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Scavenging

Time: Late afternoon, day 15, month 11, turn 22.
Place: Jungles, Ista Weyr.
Players: Eirlys, Jantha
Scene: Jantha meets a rude young woman. +tag scene.



It's getting towards the end of a warm autumn afternoon, and being in the jungle doesn't do anything to improve the humidity. This part of the forest is a little more frequented than most, with tracks and clearings, and it's in one of the clearings that Jantha may currently be seen, with a basket over one arm. She seems to be staring into the undergrowth. Brown Imoth, should anyone pass that way, will be found sunning himself on the secluded beach that lies at the end of this particular track.

A candidate's day might nearly be over by now, but while still working as an assistant headwoman too, Eirlys' doesn't show any sign of slowing down yet. Her footsteps through the jungle are reasonable quick, the manner in which she moves likely letting on that she's not there for a stroll, merely as a means to get from one place to another, and, with her focus on the clipboard she carries, she miscalculates and doesn't step quite as far around the brownrider as she aims to. On her way past, she clips the basket on Jantha's arm; turns and walks backwards a step or two, muttering a, "Sorry."

Intent on some interesting piece of plantlife, Jantha didn't actually make sure she was out of the way of passers-by. In fact, it probably looked as if she hadn't even heard anyone coming. When Eirlys brushes her basket, it slips down her arm and she makes a grab for it, echoing, "Sorry," No damage done, however: the thing is empty anyway. She turns curiously to see who this was. "Sorry," she repeats. "I must have been in your way."

"Yes, you were," Eirlys states unapologetically, her expression simply screaming 'and who in the heck are you anyway?'. She stops, gaze roaming between Jantha and the basket for a moment or two, then declares, "The traders don't drop much stuff around here. You want to scavenge, go and check out the market in a bit when they've all shut up for the night. There's usually one who misses something, so I hear." She shrugs. "Or keep looking here - don't let me stop you. Not my sort of thing, really."

Jantha lifts her eyebrows a little as an apology that was made strictly for form is taken literally. There is, after all, room to pass. "I am not scavenging," she says, in the calm, controlled tone that has made weyrlings quail, "and if I could buy what I'm looking for in the market, I would. But," she adds with resignation, "They don't have it, and even if they did it would be too wilted to revive. Hence, I'm rooting in the undergrowth. You don't happen to know where there's a clump of Istan Dogwood do you?" She holds out a hand, palm down about two feet from the ground. "So high, bluish stalks, leaves that make it look like a miniature skybroom. It's a fine laxative for those with sensitive stomachs."

No quailing from Eirlys, who just folds her arms across her clipboard and pins it to her chest in the process. "So, you /are/ scavenging for something," she insists, gaze steady. The blonde grimaces upon hearing just what the desired plant does to a person and takes another step back, shaking her head. "You always talk about laxatives with strangers?" is asked with equal measures of bemusement and disgust. "But no, I've not seen any. I've not lived here long either, so I can't tell you where you might find it."

Standing at 5'9", Eirlys is a reasonably tall figure who somehow manages to look awkward with it, her angular frame and sharp features making her seem more ungainly than graceful. Set in an oval-shaped face, her mouth is just a little too wide and her nose a bit on the large side, expressive grey-blue eyes perhaps all that might be considered conventionally pretty about her. Blonde hair that has a tendency to appear straw-like falls in a series of layers to her shoulders, her fringe long and swept out of the way with pins.

She wears a loose shirt in a shade of burnt orange, tied at her waist with a wide black ribbon and unbuttoned halfway to reveal a pale blue vest. Close-fitting, her trousers are black, ankle-boots in brown laced-up over the top of them. None of her clothes seem particularly new, though she looks far from scruffy, her jewellery the only more elaborate and fussy thing that she wears. A necklace of silver and peridot brushes her collarbone, matching the simple green studs in her ears. Her knot is that of a candidate at Ista Weyr.

Jantha chuckles at the question. "Well, I wasn't planning on taking it myself." Her eyes settle on Eirlys' candidate knot. "Though /you/ might find a use for it, if your luck's in on the Hatching Sands." She waits just a moment before adding, "It's specific for dragons. And, of course, it's also endemic to Ista - it doesn't grow anywhere else, without a lot of encouragement."

"You can take it if you want." She'll be that gracious and permit it. "Just let me get the heck out of here first." Eirlys slowly unscrunches her features from that grimace and adopts an entirely overly-casual expression instead, shrugging. "I don't care if any dragon finds me; I'm sure not using any laxatives on anyone. Except if someone else annoys me. Then I'll consider it. Probably be more difficult if it's a dragon, besides."

Jantha really does raise her eyebrows this time. "In that case," she says coolly, "You should ask yourself why you're wearing that candidate knot. If you Impress, your first concern will have to be your dragon's wellbeing, whether you like the idea or not. In fact, if he's in need of a drench, a weyrling dragon is usually so uncomfortable that he'll take anything you promise will help - and his rider knows all about it."

"Hey, I don't need a lecture from somebody I don't even know, alright?" Eirlys snaps, hugging the clipboard closer. "I don't know why I'm wearing this knot. I don't know what it'll be like if I Impress. If some dragon wants me and I fuck up then, /then/ you can come back and lecture me, alright? You can't expect me to understand something that everyone keeps insisting nobody /really/ understands until it happens to them." Now she looks away and at the nearest tree like there's something that makes it stand out from the rest.

Jantha considers that for a moment, then says reasonably, "True, you can't know exactly what it's like, but you can understand something of the extent of the commitment that it involves, I'm sure. And also true, you don't know me. Jantha, Brown Imoth's. Weyrlingmaster of Fort Weyr, also dragonhealer. And you are?" She fixes Eirlys with an expectant look.

"You can't think how you'll deal with that commitment until there's a time when you have to," Eirlys says sullenly. "I know that much. You can't plan for it." All spoken at the tree, though she drags manners enough from somewhere to look back and offer her own introduction. "Eirlys, assistant headwoman. And candidate. Formerly of High Reaches Weyr. Now not-quite an Istan."

"By that stage, though, it's rather late to back out," Jantha says more gently. "Though I believe a hatchling can tell if you really don't want it. But, speaking of rather late." She glances up at the sky, where the sun is sinking below the treeline. "If I am to find my plant, I must be getting on. Clear skies, Eirlys not-quite-an-Istan." With a small nod to the young woman, she heads off down the path.

"It's not like I-" Eirlys begins, but she doesn't continue and shakes her head instead, hunching shoulders in a defensive posture. "Doesn't matter. Clear skies, Weyrlingmaster." And that's that; she's off even more quickly than before, almost tripping over her own feet in an effort to escape reminders of what she's probably trying not to think about.


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