Who Rulayn, Russall
What Rulayn acts suspicious - or so Russall thinks.
When Spring, Turn 2711
Where Living Caverns, Fort Weyr

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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.

With the evening drawing to a close, most residents are making their way to bed, or to Shenanigans for late night drinks. Of course, this makes it the ideal time for a certain skinny young woman to creep out from her newfound hiding spot in the pillow cavern and rummage for any leftover food before it's discarded. In the last few weeks Rulayn seemed to have lost even more weight and so even her usual hide clothing had started to get just a little bit looser. Scooping up a plate, the girl hurried over to one of the last few platters of meatrolls and other assorted goodies, piling as many as she could onto the plate before beginning to hurry back towards the exit.

Not everyone has the luxury of retiring at night, as some professions demand nocturnal shifts - such as the guards. Decked out in his full uniform, with a longstaff strapped to his back and a short sword sheathed in its scabbard on his belt, Russall looks every bit part of the Weyr's guard regiment as he emerges from the lower caverns. His hair's slightly damp and there's a scent of soapsand and something vaguely aftershave-like to suggest he's freshly bathed as he approaches the table holding the remaining food. The fastening of his cuffs is taking up his full attention as he strides forward, meaning he's not looking at all where he's going… which would be right into Rulayn's path.

Rulayn is so busy in her haste, so eager to be back where she's going that of course, the incoming Russall is unavoidable. Smack! Face-first the girl slams right into the man, the plate slipping from her grip and shattering, scattering various food items in every direction across the floor. "Oof! Sorry!" Is the immediate reply; of course it was her fault. It's always -her- fault, right? Drawing back and without even sparing Russall a glance, Rulayn drops to her knees and begins scooping up the edible leftovers into her hands.

And unlucky for Rulayn, Russall's a pretty solid wall to smack into. He's swayed slightly by the impact, but he doesn't fare as badly as the younger girl does. "Shit. Sorry." He drops to a knee - a little awkward, given the longstaff on his back - to help her pick up her dropped dinner, only to realise it's kind of futile without there being another plate to put everything on. "Hang on." Up he gets to find a replacement, returning a few ticks later to hand it to Ru. "Here. Get one of the drudges over to clean the mess up." Straightening up, he realises he probably ought to check out his uniform… and a quick inspecting finds that other than a few easily removed crumbs, it's survived the impact intact. He cuffs, however, are still not laced. "Er - you're not any good with lacing things up, are you?"

A quick count would reveal that thankfully, most of the food she had loot-.. taken was still intact, although slightly squished by how determined she was clinging to it. When Russall returns with an offered plate, she quickly piles everything on there and moves to snatch it from his hands, when his question catches her off-guard. She pauses, eyeing Russall warily and his crumb-covered uniform. A guard? Well, she'd never been in trouble with the 'law' before, so it was probably best not to refuse such a request, right? ".. Sure." The girl mutters, leaving the plate on the ground and extending her boney hands towards the man, ready to lace up whatever's offered her way.

Russall offers out his two hands, both of which have cuffs at the end of his sleeves that need to be laced. "Can't ever do these damned things myself," he says gruffly, looking slightly uncomfortable at having to ask for help. It's just not manly, is it? He'll stand there stiff and silent for a few moments, watching whatever Rulayn decides to do with his steady blue-grey gaze. "Where were you in such a rush to get to? Hot date? Hungry aunt?" He leans in a little, one brow quirked questioningly high. "… or were you sneaking it away because you're hiding from someone?"

Rulayn offers only the smallest of smirks at his comment before her thin fingers deftly set to work on one cuff, stringing the laces together, tugging and pulling them in a series of rapid motions until - ta-da! A nice tight knot and ever-so-neat too! Tying all those bandages in the Infirmary must have paid off, after all. Without hesitation the girl sets about the second cuff, repeating the action until it's a perfect match. ".. There." She admires her handiwork for a moment, then leans back down to hoist the new plate up into her arms. Rising to stand, she held the food possessively against herself as the man asks of her reasoning, and she gives him a suspicious look. ".. Why do you want to know?"

Satisfied with her handiwork, Russall nods a thank you. But her reply to his question, and that suspicious look to boot, has him frowning thoughtfully. He stands straighter, which sets his 6'2 frame practically towering over the considerably shorter girl, and rests one hand on the hilt of his short sword while he looks over Rulayn, taking in the details about her. "It's my duty to Fort to know when folks are sneaking around for potentially dubious purposes. This is Fort, after all." The Weyr that has more than it's fair share of sneaky sneakabouts and up-to-no-gooders.
Rulayn has to crane her neck to look up at the man, considering the top of her head barely reaches his shoulder. That sword looks dangerous too, so she scoots back just a little, just to be sure. "I'm.. training my firelizard." She mutters. That's one reason, at least. Not all of the reasons, but a good enough one for a guard, right? Admittedly the girl looks just a tad hungry and it shows as she takes one of the half-squashed meatrolls and begins to nibble on it.

"Firelizard." Russall doesn't look entirely convinced. He drums his fingers against his sword's hilt as he thinks, all the while fixing Rulayn with a stern gaze. "Don't they respond better to raw meat?" The guard doesn't sound too sure, and that seems to set him on edge a little. "And if you're gathering that for your firelizard, why are you eating it now?" Something doesn't add up, and his contemplative frown deepens. "Who are you, and what do you do here?" He pulls a small notepad from his pocket, pencil attached to it, and holds the tip to the paper, poised to write.

Yep. Firelizard. But wait, that isn't good enough? Rulayn blinks at the clear response coming from Russall and she shrinks a little at his question, mouth still full of food. Swallowing it down, she rapidly points to one of the other meatrolls on the plate. "They.. They'll eat this stuff too." She murmurs, growing steadily more nervous as the man frowns further. Well, this didn't look good. She didn't want to be -noted- down for anything! She hadn't done anything wrong! "I'm Rulayn.." The young woman replies quietly. ".. And I'm hungry."

Scribble scribble. Russall continues taking notes, even after Rulayn stops talking. "Huh," he says eventually, stabbing a full stop onto the notepad. "So you're here because you're hungry? Holdless, are you? Snuck in for something to eat? Or one of the Holders who's pissed at us because we sent our folks to board with you while we had rock falling on our heads?" His steely gaze runs its way from head to toe and back again over the girl, ending up examining her face, watching for expression changes. Any little tell… "I think you ought to explain yourself, Rulayn, or I'll have to take you to HQ."

Is the knot on her clothing not evident enough? Or perhaps Russall had thought she'd stolen it too. Either way she looks offended by his remark. "I'm.. I was born here!" She protests loudly, clutching the food ever tighter. "I -said- what my business was, sir, so please let me go!" And she even shuffles to the side slightly, as if to perhaps try to make her way around the taller man. With such a height and weight difference, it probably wouldn't take much for the man to crush her if he wanted to.

"Funny that I don't recognise you, when I was born here, too." That little piece of evidence has both thrown Russall and raised his doubts, both at the same time. "Funny you wouldn't recognise me, either… you can't be that much younger than I am." He scribbles one more remark in his notepad, then tucks it back away where it came from. With his hands free, he crossed his arms over his chest and frowns down at Ru, trying to work the situation out. "Technically you're doing nothing wrong, beyond acting suspiciously. If you truly are Fort Weyr-born, then you'll understand the need for caution, especially with eggs on the way." Y'know, what with the Weyr's history of hatching sands arson and all. "I'll be keeping an eye on you, Rulayn."

Rulayn deadpans at the response. "I.. I'm usually out at the Beasthold.. I.." She tries to explain, brows knitted together in confusion. It would lend some reasoning as to -why- they'd never bumped into each other before, but it would more than likely just sound like another flimsy excuse to the guard. ".. I'm training to be a Healer for the dragons, why would I hurt them?" Admittedly, the only thing Roo had going for her were her words (as unbelieveable as they might sound) since her overall appearance seemed more akin to a drudge. Or a begging outsider. She tugged on the shoulder of her vest as it slid down her slim form, and motioned to the door again. ".. Can I go now?"

Russall just continues to fix Rulayn with that disbelieving gaze. He shrugs in response to her question about hurting dragons, but when her second question is posed, he pauses to think. Just for a few seconds, and then he turns sideways on, opening the way through to the lower caverns for her. A nod of his head says she's free to go, while he keeps on staring. Maybe it's a tactic to get her to cave?

The only cave that Rulayn is going to be associated with in a few minutes is the one comprised of pillows she's made down in the deep dark recesses of the Weyr! When no response is given, and Russall stands aside, she watches him warily. Was that a yes? Hunched over the plate in her arms she shuffles past in a sidestepping motion, eyes on him the entire time. Only when she's passed him entirely does she turn on heel and break into a literal sprint for the lower caverns. If she was a deadly criminal with nefarious plans, this surely would mean he'd let her get away!

And Russ does let her go, though he watches until she's out of sight. Then he grabs himself a few of those leftover meatrolls, and heads out to his post for the night.

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