Suspicious Activities

Xanadu Weyr - Rustic Treetop Cafe
Perched on the cliff overlooking Xanadu's beach is a gnarled and massive skybroom tree. The bark and outer layers are sturdy enough to support the thriving, brushy top, but the interior, which is hollow, contains a spiral staircase that leads to a cafe built on a high platform amongst the branches. With a panoramic view of lake, sky, Weyr and the mountains beyond, the treetop eatery offers both sheltered seating just inside the trunk and tables on the wide deck that encircles the old tree.
The cafe's decor is comfortable and rustic, but closer inspection shows the smallest embellishments to be artfully combined into one detailed masterpiece. The wood of the doors, floor and walls of the trunk have been stained a dark mahogany that lends the space a sense of intimacy. Tables in various sizes have been carved to mimic driftwood, the chairs and benches padded with oiled sailcloth cushions to provide weather-proof comfort. Each table has an aged brass lantern filled with shells and agates gathered from Xanadu's shores, the sparkling natural mosaics holding tapered candles upright in their embrace. Lamps hang from the ceiling on silver poles, the thick frosted glass carved into intricate pastel shells or swirling white-capped waves. At night the colored glass softens the glowlight to enhance the ambience.
During the day, the retractable doors allow leaf-spattered sunlight to fill both the outer deck and the smaller interior with green and gold light, as well as allowing pleasant breezes to cool the interior. On clear nights, farviewers perch on the elaborately carved railing are free for use to enhance the gorgeous view of the stars over the Caspian Lake, the Sea of Azov beyond and the rock formations of the Weyr.

It is that late afternoon time. That 'too late to be lunch' but 'not quite late enough for a proper dinner' time. But just because it's not an official eating time doesn't mean people don't eat at this time! Ka'el's usually hungry because when he does have a chance to eat, it's a quick, on the run type of meal. Something he can gnaw on while doing ten other things, most of which with a pen in the other hand! So when the chance comes that he can sit down and eat, it's obvious that he'll use his time to … learn something new instead. He's here in the cafe just before the dinner rush not to eat but to … shop? He sits at a table near the center of the cafe with about ten little cloth bundles set out in front of him. There's a man speaking to him sitting across the table, chattering and gesturing with his hand to one of those opened little bags. Settled in the middle of the loosed cloth is a pile of…weed? Um. Drug deal in the Treetop Cafe! Someone call the cops!

Missed meals are often remembered in the 'not an official eating time', thus creating the need for 'that' time. Kera is among them, with Minimur in attendance, the flashy brown chittering his way to wing up to the rafters overhead. Squinting marginally as her eyes adjust to the shading, her attention takes in Ka'el handling some business at the center table. Curious about the little bundles scattered among the table, but not wanting to intrude on the Weyrleader's business, Kera skirts around through the tables and tugs a chair out to settle next to Ka'el's table. A cheery nod and wave is sent his way before she waves down the waitress to order her meal.

Ka'el is the cops. Or at least… he's… the boss of the cops? More or less? Gasp! This must mean the corruption goes to the highest of levels! …or maybe that this is actually something innocuous, but that answer is a boring one. Soriana didn't come all this way for a boring answer. …also apparently she came all this way? She did! And up all those stairs, too, pausing by the door to shrug out of her jacket. Under it, she's wearing a loose (uh… very loose…) blouse and some slacks, and she brushes it out before she crosses the room to… aha! Here he is, the very Ka'el in question. Also… a man. With little bags of stuff, which she eyes before snagging a chair like she belongs there. The nerve! Also she waves to Kera when she notices her, then goes back to bag-eyeing.

Ka'el is considering those bags with a serious look on his face. Because this is Important (illegal) Stuff. And no one is going to bust the Weyrleader for illegal activities, right? That'd be like messing with the Mafia! He haspeople….everywhere… And the guy that sits across from him? Is probable one of his people. A supplier. Or dealer. Just look at the way he's gently nudging that weedlike substance towards Ka'el. That grin on his face is definitely an 'up to no good' look. What a weasel! What a snake! And Ka'el? Gasp! He's pulling that pile closer! He's leaning down to take a considering whiff! He's…. sitting up and waving to Kera when he notices her. And he's also looking surprised by Soriana's appearance, so engrossed was he with his task that he hadn't noticed her arrival until she's joined them. "Hey!" he says, voice inflected with surprise. "What're you doing up here?" Way, way up here? His brows raise, and so does the salesman, getting to his feet with a kind look to the Weyrwoman. "I'll leave you to consider," he says, the words directed to the Weyrleader. "I'll be, just there," a nod to another table a distance away, where a cohort waits with a satchel, "when you're ready, sir." He slinks off. Slink slink.

Kera gets her meal ordered and undoes her jacket before sitting back and glancing around the cafe. Nodding to a couple of people she flickers quick glances to the weedy bundles Ka'el starts sniffing. That just tickles her curiousity even more and she leansher elbow on the chair's armrest to get a little better look. Some of them look like medicinal herbs to her. Sorianna's arrival gets a grin and wiggle of her fingers "Hi Soriana. Managed more time out of the cluttered office?" The clutter being reports, files, and requesitions that are waiting to sneak attack. As the salesman excuses himself to other table, Kera looks him and his and his friend over before turning her attention back to her friends curiously. Now that the man is gone, she dips her head towards the weyrleader "G'afternoon Ka'el." She fights the urge to toss in the 'sir'.

Wait. Is there something suspicious going on here? Should Soriana be… suspecting? She arches a brow toward the salesman… who scuttles away. So Soriana's left with an arched brow and nobody to direct it to… at least until she turns it on Ka'el! Is he going to run away as well? Maybe! She won't know unless she tries it. So! (That part's said by her eyebrow.) "Hi," she says to him. Then she looks down at those bags. Then back to… nope, actually, she gets diverted to looking at Kera. You may breathe a (small) sigh of relief, Ka'el! "Oh, well, day's just about over," Soriana tells the greenrider, and smiles. "How're you and Moncerath doing?"

Evidence! Evidence all over the place! And Ka'el has to fend for himself, for now his partner in crime (aka that salesman over there) has left him with the sharks! .. And by sharks, we mean his weyrmate and weyrling friend. Fear! Sooooo as…casually as ever, Ka'el begins collecting those little bags. Hum-de-dum. Don't mind him and his obvious collecting, piling them up closer to him on his side of the table. The one that's been left open is tied up again and scooched in with the other. "Afternoon Kera," he greets her, reserving a grin to Soriana. An innocent one, at that. See? He's not up to anything. Nothing at all! Just…uh, pretend those little bags aren't here. Just like he's doing now. Nothing to see, nothing to see. "I heard you weyrlings are flying now," he says over to Kera at her table, brows lifting a little. "How was it? Have you been up?"

Kera looks out and seems surprised to notice the shadows have shifted and that it's later than she thought. "Oh, well, I suppose it is." Shrugging it off with a agreeable nod, the couple get her attention once more. The little bundles, well, she tries to pretend they're not there. Shifting the chair around some to face the other table more, she nods quickly with a smile to Soriana, then nods to include Ka'el "We're doing well. And yea, she's very happy to be flying back and forth around Xanadu with me. I admit, was very nervous at first. And I can't help but reach for the straps sometimes..But Moncerath is great through it all." Kera nods as if there is just no arguing with her on that point. She leans back as her meal arrives, murmuring a thanks to the waitress and looks the sandwich over absentmindedly before glancing back to her friends "How about you two? Things going well?"

Soriana is definitely a shark. Someone get the pool table going! Or don't. Just the… dinner table. Or the little-bags-of-totally-not-suspicious table. That table. That she's at. With the little bags that she eyes again. Because - despite everyone else pretending they don't exist - she's fairly sure they actually do. And then, back to Kera! "Glad to hear it," she says, and smiles. "Nothing wrong with holding onto the straps, they'll help you get a better sense of how your dragon moves." Soriana smiles. "Probably safer, too." If one cares about things like that! "I'm doing well, thanks."

"Straps are there for holding," says Ka'el in an amused sort of tone. "I'd reccommend usin' them, yes." He shifts a hand off the table and lifts a few fingers in light gesture to the possibly sleazy fellows at a table away from theirs. The salesman lifts his brows, grins cheerily, and rises from his seat to head back. "I always held on to Kanekith's," Ka'el continues to Kera. "And Sori's right. They help you feel your dragon." He wants good fliers out of this lot of Weyrlings! Pretty soon, they'll be within his ranks to keep an eye on. On the question of them, he looks to Soriana as she answers."One to ten?" A smirk, then. "I'm good as well. … Er, Well as well," he corrects with a snicker. "Busy, but that's hardly news anymore. Have you given thought to which wing you're hoping to tap in to?" he asks, trailing as the salesman pauses nearby. "I'll take the whole of it, thank you." Now please get rid of these bags that nobody sees! Pleased, the guy does just that without having been asked (maybe he's psychic).He says, "I'll see these off, then. Pleasure doing business sir. And ma'am. And miss." Soriana and Kera both earn little bows, and then he's off again! He's a quick fellow.

Kera starts tearing little peices off her sandwich and setting them aside while casting glances to Soriana and Ka'el, she nods with a grin. "Luraoth as well? I've been wondering how her and the other queen dragons felt about sharing the sands with the young dragons. Are they glad to have the younger ones out now?" A curious grin follows her questions as she scoops the little pile of sandwich bits to the ide of the table. No sooner than she does, a brown flutter of movement wings his way down to perch on the edge of the table, and greedily starts gobbling down his portion. Shaking her head Kera reaches over to tap his tap to interupt Minimur's gorging. "Slow down you." Managing a bite for herself, she nods and speaks up after a moment with a smirk "Is there a such thing as too many straps?" Her gaze flicks from one to the other before taking another bite. The squirrely looking salesmen comes back and Ka'el finishes up his business. No, nothing to draw anyone's curiosity by the bronzeriders cryptic words. Shaking her head over her plate, nope, not her business. Don't be nosey. Still pondering the Weyrleader's 'wing' question, she adds at the little sneaky man slinks away. "I've still alot of training to do with the Hall. But I can get alot of training and experiance working with Galaxy wing."

"None of them have clutches, so why should they care?" Soriana says about the queens, and gives a laugh. "They'll get possessive when they've eggs, but the rest of the time… they have their own weyrs to live at, they don't care who's on the sands. Otherwise it'd be a real mess whenever any of them clutched!" She smiles, then looks back to Ka'el as he asks her a question that's by the numbers… unlike (probably) the rest of his dealings today. "Seven. Might be higher, but today was stores-cleaning in the Annex." Which, well! It's an adventure. And not in the good way. Oh hey! Now the possibly definitely sleazy guy is back. To… uh… close the deal. Whatever it is. Soriana eyes him, while he's there, and then gives him a nod for that bow. Because apparently now she's part of this totally sleazy and not on the up and up deal. Which means she can't call the corrupt cops on it either! Ka'el is a schemer like that. He probably ordered extra straps, too! For… unsavory… purposes. But Soriana just shrugs to Kera's question about those, then listens curiously to the greenrider's opinion about wings. "I know Galaxy certainly provides chances for its riders to improve related skills, too…"

A seven? Well now, that's a passing score! It's like a C! Which … is what most college students strive for, so why not he? He's pleased by the number (though over-achieving him will probably look for ways to push it up to a B+) "Stores cleaning.." He wrinkles his nose. "Remember when we had to organize the stores in the cavern? Found more crawli-skeletons than I'd ever hoped to see." Or should that be exoskeletons? "But I also found some useful things… What's stored in the Annex? Dragon-sized treat bits?" he assumes, though humorously so considering the grin that comes with the words. With his business taken care of and his business partner departing, he's far more relaxed. There's even room on the table now to order food if he wanted! Which…he doesn't do. "Did you say too many straps?" he asks of the greenrider. "Huh… I guess there can always be too much've something…So, maybe?" A shrug follows, then, "Galaxy is good for any healer. We did a training once my first turn in the wing where we focused just on first aid and assisting the injured. You'd be an excellent asset, I'm sure."

Kera looks between Soriana and Ka'el, more than a little confused by something, but doesn't mention it yet. Instead she nods at the weyrwoman's sandy observations. "I guess I was worrying over nothing then, again." The mention of stores has her both grinning and wincing, but nods to Ka'el's recalling of working with Galaxy wing. "I remember assisting with one of their training excercises." She pauses, eyeing her sandwich critically as if it has an answer she's trying to dredge up "A couple of turns back." She nods as if to verify that. "I've been wondering though, would it be possible to work wing duty part time? And Infirmary duty part time? Sorta split duties?" The greenling peers between her friends curiously, seeing what wisdom they will share.

"I spent so much time back in those stores," Soriana says with a shake of her head. "There'd be even more crawlies if it weren't for the tunnelsnakes." And even more tunnelsnakes if it weren't for… mmh. Soriana gets a wistful look for a moment, then drags her thoughts back to the present and the annex stores. Dragonbiscuits! "Hah, if only. Mostly it's herbs and stuff, which wouldn't be so bad except the reason we have to go through them is to see if they've turned and toss them." So… half-rotten herbs and moldy plantstuff! Such fun. (Not.) But hey, it could be worse, and it's in the past for now. Time to think toward the future! Including… Kera's future! She hmms at the question. "You'd have to talk with the wingleader about that. The wingleader, and whoever's in charge of the infirmary." She glances to Ka'el for confirmation, since he's in charge of that wingleader. "But it seems reasonable. Skill-building and all that."

"Ooh, you were there weren't you?" muses Ka'el to Kera, nodding as the memory begins to come back to him. Working with M'kal … and Kera! She was there! Oh what the mind forgets after being stuffed with ten thousand other things. His attention swings to Soriana now, and he smirks a bit at the mentioning of herbs. Possibly rotted herbs. "Well, they're all in good hands with you, I take it. Who else to handle spoiled dragon plants than Xanadu's finest dragonhealer?" Obviously! He grins, but Kera's question has him thinking. That'd be a question for….The wingleader! Soriana's hit the nail on the head, and Ka'el nods in confirmation. "It'd be up to your wingleader, yes. And it'd depend on the wing you're in. Some work easier with the healers than others. But, generally speaking," he shrugs, "I don't see it being too big of an issue." A light grin to Soriana. "Skill-building and all that." He rises from his seat, lightly brushing his hands against his trousers. "If you ladies'll excuse me," he says, moving around the table to approach Soriana, "I've got a few things left to take care of before the day's really done."

Kera nods to Soriana's advice, not bothering to keep the grin off her face "Another to add to my list of people I need to speak with. For every name I scratch off, two more get added." Tearing off a corner bit of bread, she chews it quickly "I'll have to see how they want to work duties out later." Dipping her head to Ka'el when he excuses himself "Have a good evening." Wiggling fingers around her sandwich, she turns her attention back to her plate as the bronze rider moves around his table to Soriana.

"Uh… any grade one?" Soriana suggests. Rotten herbs aren't exactly high-quality at anything except making stinks! But she's at least vaguely amused by the prospect, not that… it's amusing. Well, it's amusing now that she's done with it, at least for the day. She laughs to Kera's list of people. "That's most of life. More things to do and people to see than there is day to do them in!" Like, for instance, Ka'el, who has to head out to take care of things. She tilts her head up to him and reaches out a hand, because apparently she expects a kiss or something from him. "I'll see you back home." Also she expects that, apparently. Faranth, Soriana has sooooo many expectations when it comes to her weyrmate! It's no wonder he's turned to possibly illegal herbal substances.

Pft. Ka'el ain't gonna kiss no girl! He's part of the He-Man Women Hater's club! ….. anyone buying that? No? … Well, good. Because if that were anywhere near the truth, the reason beind Soriana's extra-baggy shirt would be even more complex than it already is! But as it is, Ka'el is reaching for Sori, he does take her hand, and he leans in to kiss her affectionately. "Careful goin' down," he says in response to her farewell. There are an awful lot of steps that lead back down to the solid ground of the beach. And Soriana is … well…not a fragile little delicate thing in the slightest. But, current circumstances are making Ka'el a bit more aware of the little things that could cause bigger problems. He steals one more kiss to her cheek before he straightens up. "Good day to you, Kera. I'll see you and Moncerath up in the skies soon enough!" Grinning, he waves to her, touches Soriana's shoulder, then heads on out. Likely hot on the heels of the man with his supply. (Thug life)

Kera focuses mainly on her plate, though she does catch little oddities in the bronzerider's behavior, another bite or two is taken from her sandwich as her friends have a few words among themselves. When Ka'el rushes off to get more work done, Kera gathers up her plate and shifts over to the other table, now that it's not covered in weedy little bundles. Glancing from the door then back to Soriana "Okie, what was up with all those little bundles? Some of them looked they could easily be ground up for one remedy or another." She chuckles and eyes her friend thoughtfully while sipping from a mug. "Are you sure nothing's going on with you Soriana?"

There's a little roll of Soriana's eyes for the caution from Ka'el, but her smile's fond as well as amused. "I will," she promises. But she's not fragile or delicate! And he'd better not think so, or else… uh… she'll beat him up. Yeah, that's right. So Ka'el had better watch himself! Because Soriana is definitely watching him, as he heads down the stairs, only looking back to Kera as the healer-weyrling asks her that question. "Mmh?" Little bundles of mysterious herbs! Soriana shrugs a bit. "Dunno." That, or she does know and she's not telling. Which of these answers seems more likely, huh? It's a conspiracy, and it goes all the way to the top! "…uh." That's a conspiratorial uh! "What do you mean?" And an evasion! Not confusion. Nope. "There's lots of things going on…"

Kera eyes her friend across the table and smirks. BUZZZZ Answering a question with a question. That sets up a red flag for the greenling healer. Reconsidering her wording, the half eaten sandwich is set back on the plate. "Well, how about is there anything out of the ordinary going on?" She gestures towards the way Ka'el vanished. "Perhaps it's all work related, but he seems a bit…off….and you.." Kera's fingers wiggle up and down gesturing over her friend across her. "Now that I give it thought, you seem….are you getting enough to eat? And I don't mean sneaking away to eat on the beach occassionally."

Red flags for green healers! All they need now is something yellow, and… well. Things out of the ordinary? Soriana laughs a little. "Luraoth's not proddy, if that's what you're asking." She's not, right? That would be something yellow (well, gold) and out of the ordinary, but… no. No, Soriana doesn't think she is. Sigh of relief may be breathed… now. It's true that work has the two of them busy - and the construction in the admin hallway certainly doesn't help with that - but… Soriana makes a little face as Kera talks about things being 'off'. Ka'el is! She is! The herbs in the Annex are! And… her diet comes under question! Soriana laughs. "Do I need to bring a complete menu to the healers next time I go for an appointment?" She shakes her head, grinning wryly. "Yes, I'm eating." There's a reason her shirt is a size larger than her usual!

Kera cast a look of shocked surprise to her friend. "You mean there 'are' weyrfolk that show up for appointments with their healers? I didn't think it was possible?" Flashing an amused wink to Soriana and gives a reluctant nod "Alright, I won't be pushy. I do feel like something is going on with you two though." She pauses briefly and flicks her fin gers back and forth. "What was that a couple minutes ago though. The one to ten, seven thing you were talking about. It almost sounded like you could have been discussing pain levels." She shrugs a little and reaches for her mug of sider.

"If there aren't," Soriana says with a smirk, "-then you'll hardly have anything to keep you busy in those infirmary shifts you're hoping to take, now will you?" She gives her head a shake, then gives Kera an amused look. "If I was at a seven out of ten for pain, do you really think I'd be sitting here right now and having a conversation with you? Probably more like… screaming. And writhing. Possibly on the floor." Possibly not; she likes to be flexible about her agony. "I'm fine, honest. I'm not going to fall down the stairs and break my head open-" like Ka'el seems to think "-or waste away into nothing because I'm not eating."

Kera chuckles "Just because the patients are there, doesn't mean they came on their own, or even willingly in some cases." An amused eyeroll follows that then she nods "Oh, I knew it 'wasn't' the pain scale. That's just a chart scale I've read about in my studies. Was simply using it as an example. Fidgeting with the edge of her plate a few seconds, she's quiet as if debating saying anything else, b ut nods to herself as she makes up her mind. "Sori, I wanted to appologize if I upset you the other day. I've been a bit out of touch with everything outside of lessons and Moncerath. And, well, I'm sorry."

"Maybe you should do Galaxy, if there's that much 'search' involved in being a healer," Soriana says with a laugh. "You're already prepared, sounds like." At least according to some reports of what the infirmaries are like! Soriana's own patient record… is probably sealed, which makes it more challenging for curious eyes to read all about her. "I've seen the pain scale." When she's gone to the infirmary! "Dragonhealers don't use that one, though. Dragons… don't tend to understand it." At least not when they're in pain, which kind of limits the usefulness of them. Soriana starts to glance around the cafe in the moment of quiet, then looks back to Kera. "Mmh?" She blinks for a moment, then smiles. "Of course you've been out of touch. That's what being a weyrling is like - you're wrapped up in figuring out your dragon. That's what it's supposed to be. It's fine."

Kera offers a smile to Soriana and nods "Well, in any case, I appologize for upsetting you." Already having a decent idea of how to make it up, she just nods again. Fumbling in her satchel, she tugs out a plain square of linen and wraps what's left of her sandwich. Shoving it into the shoulder satchel, Kera grabs the marks for her meal and tosses them on the table. "Prepared? Hardly. I am always studying. Nothing really new there for anyone that knows me. But now I always feel like I'm playing catch up." Pushing up from the chair. "And speaking of preparations, I need to go get cleaned up, and then write a couple of letters. Need to ask my dad about something." Canting her head to look at Soriana from the standing vantage. A hint of a frown creases her forehead briefly then she shakes it off. "I'll see You real soon Soriana." Well, not if I keep warning you of my impending arrival to ya can hide. "You all have a good evening Sori." All including the Sori and Ka'el's dragonmates as well. Unless Kera is unconciously picking up on something else. A wave is fluttered to her friend and she scoops Minimur up as she starts out.

"It's fine," Soriana repeats, and smiles. She nods as Kera prepares to depart, even if she's not prepared for anything else. "See you later!" Her diet? Well, much as Kera may ask about it, Soriana doesn't see anything wrong with it - though she probably won't actually eat dinner here. Just a drink and maybe a snack! But that's because she's got plans to have dinner at home, with that weyrmate of hers. Perfectly reasonable plans! And the wave she gives Kera on the way out is a perfectly reasonable one.

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