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 A night's business

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weyrwolf



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PostSubject: A night's business   Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:45 pm

Dividia didn't often lounge while on the job, but their business at this Southern cothold was satisfactorily concluded, they had no officials to hide from (amazing, the change that could come from having strong allies in the air), and Divisk was enjoying a well deserved hunt after some exceedingly good work.

And so Dividia lounged, her team inside toasting a bit (it really had been a good job), the sound of fire and conversation warm background, the air cool and smelling of dinner, Divisk's enthusiastic eating just a hint off in the darkness.

She kept her ears open, of course, but that was habit more than need; they weren't exactly smugglers anymore...but then success could bring its own dangers. So habit, need, either way - though she visibly lounged, she was as close to action as Divisk, which was saying something indeed.
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Sevillalost



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PostSubject: Re: A night's business   Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:53 am

It had been a long night after a long day, and Keriana wasn't even close to done. With the arrival of the... visitors to the hold, there had been an impromptu feast of sorts, and she'd had to manage to feed more than twice the normal amount of people. Which was well and good, and doable, but now she had to clean up after just as many, and with only herself to do the work, she was running ragged.

Not to mention that these visitors made Keri nervous. She couldn't have said why, exactly, but something about the way their smiles didn't quite reach their eyes was... disconcerting. And the leader of the group, the woman... she was the worst. Rumor had it that she had a pet wher that ate people. Keri thought that improbable at best, but it did up her anxiety about walking out to the midden after dark.

But a meal of that size generated a lot of trash, and out to the midden it must go. So Keri loaded up the scrap buckets into a carrying tray and hefted the whole mess out the door. She couldn't see the path in front of her very well, but that was no problem. She'd been hauling trash along that path for as long as she could remember. She could do it blindfolded, if necessary.

Of course, if someone happened to be lounging along that path, she'd naturally trip over them. Which is exactly what happened. Keri tripped, the trash went flying, and she ended up on her face in the dirt, with bits of discarded gristle and wilted greens falling all around.

"Oh dear!" Keriana cried out in distress. She rolled herself over and peered into the darkness. "I'm so sorry! I didn't see you there. Are you hurt?"
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weyrwolf



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PostSubject: Re: A night's business   Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:27 am

Dividia had moved fast enough to escape the worst of the refuse, but she didn't come out of it entirely clean. Though she was better off than the poor girl sprawled on the ground in front of her. "Are you?" she replied, squatting and extending a hand.

She felt Divisk take an interest - she had been momentarily caught off guard, after all - but blood and meat were much more interesting, and he knew she could handle herself.
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Sevillalost



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PostSubject: Re: A night's business   Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:16 am

"Oh!" Keriana laughed, "I'm fine. This happens all the time. I'm terribly clumsy, I'm afraid."

She accepted the woman's hand and found herself hauled to her feet. Only then did she realize over whom she'd just tripped. She let out a small squeak of recognition.

"Oh!" She said again. "You're the leader! My apologies, ma'am. I'm so stupid. Please... please don't be angry."
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weyrwolf



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PostSubject: Re: A night's business   Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:34 pm

Picking something faintly slimy off the girl's shoulder, Dividia glanced down and saw something equally suspect on her own chest, and picked that off as well. "Why would I be angry? You didn't do it on purpose." An easy shrug, as she realized the worker's hand.

"Surely you don't fall over all the time," she added, with a small smile that wasn't sharp in the least. "You'd be more bruise than skin." And this particular red-headed, blue-eyed, pale-skinned wonder would show those bruises, more likely than not.
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PostSubject: Re: A night's business   Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:16 am

"I have my fair share," Keriana said, tugging down the too-short sleeves of her hand me down tunic. In truth, she sometimes felt like she was more bruise than skin. She didn't remember what it felt like to wake up and not have some new spot on her body throbbing with a vague ache.

She retrieved her hand and then bent to begin gathering the detritus back into her basket.

"Lady, ah... I'm sorry. I don't know your name," she said, feeling the burn of shame at her own stupidity. "But I should probably warn you that we've wild felines and such in the area. You might not be completely safe sitting out here alone in the dark."
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weyrwolf



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PostSubject: Re: A night's business   Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:32 pm

"Dividia, and no Lady in my title." She didn't smile, but tilted her head ever so slightly. The crashing behind them might have distracted the girl from the knives that appeared naturally in her hands, but the knives were really secondary to the wher with blood literally dripping from his jaws that had appeared just at the edge of the light.

"Nor worry for me in the dark." Her voice was utterly casual, as though this sort of thing happened all the time. "And who are you?" That, it might be noted, had a tinge of kindness to it. But that might be hard to hear, with Divisk taking up all the air in the room.
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PostSubject: Re: A night's business   Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:24 am

Keriana didn't scream, but that was mostly because she felt paralyzed with fear. The huge, hulking beast that had suddenly appeared seemed quite ready to eat her whole, perhaps without even having the courtesy to kill her first. She drew breath to try and speak, but all that came out was a bit of a squeak.

But the monster didn't move, didn't eat her, just crouched there glaring balefully at her.

"K-Keriana," she managed to say, her eyes locked on the beast before her. He seemed like an extension of shadow that radiated malevolence. "Is...that... yours?"

Maybe the rumors about this woman were true. Maybe she was a ruthless killer. Maybe Keriana wouldn't see the light of another day...

Well. If that were the case, then she would be brave. She straightened slightly and lifted her chin in the way that usually got her smacked when dealing with her superiors. But no matter. She might be just a stupid, worthless, clumsy drudge, but she had her pride.
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weyrwolf



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PostSubject: Re: A night's business   Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:27 pm

Divisk's snarl was, as ever, low and rippling, but there might have been an edge of something...amusement?...in there too. Hard to tell.

Dividia watched Keriana's response, from wide eyes locked on the wher, to the clear straightening and willingness to take whatever might be coming. And so there was a note of respect in her tone, when she answered, "Yes. That's Divisk. He kept guard over our whole canyon, before the dragons came to share in that work." She tucked her knives away, considering. "Amazing, how much work just one can do, wouldn't you say?"
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PostSubject: Re: A night's business   Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:20 am

"D-Divisk," Keriana forced herself to say. She bobbled a sort-of curtsey in his direction (because she had never been properly taught, and she wasn't really coordinated enough to figure it out on her own). "It is nice to meet you."

Nice might have been overstating things a bit, but Keri took pride in being a polite and kind girl, no matter what.


"What-?" she said then, realizing that the woman, Dividia, had asked her a question. "Oh! Yes. I am frequently the only one to do so much of the work around here and it never seems like I can do it all, but somehow, I manage. Dividia. Divisk. Is... his name is so similar to yours. Did you name him after yourself?"

If so, that was kind of cool. It put a bit of a touching spin on this clearly very terrifying partnership of theirs.
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PostSubject: Re: A night's business   Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:30 am

Dividia had returned to lounging, comfortable and perfectly at ease. Her smile was brief, but rather warm. "If a wher finds you acceptable, they take part of your name for their own. Dragons have their own name in mind when they hatch, it turns out, but whers don't find a name remotely important, on their own. If the deign not to kill you, and keep you instead, they adapt your name for ease." She tilted her head again, looking thoughtful. "I assume for ease."

Divisk prowled closer, blocky head up as though scenting, skulking around the edges the firelight touched. Take, he told Dividia, something like hunger in the harshness of his voice.

She looked more thoughtful, if anything, and asked the young woman who clearly had more in her than clumsy, sweet drudge, "And do you like it? The work? This place?"
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PostSubject: Re: A night's business   Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:01 pm

"I am grateful," Keriana said. "I don't know who my people are. My parents are dead. I'm grateful to the cotholder and his family for giving me a place and honest work to do."

Did she like it? No. But it was better than being holdless, and she'd not say a word against those who had been so generous in her life.
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PostSubject: Re: A night's business   Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:58 am

Divisk shoved her thoughts again, not one to repeat a word when a mental shove would do, and Dividia inclined her head slightly. Pretty orphan, all long limbs and a bit of flailing.

"Fair enough," she answered. "But do you want to stay?"
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PostSubject: Re: A night's business   Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:39 am

"I-" Stay? Keriana had never considered an alternative. I mean, sure, she'd had daydreams of some handsome trader or cotholder falling in love with her and whisking her away to a place she could call her own. Where she could have a family of her own.

But that's all they'd ever been. Daydreams. She knew that. She may be stupid, but she knew that.

"Where... would I go?" She asked faintly, before she'd even really realized she intended to speak.
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PostSubject: Re: A night's business   Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:00 pm

"There's a lot of world out there, for someone brave and hard working. Most specifically, our canyon Weyr, which has dragon eggs on the sands and more to come." Dividia paused there, considering the girl in front of her. Would that be of interest to Keriana? Divisk didn't care, he thought they should just take her, and perhaps they would.

Never let it be said, though, that Dividia couldn't learn from past...not mistakes, but...choices.
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PostSubject: Re: A night's business   Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:01 pm

Dragon Eggs. The canyon Weyr... dragons.

"But... I'm not brave. I'm just Keri," she said, feeling a sudden, hopeless longing that pierced her chest with an almost physical pain. "I'm just stupid and clumsy and...".

To her intense horror, her eyes started to fill with tears. She blinked rapidly, and tried to look away before either Dividia or Divisk saw, but she was certain that she was too late.

What dragon would ever want her? What wher? She wasn't brave or strong or fierce. She was just a clumsy, stupid drudge.
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PostSubject: Re: A night's business   Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:25 pm

"Don't ruin it now," Dividia said, her voice not gentle, but not unnecessarily sharp either. "Divisk came charging out of the dark, bloody and hungry, and you stood taller." She said it lightly, keeping the moment from getting too sappy. "And dragons are hardly all grace when they crack shell. Give yourself time to grow into all that body. So. What do you say?"
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PostSubject: Re: A night's business   Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:30 pm

"What do I say?" she asked, her voice faint. "I--"

Her heartbeat thudded in her ears, and she felt her gaze drawn to those whirling, faceted orbs that dominated the snarling wher's face.

"Yes," she whispered, before she realized she'd made her decision.
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PostSubject: Re: A night's business   Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:37 pm

"Good. Gather your things, if you want to be off with us tonight. I can't promise such an excellent escort again, not too soon."

Though she didn't look it, Dividia was quite pleased. His demands met, Divisk melted back into the shadows, to return to his meal.
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PostSubject: Re: A night's business   Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:09 pm

"I- all right," Keriana said. Her nerves felt abuzz with something that might have been fear, and might have been excitement. She was leaving tonight! She was going to the Weyr! She knew that the cotholder and his family might not be pleased that she was leaving so suddenly, but Keri knew very well that they would hardly argue with a visitor of Dividia's stature... and reputation.

She found herself grinning, and she bobbed the closest thing she could manage to a curtesy.

"Thank you! I will be right back. I don't have much... just some clothes and my old blanket... I won't be a moment!"

And with that she rushed off, terrified and thrilled, and dying to see what would come next.
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