The girl from nowhere.

Half Moon Bay Weyr - Living Cavern

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.

Sitting over by herself and being mostly avoided by the staff and many of the other patrons. She has three plates of empty food around her and she has a big bowl of stew in front of her with a hunk of bread that she's dipping in and eating. She's obviously wearing borrowed clothing, being far too large for her frame and her cheeks are a little sunken.

Jonteim's neither staff nor patron, really. He's on his way through the cavern, coming in from the lower caverns and heading across toward the kitchens. Despite the obvious purpose in his direction, his stride lacks dedication, more a stroll than a march. He seems likely to have passed by Ilyse the same as everyone else if not for the attention called to her abruptly, when a busty and kind-faced old auntie notices the girl and announces importantly, "My dear child, you're practically skin and bones! Don't they feed you, wherever it is you come from!" It's the sort of proclamation that naturally rings out in a relatively quiet room, and Jon's eyes divert from their intended destination, sweeping over the portly woman and the skinny girl, the corner of his mouth pulling into a grin.

Ilyse looks up at the woman and she all but sinks into the chair as she looks upwards. "I'm fine, thank you." She says, pulling the bowl of stew closer as if to ward the woman off from her. "I'm from nowhere."

"No one's from nowhere," is Jonteim's contribution, put once he arrives near the door to the kitchen, leaning against the doorframe for a moment - if for no other reason than to see how the encounter between the waif and the auntie turns out. The auntie nods vibrantly at that, waving over one of the kitchen girls with a basket of biscuits, and announcing, "Well, even if you're fine, dear, you should still eat more. Here, here, have some of these with that stew, it'll only make it better."

Ilyse reaches up and takes the biscuits and smiles. "Thank you." That's said with genuine emotion in her voice before she looks towards Jonteim and tilts her head to the side as she watches him. "Two turns alone, in the forest. From nowhere."

Surprise registers, sure - two turns alone is a good stretch - but Jonteim still points out, "Seen more than two Turndays, haven't you? So before then…?" The auntie makes a tsking noise at him and chides, "Let the girl eat before she disappears completely, you silly boy. Here, dearie. I'll go and get you some butter to go with those." She leaves a half-dozen biscuits and bustles off, passing Jon in the kitchen doorway with a murmured remark, more likely another rebuke for him.

"A trader. Nowhere." Ilyse says, her eyes turning towards the young man. "Thank you for pointing that out. I thought I was still sucking on my dead mother's boob." She glares at him before she takes one of the biscuits and dunks it in the soup and soaks the stew in it before she munches on it, bristling.

Jonteim, with a lifted brow, "Don't have a go at me just because you didn't think to concoct a believable cover story. If you don't want people to pry, don't be so blatantly evasive." Sounds like a pro-tip! He answers the glare with a shrug, like he's somehow not to blame for this meeting getting off on the wrong foot. "'From Fort' will draw a lot less attention than 'nowhere.' Trust me."

Ilyse seems to not want to answer the young man at all for a few long moments before she looks up towards him with a. "And what if they ask about Fort, hm? Then you're a liar and now they don't trust you at all. Or if they're from Fort, or ask you how something is?" She's rather suspicious, this one. "That's all."

Jonteim suggests, "A cothold near Fort. It's not so bad, though a lot different from here. Makes me miss the snow in the winter sometimes, and you don't usually have to worry so much about tidal waves, so there's that. But at least the weather's usually finer here." And he dips a theatrical bow, flourishing his hand before him in the process as if to illustrate how easy it was. Cue the applause.

"How's the weyrwoman doing? What's her name again?" Ilyse asks, snerking at Jonteim before she goes back to eating. She doesn't seem like she wants to continue to talk with him but she finishes up her bowl. "Not all of us look like the fell out of a Lord Holder's arse."

Jonteim smiles dimly, a simpleton's smile, and explains with a big shrug, "Dunno, we didn't see many Harpers around our parts." Then the stupidity falls out of the smile and a sarcastic quality takes its place when he adds, "Not so hard, see? And it doesn't leave people thinking you've got something to hide." From his place near the kitchen doorway, he levels an accusing look upon the skinny and badly-dressed Ilyse, who sits at a nearish table, eating stew and biscuits. "No, some just look like we haven't eaten in weeks and maybe oughta go find somewhere other than the living cavern if we don't wanna answer questions about why."

"I'm fine 'bout answering questions why." Ilyse says as she looks up towards Jonteim, holding up a biscuit in her hand. "And being from nowhere is truthful. I was born in my family's caravan." She states this flatly, as if trying to avoid any emotion attached to the words. "So really, nowhere." She dunks the food into her stew, mopping up the last bits. "And most aren't as nosy.." She peers at him. "Literally, as you."

"'scuse me." Jonteim happens to be juuust in the way of Felix coming out of the kitchen carrying a tray of fresh biscuits, and so he clears his throat as well as asking for way to be made. That he's stepped out into the middle of what would seem to be a conflict zone makes him pause; he looks from Jonteim to Ilyse, lips pursed, then steps between them to go place the biscuits down where they belong. Then he turns around to butt in: "Technically I'd say a caravan is somewhere, even if not in the conventional sense of where somewhere is, because everywhere is somewhere."

"On the contrary," argues Jonteim happily, scooting out of the way so Felix can enter the room with his tray of fresh biscuits. Just behind him comes the busty aunty with her butter (and honey!) for the poor dearie, which plays right into Jon's dark smile when he points out. "Most are even nosier. Good luck, girl from Really Nowhere." He touches two fingers to his forehead in a mock salute, turning into the kitchen while the auntie fusses about the honey and butter and apologizes profusely, but she simply must go check on her newest granddaughter, who was just born yesterday, "But you eat up, girly, get some meat on those bones."

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