An Unexpected Source of Information


Max.jpg Nenienne.jpg

Date: 10 Apr 2011
Location: Eastern Weyr: Beast Cavern
Synopsis: Max receives a surprise visit and some information from an unexpected source.
Rating: If above PG-13
Logger: Nenienne

Sweeping upwards from the tunnel's entrance at the easternmost end, this cavern arches well over the heads of its inhabitants; both two- and four-legged. Wooden stalls and pens have been built in rows. Two rows are built into the north and south walls and two are back-to-back down the center, leaving two aisles up and down. Each animal enclosure is spacious, well-built and solid; the whole place smells of new timber and sawdust, with the subtle undertones of leather, animal and hay. The western end opens out into the feeding pens and from there into the upper bowl. The opening is large enough to allow a decent amount of sunlight to enter the cavern, but not quite big enough to allow the adult dragons inside.

The lunch hour finds the beast manager not in the Living Caverns but sequestered in his office-quarters instead. It being the time of day that it is, the beast caverns are pretty much deserted with the 'hands either taking their meals in the living caverns, or under an overhang of rock that provides ample shade at the feeding pens end of the caverns. With the door to his office standing open, Max is currently poring over a report, an enormous herdbeast sandwich in one hand and a stylus in the other, making notes in the margins as he reads.

Nenienne appears out of place as usual in the beast caverns, not only because of her obvious Smith's knot but also due to the hesitant way in which she enters. She makes her way over to the door and, even though it is open, gives a tentative knock.

Having taken a large bite of his sandwich there must be something in that report that Max isn't liking for just as Nenienne knocks his brow pitch toward a heavy frown which it might look like he's turning onto her as he swings his head in the direction of the door. Mouth full he blinks, clearly not having expected a visit from the Smith and so unable to actually talk, he waves the sandwich bearing hand toward the empty chair on the opposite side of his desk.

Nenienne's usual frown deepens — not angrily but more in dismay — as she spots his initial expression, but by the time she's entered and seated it's back to normal. She says, "Hello, sir," and waits politely for him to finish his sandwich.

Setting the half eaten sandwich back down on the plate and carefully turning whatever he'd been reading face down, Max hastily chews, swallows and washes it down with what looks to be a mouthful of juice, though given the man's predisposition to alcoholic beverages it could really be anything in that mug of his. One corner of the beast manager's mouth twitches as if to smile but never quite makes it there, dark eyes setting Nenienne under enquiring study, "This…is unexpected?"

Nenienne nods and says, "I'm sorry to bother you, but recently I was reminded of something you suggested when I was a candidate. Last we talked you had mentioned asking the Weyrwoman about self-defense classes. I was wondering if you've been able to get an answer?"

Leaning back in his chair, hands lacing together over his abdomen, Max's expression remains neutral save for the faint narrowing of eyes when Nenienne brings up the self-defence lessons touched on a good while ago. He remains silent for a while, eyes straying off of the Smith and to a distant point over her shoulder before his gaze once again returns to her, "I can give you an answer but I ain't gonna say it comes from the Weyrwoman." And then he pauses, head tipping to one side and that study of the woman before him resumes from out of an unreadable expression, "There any particular reason you're asking about 'em now?"

Nenienne nods once in acknowledgement. When he asks for a reason, she hesitates, then says carefully, "Something happened at Landing the other day, and I became acutely aware that while it's well-guarded in the AIVAS area, it isn't so much so in other parts."

Brows go up, "At Landing?" Max quickly doing a mental calculation of the people he has down that way, trying to figure which of them might have gotten a little rowdy. "What sort of something?" he goes on to query narrowing an intent look onto Nenienne.

Nenienne resumes, again carefully, "Two men showed up in the dining hall. They were both… unkempt, to say the least. I'm still rather surprised they didn't steal the gems I was appraising." She pauses, then adds, "While one of them questioned me about Kaskan, the other made sure no one came close." She shudders slightly at her final words, "They didn't appear to be too happy with my answers," and this from a person who has trouble reading body language, "And I'm not so sure I would want to meet them if no one at all was around."

Considering the bounty hunter that had recently been sniffing about on his turf, Max is anything but pleased to hear there appears to be yet more unwanted 'guests' making an appearance. However with Kaskan's name being dropped, a faint alarm bell goes off in the beast manager's head and he leans forward a little, "You sure it was Kaskan they were asking about?" He'll revisit the issue of safety and security once he's got a better idea of what he's dealing with.

Nenienne nods. "They asked for him both by name and by description, and said he was a guard. They mentioned his charge, too, though not by name, just that he's a student at Landing." Although not asked, she adds, "I didn't answer about the name and he didn't ask again, and I told him the description was too vague for me to tell. I didn't believe for a second they were old friends wanting to say "Hello" to him, especially not after the one tried to bribe me."

That initial sense of disquiet deepens as Nenienne goes on to elaborate on just how much the strangers down at Landing seemed to know about Kaskan. However, there's a definite air of approval sent the Smith's way for having been deliberately vague in her dealing with them, "You done right in coming to me, Nenienne. I'll…look into it." Not expanding on what that might mean. "In the meantime," Max's tone takes on a businesslike air, "you should probably speak to Thayet, Captain of the guard down Landing way for self-defence lessons. But, if you have no joy with her, then come speak to me again and I'll see what I can put together, aye?"

Nenienne brightens very slightly at the praise, then nods about Thayet. "I reported the two to one of the guards, but I don't know how seriously he took me. Maybe if word has gotten back to his captain, though, she'll be inclined to help. Thank you."

Lips press briefly into a discontented line for the notion that perhaps the guard hadn't taken Nenienne seriously enough to report back to his Captain. "Tell you what, I got someone down there that works with the blacksmiths, goes by the name of Yaron, older chap, bald," Max briefly describes a man she might have seen about the place, "You see or hear anything that sets you on edge you go to him, aye? Don't wait for one of them guards to decide to get off his butt and do something, or it might be too late." And then it seems as if he's made a decision on the other matter, "If you can get four or five women together, I'll see about putting some lessons together for you. But…" and there always has to be a 'but', "it stays between you and whatever women you can trust, aye? I ain't looking to have trouble coming down on me from above." The above being the Weyrwomen and Weyrleader that might have issue with him taking matters into his own hands.

Nenienne listens to the description, then nods. "I think I've seen him. I'll let him know if I see the two… cousins or whatever, again." She also nods about possibly getting a class together. "I'll definitely ask around, at least. And I'll talk to Captain Thayet either way."

Max meets that nod coming from Nenienne with one of his own, taking in the further snippet of information she hands out and then it's a faintly crooked smile that appears, "I'd be much obliged if you'd keep my name and Yaron's out of it should you indeed find chance to speak with the Captain." He pauses and then adds, "No need to have the woman thinking I'm after her post, aye?" Yeeeah, that's exactly why he'd prefer to fly under the radar with Thayet. Mmhm.

Nenienne says, "Will do. Or don't, as the case may be."

Reaching for his sandwich, Max pauses before he takes a bite, "Was there anything else?" Not that he's chasing Nenienne out of his office, just that he wants to ensure that there might not be something else on the Smith's mind for she was turning out to be a source of information he'd not previously thought to tap into before.

Nenienne shakes her head. "Not that I can think of. I'd better let you eat your lunch, though. Thank you again for the advice."

Again, a corner of his mouth lifts as if to breach the unreadable barrier of his expression, and once again, it fails to do so. "Anytime, Nenienne. Door's always open," he comments and then gestures toward the half-eaten meal, "'less of course you want to share? Ain't much but it beats the fuss and bother of the living caverns at this time of day." Not to mention avoiding any chance encounters with a certain weyrling.

Nenienne actually gives a small, amused smile at the offer. "No thank you. I'll see you around!" She heads out with a quick wave.

A smile indeed does finally manage to form, though it's quick, small and empty, "Take care, Smith." Dark eyes follow Nenienne out, lingering on the empty doorway for a bit and then exhaling a sigh, he flips the report back over and goes back to the notes he'd been making in the margin.

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