The Ties That Bind


Max.jpg Merendezen.jpg

Date: 2010.08.14
Location: Eastern Weyr: Entrance
Synopsis: A discussion of the past and another of the present condition of the Weyr and her candidates.
Rating: PG-13 (Language)
Logger: Merendezen

This entrance to the Weyr is meant for the wingless folk, though to judge by its size, one would never guess. Large enough to shelter a train of wagons and herdbeasts during Threadfall, there's a set of stairs straight ahead which lead into the southern end of the Living Cavern. Off to the right, there's a strange indentation in the floor; a wide tunnel that leads even lower into the rock, though it is better-lit than any other passage in the weyr. Even though the rest of the Weyr floor is rough and newly hewn, this tunnel seems to be unusually smooth. Perhaps traffic has been heavier there than elsewhere. Or perhaps the travelers have more impact on the stone.

The entrance to the Weyr being as big as it is, takes more than just a few burly men to keep it effectively closed. As such a large wooden barrier has been erected and has four men on patrol at all times. With Rukbat only just having started to creep fingers of light across the sky, there aren't many out and about at this hour. Which makes it a perfect time for a shift change. Said shift change finds one beast manager hunched down into a lined and hooded jacket, hands shoved into pockets and breath misting out onto the chilly morning air as he exchanges low words with the changing teams.

The dawn brings many people waking from their sleep. One person in particular can be scouting the Weyr, awake when others just begin to wake, and again searching for that one particular suspect or listening until someone blabs. If he or she was proud of themselves, it wouldn't take too long to find someone boasting about it… Some day. This brings Zen up to the entrance, green eyes focused and ears listening. His hood is down, despite the weather and it doesn't seem to bug him entirely too much.

It's Waine that brings his attention to the arrival with a quick lift of chin and flick of eyes in Zen's direction. Turning his head slightly over his shoulder, dark eyes land on the other man briefly and he sends a nod of acknowledgement in his direction. Turning back to the men in front of him a final word is given them and the night shift is departing casting guarded looks the candidate's way as they pass by him. "Zen," Max's greeting is genuine for his presence even if his smile holds grim edges to it, "Been hoping to catch you. Walk with me." Away and out of earshot of those lingering nearby.

Merendezen is aware of any gazes, watching the interactions carefully before returning the nod. He pauses there, waiting, assuming that the nod was for more than one reason. And while he waits, his gaze remains searching until the men pass him and his gaze watches them, only briefly before Max approaches. "Max. Really now?" He gives a nod, returning the smile with a slight one of his own before he nods in the direction of his patrol and starting that way, away from any who may listen.

"Got Yaron's version," from that fateful night, "Was hoping to hear your impressions of this whole sharding mess." Head bowed slightly as if keeping his attention to the ground before him as they walk, Max's eyes however graze over the area about them, keeping watch from anything or anyone that might be out of place. Said with a grate to his voice, "Lived in a Weyr almost my entire fucking life and seen a lot of shit go down," a glance is shot sidelong to Zen, "but ain't never anything like this."

Merendezen grunts softly, nodding his understanding. Though he remains in silence as he walks, eyes and ears completely attentive on their surroundings. "You don't break the Eggs, one thing we've learned. Never touch the eggs unless you're a candidate…" He takes a breath, lips pressing together briefly. "Two people. One offed the other in attempt to draw attention to this other person, the body was far too clean. A professional, likely from one of the more shady parts of the Holds… Seen something like it before. Can't identify the body as man or women cause of it… Anything that would identify this person has been disposed of. This person was either new or, wasn't well known… No one's reported anyone missing. Likely that they could have come in while everyone was away." There's silence as he returns to considering. "Someone with a grudge. Likely to be damn proud of themselves and may go boasting later at taverns or bars outside of the Weyr… If they managed to get out before the doors were locked and dragons grounded."

Shoulders hunch further down as a chill wind whips passed, Max saying little as Zen shares what he knows and his thoughts on the situation. Dark brows lift and then settle into a frown, "All markers gone, eh?" More silence ensues with just the crunch of their boots breaking through. Finally with a short shake of head, "I reckon this goes beyond a grudge," his steps slow and he stops to face, "This stinks of a message being sent and that body down there?" a jerk of chin in the general direction of the tunnel where it was found, "Someone had a conscience." That's his take on the matter as he turns and steps take back up again, "Northern can't be too happy about what we're doing here. For shard's sake, we just gave Lady Isilna refuge and a bloody knot to boot. That don't go down with the Holder types."

Merendezen nods, "yeah.. Clean body. Hardly any blood…" Lips press together and he takes a deep breath. "Grudge, hate.. Can't see what the message is. There's too many for a message. Goes beyond just: don't house our outcast…." The walk continues and he considers the tunnels. "I don't think they feel guilty for it. They wouldn't have killed their partner. They didn't want the partner to blab that they had anything to do with it, or… They were being paid and he didn't want to share the cut. Many possibilities…" He trails off, considering. "We don't know what happened at the wedding. Can't say for sure how the Holders all reacted."

"Body was dumped there after," Max speaks obvious conclusion to the person not having been killed in the tunnels themselves. A hand lifts out of his pocket rubs across his brow in consternation, his next words coming quietly, "Glad my Pa ain't alive to see the day unhatched dragons were killed." He might not be a rider himself, but rider born and bred enough for the atrocity to make the man feel sick to the soul. With another glance to Zen, "How you guys holding up in all this?" the candidates.

Merendezen nods, "makes you wonder where it was killed, then.. Can't get the blood clean without hauling lots of buckets to that place…" He notes softly, furrowing his brows. "Disgusting… Can't imagine why they'd target the eggs. It's like targeting a baby. It's not going to fight back, why do it? It's innocent and has done nothing to you…" He trails off and lets out a soft huff, "fine. Others don't seem to be affected as much. They didn't see the broken shells or the body… Most are talking about it but doing nothing. It's fine, would prefer they stay out of it anyway."

"Sand…" Max starts out and then almost misses a step as a thought comes to mind, "or mud," such as they have copious amounts of down at the lake being dug, "is the easiest in cleaning up after blood has been spilled. Why they use it in the fighting rings." Giving small indication of his run with the less desirable types of High Reaches. His expression turns grim once again as Zen adds his own comments to the slaying of unhatched dragons, "Which is why I think it a message being sent the Weyr as a whole. Perhaps even Randi personally seeing as they went to the trouble of choosing her gold's clutch. The most heavily guarded except for that day." Lips press thin and he nods to what is said of the other candidates and their reaction to the whole mess, and then quietly asked, "And Ahni?" He's obviously not been able to see her recently.

Merendezen furrows his brows, pausing in step before stopping completely. His eyes are distant in thought, turning his head. "Shit… Didn't think of that…" His nose wrinkles in disgust, then before he moves to catch up with the other man, shaking the expression away with a shake of his head. But now it is Max who he watches, wary of the man suddenly. "Very well could be… There's too many reasons why. Or maybe that it's all the reasons…" He trails off and then nods. "She's fine. Helping in Jaya's bar, was making sure she didn't get herself hurt the other day for taking so long to deliver drinks."

Max's steps slow until Zen catches up and he continues on that train of thought having missed whatever look was sent his way, "Think about it. All that mud to hide the blood in. Shards, they could even have used one of the rocks and it wouldn't have been noticed in that sludge of a hole." A dark laugh snorts, ugly in its frustrated deliverance, "And our own fucking candidates helpfully hiding all the evidence as they work away like good little helpers." The mockery not intended for the white knotted group itself. That last has the beast manager cursing under his breath and then louder spoken, "Shit, she's still going back there?" clearly not too happy about that.

Merendezen is still watching the man warily, even as he speaks, brow drawing into a frown. "Yeah… Not to mention the dragons digging." He points out, "the skin of the victim would have easily been stuck in with what was already dug out…" A soft huff and he shrugs, "she likes keeping busy, Max. Learning… 'course she'll keep going. Seems like she's fond of Jaya."

Abruptly Max changes their path and sets it on a heading to the Lake-in-progress. "Randi mentioned something about the smiths, them smiths are also responsible for getting the water into the lake once it's done, aye? You done some work with 'em, aye? How well you know them?" shooting off questions in rapid fire form until he catches that wary look coming from Zen, "What?" As to the matter of Ahnika and Jaya, dark eyes roll expressively, "Just great." And then as if seeking to move the focus off of him, "How's things going with your lady, hmm? Gotten her any closer to saying what she wants?"

Merendezen moves to follow easily, "yeah. They're filling it once it's done. Know 'em well enough, could ask questions if need be." The wary look remain in place even as Max catches it and he shakes his head, unwilling to share. "Sorry. I can keep an eye on her, if you'd like." And then, he quiets for a moment. "Pretty good… Actually. She's staying. She's a Candidate… She admitted she didn't want her family to want her or need her. It's a start. Now just hoping a dragon finds her so I don't have to go steal her."

Shrugging slightly, "Killer's a smith, or working with them, it would be even easier for him. Lake and tunnels. They got access to both." Max nods to Zen asking question of the smiths he knows adding what is likely needless warning, "He," or she, "knows you're onto them, they'll clam up tighter'n a runner's ass at sight of a tunnelsnake." With the other man waving off the question, he comes to a halt and turns looking the other square in the eye, "You got something you want to say?" perhaps sounding a little more challenging than he'd intended. For now the matter of their women set to one side.

Merendezen considers this and then nods, "sounds reasonable… Makes sense, too. A smith who blames the Weyrs?" He offers, nose wrinkling and he nods. "Won't ask around, but I'll watch…" Waiting for a slipup at least. He halts, narrowing his eyes at the other. "The fights…" He starts, lips pressing tightly together and not pushing forward beyond that.

Max nods grimly, "A smith who blames -this- Weyr. Or is simply the inside man for someone else because of the access his calling grants him here at the moment." Making reference to it possibly being a renegade for hire. Shoulders stretch and the beast manager's jaw tightens a fraction at mention of fights, though he stands his ground despite the guarded look that drops behind his eyes, "What of them?" sounding a touch too nonchalant.

"This Weyr. Or an inside man, yes… Was posted here, someone found out and pulled the strings…" Zen considers, shaking his head and then dismissing the thoughts of it for now as attention is put fully upon the beastmaster, his expressions hiding behind the wary look still. "When were you in them? Did you do it willingly?"

Dark eyes meet green with Max's expression remaining tightly schooled away behind a bland mask as he puts silence between question and answer. Finally, "'Round three turns back, before Tillek. Some down the docks during the time at Tillek too." As to whether his participation was willing or not, that draws the cold edge of a smirk into place, "Fight for myself." And now it's his turn to narrow a look onto Zen, "Why you do it?" drawing his own conclusions there.

Merendezen considers the answer and the look is gone but his expression remains neutral, green eyes still boring into the other man's, determined to find something and the answer is given as to why and the man releases a grunt. "No choice." That is his only answer before he makes to move around the beastmaster, continuing on their path.

Max remains where he is, just his eyes tracking Zen's movement around him and then sending a long look to the man's back for the answer given before long strides catch him back up and put him on a level path him. "Fight manager, or gambling debt?" he asks quietly. Although fighting for different reasons, there's not much about that underbelly of Pern that he hasn't seen for himself.

Merendezen grunts once more, eyeing the man beside him. "… Thrown into the fights when I was old enough." Hands are curled and stuffed into the pockets of his jacket. Green eyes are cold now, still scanning and watching but entirely different from the normal calm and rather carefree.

A slow nod of head greets that information, an understanding look being shot Zen's way. Dropping into silence for a while himself, Max eventually asks as they approach the muddy hole of a lake, "By your Pa?" Another snap of cold wind has him hunching down further into the hood of his jacket, Rukbat's rising rays doing little to warm the day up yet. Or perhaps it was in deference to times best left in the past.

Merendezen walks in silence, remaining there as they finally reach the lake. The pit is considered before he gives a shake of his head. "No. No father or mother to speak of… I don't remember any sort of family. They probably tossed me aside… Used to run errands and steal for a group of men. Closet thing to family I could claim." His gaze is drawn skyward to Rukbat and he squints against the light.

The other man had made mention of it to him before, but it hadn't really registered with Max until those words were spoken. Dark eyes fastened to the gaping stretch of mud and rock, and then grazing over the debris piled to one side, quietly spoken, "Shit. Sorry Zen." Voice finally given to his look of earlier as his mouth presses into a discomforted line for the man he is fast considering to be a good friend. "That why you're here?" to get away from that vicious cycle.

Merendezen moves to peer down into the empty pit, staring at where the work has been left off before considering the other man. "No apologies needed." Green eyes flicker away and he shakes his head. "Made a name for myself after I got away. Made myself a lot of marks, moved to rival the man who ran the fights. Was comfortable, had marks… Women. But I got bored. I came here to escape it, even if I'd have nothing. Just to start over and try the normal thing…"

A wry chuckle spills out as Max scuffs at a nearby rock with a boot, "Least you had reason, got somewhere with it. Marks, women," shoulders roll as inhales deeply. Another pile of carefully stacked rocks showing a stain of red across them catches his attention and steps carry him that way, "Me, I did it for the fighting. Liked it. Seemed like the only real thing at the time." Dark confession of a youngster lost and without direction at the time.

Merendezen grunts, "after I ran away. Was given a name…" He looks to the other man, watching him and moving to come up behind him as he finds the rocks. "It was a thrill. The fighting… Sparred with a Guard down in Landing… Never thought I'd miss the fights. Addictive shit… Can understand your drive for it, though."

The staining across the rocks as it turns out, is simply watered down red mud. "Aye," this in quiet agreement for the thrill of the fight, Max turns a knowing smirk onto Zen for his last, "Coulda taken that bronzer if the pansy hadn't a had his sharding wingmates there."

Merendezen considers the rock before looking to the other man and grinning widely. "Never fair when they bring in more when you're not prepared… I'm sure you could take him. E'ro, right?" The man laughs and continues onward, pushing the search forward.

That cracks a dry laugh from Max as he nods to the name given and then skirts back to an earlier topic and something said by Merendezen, "So this girl of yours got a name? Or shall I just refer to her as your object of brooding proudly." Following alongside the other man and then stopping to stare hard out over the mud hole, "If there was anything here, its long gone since."

"Andromeda. Andi. Shardin' daughter of Lord Boll." And Lord Boll is not a nice man, it seems. Zen lets out a soft huff, before nodding. "Been a lotta digging done since. Anything that was there was carefully hidden in the muck and disposed of with the rest of it."

Both brows hike upward and Max turns a look onto Zen, "You don't fuck around do you?" vaguely amused and then dropping into something slightly more somber as he mutters, "Ain't met a Lord I -did- like." Staring grimly at the area, he snorts and states flatly, "Perfect scene for a crime." And then back to the topic of Andromeda, "Seems the dragons are on your side though. What with her being searched now and all, aye?" a crooked grin appearing for that.

Merendezen huffs, "told you about that. Told you I was no good for her and had to keep rumors away from her father." Green eyes roll and then he grumbles. "Neither have I. Stole from High Reaches'." Coughcough. He nods his agreement, "constant work, constant change. Rain to wash things away, mud hiding those things…" He trails off and nods. "Just hoping she Impresses so she can get away from that awful family of her's. Controlling pricks…" He has a thing against controlling pricks.

"Knew he was a Lord, didn't know which one," Max points out as if that somehow makes a difference. Zen's confession earns him a darkly amused look and then the beast manager is adding one of his own, "Fucked a Lord's wife," though he doesn't seem quite as amused by that as one might think he'd be. Talk of candidates impressing has him looking somewhat morose for a moment and then it's carefully hidden away, as he nods, "You reckon her impressing will draw her out of that shell of hers?" excuse the pun there. With the lake in progress having yielded no immediate results has him turning away from it to head back in the direction of the beast caverns.

"Hear of Lord Boll, then?" Zen gives the man a look before letting out a soft sound, a mixture of approval and pity but saying nothing more on the other man's conquest. Silence lingers before he nods. "Hoping so… Hoping so. She's got a lot in her that a dragon may like." He decides. And then, with the other turning to the beastcaverns he's returning on their previous path to return to his patrol of the Weyr, leaving the silence of understanding between them along with the unspoken ties of friendship.

Linkin Park - Bleed It Out

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