First Meetings

Western Weyr - Living Caverns
Here is the center of Weyr life, the living caverns. These two main rooms were man-shaped from smaller caves, and are joined by a carved arch with depictions of dragons in flight and dolphins leaping in swirling waves. One room has many round stone and wooden tables and a stone fire-pit instead of a hearth. Over the round-walled, gas fired pit is a large conical hood made of polished bronze, with reliefs of dragons with their riders flying over ships guided by dolphins. This hood and chimney keeps the room smoke-free. Through the archway is an enormous hall, with long tables and benches, some carved from the rock floor, many crafted of wood. This room is a combination dining and meeting hall, and can seat over 300 comfortably. Above both rooms, angled shafts lined with polished metal bring in sunlight during the day. Electric lights also burn, day and night.

It's an ordinary day. Obviously. Nothing's burning down, right? It may as well be, as far as Xaleres is concerned, since the guy is off by a wall nearish the hearth, taking a small ball — possibly stolen from a brat of some sort — and throws it at the wall, causing it to ClunkaClunkaClunk back into his hands. Throw!Clunkaclunka. Throw!Clunkaclunka. Oh yes, this is the life of misery and pain, where one, after finishing their meal, throws a toy at the wall as if it were some sort of arduous task to complete. Throw-THUNK-"OW!" Apparently that throw was a bit too hard, and it hurls back and hits him in the face. SMART.

Dryssa is sitting at an otherwise unoccupied table nearby, guzzling from a mug of klah. She's filled with a jittery, nervous energy, constantly fidgeting and playing with her hair. The klah probably isn't helping. Today she's dressed in a bright eyesore of a dress that looks like it was tie-dyed by drunk firelizards. When she sees the ball smack into Xaleres' face, she can't help but giggle.

"Hmph," says Ashkaldyn, walking past Xaleres. "Serves you right. Don't you have anything better to do than annoy people?" She scowls, and passes on over to where Dryssa is seated, taking a chair without asking. The few books she'd been carrying are dropped delicatly onto the table, and she takes to scowling around grumpily rather than reading.

The "Ow" is obviously something someone else would be embarressed at, but considering the numerous bumps and bruises the boy is garnishing at the moment, Xaleres hardly breathes a sigh at it. "I dunno honey, why don't you tell ME?" The words come off with a smoothly sarcastic glare, as he begins his 'ThrowClunka's' again without much more than an eyeroll. His eyes trail off in the direction she goes, and hearing the giggle — and catching sight of Dryssa's dress — he lets the ball bounce off for a moment in his state of shock. "Whoa girl, where on Pern'd you get THAT getup?"

Despite receiving no acknowledgement whatsoever from Ashkaldyn, Dryssa still gives her a friendly wave and a smile. "Hi there!" She says, bubbly and cheery. Strangely, she seems to take the shocked comment from Xaleres as a compliment, grinning even wider. "Oh, you like it? I made it myself! Isn't it great?"

Ashkaldyn's face turns vicious, but she's already seated and seems reluctant to get up. Hmph. "Watch your tongue, boy, or I'll snip it out." And then Dryssa is spotted, and her eyebrows shoot up towards her hairline. "Oh.. my…" and she covers her mouth quickly with one hand. Once she's recovered, she says, "Made it, hm? You're not a seamstress, are you?" Is that fear?

"Despite the fact it looks like you joined one of the food groups, sure." Since he let the ball bounce off, Xaleres quickly jumps up to fetch after it, and, having struck gold on conversation, mills his way towards the two girls bouncing the ball on the floor the whole way. "Maybe you could make ME one and we could be MATCHING!" The total sarcasm glares off his annoyingly sparkly white teeth, but at least it's in humor, and not to chastise the girl. Well. Mostly. Kathunka. Kathunka. "Ooo, a /fiesty/ one," he says in mock fear of Ashkaldyn. "It's almost cute." Kathunka.

Dryssa just keeps beaming cheerily at Askaldyn, the other woman's horror failing to register in the least. "Well, I'm an artist, really. Clothing is just one of the many mediums I work in. But if you'd like a dress like this, I can tell you how to make one. It's easy!" Xaleres' sarcasm seems similarly missed by the cheery girl. "You too? Wow. Western must be a cultured place, I don't usually get this much acknowledgement for my art."

"No, thank you," says Ashkaldyn, to Dryssa. "I like my clothes.. plane." A polite way of saying sane? Xaleres is just scowled at, and she lifts her chin haughtily. "You are hardly original, sir. And at least Brenn has the decency to be polite and helpful. You're just rude."

Xaleres is actually totally serious when, with a light smirk, he nods to the girl. "Well, not a /dress/. But what dumbass isn't complete without a stylish accessory like a handkerchief dyed like that." Well, maybe not serious about the 'stylish' part. "I ain't from Western, though. Just uh.. Sorta.. stopped here." Partly true, partly not; but whatever, now he's kathunka-ing against the table, causing it to shudder a little from the bombardment. "Am I /supposed/ to be original? Was that a requirement?" Cheeky grin, insert! "Rude is my forte, annoying my second, and unoriginal my third. The rest is totally yours, wildcat." Winkwink.

Dryssa looks momentarially disappointed by Ashkaldyn's rejection of her generous offer. "Plain? Where's the fun in that? Your clothes should make a statement." Dryssa's certainly seem to do that. She takes another sip of klah, and that brings the smile right back to her face. Xaleres just seems to confuse her. "You're proud of being rude, annoying, and unoriginal? That's weird."

"They do," notes Ashkaldyn. "They say 'here is a sane, responcible records keeper', which is exactly what they need to say." She glances at her own clothes, and seems satisfied by what she sees. She narrows her eyes at Xaleres. "At least you can admit your faults. Now try and improve upon them?"

Xaleres brushes some of his twiny, dread-like hair out of his eyes, beaming at Dryssa; he even tosses in a bow for good measure. "Well, I either be proud o'what I am, or deny it and be a grumpy old man! Neither is ultimately preferable, but the lesser of two evils makes me pleased. You're obviously proud of your.. handiwork. I should be of mine, even if it's not appreciated." He finally does a final klunkaklunka with the ball, before collapsing into a chair across from them. "Soo, you gonna make me that scarf? I stink at thinks like that myself, ya know." Ashkaldyn's statement makes him 'take aback', although more stage dramatis than anything. "Why, darlin', why should I improve on something so amazing? I improve those ones, and I'll just get ones like yours. Prudeishness and undaringness. Can't have that now, can we?" He turns back to Dryssa. "Your art /should/ be more appreciated. Wild and crazy is a great statement!" For those who want to be SHUNNED.

Dryssa furrows her brow at Ashkaldyn, as if just not fully understanding her. "Well… if you say so." She says in a tone as if she's the one talking to a crazy person. "But I don't quite get it. Are you saying record keepers have to be plain?" Ouch. She peers over at Xaleres again, grinning. "Well, I'd be happy to make you something for a small commission! Or I could just tell you how to do it, it's actually pretty easy."

"No, hun," says Ashkaldyn to Dryssa, looking amused, "Take a commission. Don't give that worm anything for free." Her wardrobe has been dismissed, and Ashka doesn't even blink at being mildly insulted, on purpose or not. She smiles a sugary sweet smile at Xaleres, and flutters her eyelashes in an exaggerated display, "Oh, my! Why ever would you want to be /pleasant/ to the residents of a Weyr you don't belong?" And then she drops the act, adding, "Maybe because said residents have connections, and can boot your behind out of here faster than you could spell my name."

Xaleres twitches at the sound of 'commission'. "Like.. how small a commission are we talkin'?" Penny-pincher, much? "Though, when I say I stink at that sorta thing.. Really. I'm /awful/. Buuuutt, if you're willing to toss a kind teaching session to a guy like me, I'd make it work your while." Wink-a-wink. "Oh /come/ now, wildcat," the guy says with a wag of his finger. "I'm just the traveling jester, here to entertain you with thoughts of stupidity, frustration, and make you realize how wonderful you really are! Deep down, you know I'm doing you a favor. Really. You do. In here." He pats his chest eagerly. "Buuutt, If you /say/ so, I'll be nice. After you tell me your name. Lemme guess. Sugar-pie? Sweetie-poo? Baby-cakes? Oooh, nooo. KITTY, right, RIGHT?!"

Dryssa looks increasingly confused by the back and forth between Ashkaldyn and Xaleres, but the opportunity to make money keeps her paying attention. "Uhm… I think maybe you should try to be more nice to her, maybe? She didn't do anything rude that I noticed." The already hyper girl has another swig of claw. "Well, she says I have to take a commission, even though it's not all that hard to learn. So, uh, make me an offer, I guess?"

Kitten indeed. Vicious Feline is more like it. Ashkaldyn's eyes are pinned on Xaleres, and though she smiles, it's a whicked, predatory smile. "Hm. Not even close," she answers, deciding to try a new tactic. She reaches over, and plucks one of her books from the table, flipping it open lazily. "And I do say so. Be nice. Or you won't like it." Smile! Dryssa is given another look, and a small frown. "Honestly, dear, never turn down the offer of money."

"Weeeeell." Xaleres considers. Pay high, or pay low? Considering for a moment, he sighs, and decides: what the hey, I could use to make less enemies. "Half mark? If you teach me. But, ya know, ya shouldn't let people boss you 'round. She might be right, but you shouldn't do what she says because she said it." Finger waggle. He didn't get ANYWHERE in life listening to what others said! "I am bein' nice, cutie!" Xale shrugs at Dryssa. "Just.. unorthodox." And asking for a butt-kicking. "Fine, fine, wildcat. Here. M'names Xaleres, but you can call me Xale. Now you can tell the guards if you think they should drag me off to the brig." He looks at Dryssa's mug pitifully. "Can I have a sip?" Blink. "Noooww will you tell me your name? Pretty please? Both of you."

"… and mother and father should be happy to see me, and grandmother should put the both of us up when I go by," Amarante is explaining as she walks along, looking at the caverns themselves. Arkoss is walking beside her, the white-haired youth taller than she is by a noticeable amount despite the fact she's not entirely short herself. "Just, I'm not sure what they'll think of my three additions to the family." She looks bemused. "I don't think that's what my father meant when I was taken on Xanadu's first Search a year ago when he said he hoped I Impressed." Rue touches her fair features, and she tucks a bit of pale blonde hair behind one ear. "Think you'll ever go back to Igen, Arkoss?" The duo are making their way slowly through the hallway into the cavern area, not particularly hurried.

"Half a mark sounds okay…" Dryssa glances sideways at Ashkaldyn, as if waiting to see whether she approves of the offer or not. After all, the other woman seems to have a great deal more business sense. "I'm not going to turn it down." She gives Xaleres a big grin. "Oh! My name's Dryssa. It's nice to meet you! And sure, you can have a sip." She holds out her mostly-empty klah mug for him to take.

There's a twitch to Ashkaldyn's eyebrow, and she looks towards Xaleres with a bit of speculation. Her mouth forms a thin line, but she nods at Dryssa. "Half a mark? Sounds perfectly fair." More than, in fact. She smiles sweetly once more, but still doesn't give up her name. "You'll need to try harder than that, Xales. What's in it for me?" Her book is open, but it's clearly being ignored. And those passing through the Caverns? Well, they're ignored as well, for the time being.

Xaleres takes a rather small swig from the mug, leaving at least a little left; he was just testing waters, really. "Thanks, Dryssa. Nice to meet you! Can't say I can forget a name and a getup like that anytime soon." Insert a-wink-a-wink. "Well, I HOPE the price is okay. I ain't really got much on me." That, though, is actually the truth, written heavily into the sulk of his expression; it conveiniantly 'disappeared' at some point on his journey. Nasty Seacrafters, grrr. "Harder? Aww, pussycat, that's no fair! Though, I /do/ rather like calling you every landmark pet name in the book, rather makes you more mysterious than you probably are. BUT. I'm known to be wrong." He throws his hands up in defeat. "Do I need to beg? Kiss your feet? Wash up some false sense of lovie-dovie-feelings? How about proclaim it to the whole cavern?" OH NO. "OY! You two just enterin'!" Amarante and Arkoss, obviously. "How you fair sitting down and eating with me and these two positively LOVELY ladies here! And you know. Help me guess the snarky one's name." Beam. Okay, not perfect, but.. he's trying?

"No, I don't think I will ever go back to Igen unless I happen to be Searched by the Weyr there." Arkoss replies, shaking his head as he looks around. "So why am I here again?" he asks her, glancing down at the shorter girl. Then he belatedly notices people, and he blinkblinks as the other guy calls them over. "Uh…think I'd rather stay out of the crossfire." he does notice the annoyance of the other girl, after all.

Dryssa only looks even more confused by the act from Xaleres as she takes back her mug, drinking the very last of her klah. "Half a mark is going to be fine… uh…" She blinks and tilts her head as the bizarre performance continues. "I don't think that's going to make her any more likely to tell you her name." When the new folks make their arrival, she looks up and inspects them curiously. She smiles a little upon noticing Arkoss. "Oh! It's that boy from Xanadu who misses his mom." She says cheerfully.

Amarante smirks up at Arkoss. "Because I'm here for a week and it's tropical and therefore you can relax just a little?" she asks dryly of him. "Or has your forgetfulness when it comes to directions actually managed to spread to the rest of your memories?" She lifts a hand and pokes his upper arm gently, grinning mischievously all the while. "Besides, I thought you could use a break from everyone calling you Needleb-" She halts as they're spoken to, peering towards Xaleres and then chuckling at Arkoss. Especially as he's apparently recognized. "I see your reputation precedes you, friend," she tells him, clapping him on the shoulder and firmly pushing him towards the others. "Let's go say hello."

Ashkaldyn smiles brightly, almost sinister. "Well, you are right there, sir. I am not at all mysterious. In fact, I'm a records keeper. That's about as unmysterious as you can get!" Ha. Still no name. She flicks a glance to the approaching pair, but seems not at all upset by Xales performance. "Sweet, why don't you try sitting? Might make your head appear smaller, and therefore make me more apt to liking you." She smiles at Dryssa, but it's tense. "You, really, have no tact."

Xaleres sets his elbows down on the table, almost becoming defeatist; but, it's likely he's just plotting. "No, pry not, you're right," he sighs at Dryssa. "But, if my witty charm and outgoing demeanor fail me, alas, I shall never win." He pretends to raise a fake wineglass in toast (to his loss, apparently). The approaching pair get another wave as he slumps more (at Ashkaldyn's wishes). "Records keeper, eh? Well, that's a start! I bet it could be mysterious if you tried! Like.. writing in fake events, or.. switching up the files, or.. Having them mysteriously disappear, losing history forever! Course, then you'd be out of a job." Frown. "There, how's my head look?" Probably no different; he pats it just to make sure, though. "Aww, don't shame the poor girl!" is referred to about the tact. "She can say what she wants how she wants! A bitten tongue just hides regretted feelings." Wink-a-wink. "So, you miss your mom, eh? What's this rubbish?" That, paired with a biiiig bright smile; how could you go wrong?

Dryssa frowns a little at the rebuke from Ashkaldyn, looking genuinely saddened. "What? What'd I do?" Somehow, she actually seems to have remained oblivious to her faux pas yet again. She smiles a little when Xaleres speaks up in support of her, but it's a distinctly uneasy smile. "Well, that's all I remember about him…" She reaches for her klah mug, peering into it in disappointment after realizing that she has already drunk the last of it.

"I do /not/ miss my mom, I left home to escape her nagging!" Arkoss exclaims, sulking /just/ a tad. Aww, isn't that cute. He glowers at no one in particular. "It was a rhetorical question." he mutters to Amarante, heaving a sigh. Man…he's always the butt of jokes! Cue him going off to a corner to sulk for real, only….just in his mind. He doesn't /actually/ move. "So what's Western like, aside from tropical?" he inquires, with a slightly sarcastic glance Amarante's way.

Clearly, Ashkaldyn is not amused by Xaleres's suggestions. "Hm, yes. Because if I was so fond of ruining the records room, obviously /working/ there would be a smart move." Sarcasm. She closes her book with a snap, not getting any readind done, and tap-tap's the cover with her fingers. "Actually," she notes, studying Xaleres's head with mock seriousness, "It looks a little bigger. One might think you're compensating." And then her attention is on the foreign pair, whom she smiles politely at, but little more. "It's not generally polite," she tells Dryssa, "To point out a person's flaws before a crowd."

Xaleres smiles at Dryssa, noticing her empty mug. "Ahoy!" He snatches it up, and then spins around. "Klah, klah, klah…" Mutter. "Ah, there it is!" He whizzes off, only to return — with a slight leap over a chair, nearly spilling it — to present it to Dryssa with a ridiculously stupid bow. "Thar you go." And, collapse back into the chair. "Oh, but wildcat," he begins again. "One that would WANT to mess up the records would be most advantaged by working there! Just to quit after! I do hope you don't leave the archive room unlocked. It might give me ideas." Browwaggle. "Really, bigger? Compensating? Oh dear, dear… Must I prove to you that I'm not in front of this whole cavern?" Another wink-a-wink.

"Flaws? What flaws?" Dryssa asks Ashkaldyn with that perpetually confused look of hers, blinking. "Oh? The stuff about his mom? I didn't even think about that!" She gives Arkoss an apologetic smile. "Sorry! Hope I didn't offend you." Xaleres' continued posturing and boasting only serves to baffle her yet again. "Compensating for what?" Poor naive girl in the crazy dress.
Amarante smirks at Arkoss and folds her arms at her chest, having a seat somewhere nearby without being so close as to intrude. At Xaleres' words, though, she colors faintly and clears her throat, turning just a bit away from him. She taps a foot and mutters towards Arkoss, "Dolphins, tropical weather…" She pauses and then, recalling a certain beach event, looks up at him with an evil little grin. "PLENTY of girls in bikinis," she says smugly. "Any other questions?"

Arkoss pffts when Amarante mentions girls in bikinis, but nevertheless he does appear much happier. "Don't worry about it…but I don't miss my mom." Arkoss just tried to use the sympathy ploy to get a kiss. It failed, though he did get a hug.

"No," says Ashkaldyn, smirking. "That won't be necessary. I don't think the Weyr's cavern needs to see.. well. That." She's polite, at least, toward Dryssa's naivity. Standing, she gathers her books, smiling at the young artist. "Continue your work, dear, but remember to take marks where you can get them." And to Xaleres? She'll just smile sweetly, and walk past him close enough to brush. Maybe. Or maybe she misses, and continues on without a thought.

"Bikinis, WHERE?!" Amarante's words cause Xaleres to nearly jump from his seat, eyebrows raising in regards to the girl; and, that faint coloring in her cheeks makes him chuckle; but, as she has an escort, he refrains from.. Illuminating the fact. "I guess the Seaman picked the right island to dump me on!" Whoops, too much information. "My lower extremidies, dear girl," is noted to Dryssa to try and not make it sound TOO improper; though the idea of it just makes the guy crinkle into "giggles". "Awww, come on wildcat! A first letter! A sound-alike! Anything!" SIGH. He sets his chin in his hand, and, heaving an even heavier one, just looks up at Arkoss and mutters through his lips, "You're so tottally lying and you know it."

Dryssa just looks sort of confused at Arkoss' denial. "So why'd you tell me that you missed your mom, then? You said she made you feel better when you were sad." She honestly seems unable to comprehend any possible motive for deception. She gives Ashkaldyn a little wave as she departs, then tilts her head at Xaleres' explanation. "Your toes?" Poor confused girl. The other topic brings a grin to her face. "I design my own bikinis too! I bet there's a market for that here. They're even more colorful than my dress!" Oh no.

Pausing at the door, Ashkaldyn gives Xaleres a fleeting, feigned sympathetic look. "Alright. How about last letter? 'N'" And then she's gone.

Amarante smirks at Arkoss' reaction, and then blinks at Xaleres'. "I… suppose so," she offers slowly, not entirely sure about him. She shrugs once. "But I bet your bikinis are lovely! Despite what I've heard other people say, swimsuits can be as colorful as you like." She nods firmly.
"More so than that skirt of yours." Arkoss nudges Amarante with his elbow at his words, a faint smirk playing across his face. "Did you end up burning it?" and LIES, Xaleres. LIES.

Xaleres completely dismisses all talk of Arkoss's mummy-poo when Dryssa brings up mention of swimwear design. "/Really/ now," he says with complete interest, now captivated by her with very round eyes, and his head still in his hand. "Do /elaborate/," is emphasized. "And.. Oh. Yes. My toes." Let's just leave it that, he thinks. "Hmmm, N," he ponders as Ashkaldyn calls it out. "I wonder if it really IS Kitten and she's just embarressed," spoken to no one in particular. The ball is taken up again, and as they're near the wall, he uses his non-head holding hand to continue his Throw!thunkathunk Throw!thunkathunk procedure from before. "Oh yes. The more colorful, the better. Much more eyecatching! Also meshes with the setting better." Snicker. "Skirt? What skirt?" Interest, picked up again!

Dryssa grins very proudly over at Amarante. "You like colorful swimsuits? Really? I could make one for you, if you'd like! I work cheap, and you look like you'd be great to design for. Hrm, maybe some orange to start with…" She looks over at Xaleres once more, the baffled look returning to her face. "Why would you be embarassed about your toes?" Poor innocent naive girl. "Well, swimsuits are easy to make! A lot less fabric in them than dresses and skirts. Of course, you have to work harder to cram the color in."

Amarante smirks a little and shakes her head at both males in the room. "The skirt that I was wearing at Xanadu that everyone called gaudy and horrible," she says simply. "It was also the one that Arkoss was dared to wear in order to win a flit egg from my friend, Keziah." She smiles ever so sweetly at Arkoss after that part. "So of course he did." She nods at Dryssa. "I do like yellow," she admits. "That would fit with orange too!"

"Oh yes, much less fabric, muc— Iiiii'll shut up." Xaleres scrunches his nose, apparently rather perturbed that he'll likely not see any of them in one anytime soon, and definitely if that weird 'wildcat' girl shows up at some point. "Um.. Well, Dryssa, some people are rather ashamed about showing of their feet in public! I bet mine are actually rather smelly right now too, in these boots, best if I follow her advice and keep them in closed quarters." Xale may be rude, but he's not particularly unkosher. "I think you'd look GREAT in yellow. Or orange. Maybe even a mixture of the two." Xale stares rather strangely at Amarante for a moment — probably just in an effort to give her the willies — before tossing her a wink and looking away. "Sounds like a delightful skirt. Wish I coulda seen this chap here in it.. What did you say your names were? I hate missing identities." So what if they didn't actually say before, he can say they said what he wants! "I'm Xaleres." Repeated for their benefit.

Arkoss snorts at Amarante. "It was a horrible skirt too. Couldn't see anyone but a blind person wanting to willingly wear it." he snipes back at her. "I'm Arkoss, and this is Amarante." he also sat down at the table, he just didn't mention it previously. "And I did get my firelizard."

"Ooh, now there's an idea!" Dryssa says with a bright grin, apparently struck by inspiation. "We could do an orange top with a yellow bottom! Or a yellow top with an orange bottom. I dunno, I think orange is more eye-catching. Which way would you want to go with it? And it's nice to meet you both, Arkoss and Amarante." She smiles blissfully at Xaleres. "Oh, I suppose that makes sense. And my name's Dryssa!"

Amarante smirks at him a bit. "And /I/ got the dubious pleasure of seeing you dressed in my skirt. Burned into my memory, that. But I think the pink dress you were wearing for Search was far more fitting." She glances over at Xaleres as well. At his staring, she openly offers him a look that may say, 'Yes, and?' Then he's looking away again. She nods at him, then at Dryssa. "Pleasure," she says. "And actually, maybe it should be orange with yellow swirls all over the top and bottom?"

"Pleasure to meet y'all, buuuuttt. I best be finding myself some food and a place to crash before.. Um.. Stuff." Yeah, he'll just say that. A wink at the ladies, a fake little 'cute' wave at Arkoss (just to spite him), and Xaleres is athunkathunka-ing him and the rubber ball on the way out. A thunka. A thunka.

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