Sandstorms and Speculations
Who Sephany, Zevuki
What Sephany visits Zevuki, and they speculate about the upcoming hatching and questionable fashion ideas.
When Summer - Day 9 of Month 8 of Turn 2714
Where Igen Weyr - Lake Shore

filename.tld


Igen Weyr - Lake Shore

It is sometimes hard to tell where the bowl ends and the lake shore begins. Fine grains of gold, tan and orange hued sand layer much as the bowl walls in the distance beyond. The sand only gives way to thin patches of grass where the tall fence of the feeding grounds intersects the lake to the south and the smooth curve of the bowl wall rises on the opposite shore. At that intersection one can make out a small building and colorful fabrics where the Weyr's residents go to relax. The shallow lake waters shimmer invitingly, day and night, lapping at the fine grain sands. Engineered pipes are hidden beneath the bowl landscape and feed the lake as well as the grasses of the feeding grounds to keep the water levels from dropping past a certain point which is marked by a waist high obelisk.


It's been a while period, with the duststorm all but cutting Igen off for some time. Even though it passed a few days ago, there's still visible effects of it around the Weyr — sand everywhere, the lakeside itself looking pretty bare of anything. A lot of the dust has layered in piles up against the bowl wall, and against the bar itself. A path has been cleared, but work is still going on around the edges, Zevuki working with another young lad to clear the excess sand. He's dusty and shirtless to boot.

As is her custom, Sephany has dressed for the climate, garbed in loose and breezy fabrics that protect her pale skin from the sun while allowing whatever breeze may be available to keep her cool. Though the dust has technically settled, she still has her scarf pulled up and over her head to block out the sun, and around her nose to keep stray particles from invading nose and mouth. She must have a friend or two in the lower caverns, who are happy enough to direct her towards her intended target; how else is it that she finds the guard-candidate so easily on each trip to the desert? And so she is not startled to see him when she comes into view, though perhaps his state of undress was a bit of a surprise, owing to the brief pause and hesitation that happens as she gets close enough to actually recognize him. But it does not halt her forward motion for long, and soon enough she is within speaking distance, pulling the scarf away from her nose and mouth so that she can offer a friendly, "Zevuki," in greeting. The lad working with him is offered a curious look and a polite nod of her head in greeting.

"Sephany," is replied in turn, Zevuki straightening to lean on his shovel and regard the Fortian woman for a moment. "This is Nevil, he's a candidate as well," he gestures towards the other candidate, rubbing a hand over his forehead. Nevil gives Sephany a broad grin, then says, "Think we're done, eh?" with a nudge to Zevuki's side. Either oblivious or ignoring the jibe, Zevuki nods, bending to pick up his linen shirt. "You," he glances at the bar, then back, "Want a drink?"

"Nevil," is offered polite enough once the name is known, Sephany flashing him a quick smile to accompany the greeting. The nudge earns a puzzled look, though the weaver is not inclined to pry further; boys will be boys or some such. "I won't refuse one," she answers with a smile. "And you look like you could use it," with a flash of her gaze from Zevuki to Nevil and then back again.

"More than," Zevuki agrees, for needing the drink, a wry, flickered smile briefly visible. The boys exchange a nod, Nevil heading off towards the Weyr proper. The guard, though, hesitates a moment as he glances back to Sephany. "I'm just going to do a quick wash in the lake. Meet you inside?" he suggests. "You can put the drinks on me; I won't be long."

A small lift of her hand in a parting gesture for the retreating Nevil, though no words accompany it. "Certainly," for his 'quick wash', a quirk to the corner of Sephany's mouth that speaks to some sort of amusement. There is the briefest flicker of grey eyes on bare skin before she turns and heads for the bar, moving carefully through the loose sand that has been stirred up by recent storms. Once inside the building, she either has incredible timing and finds no line ag all, or is just pleasant enough to manage to weasel her way to the front and secure their drinks in record time. Whenever Zevuki should find his way into the bar, a quick scan of the place would find Sephany at a table near the back, with a tall mug of beer waiting for him and a much more petite and non-alcoholic iced tea-type concoction for herself. The scarf has been pulled off her head but hangs around her shoulders still, and nimble fingers are occupying themselves by stroking along the small head of the little green Firelizard that has curled up around her neck.

If Zevuki notices the look, it doesn't earn a visible reaction, though he does watch her for a moment as she retreats to the bar. The guard doesn't waste time, long steps carrying him to the lake shore. It doesn't seem like he does much more than wash his hands and face, wetting his hair slightly, though there's still dust visible in it when he finally makes his way into the bar, his shirt back on and mostly non-dusty — probably the reason he took it off in the first place. It doesn't take him long to assess the occupants, winding his way directly towards Sephany's table at the back. He gives her a nod of thanks, immediately reaching for the beer and downing several generous gulps worth, before exhaling. "How have you been?" he asks, once he's lowered the glass, voice pitched low.

The sudden occupation of the chair at her table sees the halting of affection for the Firelizard, who does not seem to be particularly upset by this. A little rustle of wings, a deep breath, and little Thimble falls into a deep sleep against her pet human. For Sephany, there is a smile for Zevuki and a reach for her glass, drawing the tea to her person though she does not lift it for a sip. "I am well. Busy," she offers honestly. "We are nearing the end of summer, which means we have a lot of winter clothing commissions for children who have outgrown last turn's items," she explains. "My journeyman is allowing me to do some of the harder adjustments this time, so I've been rather… busy," and she offers her hand, palm up, to display the little pads of her fingertips in all their punctured and torn-up glory, pink but not bleeding. "You would think I could keep from jabbing myself by now…" with a small half-smile for her own inadequacy, "or at least utilize a thimble." A tip of her head, consideration for the man at her table. "How are you?"

Zevuki gives the firelizard only the briefest of glances, not lingering. The guard grunts briefly, in surprise, admitting, "It's hard to believe the whole summer's past in Fort and I've missed it. It feels like I was there in winter only a short time ago." His gaze falls to her hands, smile appearing at the sight. "It sounds like greater responsibility. That's good to hear." He tugs a hand through short-shaven hair, dislodging some of the dust remaining. "It's been an intense week. I've never much liked dust storms, if just because of that feeling of being trapped, even if you're with other people." He exhales, then adds, deliberately looking everywhere but at Sephany, "They say it's any day now, for the hatching."

A soft "mm," in confirmation of the loss of time. "It has moved fast for me, as well. My first summer in Fort Weyr is nearly over, and I feel as though it has just begun. So very different than everywhere else I have lived, where it feels almost as though summer is the perpetual season." Sephany withdraws her hand, turning the gesture into the claiming of her glass and a quick sip of her tea. "It is. I am rather pleased. He said that if I continue at the pace I am at, I should be helping him with Gather dresses for the spring. That is quite quick; it means a lot of pattern making and intricate detailed work… it's a bit intimidating to go from hemlines to dress making," she admits, though there's a spark of fire in her eyes that says the challenge has been accepted. For dust storms there is a look to the door, though the event in question has long since passed even if the evidence remains. "I did not like them, either," she admits. "For the mess they made, as well as the stifling nature." While he may be looking pointedly away from her, Sephany will just as pointedly look at him, head tilted just slightly to the side, expression thoughtful and curious. "I had heard it is imminent," she agrees. "I was just speaking with Riohra about this, as well. My journeyman has given his permission for me to attend, so I will not be missed." A glance to her tea, one finger drawing a line down the condensation that has formed on the glass. "Are you nervous?"

"I know you'll do an amazing job," Zevuki says, with an encouraging nod. "It won't be long before you're outfitting the elite of Pern," he adds, with a flickered smile, as he regards her. The smile fades, more for the topic at hand than anything, gaze dropping to his glass as he curls a hand around it, though he doesn't drink yet. "Not nervous," he says, slowly. "I think… impatient, more. If I'm honest, I'm eager to get back to my job. I miss the night shifts, too — the Weyrwoman had agreed to put me on night shift with the watch rider, but that was before the storm hit. Not much chance of that now, so close to the hatching."

"I am not so certain of that," Sephany answers, though she's smiling rather wide when she says it. "But thank you." Talk of crafts sliding to the wayside, there's a curious look remaining as he explains his current sentiments toward candidacy and the impending Hatching. "Impatient…," she repeats in a soft murmur. "Suppose it is one of those events in which the suspense and anticipation is almost worse than the actual occasion? Like a visit to the Healer, when you dread the application of a needle." Perhaps not so ominous, though she does not correct herself once it has been said. "You may walk out with a brand new occupation," she reminds him gently. "Are you prepared for that? Oh… well… as prepared as you may be able to be, given… well…" but she lets the words die off, unable to adequately explain herself. "Why the night shift?"

"Rather like that," Zevuki agrees, a little blandly, though it's followed swiftly by a wry smile. He takes another draught of his beer, not so deep this time. "I may," he allows, after he sets his glass down, "But I may not. Better to be prepared for the least likely eventuality — you haven't even heard the odds I'm getting." He chuckles briefly, shaking his head. He gaze comes back to rest on her, considering her question for a moment. "It's quiet. Peaceful. I like the solitude of my own thoughts. I'm not the most social of people," he admits, surprising probably no one, least of all himself.

"And what is the least likely eventuality, in your estimation?" wonders Sephany idly, sipping at her tea between questions. The idea that there are bets being made has her wondering in something akin to shock, "They're betting on you?" Though certainly the concept of betting on candidates is not a foreign one for the weyrbred lass, there seems to be a certain amount of disapproval at the notion that any sort of odds have been placed on this particular candidate. It does not stop her from asking, "Do they predict you to Impress, or walk away alone?" And now, rather than actually consume her beverage, she busies herself with doodling small designs into the condensation, seemingly without thought. His admission of antisocial tendencies does earn an amused grin, grey eyes flashing to him quickly. "No… you? Not social? I am shocked!" she teases, dissolving into good natured laughter. "Though I can assure you, I understand the desire for peace and quiet. It is why I love the early morning so much more than the afternoon."

"That a dragon will find me of interest," Zevuki says, without even a pause to consider the response. In contrast to her shock, the guard seems at ease, "On everyone," he says. "Guards bet on anything. Apparently dragonriders do, too," with a brief smile. "I'm told my odds are marginally better than those who've stood previously, which seems strange, but I chalk that down to a dragonrider thing. Still, given the small number of eggs, it's not surprising that it's a long shot bet that a dragon will choose me." He grimaces at her teasing, though he doesn't seem unduly upset. "If only there was call for emergency wardrobe failures in the middle of the night — you'd love the middle of the night even more than the morning."

"Hm," considers Sephany, dropping an elbow to the table so that she can perch her chin in her hand, fingers tapping at her cheek absently as she considers him thoughtfully. "I suppose the odds are not in your favor, given the number of candidates to eggs," she admits, "though I think you are wrong to say that a dragon will not find you of interest. After all, one already did," she notes. "You were Searched. Clearly, that particular dragon was interested in you." Perhaps an altogether different sort of interest. "I cannot imagine what goes into the decision of odds. It all seems rather fifty-fifty if you ask me. Or… whatever number of eggs divided by candidates available. Why someone who has already Stood should have greater or lesser chance…" it is clearly beyond her realm of understanding, lacking the required logic that is perhaps a 'dragonrider' thing. A grin for wardrobe failures, and a playful, "You know, weavers do more than simply fix blown out seams. Sometimes we actually design articles of clothing. And that is a task perfectly suited for midnight. If you are on the night shift, perhaps I can join you. We can sit in antisocial silence while you contemplate the world and I design a new garment that shall take Pern by storm."

"All the candidates were searched, at one time or another," Zevuki replies. "I don't consider that an undue advantage, all told. Given there's, what, three times as many candidates as eggs, well…" the guard's shoulders shift in a shrug. His lips twitch upwards at her proposal, "That sounds like a fine idea. I imagine it would have to be somewhere well-lit to allow you to work. Perhaps one of the crafter work areas."

Sephany offers a contradictory, "not necessarily," for the candidates. "All of my elder sisters Stood as candidates and they were never Searched. It is the privilege of the Weyrborn to ask to be allowed to Stand even if a dragon does not specifically Search them. So your odds may be better than you first thought, depending on how many of those candidates are there of their own volition, and not at the behest of a dragon." But she does agree with him when she says, "however, you are right about the numbers. It is necessary. For the dragons. The hatchlings must have a good selection to choose from," she continues, voice taking on the tone and inflection that would indicate she is repeating words once drilled into her, perhaps as a child. A brief laugh and a soft, "Oh. I hadn't considered the necessity of light. Hm. I suppose that means we will not be on the star stones staring up at the night sky. Though I rather liked the idea of hiding out in the dark. Far more mysterious than settling into a well-lit craft space. I would imagine the cavern would look about the same in the middle of the night as it would in the middle of the day." A tap of her fingers against her cheek. "I don't have to draw. I could simply let my imagination run its course. Or perhaps I can contemplate the world as well."

Although he's frowning, Zevuki is listening closely. "There's that," he allows, "Though most weyrborn by default are given the advantage of knowing what to do, and usually being related to dragonriders already. I guess there's no real way to measure the odds beforehand — probably why it's such a popular method of betting." He takes another sip from his beer, near the end, but drawing it out now with smaller, measured sips. "Not unless you invent clothing that's visible in the dark. Or you develop exceptional night-sight. Perhaps partner with a wher for help?" he half-jokingly suggests, chuckling briefly.

"None of my sisters managed to Impress a dragon." It may not be the first time she has mentioned it, but perhaps it bears repeating. Her own beverage is only half gone, as Sephany seems more interested in playing with the condensation than actually drinking it. But with her chin in her hand, it's her non-dominant left that is working at designs in the table, whirls and diamonds and trivial things that mean nothing except that she can't seem to sit still. Comments on exceptional night vision get a grin and a roll of her eyes, followed by a playful comment for the idea of enlisting a wher's help. "Sephany the Wher-handling Weaver. Has a nice ring to it," she decides. "Perhaps the Harpers will write songs of me and my exploits, with my trusty partner to help me see in the dark." A glance towards almost-empty drinks prompts a polite "Do you want another one?" followed quickly by, "Though if you are going back into the sun, perhaps water would be better." The comment brings a question, and she wonders idly, "Have you ever been drunk before?"

"It seems just as likely as glow-in-the-dark clothes," Zevuki replies, with a low chuckle. "I wonder what your wher would be called, then. Sephk?" He glances down at his glass, then after a moment's hesitation, shakes his head. "I should head out to get cleaned up soon, I'm helping out in the kitchens this afternoon." One of Zevuki's less favorite chores, it would seem, from the grimace that passes quickly across his expression. That, or he'd just prefer to stay here and have another beer with Sephany. Her question earns a surprised rise of brows, "Many a time. Only a handful of times since I came to the Weyr, though. Getting drunk with guards tends to end with one waking up in some awkward place, missing clothing, more often than not."

"Hmm, there is an idea," says Sephany for glow in the dark clothes. And there is actual moment of genuine contemplation for it. "There is glowing moss in some caves… and there are glows as well… I wonder if it could be used…" but she saves that thought for another time, snorting in a very undignified way before dissolving into laughter for the name of her wher. "Oh, no! That's terrible! Oh! I'd better not pursue that idea, Poor Wher…" Enough laughter that she must cover her mouth with her hand to rein it in after a moment. The mirth remains, even if she's not terribly thrilled at the idea that he's soon to be leaving. "I seem to always find you on kitchen day," she teases halfheartedly. "Whoever assigns chores must be particularly sadistic to keep putting you in there. Though there are worse things than cleaning pots and pans," though she refrains for naming them. The idea that he has been drunk before honestly seems to surprise her. "I cannot imagine it," she admits. "You seem so… well. I cannot picture you winding up in such a compromising position as to awaken with missing clothing," though it does make her grin in amusement. "Though I can well imagine the mischief a group of guards may get into."

Zevuki's brows go upwards as he spots Sephany-in-contemplation-mode, chuckling after a moment. "I'm not sure it's much of a fashion statement to wear moss on your clothes, but if anyone can find a way to make it work, I'm sure you can." Reluctantly, he drains the rest of his glass, while snorting. "That's because I always seem to be on kitchen duty. Though, granted, it's better than some others." With a shake of his head, he sets his empty glass down. "That's the risk of drinking with people who are experts and can usually out-drink you," he grimaces a little. "You've no idea," he adds, with an exhale. "Maybe we can meet up for dinner, if you'll be around later?"

"Well… no. I think you are right on the moss suggestion, though perhaps I can…" but no, no. Sephany will just stop there, though her fingers are tapping in a way that suggests her brain is running wild with the idea. Creativity at work. The fidgeting stops soon enough as she sits up a bit straighter, careful not to disturb her sleeping Firelizard. "There most certainly are," worse things than kitchen duty. Her amusement and subtle wonder at the idea that Zevuki has been drunk still lingers, even as he sets down the glass in a way that speaks to the finality of this conversation and this meeting. The amusement dies and her smile waffles just slightly as words accompany the gesture, confirming in her mind that he is about to leave. "Yes," is offered quickly. "I will be around for dinner. I will find you in the kitchens," she offers, attempting a last tease when she continues with, "if just to reassure myself that you had no part in the cooking of the meal."

"You'll find me in the kitchens or the gutter," Zevuki corrects, "Where they'll undoubtedly throw me after I mess up the bread mixing again." With a smile, the guard pushes to his feet, "All right. I'll see you later tonight, Sephany. Maybe you can show me some designs for your moss-dress?" He's clearly teasing, before he makes his way out towards the bowl.


Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License