedly avoids looking at Zevuki until the color has faded from her complexion. "Still seeking answers," she notes. "Have you gotten any, yet?"

"Perhaps I would welcome the distraction," Zevuki replies, with the slightest shift of his shoulders and a fleeting smile. "Surely you won't deny me that?" he asks, brows rising. He nods, pleased, as she offers a description, apparently filing that away. "Don't—" he exhales, at her neutral expression at the mention of Riohra. "I asked about you," he admits, "That's why he offered." Hard to tell whether he's being honest or not, his expression even. His brows go upwards as Sephany continues to explain about her brother. "That must have been… awkward," he concedes. "It could have been worse," he adds, with another flickered smile that becomes a low laugh. "It could've been your parents you walked in on." He reaches out to touch the material of a pair of neutral-colored trousers, nodding at her latter question. "Some. In some ways," a brief grimace, there.

"I will introduce you," she decides."Estraly, Evellan and Maevenna are the three still living in Igen," she continues, adding names to the mix of identifying information. But thoughts of sisters are momentarily pushed aside. Sephany does not say anything on the subject of Riohra, though she doesn't look particularly angry that he shared information on her. Resigned. Acknowledging that it is simply the nature of the hunter to do so. But for her brother, she offers a quick and earnest, "It was exceedingly awkward," and this time her nose scrunches up at the memory. The suggestion given her has her shooting him a look which dissolves into awkward laughter . "Ugh! That would be… horrifying!" and one hand lifts waving rapidly at the air as if she can physically banish the mental image, laughter fading into a bright grin of amusement. It softens a little at his answer, and she glances his direction with time enough to catch the grimace. "You can always back out. Turn in the knot and go back to being a Guard," she offers in a low voice.

Zevuki gives a firm nod. "It would be. So consider yourself better off. I imagine, whatever he said was… well, to cover said awkwardness, just as yours was. I'm sure it hasn't changed how he feels about you. You're family." There's a firmness in his voice, like he speaks from experience or something. He slows and stops to fiddle with some jewelry being displayed at the next wagon, not so much out of interest but perhaps as a distraction. "I've thought about it. But my hesitations don't serve to outweigh my initial reasons for accepting," he says, slowly, glancing towards her. "If that makes sense?"

Sephany is quiet for a few heartbeats, gaze going distant in thought. "I know," she says finally, a soft murmur. "He is my brother. I love him. He loves me. And he apologized, more or less. And I sent him a letter, as well." Another small pause, and she decides, "It is simply inevitable that we shall drift apart. We live separate lives in separation locations… it does not make the change easy." She smiles politely enough at a vendor, but waves off the offer of assistance, stepping away from that particular booth to allow others access. "It does," make sense. "Your initial acceptance was based on a greater purpose than yourself. So I understand completely that personal hesitations would not be enough for you to go back on that decision." A curious look his direction and she carefully asks, "What have you learned? If you don't mind my asking. I am… curious as well. And I do not think I will get the chance to experience this first hand, so I am going to live vicariously through you as you enjoy the experience." The last bit is an attempt at a tease, to lighten the mood of what could be a somber topic.

"I'm not sure that's such a bad thing, living separate lives in separate locations," Zevuki says, after a moment's consideration. "I do love my brothers, but we get on so much better now that I'm separated by an hour's ride from them," he admits, with a low laugh. "Truth is, it was hard not to compare myself to them when they were right there. Here, it's…" he trails off, frowning as he tries to come up with the appropriate words. "Freer, I guess." He gives a half-shrug of shoulders, as he follows her to the next trading booth. He slows at her latter question, stopping to answer carefully, "The egg touchings were… intense. It was almost like you could sense a bit of the creature inside — a bit of its personality, and curiosity, as it were. The Weyrwoman admitted she didn't warn people in advance since it didn't seem to change much, so — at least I now know why everyone was being so secretive about it."

"It is a good thing," agrees Sephany, "But that does not make it an easy thing. I am sure I have changed as well, so I cannot fault him. But it does not mean that I don't mourn a bit of what used to be." She does not sound particularly upset, though there's a note of finality in her voice. The past is gone. There is only moving forward. As for his explanation of being free, away from brothers, she can only smile and agree. "I understand what you mean. When he was Sevran, and we lived here at Igen, I was always his little sister. Sev and Seph. Inseparable. But I am more than just a little sister. I am… me. And away from him I can be more myself. I am not compared with him, because now people know me as me, and not just as 'Sevran's little sister'." A pause, brief before she continues the stream of conscious explanation. "I moved away almost two Turns ago, first to the Hall and then to Fort Weyr. I am not who I was when I left, and I am glad for that. I am me now." But her attention moves quickly from the philosophical discussion on self-discovery and towards his actual discovery of what it is like to touch a dragon egg. "So now you have practical experience, for that at least. Are you more satisfied, now that at least one experience has been… well. Experienced?" and she can't help but smile a bit at the redundant word choice. "S'van said that the experience was not indicative of the dragon, however. His friend Catwin's dragon is truly wonderful, kind and gentle, but the egg he Hatched from was… in his words… horrific."

"Is that why you went to Fort?" Zevuki asks, after she talks of her brother, before she offers more about why she left, nodding along, his gaze mostly on her, but habitually flicking over other residents, and too across the various wares on display. "If it matters, I like the you-of-now." His lips twitch upwards, somewhat, at her question. "I feel better, having the answers to some of the questions I asked. Answers that I am happy to impart to others in the same situation." Which is to say, he's happy he knows all the things. "Well. Maybe they form some of their personality based off who they Impress to?" he speculates, shaking his head a moment.

"It was part of the reason," she acknowledges, for why she chose Fort Weyr. "I was also ready for a change in climate," she admits, casting a glance around the distinctly arid landscape. "I have lived my entire life in warm climates; mostly here in Igen which at least has the benefit of being dry. Some in Ista. And a Turn in Southern Boll, where the Hall is located. Both Ista and Boll are… tropical and humid. I was ready for… cold," and she flashes him a grin when she says it. "And I was not disappointed. Zevuki, you may detest the snow, but I loved it! I had never been so cold in my entire life and it was wonderful!" The bright-eyed look does not leave her face, though her expression softens from overly enthusiastic at the idea of 'winter' to something more tame, sincere when she tells him, "It does matter," for his liking of the her-of-now. "I hope that you are not entertaining me out of some sort of obligation to be polite." The discussion of answers, of dragons and hatchlings and temperaments, has her thoughtful, even as she peers over a table to look at a bolt of cloth that has caught her eye. "That could very well be. And it would… make a sort of sense, wouldn't it? How could such a relationship — two minds joined together, to never be alone again — not leave a lasting change in both? And the Hatchling, being the more immature of the two, seems the likely one to alter to suite the 'rider, hm?" A pause, fingers appraising the weave of the cloth. "Perhaps you will Impress and have your answer that way. I will expect a full report," she decides, tone serious even as amusement dances in her grey eyes. "Hand delivered and properly counter signed."

Her mention of the climate earns a grin from Zevuki, the guard's gaze briefly amused. "It sounds like you're someone not willing to settle until you find exactly what you're looking for. I'm sure there's some harper tale about that, isn't there? Something to do with hot food, cold food?" He shakes his head — clearly not one for outlandish harper tales. "No obligation," he assures her, firmly. "As for a report, I imagine I could rustle up something. But if I do impress, I wouldn't be able to visit, so I guess you'd have to visit to collect it?" He pauses, glance going astray, "One moment," he says, lifting a hand to bid her wait while he strides back towards one of the trader's wares they passed earlier. He has a quick conversation with the woman there, before there's an exchange of mark-pieces, and Zevuki's striding back towards Sephany, carrying a hand-crafted hand-fan with him. He offers it to her, with a brief smile. "For the heat," he adds, perhaps unnecessarily.

"Some may refer to that as being stubborn," notes Sephany in a way that clearly says she would not be bothered by the title. "Though I suppose it was simply a quest for discovery. How could I know what I wanted, if I had not experienced all there was to know? You are not the only one who desires answers. I just seem to have more fun seeking them out," and she moves as if to poke him in the shoulder playfully. "Hm. Then we shall compromise. If you Impress, I will expect a detailed report, but I will make the journey to Igen to collect it. I do not want to wait a Turn or more to learn of your discoveries, after all. Although, I suspect you will simply tell me it is 'not something that can be described'," she continues, in her best dragonrider-mimicking voice, which sounds more like a stern teacher than any dragonrider she's ever met. She stops when bidden, gaze following him curiously as he retreats back the way they came. His return and offer is met with an expression of surprise and delight, and she carefully accepts the gift. "Thank you. It will certainly be put to good use." A small bite of her lip as she turns the fan over in her hands. "You didn't have to."

"It's hard for me to argue with that logic," Zevuki concedes with a spreading of his hands, smiling at her mention of being stubborn. "As for stubbornness — depending on the circumstances, that can be a trait to be admired, or to frustrate, depending on what side you're on." He gives a grunt when she pokes him in the shoulder, before he says, "It's a deal. And I will do my best to describe it, rather than speaking the rote rider response." Of course, it's easy enough to commit to that when he has no comprehension — since no one can explain it to him — of what he might be facing. Once she's had a moment to inspect the fan, he continues walking, at a slow pace. "You're here often enough to make use of it," the guard says, with ease, "And I figure even summers in Fort must need it now and then?" he glances at her with the question in his gaze; he hasn't been able to head to Fort in some time.

"The frustrating one is my brother," she decides, dry amusement and affection coloring her tone. "Though it seems to have worked out for him." There are no more words for the agreed-upon Impression-report, but Sephany will certainly remember the agreement and come to claim it, should he Impress. This is clear enough in the brief glance she casts his direction, pleased and determined. "I am," she agrees, of being in Igen often. "And I will be sure to bring it and put it to good use, when I come to witness the Hatching." And indeed, she will put it to use immediately too, if just with idle and absentminded movements. It gives her something to do with her hand that isn't poking and prodding at the wares on the tables as they pass. "It can be warm," she agrees, "but not nearly as warm as here of course. It is so very different. Lush and vibrant like Ista, but with distinctly different flora. In the spring, the weyrbowl burst into color with so many different wildflowers. Ones I had not seen before. They vanished after a month or two, though the lush grass has remained. I think you would enjoy it. It is very different from Igen, but so beautiful. The lake is wonderful, though I find it far too cold to swim in. I'm told I'll 'adjust' but I have my doubts. It still feels frigid to me, and I am told it does not warm much more than it already has." A softer sound, wistful in nature. "It is like something out of a painting. Sometimes I still surprise myself with the knowledge that I actually call the place 'home' now."

"I'm certain he says the same of you," Zevuki observes, with a smile. Said smile fades momentarily as she mentions the hatching. "It would be nice to have you there," he admits. "My family plans to come, as well." It's hard to tell what he thinks of that — expression largely neutral as he says it. While he regards more of the wares, nothing catches his attention for overly long. "I would like to visit, but it's hard for me to look past the wildness of Igen as far more impressive," he gives a twitch of lips — aware of his own bias, no doubt. He's silent for a long moment after she finishes speaking, regarding the other Igenites around them for a moment. "Is Fort where you will seek to be posted when you walk the tables, then?" he finally asks.

"I will be here," Sephany reiterates, if just to ensure that he is aware of her determination to follow through. "And certainly Riohra will be joining me; he will most certainly want to be here for Kassala. Between the two of us, we will certainly be able to find at least one dragonrider to bring us. Though it has been my experience that most dragonriders enjoy the experience and are all the happier to have a reason to attend a Hatching." A thoughtful look is directed his way, perhaps trying to ascertain his feelings on his family's witnessing of the event. "Family can be a comfort. And I am certain they will be proud of you, should you Impress. If not, certainly it is a good opportunity to catch up and enjoy some time together. There is always a feast, to celebrate the event. Plenty of food and drink for everyone. And dancing." As for the Fort vs Igen debate? She will concede on part of it. "Igen is unique in all the world. Fort is beautiful, and appears deceptively safe. But it is just as dangerous. Perhaps not as … raw. Fort is ethereal. Igen is primal." Of his clear bias, she does not speak, though there's a twitch to the corner of her mouth and a raised eyebrow for it. "I am not sure," she admits, of her future posting. "I love Fort right now, but I may tire of it. In truth, I have not given much thought to where I would like to be posted. It seems so very far in the future that I would prefer to consider the present," though she goes on to say, thoughtfully, "There is always the southern continent, as well. Landing and Xanadu. Or even Monaco, though that region is rather tropical and I cannot stand humidity." A little hmm as she offers, "Perhaps I will get homesick, and decide to return to Igen. Who's to say? I have many Turns before it is a decision that must be made. My life may look nothing like it does now."

Zevuki gives a nod of his head, murmuring, "Kassala and Riohra seem to be handling the separation well enough. I think they write frequently — I've seen Kassala writing a lot on the barracks, anyway." On the subject of his family, he passes a hand over short-shaven hair, as he says, "My brothers do enjoy dancing. And they certainly won't want to miss getting to see a Hatching — none of us have ever had the opportunity before." Her description of Igen earns a pleased agreement in the form of an enthusiastic nod. "Yes — primal. That's the way to put it," he agrees. Her musing about posting earns a sidelong look, brief, before his gaze roves on. "You do seem to have the wandering bug — so perhaps Journeying even further afield will suit you," is all he says, as they come to the end of the booths. "Was there anything else of interest to you here?" he asks, nodding towards the trader's varied goods.

"They will not be disappointed," Sephany tells him with a grin. "The Hatching is an experience. Though if they are coming from the Hold, I would suggest you try to arrange a dragonrider to fetch them as soon as the dragons start to hum. That, or see if they might be able to come about a sevenday ahead of the expected date? When the dragons start to hum, it means the Hatching has begun. There will be no time for travel," she cautions. As for Riohra and Kassala? "I have caught him writing as well. He seems…" a brief pause, before she seems to resolve herself. "He is handling it better, now. But it has been hard on him. Though I am sure he has not made mention to Kassala of it. His thoughts are for her happiness alone. I do believe he would do anything for her, even let her go if she wished it. He loves that much. It is… poetic. And a little frightening," she admits. "Not that Riohra is frightening. Just the depth of feeling he displays… what must that be like?" But she's drifted completely off topic, and does not even wait for a response; the question becomes rhetorical as she considers her penchant for wandering the planet, laughing when he seems to call her out on it. "I don't know… perhaps it will? Though I don't crave travel so much as experience. I may be content enough with a vacation, rather than a posting." A tilt of her head. "Aren't you the least bit curious about what the rest of the world is like?" A shake of her head as they come to the end of things, and she tells him, "No. I have seen all I should like to see. There was a bolt of fabric, but I feel I could get a better price somewhere else."

"I'm not sure they can take off so much time. They have to make sure the Hold is sufficiently catered for, given all my brothers, my father, my uncle are all part of the guards. I'm sure the Lord will see that they make it to the Hatching, though." Zevuki sounds confident, but also he sounds confident Lord Igen will look after his family. He's silent for a moment on the talk of their friends, nodding slowly in agreement. "I believe your assessment is correct. I hope for both their sakes things work out." He gestures towards the caverns then, keeping an easy pace in the heat of the Weyr's air as he takes a few steps to consider her words, "It's not that I'm not curious, but I don't feel the wanderlust you do. I'm content with where I am, and what I do. If, one day, I have the opportunity to travel more widely, I will, but I would never feel that I'm missing out if I didn't."

Sephany accepts his answer readily enough, regarding the Igen Lord Holder and his family's ability to attend the Hatching, inclining her head in support of his words. "I cannot speak for her; I do not know Kassala very well at all. But from what I have learned of Riohra, he is bound and determined to make things work, no matter the circumstances. I can only hope she is worthy of his… commitment." It is not accusatory in any way, simply an observation on her part. She is redirected easily enough, fan working to combat the heat that still lingers in the desert air. A soft 'hmm' of consideration, followed by a soft, amused laugh at herself. "I suppose I would feel as though I had cheated myself, if I did not take the opportunities presented to me. Maybe it is simply youth. A thirst for adventure I never knew I had?" and she laughs again, at her own whims. "I admire that about you," she tells him honestly. "That you can be so settled, so grounded. Like a rock. Unshakable. You seem to know who you are."

"You have plenty of time to do everything you want to do, although admittedly, this seems like the time for you to explore before circumstances make you want to settle down." Zevuki glances sidelong at her, visibly surprised at her latter compliment, earning a smile. "I'll take that as a compliment, though some might consider it anything but, depending on their point of view." As they move into the shade of the caverns, he exhales. "I need to help out in the kitchen for a short time. If you're around later, perhaps you want to meet for dinner?" he suggests.

"That was my thought as well. Best to do what I can, while I can," agrees Sephany. "And it was meant as a compliment," she assures him, answering his smile in kind. "I am not sure who would consider such stability a bad thing… if you know of them, please introduce me and I shall happily set them straight on the matter." The shade is a welcome change as the temperature drops. Sephany pulls at the scarf over her head, letting it settle around her as they move into the tunnel. "I will be here," she assures him. "And I would like that quite a lot." A glance down the tunnel to ascertain where they are. "I will make myself useful with the resident Weaver Journeyman," to explain where she can be found. "When you are ready, come and get me?"

"I'll find you," Zevuki says, giving her a nod — possibly of reassurance and maybe of farewell as well, before he strides off towards the inner caverns.

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