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Rocio.jpg Randi.jpg

Date: 29 Jun 2010
Location: Eastern Weyr: Deep Caverns
Synopsis: Rocio and Randi go a-hunting!
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Randi

Deep dark tunnels running from the eastern side of the Upper Bowl down into the bowels of the old volcano.


Nodding once to Alara, Randi grabs one of the brighter glow-lanterns and whistles once for Sophie. In the process of turning around to move deeper into the tunnel - and in the process hopefully work off some of this cursed dragon-born aggression - Rocio catches her eye and as the woman isn't moving, Randi waves her closer. "You coming with me, then?"

There's a flicker of indecision, but a grave nod to the older weyrwoman. "Weyrwoman." Soft-spoken, those syllables, with an indrawn breath and exhalation. But her attention is hooked by the more vital of the pair; perhaps Rocio can feel the energy rolling off of the younger Weyrwoman. "I've not killed them before. Never hunted them." An unseen twitch of her lips. "Heard my brothers talk about it."

"Never hunted them?" And now there's a slightly feral twist to both Randi's words and grin. "I highly recommend it. Any hunting is good for pent-up energy, but tunnelsnakes are sly buggers." She chuckles then, leading the way further down the tunnels. "Makes it more fun, I think."

Rocio turns to give a final look to Atsya, as well, the last in the other goldrider's entourage. "I'm not seeing a good deal of volunteers, ma'am." But Rocio will trail along, soft-steps nearly muted even in the echoy caverns. She's had a lot of practice in sneaking.

Randi glances back over her shoulder at the departing group. Built-up energy makes her reckless and so she shrugs off the voice of reason piping up in the back of her mind. "Don't need much of one, for getting the stragglers," she replies. "You, me, Ior and the dogs?" She nods to the canine man following the pair. "We'll be fine. Just fine." Pulling a bit of slightly sticky snakeskin from her pocket, she holds it for the canines to sniff and then starts off behind them as they take off, noses to the ground.

Indeed, Rocio will follow, but with a sideline glance at Ior. Is he a nutcase too? Just in case, Rocio will bring up the rear of the party, so she can keep both of them in sight. Again, live and learn. She does not endeavor to speak, to interrupt the proceedings.

Naw, Ior's harmless. Really. He even grins a big toothless grin at Rocio over his shoulder before picking up the pace to follow the dogs. As the tunnel widens, their pace quickens a bit, though not enough to be seriously dangerous. But in the way of all inconvenient tunnels, it soon narrows to a one-at-a-time space, and so Randi ends up single file between the dog-man and the 'tender. "What's your name anyway, Glowtender?" Might as well do something with that energy while they're stuck at what feels like a snail's pace.

"Rocio, ma'am." She didn't bother to change her name. It was, after all, the only thing that remained hers. "How is it that you kill the creatures? Set the canines on them?"

"That's one way to do it, aye," Randi admits. "But if you're really daring, you get a loop-pole, like was Ior's got there, and you hook 'em around the neck and either snap 'em, choke 'em or hold 'em steady while your partner relieves the beastie of its head." Such lovely options, no? "Those pest wranglers just set the 'lizards on them. Tear 'em to pieces better than a canine can," she grumbles. "About the only use for the buggers."

"The firelizards?" Rocio asks. "I've heard the eggs are on the beach, widely available. I'd like one, help me with what I'm supposed to be doing." Another pause, "You do not approve of them? Will they be allowed in the Weyr, ma'am?" Rocio eyes the pole, the toothless fellow carrying it, and keeps her hand down near her belt, where her knife rides in its sheath. It's a different knife, than the one she'd killed before, with. But just as effective, given the chance.

Randi nods. "Aye, if you want the smaller, dumber, even more irritating strain. Then, yes; you can't walk down the beach without tripping over some green's forgotten nest. It's the bigger ones, the smarter ones; they're getting rarer than wherries' teeth." And no one knows why, blast them. She glances over her shoulder at the shrouded girl behind her, but in the process bumps her head on a low-slung rock. A string of rather inventive curses later, she remembers her train of thought. "They'll be allowed, aye. Can't guarantee Kaseth won't eat one or two if they bug her, but…" She leaves it there; up to the glowtender to judge whether or not the threat is idle. "But they just might help you, now that I think on it. I'll have you rounded up next time we pull in the Holders for a clutch."

"Thank you." Softly spoken. Rocio did stop flat, when the other woman smashed into the rock, and her hand reaches to offer a steady support, lest the goldrider reel into anything else. "Head wounds bleed a lot." Mentioning. "You feel like you're bleeding?"

Bleeding? What? "Doesn't feel like - " Cutting herself off, Randi takes a good look at her hand in the glow light. "Not blood. Goo." By the tone of her voice, however, it seems she'd rather it have been blood. "What sort of blasted rocks have goo?"

There's a second's hesitation, before Rocio steps forward and draws her hand from under the cowl of the shawl that wraps around her features. Fingers slide over the rocks, open-handed, seeking where the weyrwoman hit herself.

What she finds is a clear, petroleum-like substance. It doesn't have much smell, but it's pretty gross-feeling none the less. "Huh," Randi remarks to herself before shrugging it off. "Probably some bug goop or something." And not thinking a thing more of it, she ducks her head and jogs a little to catch up with Ior and the canines, who have started whining softly and moving faster.

Rocio does not go forward until the light leaves her, so absorbed in the study of whatever this stuff is, as she is. Then Rocio startles slightly and jogs, again almost silently, forward to catch up. Once she's entered the circle of light again, her hand comes forward and fingers play the consistency of the substance. She'll smell it.

It smells… rather like the petroleum the Weavers use to pull stains from fabrics. How odd to find it clinging to rocks so far underground. "You coming, Rocio?" Randi calls back, completely unconcerned about the 'bug goop'. And when the woman returns to the circle of light, she grins at her shrouded face. "Best not to get seperated down here, eh?" She catches up to the dogs, watches them tease a slow male with his stomach still distended from gorging and then stomps her boot heel down on another snake's head before bending down and separating said head from the rest of the 'snake. "See?" She grins up at Rocio with that same gleam of dragon-born wildness in her eyes. "Fun."

"You'll want your miners to take a look at this, ma'am. Might be burnable." Her fingers slide the slick substance, before she'll wipe it on the end of her scarf, and examine the color better. A glance at the macabre demonstration and the woman shudders, "Enjoy." A distant chill there, elicits a shiver over the woman. She does make the clinical observation, "Not so much blood in them, is there?" So much more, in a man.

"Burnable, what?" Randi, for the moment, is interested, but that definite chill in Rocio's tone inspires a steep cooling of her own regard. "If you hadn't the mind for killing, Glowtender, you should have gone back topside with the others." Chill, that tone, but a little hurt as well. Disapproval she'd expected from Alara or some of the others, but this Rocio seemed so much more promising. "No. Not nearly as much as in a person or a canine or a runner. S'why they have to get sunlight once in a while. Warms 'em up."

"I did not want to kill, when I did." Soft tones that almost lose the meaning of the words within the cadence and sincerity of the syllables. "Death of the little things… It's connected. All memories." She steps back, her face masked in shadows except where part of a recent scar winds from the scarf nearly to the base of her ear. "I'm sorry. And the… Ooze. That you have on your head. May be burnable. Something from the rocks."

Caught by the cadence and raw feeling in those words, Randi misses which tunnel the dogs and Ior went racing down. With a sigh, then, she flops down to sit on the ground, her back up against the wall. "They'll have to come back up this way eventually." Such logic. Leaving the glow lantern on the ground an arm's length out, the young rider takes a few moments to truly study the other woman - at least what she can see of her. Mention of past killing sparks her curiosity, but even wound up by a hormonal dragon, Randi has some tact. "Burnable? Like it'll blow up the weyr if we flame the snakes burnable or harvest it and use it for things burnable?"

"I don't know. I am not a miner, ma'am. I'd have them look at it. I… Didn't think to mark the location." Some regret there. Rocio also looks toward the dark tunnel that sends back echos of scuffling, snorting dogs. Then toward the other woman, dark eyes unfathomable. Patience. There's a sense about Rocio that she has waited. And watched, and waited, while Fate has approached her at trundlebug pace, displaying nightmares and promising pain. So this wait, merely for the return of those with the dogs, with the light… Child's play.

Wrinkling her nose at the term of respect she's almost gotten used to hearing from her riders, Randi waves her hand. "Randi," she offers. Can't think of why she didn't before. Must have slipped her mind. "Ma'am works fine if you're riding in my wing or in some serious runner shit, but otherwise it's just Randi." Less stuffy that way.

A silence, before Rocio animates, "Thank you." She's quiet again, perhaps assessing how far the dog-handler is, before she speaks, "Are you two the only two goldriders? And the senior will be determined traditionally?" She retreats out of the best of the light, so that she's politely become only a figure, devoid of details, at the outside. Her shoulders now find contact points against the wall.

"The only two who were willing to come defend Landing, yeah." Randi seems resigned to that, although there's a bitter anger to the tail end of her sentence that speaks to just the opposite. "At least 'La understands that it's not about your point of view. It's about protecting people from other people's stupidity." Which explains part of why the two radically different weyrwomen get along so well. "And we only got the permission to come down because our girls were so close to rising." Brown eyes slide shut and she leans her head back against the cold stone wall. "It doesn't even matter who goes first at this point. Just so long as it's soon." Apparently 'proddy' for her means irritation and exhaustion rather than overly flirtacious or sensual.

Another punctuation of extended silence, before Rocio mentions, "Has it… Been so difficult to recruit people here?" She'll add, "There are…More Holdless, who crave a new start." Many of whom Rocio met and came to respect.

"You wouldn't believe the amount of people who live their whole lives and never get a thing into their heads but sawdust," Randi replies, although she then pauses to take a closer look at Rocio. "Although you may, at that." She takes the woman's suggestion seriously, although her face falls. "Were that I could, Rocio. One or two here and there I can pull down and give a new start… Do too much more and I'll have the Conclave and the Weyr Council down on me and Alara." She heaves a heavy sigh and rubs the heels of her palms into her eyes. "If you give me a list of names, skills and where to find them, though, I'll… I'll see what I can do." Reluctant, resigned, but still willing. Never can say no to a soul in trouble. Not really.

"I'll… Talk to my friend." Who got her here. Rocio remains largely still, perhaps unnervingly, particularly compared to the nervous energy that marks the goldrider, "How is it that you are recruiting, then? You have to fill a Weyr. We… Few who are here, we are only a start, and the Crafters will go home, by and large, when they are done."

Nodding once in what she assumes is Rocio's general direction, Randi shifts her weight to try and find a more comfortable way to sit on the stone. "We've got two queens about to fly and permission to Search all the northern continent for candidates. We brought some lower caverns staff with us and I'm hoping we'll get more from those candidates that don't Impress." One finger trails along the ground beside her, tracing almost-invisible patterns in the dust. "The Smiths and miners will go, yes, but others will come. The Harpers have sent us Kestian already and I've heard word that more aren't far behind." She shrugs limply. "It's not much, but we'll get by. The other Weyrs each started some time. They survived; so will we."

"How many other dragonriders? And how were they selected?" Rocio asks, as if inquiring after the weather. "And is there a lure, with AIVIS here? Will…Some of them come to learn?" Her head cocks and the black of her eye reveals some brown in the light. "Southern has a much more pleasant climate than the north. Are you recruiting Holders? How are you feeding dragons and your people?"

"Dragons are easy enough. They like to hunt the southern wild cats, most of them, and we've some stock of herdbeast for the ones who pull wings or shoulders." Randi yawns and cracks her neck; first to one side and then the other. "The people are feeding off the portions of the tithes we've been provided by the Conclave and Weyr Council in exchange for our presence here. If a holding or two or three is established under our coverage area, they will begin to tithe. For now, the stores and our hunters are enough." And it seems like right now, 'for now' is all that can be planned for. "Some will come for AIVAS, I hope. Most are not brave enough. Damn traditional, wherry-brained louts don't want anything to do with AIVAS because of one blasted error."

You say, "Don't suppose you know a herder or two among your Holdless, eh? Maybe a breeder, even?"

A wry smile. "People tend not to forgive deadly mistakes." She rolls head head back to stare sightlessly at the blackness that she knows is solid rock. "I wasn't among them all that long… Randi. But I know… That there are people in positions that they do not deserve, for one reason or another. People whose devotion would be unchecked, if they were…Somewhere they could prove their worth."

Randi looks sharply at the dark splotch on darker rock that is Rocio, eyes narrowed. "Would they farm?"

"Probably. Or tend glows." She rolls a shoulder. "Give them a second chance, a second life. Not to say… That all of them will shed their old foul habits. Some of them are bad, true and true. But those who are branded and bad… At least you've warning. The ones who are not branded, and who are bad… Those are the dangerous ones."

Jerking her head skyward, Randi groans and pushes herself slowly to her feet. "A fair point, Rocio. I'll… I will do what I can." She stretches both arms high above her head before picking up knife and glow-lantern. "I am being summoned by Her Ladyship for a bedtime oiling. Ior will just have to find his own way back up." She grins at the other woman, then - still tired, still worn, but much warmer than before. "You coming?"

"Of course." Rocio will follow this curious woman, until she finds her own corridor, or is shown it. She is yet lost around this huge unfamiliar place, and she is yet thin from her ordeal in prison and through childbirth and what scant recovery she has been allowed. Silent, ghostlike, the woman trails the rider, until finally her turn is reached. "Goodnight, weyrwoman."



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