Teething Problems


Ahnika.jpg Alara.jpg Max.jpg Rauzath.jpg

Date: 8/22/10 (IC: Following the Someone To Die For scene.)
Location: EW: Lower Hatching Sands
Synopsis: Max and Ahnika bring their report about the trader, Phineus, to the senior weyrwoman and plans are put in place on what to do about him, exactly.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Ahnika

Eastern Weyr: Lower Hatching Sands

The Lower Hatching Sands are laid open for all the Weyr to see, in stark contrast to the closed caverns at the north. A large, circular area, naturally heated by geothermic energy, these sands are kept perpetually warm. Because of the southern continent's mild climate, this bowl is the warmer of the two, though it is much more public.

The odd combination of wet and warm has Alara in an odd outfit. It's somewhat like a pair of riding leathers, but it's been cut to be a sleeveless top and knee-length shorts. It's obvious why she's dressed this way; she's spending the morning laughing and scrubbing down her gold with a brush and a large container of water. Since Rauzath refuses to move for anything right now, it must be done this way. "No. You don't say." She laughs heartily at something Rauzath says, and the large, reddish gold gives her rider a pointed look that says, 'you think I'm joking, don't you?' Alara shakes her head. "I cannot believe that." She snorts again, and falls silent as she scrubs at a particularly dirty patch of hide.

For having come from the Baths, Ahnika’s hair is damp and falls loosely about her shoulders. In fact, she seems keen on having it remain forward on her right side, the better to hide the slightly swollen cheek and even, hopefully, perhaps her cut lip there. Other than that, however, the redhead does not share much wetness as Alara perhaps does, for giving Rauzath a bath right now. She dried off and put on her same dry (if perhaps a little dusty) clothes, which she cannot say the same for Max right now. As they arrive at the entrance and likely encounter guards, the usually bold redhead lets Max do the talking. Not so much for being shy, just more for not really wanting to explain the story to anyone. She’s here purely out of a sense of responsibility, if her partly hidden expression says anything at all about the matter. She does not really want to do this, but understands she has to. Should they be admitted, Ahni does straighten her posture and shoulders some, and tries to look more, well, ‘together’ than she’s really feeling right now.

Today must be the day for odd attire, for unlike the better put together Ahnika, there comes Max, looking like he quite literally took a dunk in the bathing pools - fully clothed. Shirt only buttoned around a third of the way with faint pinkish smears on it, trousers dripping a path from their hems, he squelches in on wet strides. His set expression however, not matching his somewhat comical appearance. A glance sideways to the red-haired candidate with the semblance of a re-assuring smile (though it doesn't quite reach his eyes) and then he's taking a step forward and clearing his throat, "Weyrwoman." Thus announcing their presence.

Alara heard the commotion at the guards, and crawls down from her perch on an extended foreleg. "Hello. Max…" She pauses for a moment, and checks with Rauzath , trying to remember the redhead's name. "Ahnika. It's wet enough out here, that if you like, I can offer you a bit of a seat underneath a wing, if you like." She gestures to Rauzath's already open wing. "It won't hurt her. She needs to stretch a bit anyway." Hopefully they don't mind sitting on the sands. "What's on your minds, then?" She looks at the pair of them and purses her lips, expecting the worst.

Dipping her head and shoulders in respectful bow to the gold dragon and again for Alara as they approach, Ahnika looks from Max to Alara and then Rauzath and back to Alara. “Ma’am,” she says with a nod as Alara addresses her by her name. “I apologize for the intrusion. It’s really …” she exhales, pushing some of her hair back behind an ear on her left side, careful to leave the other side down in front. “It’s probably nothing, but we needed to report something … you know, just in case.” She frowns at the sand at her feet. As for the invitation to take cover under the gold’s wing, Ahni doesn’t immediately accept, either because she perhaps feels on some level not deserving of it, or because she doesn’t really want to be here any longer than absolutely necessary, so she simply murmurs a “Thank you,” to the offer, and looks at Max. With another slow exhale, Ahnika just blunders on, “You see … there was this man, a trader, named Phineus.” If she continues going about it this way, they will be here all day, but it’s plain as day that this whole retelling of it makes her extremely uncomfortable. In fact, it’s a testament to Ahni’s typically headstrong nature that she’s getting anything out about it at all and not just letting Max tell all of it.

Taking in Alara's attire there does come a brief glimmer of amusement from Max and then he's taking a step forward to take the weyrwoman up on her offer with a dip of head Rauzath's way for the shelter her wing provides. He doesn't however take up the offer of seating on the sand choosing instead to remain standing and then falls quiet as Ahnika starts to the telling of their purpose for being there. However the beast manager shoots her a dark look for words of it being 'nothing'. Where she falters he takes up, a heavy frown starting to flicker into place, "Zen called my attention to this trader that had been following Ahnika around, so I set eyes on her just in case it came to no good, what with all that's been going on around here" there he pauses as his expression tightens, "turns out, I was right to. Kid came running to call me," judiciously leaving out Zen's part in it for concern of reprisals should the candidate be known to have been fighting, This…" a dark curse working as descriptor for the trader, "had her down a tunnel and was of a mind to…take advantage of her. Smacked her upside the head just as I got there." Another pause taken as he schools back the rising anger, and cuts the long story short with blunt honesty, "Beat the crap out of him and him thrown out the Weyr. Figured you should know in case he tries to get back in again." With a glance to the redhead at his side, his hand sneaking out sideways to find hers as a means of encouragement to tell of their further concerns, he prompts with, "We think he's done this before."

"Trader? Is he Diacori or Klananpan, or one of the independents?" She hopes it's one of the former, then she can use her influence in the situation. After all, she is 'mated to a Klananpan, and there is a Diacori in her bar, by all accounts. She wants to get all the information about this man from them. When Max speaks, her expression darkens, and Rauzath bugles, flapping her open wing a bit, possibly whacking Max lightly on the head. "Sorry about that, Max. Calm, luv, we'll take care of it." She steps over and grabs her gold, embracing her around the neck as best she can. "I know, luv, I know. We'll take care of it." She frowns. "Do any of our Harpers sketch? And could they sketch this cad? I want him kept out of my Weyr, if he's going to be preying on my girls." Trained as a Nanny, and now with a very protective gold — who is brooding at that — Alara is furious at this kind of behavior.

Falling into step with Max under the sheltering wing, Ahnika, too, seems content to stand if the gold doesn’t mind of course, and lapses politely quiet as Max picks up the story, but her grey-eyed gaze widens a little at the start of his telling. Something in that part she didn’t know, apparently, but if she finds fault in whatever it is, she doesn’t protest. When Max gets to the part about being found down a dark tunnel, Ahni winces and then blurts out quickly, “He dragged me there, ma’am. I didn’t go willing, I assure you.” She lapses quiet again as Max continues, her eyes looking up and over at him, heart finding some renewed strength in his retelling, and suddenly finding his hand grasping her encouragingly, she takes a breath and nods, looking back at Alara, “I … well, he said something about … he,” she flushes, lifting her free hand to rub at her forehead suddenly, “He was hurting that boy, you see,” and she takes another breath, “So, I … I took up for him, the boy that is,” not the trader. That would be weird. Ahni babbles on, “And he didn’t like that much … said he’d have to teach me respect or somesuch, and then he talked of having had to do it to some other woman before, too, only it didn’t sound like she made out as well … as I did.” She frowns thoughtfully, shuddering a moment, and then looks over at Max again, just as Rauzath bugles and flaps her wing, and Ahni –a little gunshy right now – startles and stumbles into the Beast Manager before she gets her footing again. And then she distractedly is trying to catch up with Alara’s questions, “Um, I’m afraid I don’t know much about traders … I think he said before that he was from Southern, though I don’t know if that was meant as originally or not.”

Max glances over to Ahnika as she's likely to know more about the scumbag's trading origins than he does. Unfortunately, having done so, he's not quite quick enough to duck out of Rauzath's way and gets wing-tipped alongside the head. Dark eyes flare and fix the gold with a wary look possibly assuming she's annoyed with -him- and setting to bite his head off. As the redhead stumbles against him, he automatically sets his arm to her waist forgetting how that's likely to come across to Alara. When it appears his head is safe, at least for now, his frame relaxes a little and he let's Ahnika do the talking only adding at the end, "If he's done this before we should warn the cotholds under our sweep and…" here he takes a deep breath, his shoulders and jaw squaring into a determined line, "I'd like to hunt him down and drag him back here so that you can deal with him as you see fit." Which hopefully means a long drop Between. Even that, in the beast manager's estimation, would be too kind. Only then does he realize the picture presented and as discreetly as possible removes his arm and shoves his hand into a wet pocket, finding the sand beneath them of high interest as he awaits the Weyrwoman's response.

"I still want a sketch of him, and then I'll pass it along to Ther and Jaya." Alara doesn't seem concerned with the two of them standing so closely. After all, the candidate does know the rules, however embarrassingly she was informed of them. "We'd have to find out what other things he's done, and if it's bad enough, exile him. I won't stand for …" She purses her lips. "I don't mind those that have had trouble foisted upon them and are attempting to make the best of it…" She could be referring to Max, though it's less likely than another she's been thinking about, "… but for someone to prey on the women in my Weyr… No. That is unacceptable." She borrows some of Rauzath's cold steel during crisis, and her eyes flash. "Perhaps you can …. I'm not sure if Teallan can draw. What's the other Harper candidate's name?" There's a long pause as she asks Rauzath, who for some reason has a connection who knows all the names. Or several that know most or something. "Uveline. That's the one. Ask her if she can sketch from a description."

As Max puts his arm to Ahnika’s waist, Ahnika does take a longer time to blink, more like closing her eyes for five blessedly long seconds and then reopening them. She nods to Max’s comment about warning others of him, but when Max volunteers to go hunt him down and bring him back, she looks something between wanting to throw up all over him and wanting to tie him down to something, maybe Rauzath’s foot, if she’d be willing. Having been released now, her hand darts out to try and grab his arm suddenly, and speaking softly, “No, Max. Not you.” It is more a plea than a demand, which speaks a little to some of the crow Ahni has tasted today. Then a glance for Alara and the need to have the man sketched and she quickly puts that hand to the back of her neck, rubbing nervously, and her cheeks coloring, “I think I can try and sketch his likeness, ma’am.” She’s had absolutely no training, so the sketch will look like a stick figure, but it would mean no one else would have to know. She chews on her lower lip, then winces again and releases it, this time for forgetting the cut there.

Max merely nods to Alara's words though he does try to make plea on Ahnika's behalf at the end, "There any way we can keep her name out of it and keep that just between us?" with a glance over to the redhead should the goldrider be unsure as to who he was referring to. Her grab to his arm and plea turn a determinedly hard look over to the candidate, uttering only, "Yes. Me." As to furthering the investigation into the trader's perhaps nefarious background, a dark smirk appears on the beast manager's face - he likes that! Talk of trouble having a way of finding people, that brings about the edge of a rueful look but he says nothing to it. He does however flash an approving expression over to the goldrider for taking the stand she does in protecting the women of the Weyr. When Ahnika offers to do the sketching he's hard pressed to suppress the smile that threatens and instead makes offer, "Reckon I could describe him to this Uveline," an oddly self satisfied smirk appears, "Though his face would look a little different now." It would however, probably be best if the one who had had the most to do with the trader, namely the redhead, were to do the describing.

"You wouldn't have to tell them why. Just that I asked for it." Alara says, thinking she understands. "Unless you have some skill yourself?" It's a pointed question to which she wants a truthful answer. "If you do, I may have you sketch a couple other things as well." She snorts. "I imagine so. Harpers are trained in discretion, though of course, the discretion varies by individual. I'm not sure she even has that skill. Not all do. We also have our own Harper, though I haven't had the time to sit down with him, either." She sighs. "It has been one crisis after another, hasn't it?" She shakes her head, and moves to sit on the foreleg offered to her, and to curl up against the gold. Max's comments get a snort. "I imagine it does, now." She gives a small smile. "Thank you for coming to her aid." She feels better about the Weyr when there are people who will stand up for those who need it. "As for you hunting him down…" She thinks for a long moment. "Do you have someone to take over your duties here?" The running of the Weyr is her primary concern. "And I'd like for you to at least take one of your guys with you… just as a precaution. Not that I don't think you can't travel alone, but I'd prefer it if there was two of you." She sighs again, and shifts to make herself more comfortable on her makeshift perch.

With another frown, Ahnika turns away from Max and his determination to hunt the creep down, turning her attention to the sands and the eggs, appearing lost in thought as she hugs herself briefly and then lifts a hand to pinch her nose with her thumb and forefinger, trying to focus, her multitasking mind spinning off in a few different directions, directions she doesn’t really put a voice to ultimately. Finally she shakes her head, and murmurs at the sand at her feet, “No real skill, ma’am, no. I’d like to see if I can meet with Journeyman Kestian first, though, please.” The thought of taking this to Uveline, who Ahni knows is smart and able to piece puzzles together, just sits about as well with her as the thought of Max going off to hunt down the trader, alone or not. “Not a crisis,” Ahni protests without any real vehemence, “He just got … handsy.” Handsy with a capital H, considering the swelling and cut lip and the bruising she’ll have on her upper arm by nightfall. As Alara continues on with making plans to let Max go after the man, Ahni shifts her weight from foot to foot, her embarrassment over the matter and her worry for Max growing exponentially. If she were anywhere else, she’d pace, and looks antsy to do so, fidgety and nervous and like she wants to throw up all over again. But she remains in place, mostly because she’s too terrified to go pacing far in the sands with the eggs around, even if they aren’t too nearby. She’s just too on edge. “Then let me go with him,” she requests, “Please.” Given her grim expression, she knows the answer she will get, but she makes the request nonetheless.

Max flickers an understanding smile Alara's way for the crises that seem to have plagued the Weyr of late, stating simply with a shrug, "Teething problems." And then his expression sobers and he offers a short nod to having come to Ahnika's rescue. Moving onto arrangements for his being able to leave the Weyr to take up the search for Phineus, eyes flicker to the entrance to the sands where the ever present Yaron's bulk shadows it. With a jerk of head that way, "I'll take him with me." As to who can mind the store on the days that he's gone out of Weyr, a frown forms, "Waine's up to speed with how things run, but he'll need someone to watch him and kick his butt every here and there. Don't suppose you'd allow Zen to head things up for a bit?" because he for one trusts the candidate to do so. And then as a thought drops in, he adds, "Might help to have copies of the sketch to drop about the place in case anyone sees him." Having been watching Ahnika out of the corner of his eye, the beast manager frowns at her comment of the scumbag having been 'just handsy' but doesn't address it, instead he shakes his head firmly in the negative to her request, stating as kindly as possible, "No Ahnika. I can't be worrying about you while I'm out there. You stay here where I know you're safe, aye?" As safe as she can be given the recent incident. Then again perhaps Alara will be of a mind to decide otherwise on the candidate's participation, in which case, he'll have to acquiesce to her decision.

Were this Randi they were talking to, this would be a 'bullshit' moment. However, since it's the more diplomatic of the two queenriders, the candidate merely gets a pointed look and a quiet "I don't think you believe that either, Ahnika." She shakes her head. "No, Ma'am. You are a candidate, and the eggs are hard. I can't risk you right now. They ought to crack shell any day now. And besides, if I recall your upbringing correctly, you've not had much experience out on the open road during a time when Thread is in the skies." It's not a slam, but merely a comment. "I can see about Merendezen helping out, yes. He might appreciate that more than some of the other chores he has had to do lately." She gives a small smile and a soft snort. Max's comments about it being teething pains get a soft tinkle of laughter and a nod. "Aye, you might be right about that, then." She shakes her head. "Hopefully, the teeth come in soon." She nods. "If you can chat with Kestian, then go ahead. Otherwise, we'll have to ask Uveline or one of the Harpers over at Landing. I'm sure they have a sketch artist there somewhere." She'll find someone to do this, even if she has to call in a request to Master Gallifren himself. "You keep yourself safe, though, Lomaxin." She gazes straight at the man. "I don't want to have to tell your mother that you've gone and done something stupid and gotten hurt or worse."

This really isn’t her day. Nothing is going the way Ahnika planned it to since she first woke up this morning. Even with breakfast and laundry there were some minor wrinkles, but they were easily smoothed out to Ahni’s satisfaction. This, however … this is quickly becoming uncomfortable in many ways, not the least of which she was attacked, Max nearly killed a man, a man he is going to be going out looking for, and now it appears very likely she will have to sit down across from Uveline and actually describe him to her. And she won’t even be allowed to go with Max to keep him, as she sees it, out of trouble. And the otherwise decent problem-solver control-freak of a young woman seems unable to find a way out as things spiral even more out of her control than before. Both hands slide to the back of her neck now, linking fingers there as she stares at the sand under her feet, working to control her breathing and balance and hopefully stay off a panic attack. She remains quiet for the time being, not acknowledging the words of the other two, just lost in her own maze of thoughts. Bad day, indeed.

Satisfied that Alara has more than likely appealed to Ahnika's sense of reason, he nods in firm agreement and then turns back to the topic of his departure, "I'll have a word with Zen and see if he's up to the task. Unless of course you'd rather do so?" defering to the goldrider's authority on the matter. The edge of a chuckle forces out over teething problems, "Aye, big bold teeth!" he states with a small margin of pride for the emerging Weyr's air of spit and fire in handling all manner of situations thrown at it. Dark eyes meet the direct look from the Weyrwoman and Max nods though there is an edge of amusement to his mouth, probably for the prod at his not always thinking everything all the way through before reacting, or for her having used his full name. "Aye, I'll come back," though making no promises on the possibility of getting hurt as it goes with the territory when hunting someone down, "and with It," not affording the trader the luxury of anything more in terms of a title, "in tow." Of that he seems confidently sure. As Ahnika seems about set to tipple over the edge of panic, the beast manager puts an apologetic look over to the goldrider for his next actions and steps up to the redhead with a mind to hug her close for a moment and state quietly and simply, "Trust me," as he tries to catch her eyes.

Of the gold pair, it is Rauzath who notices Ahnika's increased heartrate, her cold sweats and all that. She lifts her wing, and swivels her big head around to gaze down at the younger woman. Never mind that it may exacerbate the situation. "Luv, what are you … " She begins to ask, and is promptly cut off with the explanation. "Oh, dear." Alara's only 'cure' for that is a hug and gentle words, and right now, it seems that Max has it covered. So, she merely offers her own reassurance. "Lomaxin seems to be very good at what he does, Ahnika, and I am sure that you want to be here when the eggs hatch. It would be a shame for you to be somewhere else, and not experience the wonder…" She's never been a candidate in a Hatching where she didn't impress, so that part she's never felt. However, she hopes the young lady will impress. "If you wouldn't mind, Lomaxin, I think it would work alright coming from you. Just inform him that he is exempt from the other chores. They may have to rework the schedule a little bit, but I am certain they can do that without too much trouble." In fact, Zen's been doing so on the sly for a while now, picking the harder working chores for the others, assisting in his own way. "Thank you for bringing this to my attention, both of you. We will figure it out." Max's assurances that he will bring the perpetrator back merely get an acknowledging nod. She believes he'll do just that.

As Max steps closer and hugs her, Ahnika doesn’t flinch away, even if he is soaking wet. She brings her gaze back up to his face, uncertainty in her eyes at first, though not for him, just for herself, and with his words she continues to meet that gaze meaningfully in silence a moment before finally saying, “I do.” Then sighing, and dropping her gaze to his chest, “Doesn’t mean I gotta like it.” Pause. “Any of it.” She glances over to Alara, and then wide-eyed at Rauzath and suddenly slightly embarrassed again, she reluctantly steps back and away from Max, “I’m … just … not having a good day,” she adds. Understatement of the Turn or master of stating the obvious. Take your pick. To Max being good at what he does, color floods Ahnika’s cheeks and she just nods mutely at the sand again. Interesting sand, that is. It is either the tone of Alara’s voice or her words on Impressing that has Ahnika looking up again, much of the embarrassed look fading to keen interest and a hunger for that knowledge, that experience, more than any other. Some of her anxiety subsides as she considers things a little more, and she exhales a long breath, and with her shoulders slumping a little, she looks more tired than anything else.

A grateful look is sent over Ahnika's shoulder to Alara for her words of confidence in him and then he's putting a rueful smile onto the redhead, "Aye, not a good day," quiet agreement to that. And then he's stepping back and sending a long look first the way of the big gold and then down and out over the eggs. "She's right, love. This," a small gesture of hand over the sands, "is where you belong right now." Keeping his own thoughts of the redhead impressing, firmly to himself and out of both tone and expression he nods agreement to the goldrider's word, "I'll let Zen know." Taking a step backward and out from under the shelter of Rauzath's wing, the squelchy beast manager looks set to start making his departure. At least off of the sands, that is. His departure from the Weyr will probably take a few days of planning and waiting to have copies of the sketch in hand before doing so. As to having brought the whole incident to the Weyrwoman's attention, there comes simply the grim edge of a smile.

"Rauzath, luv, you're not making things better." Alara begins, mock-scolding her gold. Rauzath focuses her attention down on her rider. "Because she's not used to you yet, darlin.' You're a bit big." She snickers at the annoyed whuff that the dragon gives, and turns back to Ahnika. That expression — the hunger and need to know — that one, Alara knows. "It's worth sticking around for." She smiles, hoping to finish the process of cheering her. "Thank you." She calls again to the man walking off the sands. "Now then. Where were we? Oh, yes. Attempting to wash you, you great beast." She snickers, and slaps the gold's hide affectionately. "Would you like to help me, Ahnika, or do you have somewhere else you'd rather be?"

Ahnika had been starting to calm down a little, really, even with Rauzath’s curious gaze on her. It is Max’s term of endearment, right there, right there in front of the weyrwoman that has the candidate’s head whipping back around from Alara to Max, looking a mixture of startled and joy. But words seem to escape her as she just plum stares at Max for that long, meaningful moment, and then she is blinking a bit, looking down and away and since Max isn’t reacting and Alara certainly isn’t, she now begins to doubt that she heard it right. She frowns, and blinks a few times again as she lifts her gaze back to Alara with her offer. A smile forms on the young woman’s injured, puffy face, and Ahni looks awed and inspired, moving her gaze from Alara to Rauzath and then back again, seeming to actually miss Max starting to make his departure. She finally speaks, “I’d … I’d really like that, in fact. Thank you, ma’am.” And then, she turns back to look at Max, watching him start to go, a torn look crosses her features. For the first time since she arrived, since becoming a candidate, she begins to see just how much of a trial it will be to love a dragon and love a man at the same time. After a moment, she tears her eyes away from him, and approaches Alara and the bucket of water carefully, and more significantly, dedicating herself to the gold dragon and her bath. Her choice is made, and has been made for some time. She remains speechless and deep in thought.

With Ahnika having been tempted into helping Alara bathe her gold, Max leaves her in the Weyrwoman's care and sends a silent look Yaron's way. Leaving a smile tainted at the edges with an unreadable sentiment at play for the candidate and goldrider, he's quickly gone from the hatching caverns in search of dry and warmer clothing. Sneezing from a cold not being conducive to tracking someone with any degree of success. Next he'll likely be heading in Zen's direction to catch the candidate up on the happenings and make arrangements with him to take over the running of the beast caverns in his absence.

Closing Credits Theme Music: Glenn Frey – “The Heat Is On”

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