Oddly Nice to Meet You, Again

Western Island Chain: Emerald Isle: Main Beach
This long, wide beach extends in an unbroken expanse of brilliantly white sand for miles in either direction, and is a popular destination for those who prefer their beaches without tourist-trade interruption. Wide enough for a large dragon to walk along it without brushing wings in either the thick vegetation to the east or the surf to the west, it eventually fades back into the jungle that encroaches so thickly against it. In places, the waves out to sea rise high enough to surf, but there are also gentler stretches, well-suited to swimming. Bits of shell and driftwood are occasionally cast ashore here, but the sand is otherwise smooth and clean.
At the northern end of the beach, a narrow freshwater stream flows down towards the water from an inland waterfall, with a path that leads alongside it before disappearing into otherwise impassable jungle.

Guess who's found away from her 6 days a week job, for once? 'Leeta' — whose hair is now grown out to a semi-spikey mass about 4 inches long, white-blonde all around her head — is. The woman is clad in a one piece bathing suit of indiscriminate pale buff coloration, her subtle curves and roundnesses emphasized, shown-off by the semi-stretchy swimwear. At present, the green-eyed ass-kicker in disguise is propped up against the trunk of a tree, her pale skin protected from the sun, her thirst slaked by a large and decadent 'froo-froo' drink in one hand. She looks alert, but peaceful, her gaze traveling languidly to various sights, especially the lovely skies, and the occasional fair of wild firelizards gallavanting about in said skies.

It's part of the stretch between Black Moon Bay and Half Moon Weyr that gets regular traffic from the craft, but likely as not the pearl diver had other plans. A collapsible bucket sits filled with bivalves of some species or variety, Tanit is flopped in the sand a water proof notebook of sorts scratching out a series of notes in what at first glance might look like hieroglyphics, but is not.

She must have been out of Alida's immediate viewing area, because the woman didn't notice her. But finally, it's some glint of water on rubber or another eye-catching flash that steals the lounging ex-guard's attention, green eyes riveting immediately to the more distant site of whatever it is. Give her some long moments of squinting, shading her eyes…then remembering that she has sunglasses beside her on her beach towel…and she'll don her eyewear. And finally make out… "Tanit…" is noted in smooth, easy alto to the apprentice dolphineer as soon as Alida rises, closes the distance between the two of them.

"Leeta." The dolphineer greets, shifting up her chin to study the security member. "I am surprised they let you have a day off. You seem like the type to focus more on work than leisure." There's a tip of her chin to the woman to the bucket. "Do you like oysters much?"

"Yeah…that's me," 'Leeta' notes with a bit of drollness in answer to Tanit's assessment of her, the pale woman smirking just a hint as she looks down. Word of oysters brings a small nose-wrinkle to her features, the security head commenting low, "They're slimy, disgusting things that I almost threw up the first time I tried raw. Cooked, I can eat them." Shrug. "Working 'r playing t'day?"

"Little of both, doing a sample of the bivalves that are native to this region." She grins, "And taste testing a few." Toes dig into the sand, and the dolphineer's eyes go wide, everyone's entitled to their own opinions of course but this, is almost sacrilege in her view. "A fan of the resort then?"

The look on Alida's face says it all: Ew. Still, Tanit's entitled to her preferences, so the blonde moves on mast gross raw bivalves, bobbing her growing-out head to the dolphineer's words…and smirking at her own reaction to Alida's disgust. "Mm. Never been to a resort before now. Nice place…relaxing." Something that's perhaps rather foreign to the former guard. "You live in this place all yer life?"

"Fuck no, My home could dance circles around this place, Black Moon Isle, It's closer to the Ring of Fire Sea. Not far away, but distant enough if you are relying on the winds and currents." There's a wicked curve to the corners of her mouth with the admission. "I'm guessing you aren't a native to the area though." Precisely where this conclusion is drawn is unclear.

"Ahh…" Leeta murmurs as her feet shift in the hot sands, the calluses on their bottoms finally able to bear it no longer without movement. Shuffle-swish. "I guess I meant this whole island complex…" There's that shrug again; it seems not to care much. "Nah. Totally a northern landlubber," she replies easily enough as to her own origins…and that's all Tanit will get. It leaves LOTS of places to the imagination. "Gotta say this whole island thing has it goin', though." Is that a faint curl of lips into a ghost smile as she once more looks out and around once again. "Guess you c'n go to a mountain top to find snow here, if you want."

"There's several chains in the western islands." Tanit agrees, but laughs when mention of the north is brought up. "I'm so very sorry you have that terrible place as your home." Tanit lifts a shoulder and laughs, "There's no other life like it, though and snow is overrated as hell."

"So I've heard…starting to see," 'Leeta' murmurs, casting her eyes back at the places where others occupy the beach, then back to Tanit. Another faire of wild firelizards pass overhead, and gain the sunglass-sharp gaze of the blonde woman for some moments…her lips touched with a hint of that almost-smile once again. Back down to Tanit is noted, "It's got its own beauty, in places." The North. Shrug. "Ugly as shit in others." Ah: now *there's* that stark frown, gracing her lips for a few long moments before being erased. "Don' matter, now. *Here's* home." If Tanit could see those lurid green eyes of hers, there'd be a flash or relief and warmth in them. The dolphineer's laughter seems to spike a slightly better chain of thought in the older woman, and she's soon smirking a little, nodding. "Snow's great…for about a month or two." Snort!

"Well welcome home then," Tanit grins, reaching over to fish an oyster from the basket and fishes out one of the oysters. A flash of silver as the shell is opened, eaten and then the inner layer is studied, a few more notes in the strange marks scratched out again. "I hate the snow, I've been there done that, if I never see it ever again. It will be too soon." A pause. "So are you running away from something or running toward something?"

"Thank you…" is noted with a hint of wryness mixed with tiny hints of surprise and gratitude, Alida managing a tiny smile for just a moment in return to Tanit. "Well, at least you c'n say you experienced it…" is noted as the security head rocks slowly back and forth on her overly-warm feet. "How long you been an Apprentice? Bet it's rarely ever boring, working with dolphins." Cue her thin smirk for the memory of the previous time she met up with a couple of those overly-playful creatures. And then Tanit's asking that, and only sunglasses cover the startlement in 'Leeta's' eyes, though the rest of her face remains a mask of neutrality. Maybe the dolphineer feels the intangible intensity of the other female's focus…and maybe she doesn't. Her voice, when she answers, is a hint curious. "Someone's running?" It's not her. Not anymore.

"I think, a little over two turns now?" Glancing skyward as though she hadn't thought much of the time that flew between then and now. "I was a pearl diver before, the island's sort of known for it, so I was able to speed through a lot of the things people learn young." The meat of the thing is prodded and eaten when nothing shiny is produced. She kind of laughs at the sudden scrutiny. "Everybody has something they don't want to face, If you aren't born here, there is usually some reason you wind up here. Either for the weather, the treasure, or the company. But I suppose we do get our share of runaways and strays. I'm just wondering which variety you are. You don't get as wound up tight as you are without some kind of story."

"Heard it takes lots of breath practice…lots uv' air to be a pearl diver," Alida notes with a certain amount of admiration of such a talent, the foot-shifting woman nodding at Tanit's leg-up over other dolphineer wanna-be's who are younger. Blink. "You think you'd get a pearl outta' it?" is inquired with returning curiosity of that shucked and then consumed oyster, 'Leeta' then laying one hand upon one hip, canting it a little, and giving Tanit a slightly smirky look for her next words. "I bet dragonriders get transfered here enough…Crafters too. Doesn't mean they're running." As for herself, "I love the weather, might enjoy the treasure if someone taught me how ta dive better…and I find the company pleasureable enough." The lattermost is a gigantic improvement over her 'company' of the previous 2-3 Turns. "Could you blame people if they decided they wanna live in these islands? Shells, even Ista, the South? It's fuckin' gorgeous in all of 'em most of the time. Easier living." Shrug. She's that obvious about being tightly wound? That's a no-no. Makes her more obvious to lots of people…but especially those hunting her. For cover is noted around a twitch of lips into a faint smile, "I've been called an intense personality."

Tanit grins, "I don't know a feeling in this world quite like being down there." As for pearls she laughs, "It's possible, the nacre is amazing though, Tillek you usually wind up with white pearls, or sometimes a soft pink but look at this." Handing over the two halves so that the water drop patterns of deep purple and blue can be seen. "If the others are like this one they will make great donors for seed pearls, and I've learned always to check before I eat." Intense. That's one word for it sure. Ista brings a twist of something to the dolphineer's expression, lips dipping downward faintly at the corners of her mouth. "Yeah, Ista's gorgeous this time of year, great surfing too." And for a moment her thoughts are somewhere else, maybe a beach with far darker sand.

'Leeta' nods a few times at Tanit's thoughts of diving deep, the former-Guard noting a bit more warmly again, "I know how ta swim well, dive about…hmm…maybe 10 feet down for a minute or so. Certainly not well enough ta search for pearls, though." Beat…grin. "Unless *someone* wants ta teach me the ropes, of course." And then she's taking those two halves of bi-valves from Tanit — and not even really mistrusting her much at all, oddly — peering at their inner coloration, nodding at the dolphineer's words as her thumb pad lightly strokes over the nacre. "I bet even these simple shells'd make pretty jewelry when shaped right." And then her mind finally puts together checking the beasties before biting down, and she too winces. "Did that once with an olive. Never forgot again." Snert. After looking at the other woman, then out to sea for a few moments, the paler woman notes quietly, "Thinkin' of other places?" For her, at least right now, this place encompasses nearly all of her thoughts…aside from her father, brother(s).

It takes a minute for the blond's voice to pull the Dolphineer back to Pern so to speak, "Places - and people I guess. I was just thinking about how long it's been since I set foot in Ista." Earlier bits of conversation are easier to focus on. "If you can find someone who knows how to work with the material." Toes push into the sand and she smirks, "I'm not opposed to teaching, just don't go poaching anyplace you shouldn't. Granted you'd have to be willing to come near the weyr more often. I do have real work to do on occasion."

"Get a ride there…" Alida notes diffidently to Tanit's words of Ista, the blonde still looking out to sea…and deeply inhaling the warm lushness of the islands. "There's gotta be Smiths, even Harpers who can work with shell." Why do such things sound so easily done when the security head speaks of them? Poaching, however, brings up a slight fire in those lurid green eyes, and a firm look back to the dolphineer. "I was brought up with some strict boundaries. I don't poach, trespass…whatever you wanna call 'em." It sounds almost like an oath with her speaking it. As for the Weyr…well, the elder woman shrugs, notes neutrally, "I don't like gettin' into non-Hold business too much…" Shrug. "But if it'll teach me a solid skill that I can use ta' supplement my income…" Cue her grin and slight bow. "You gotta' student. How much will you charge?" Beat. "I ain't got much extra." Not being so new to her position.

"Don't wish for one. Little fuckers are absolute pests." As if to emphasize this point a flash of blue screeches in wheeling and diving in with a hissing chatter. Of course the tubby little thing sees fewds and zooms over fishing out a rather large bivalve and retreating just out of reach. "Rotten little thief." The dolphineer mutters.

"Yer not the first that's said shit like that about 'em…" Alida notes dryly as the tubby blue firelizard appears, buzzes around and is generally a loudmouthed overeater. Smirk. "It's either their personality or the owner's lackadaisicality in training 'em." Shrug. "Still wouldn't mind one." A look out to the blue soon results in the usual: "What's his name?"

"Well in Pest's case, it really is what he is. I tried training him, but he doesn't hardly have enough brains to learn much of anything." Reaching over to grab the little devil's tail long enough for the blue to squeak in protest before giving a doofy grin as a claw is held out. Tanit undoes the twine with the free hand and releases the monster. "And that would be my cue to get back to work." She notes dourly, "But next time you make a visit up to Half moon catch me and I'll keep my promise."

"Yeah…some don't have much brains…" Alida notes with a sigh, though she grins a little at the interplay between Tanit and her blue. "I once saw a gold that liked to sleep in socks…even laid her clutches in 'em. Daft as a trundlebug." Snort, head-shake. "Already?" is noted with perhaps strange disappointment by the often aloof Leeta, the woman then nodding in understanding. "Always work…duty." Huff. "Alright. I'll make a point uv' lookin' you up next time I get up there. You Weyr 'r Hold?"

"Weyr; its where they keep all the pretty menfolk." Tanit laughs, making her way back out to the water. "See you 'round Leeta." And with that she's off into the water dissapearing from view.

"I'll have to remember that…" Alida notes practically, then snerts, raising her hand in farewell to Tanit. "Another day, dolphin-lady." For a good while after Tanit and Pest depart, the woman returns to her lounging, walking, beach combing, until the sun nears setting…and she has to dress for the return of her dragonride back home.

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