A New Face


Nenienne.jpg Vyte.jpg

Date: 04 July 2011
Location: Eastern Weyr: Living Cavern
Synopsis: Vyte engages in people-watching, thus meeting Neni.
Rating: PG
Logger: Nenienne

The main Living Cavern at Eastern Weyr is a near replica of the "Lower Bowl" in shape. It is circular, with ceilings sloping up into a gentle cone shape. There are a few stalactites hanging from the ceiling, from which the Weyr's few firelizards may perch. Between these, there are a few inverted "hills", showing exactly how quickly the workmen finished this job. It lends an eerie quietness to the place, as the features cut the sound more effectively. The glowbaskets on the walls highlight the tables of all shapes and sizes around the room. The Head Table appears to be more traditional in place and kind, but the rest of the tables are variable. The east side of the room boasts larger rectangle tables suitable for whole groups of riders, while the middle holds smaller circular tables more appropriate for a family with children. The west side of the room has small square tables which often double as gaming tables on lazy days and most evenings.

Near the Head table, off to the East side, the double doors of the kitchen swing open. Near those doors, two long rectanglular tables are set up for food and drink service. On the eastern and western sides of the room, the stairs lead up to parallel hallways which connect to the rest of the Weyr. A third, smaller set of stairs at the southernmost end of the cavern leads to the Weyr Entrance.

The surf of humanity that rolls through a Weyr's caverns is not unlike the sea: it never ceases, only wanes. On the trailing edge of a retreating crest floats in an unaccustomed face. Vyte's saunter towards the small tables on the west side of the room passes easily for casual assurance, but her avid eyes betray a newcomer's uncertainty. She pauses beside her selected table and rests her fingertips lightly upon its surface while she takes a slow pan of the room.

Nenienne heads in with a small group of people, but slightly apart, as if she's not really with them. Indeed, once inside she breaks off and heads for the klah pot. Laboriously she grabs a klah mug with her left hand, sets it before the klah pot, pours out the klah with her left hand, adds milk with her left hand, and then drinks the whole thing. Then she repeats the process without the instant draining of the mug, and also looks aound for a table.

One hip hitched up slightly, the opposite dipped, Vyte slouches from the waist down where she stands. Her thrown-back shoulders and uptilted chin complete the body language of fewer turns, different parts - a prideful young man surveying his domain. It's the half-smile on her face that tames the arrogance inherent in her posture, a quirk of that wide mouth that refuses to take things too seriously. So it's an adventure she's on when she picks up and focuses on the Smith's awkwardness. Voyeuristic, perhaps, but an adventure.

Nenienne heads over to a table near the serving tables, which just happens to be where Vyte is. She doesn't survey or pause, just takes an empty seat or, more accurately, puts her mug down there. She then goes over and, once again one-handedly, gets herself some stew and a roll, which she carries back to her place.

Vyte is a child at a trundle-trail, watching the insects patiently carry back and forth, back and forth. The pattern has been ascertained. Now she needs only discern the reason. For that a careful scan of Nenienne's physique is in order, a pleasant enough task by the woman's cheerful, curious expression.

Nenienne seems oblivious to the scrutiny, or perhaps used to it, because she begins eating, while resting her right hand on the table.

Someone passes between the two women; the broken line-of-sight prompts Vyte from her perusal, as if her manners had suddenly recalled. Not only recalled, but put to action: she arcs her trajectory so that there's nothing overtly out of the ordinary about her pit stop at Nenienne's tableside. "Beg pardon, Journeyman. I'm just headed for the sideboard myself; did you need anything else?" Accent-hounds will know her low voice as belonging to Keroon. The pleasant, easy smile is all her own.

Nenienne shakes her head, saying, "No, but thank you." She picks up her mug left-handed and wraps her right around the mug, with a slight hint of accomplishment in doing so.

Vyte's eyes dart at the accomplished hand even as she replies, "Most welcome." There's nothing for it then except to continue her plotted path and strike her proclaimed objective. She loads her plate with the relish and unconcern of one accustomed to partaking food she didn't have to cook and won't have to clean up.

Nenienne seems to be looking around randomly, though her gaze returns to the newcomer, with the sort of expression of one who is not surprised by strange faces in the Weyr.

Through her own wandering glances, Vyte meets Nenienne's looks often enough that she's emboldened to approach again once she's claimed victuals. The tall woman dips her head and admits with sheepish candor, "Sorry to bother you again, but would you mind if I joined you? I know almost no-one and I hate eating alone."

Nenienne shakes her head once again. "Not at all. I'm Neni, by the by."

"Much obliged." Vyte cheerfully settles herself opposite the Smith. "Vyte. A pleasure, Journeyman Neni." Silence settles then as she devotes herself to her meal, savoring the savories and merely toying with dietary workhorses.

Nenienne puts down her klah mug and returns to her stew, finishing it and using the roll to sop up what's left in the bowl. Once she's done, she nurses her klah, not appearing to be uncomfortable in the silence.

Vyte spears an anonymous vegetable on her fork and carefully pivots it back and forth beneath an analytical look. After a long perusal, she pops it into her mouth, expression thoughtful while she chews. It's only after she's swallowed that and some klah too does she query, "They always overcook the fingerroot like that?" It comes out curious rather than critical.

"It's not uncommon," Neni admits. "That's why I often as not go for the stew. Or skip right to dessert." The last is said in an impish voice, though she doesn't smile.

"They let you skip right to dessert?" A second veggie dangles from Vyte's fork. Her upraised eyebrows read as surprise, but the eyes and lips beneath betray amusement at her own ingenuous question.

Nenienne's voice remains mischievous. "It's not like they can stop you, what with everything laid out as it is. If they ever squawked, I'd just come in after the actual hour and eat then, but it's never come down to that."

Vyte's expression goes solemn. "So it's true." Hushed, she marvels, "All of the rumors of Weyr decadence are true!" A wicked grin breaks over her face. Then she pops the fingerroot into her mouth and chews through her grin.

Nenienne doesn't smile along, nor does she look particularly offended She does offer, "I had never thought of it that way, but I suppose that does explain it. In the Hall we certainly couldn't pull that off."

"I can't imagine any other place you could pull it off." Vyte has found a bone and picked it clean; now she nibbles and sucks delicately on the end of it in absent thought. "Not without a knotty shoulder, I mean."

Nenienne says, "And even then, you need to set an example for others, so you can't get away with nearly so much."

Vyte nods slowly, and though she's pivoted in her chair to face the cavern at large, her eyes slide sideways to watch the Journeyman. "So long as you're concerned with the example you set."

Nenienne nods. "I suppose that's true," she admits. "Most of those I've known have been overly full of themselves to think that they're going to be imitated."

Vyte rolls a shoulder up and down. "I've known a few who simply don't give a wherry's ass, so long as they've got what they want."

Nenienne nods and hmmms, then slowly unclasps her right hand from the mug as she finishes draining it. "Maybe that's more of a Hold thing?" she asks.

"Definitely." Vyte picks up her glass and swirls around the liquid inside, looking somewhat put out. "Especially with the Long Pass. Being Holdless means something now." A little shiver shakes her, as if a cold breath swept her neck.

A turn or two ago, this might have fazed Neni. Not so much now. She just nods sympathetically for now, though.

Vyte casts a self-conscious glance around the room, immediately countering it by straightening her spine. The breezy expression she turns on Nenienne shows no concern at all. "Which means I'd best be off rooting out a place. A pleasure dining with you, Neni." Standing, she gathers the dishes she'd emptied, then hovers a hand mid-table. "I'll take your dishes, if you're done?"

Nenienne looks surprised, and she this time she says, "Yes, thank you."

Vyte's dishstacking job's an inexpert one, resulting in a precarious pile. "Have a pleasant eve, then." As cheeky as her parting grin may be, there's no mistaking the grace and confidence in her steps as she weaves through the drifts of people without dropping so much as a spoon.

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