The Old Guard Vs The New

Participants:

Max.jpg Durgill.jpg Hayli.jpg

Date: 06.07.2011
Location: EW - Jaya's Bar
Synopsis: Durgill makes the long ride from Landing to the Weyr where Max finds him relaxing in Jaya’s bar. The old guard is brought into the ‘fold’ so to speak and given a mission.
Rating: PG13
Logger: Max

It's been awhile since the … excitement at Landing, but between making sure everyone was returned to health and his other duties, Durgill's been a busy man. He's not the captain of the guard — no, that's Thayet — but he's definitely a well-liked one. Mostly because he's willing to do whatever it takes to keep the Landing site safe. He finally makes his way over to the Weyr one midday, riding a runner and taking his time. It's not an emergency, so he can do so. He walks down the hallway toward where he was directed, and finds the local 'watering hole'.

It being midday, more people are doing their work or resting than frequenting the bar, so when Durgill enters, it's relatively empty. There a few of Jaya's helpers either sitting at a table enjoying their own meal, or prowling around taking care of the patrons that are there. He nods respectfully at one of them, and takes a seat at a nearby table, gazing around to assay the 'lay of the land.'

Recovered from the injuries sustained during the ‘incident’, except of course for that scar which will forever remain, midday would usually find Max either out working with his men in his more legitimate capacity as beast manager, or taking his meal in his office while attending to correspondence and reports come in from the various sources that work for him under his more nefarious title. Quite what it is that has brought him to the bar is somewhat of a mystery.

As he passes by a careful look and dip of head is given Shijan situated at his usual post at the entrance and then his gaze goes to the bar counter. Not finding what he’s looking for there, it sweeps across the sparsely populated room. A brow goes up and a grin forms as Durgill comes into focus. After a quick word to Hayli, Max heads in the old guard’s direction. “Finally decided to take me up on my offer, eh?” As if this were a pre-arranged meeting.

"Yup." Durgill leans back in his seat, draping an arm over a neighboring chair, effecting a sprawl. "Had to get a few things straightened out at home, and figured I'd give you young pups some time to heal and meditate on your impulsive ways." He gives a short bark of laughter, smiling wide enough to show white teeth, sharply contrasted against his dark skin. He catches the subterfuge and ignores it, or does so after giving the barhand a quick smile.

Durgill's laugh is met with a crooked grin that speaks to all the energy and zest for life of the young and without awaiting invitation, Max drops into a chair opposite the old guy, his hat removed and set to hang off the top of an empty chair beside him. "It ain't nothin'," the younger man plays down injuries received. "Mighty grateful for your help, sir." His tone sincere as he harks back to the night their paths had crossed and then he drops silent when Hayli brings the drinks he'd ordered, "Thanks darlin'. Jaya about?" The young blonde gives a shake of head, "She said she had something to take care of." That draws the idea of a frown to briefly cross Max's features and then he gives a nod and nudges one of the glasses of whiskey toward Durgill, not having stopped to ask what it was the guard might have preferred to be drinking.

Durgill is pretty easygoing on the topic of what to drink. He takes the offered glass, and lifts it in a slow salute before sipping at it. "I was glad to help a body out. Especially getting Jhorn back. Someone takin' young people like that …" He shakes his head slowly, disapproval evident on his features. "And you all looked like you'd been runner-dragged for a few dragonlengths." When the man mentions Jaya, he quirks a brow but keeps silent. If Max wants to share, he will. Otherwise, it's none of his business. In fact, he seems content to let Max steer the conversation, merely nursing his drink quietly for now.

Hayli hovers for a moment or two, and given that she’s one of Indira’s informants is curious about the new (if not older) face about the Weyr. However with a slightly narrowed look sent her by the beast manager, she makes her departure with a cheerily spoken, “I’ll tell Jaya you stopped by,” sent over her shoulder. With the serving maid gone, Max puts his full attention on Durgill and catches that lifted brow. “Jaya runs the bar,” he tells him, though there’s an undertone of something else that might suggest there’s more to it than that.

Mention of Jhorn has him frowning slightly, “Aye, coulda caused a right stink up Boll way if that lad had come to any harm.” Not that Jhorn hadn’t, but dead would be bad, real bad. Wry amusement slips into place and with his glass midway to his lips, Max pauses and puts a long look onto the older man before stating, “Most folk wouldn’t give a man of your turns much thought.” Which might seem like an odd and perhaps even insolent thing to remark on.

And also, it elicits a wry snort. "True enough." Durgill replies to the later comment first. "It's come in handy a time or two." The old man takes another sip, and then nods his head. "Lords do have a tendency to get very particular about their heirs and family running afoul of certain kinds of people." He shifts in his seat and gives a small frown before leaning forward, drawing inward, and going a little wary. "You got something on your mind?"

There’s a quick, if not sly smile when Durgill takes the bait but Max leaves it to linger in his mind a while longer and turns to the matter of Jhorn. Taking a drink and exhaling in appreciation for the afterburn, lips purse slightly, “So long as they don’t hear about it, they ain’t gotta worry about it, aye?” Yeah, he’ll be doing his damndest to aid Kaskan in keeping the incident from the attention of the Boll’s blooded. Another drink of the amber liquid and then setting his glass down he puts an assessing look onto the older man, “I find myself in need of someone trustworthy but with enough clout that they ain’t gonna be questioned when it comes to cargo manifests. Reckon you could find me someone like that?”

"That really depends, young pup." Durgill heard Max's name called, but at this point, chooses not to use it. "It depends on what the end is. Is it somethin' that's gonna hurt the people under my care at Landing?" He's a stickler for that. It's his life. He's not opposed to making a few marks on something that is mostly harmless, but if it hurts folks, well… Another snort shows his opinion of them being able to keep it a secret. "Number one," he ticks off, "you had a dragon involved in the rescue. Dragon or rider, ain't a pair I've met in all my turns that can keep a good story down. Even if it's couched in generalities. Riders make hold workin' women look like tight-lipped Harpers." He snorts again. "Second, Jhorn's gonna wanna tell his own tale of livin' through somethin' like that. Maybe not for Turns, but he'll wanna tell his buddies how he survived jumpin' off a cliff, and got to ride adragonback the same day. Hold boys eat that kinda shit up." He takes another slow pull of his drink, draining a good portion of it. "But, luckily, both those options got you and your boys lookin' gold-plated." He waves it off. "S'long as nobody comes lookin' for that … what was his name? Crud? Then, you oughtta be good."

For some reason, rather than be affronted by the word Durgill uses, Max is amused by it. And so it is that a faint smile traces onto his expression as he shakes his head, “Naw, ain’t gonna bring no harm to no one. You could say that if anythin’, it’s for the good of the Weyr.” That smile slips right off and his features darken when the older man touches on the potential loose lips of the dragonriders that had been involved. “M’las ain’t gonna say nothin’,” he notes and then adds, “That greenrider says anythin’ and he’ll find himself standin’ watch over firestone supplies quicker’n he can wipe the shit from his arse after I’ve kicked it.” Because he’ll personally see to it that Randi ensures as much. “We all got shit in our pasts what bites us in the butt, Kas don’t need this ruinin’ his future.” Strong loyalty to his friend coming to the fore. As to Jhorn, he can’t help a wry twitch of lips, “That boy’s more together than most adults I’ve come across.” On the matter of Crud Max leans back in his chair as a dark smirk traces out, “Not gonna be much to find if the wherries have done their job. But you make a good point. Someone should go cut the bones down and make ‘em disappear.” Delightful chap isn’t he?

Durgill laughs outright at his thoughts of stopping dragon-gossip. He doesn't know of Max's close relationship with the Weyrwoman, nor does he think the young man would be able to stop it. "If you say so." His doubtful comment is all he'll say on the matter, though, nodding his head through the rest of the soliloquy. "Ain't that the truth. And the older you get, the deeper the shit piles." This sounds like the voice of experience. "Kas? That that other young pup?" He doesn't know his story much either. Perhaps he's heard bits and pieces while the lad's been hanging around. Wrinkled, wizened fingers reach up to stroke his gray mustache for a couple of minutes as he considers the proposition. "I might know a fella." The wry grin returns. "Gonna want to make sure my ass is covered, and that it won't hurt my people. Otherwise, yeah, it could probably get done."

Granted, the riders of dragons are far easier to gag than the dragons themselves but Max has to at least try, right? So he takes Durgill’s dubious comeback for what it is and sends a wry expression in return that goes to both that and what the old guard notes about age and past troubles stacking up. Taking up his glass and swallowing down another mouthful of whiskey he then nods grimly, “Aye, the one what looked like a dragon ate him and then threw him right back up again.” Delightful. Watching Durgill closely as he contemplates the ‘mission’ set before him, Max gives a low chuckle, “There will be compensation of course.” He then adds in a more sincere tone, “You ain’t gotta have your name involved. Just point me in the right direction and I’ll take care of the rest.” Understanding that the old guard can likely ill afford to have his name attached to shady dealings given his standing down at Landing.

Max's description of Kaskan makes Durgill bark another sharp laugh. He sets his empty glass down. "Glad I didn't have any of that rotgut in my mouth, or I'da burned the hairs right outta my nose." He shakexs his head, and then considers the rest of Max's words. "That I can do. Can probably even find you a few things around that need to disappear to add to a … " He isn't sure how he wants to phrase it, nor exactly what the man is going to do, but he thinks he understands. "Add to a lump 'o' stuff, if need be." The Weyr is their support, and if it's to keep the Weyr flush, then it's worth it. "Hard with no holds to tithe." There's a crack in the plan when the Lords and Masters and Weyrmen get all 'clever' like that. "Let me know what you need, and when."

Draining his glass, Max turns a crooked grin out to Durgill for his comment. “I’ll try timin’ it better next round,” he quips back, the image of the old guard snorting his drink clearly one that amuses. Then a brow goes up as Durgill mentions he may be able to find items in need of ‘relocation’. The young beast manager is clearly impressed. “Happy to accommodate,” he replies and then utters a soft snort on the difficulties of there being no holders tithing to the Weyr yet. “Aim to change that,” enigmatic the sly smile that curls into place as retrieving his hat, he pushes his chair back and stands. “Gonna be needin’ to bring some supplies in from up north,” mining equipment from Serevan to be more precise but Max doesn’t clarify, “Couple of live bodies too,” the miners that his Nabolese counterpart will be supplying, “some by sea, others by air.” The matter is left there to rest for the time being having given Durgill enough to mull over and know what sort of shipping he’ll need to have to access.

"S'long as you're not bringin' in too much trouble, either the people themselves or those lookin' for 'em…" Durgill doesn't really want to have some Holder come down astride his watchrider's dragon, and have to flame to get his or her people back. "S'long as you've got someone helpin' you …" He considers how to phrase this. "Check 'em out. Make sure they're not tunnelsnakes posin' as firelizards." Close as 'wolf in sheep's clothing' can get on Pern, maybe. "Glad t' help." He leans back, and stretches a little.

There’s a light frown to the caution given by Durgill and then Max sets the older man with a long look as if deciding just how far he can trust him. Eventually, benefit of the doubt wins out given the assistance the old guard had rendered when the stakes were loaded, “The lands beyond Hold and Weyr ain’t exactly friendly to those without attachment,” speaking of the holdless, “most are good folk just lookin’ for a chance to put down roots and call a place home. I trust my source.” That last bit added with a determined nod for while Max understands the nature of working with the underbelly of Pern, he does still carry with him the optimism of youth enough to believe he can trust his allies.

Durgill lost that optimism, oh, about twenty Turns ago. So he just nods, and listens, hoping it won't bite them all in the ass. "You seem like you've got your head on straight, young pup." He'll give the man the benefit of the doubt. He moves to stand up. "Let me know the details, and we'll figure this out." He stands, seeming to work a kink or two out of old legs as he does. He thrusts his hand out toward the man. "If you didn't catch it, I'm Durgill, Guard at Landing."

A wry smile greets Durgill’s comment about having his head on straight but Max says nothing just yet, setting his hat to head as the older man stands. The hand extended is taken in a firm grip and given a solid shake before being released, “Well met, Durgill. Max, Beast Manager around these parts.” Though the amusement that flares in dark eyes as he speaks his formal title might suggest there was far more to the young man, than just tending the livestock of the Weyr. “It’s been a pleasure. Ain’t many what would jump in to help a total stranger without knowin’ the whys and wherefors of their troubles.” There’s no mistaking the respect in his tone for Durgill. And then touching two fingers to the brim of his hat, he’ll turn and leave stopping for a brief exchange of words with Hayli, the blonde barmaid and then he’s gone to tend to whatever next the day requires of him.


Closing Theme Music: The Scorpions - Winds Of Change


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