Betting on Renagades!

Xanadu Weyr - Caverns

A massive cavern in it's own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as are the walls where numerous tapestries hang to provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckle through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt, leveled carefully but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.
The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area, however, is the one near the Kitchens where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. Its plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr and equally plain that on such occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are appropriated from all the other areas.
A big fireplace is set into the wall near the Kitchens as well, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.
Exits lead off in all directions, a big archway the largest and that leading outside. Shallow stairs to the west lead to the offices and administration area while tunnels to the east lead to the infirmary, kitchen and resident's quarters. Southwards, a sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs and southwest is a wide tunnel, carefully roped off to avoid accidents.

It is late evening at Xanadu weyr and Briana has finally made her way to the Caverns for a late meal. Her lifemate finally fed and asleep after a long day with lessons and the like. She is sitting at a seat at the end of one table, all the seats around her rather empty. A few riders that are here giving glances from afar. If their whispers are about her she does not seem at least to take notice as she picks through her meal, a journal opened on the table next to her. The dark skinned girl quite caught up in the reading of it.

"Briana!" A voice calls out and a girl waves her way through the tables, long hair pulled back into a braid which swishes merrily from side to side. Her eyes crinkle happily as she approaches the newest goldrider and plops down in a chair across from her. "Long time no see!"

Zafirah drags her feet on into the caverns, she looks weary and though it looks as if she's cleaned up, there's a smear of something dusty black on her cheek as if she missed a broad spot. She looks around the caverns a moment but she doesn't see any of her fellow apprentices and then she see's /her/. A glance towards Briana and she's chewing on her lip a bit and then there's the other girl who heads over to greet the goldrider. She makes her way to the food and piles high a platter of meat and veggies and gravy over it all. She makes her way back over. Her eyes still on the goldrider and looking unsure for a moment and then there's a grin and she plops her plate down on the table and "So, you're the one, huh?"

Briana looks up at the call of her name, golden eyes blinking at first before she recognizes one of the former candidates. "Elawyn…wondered if you flew off with Western for their search." She says and motions the girl over to join her. "Yeah, been a crazy couple months." There is a glance down to the weyrling knot with the gold chord through it. Her fingers reach over the close the leatherbound book next to her platter. When Zafirah joins them she looks curiously to the young girl, "The one?" She asks with a touch of worry in her gaze.

"Crazy? Definitely. Must be even more so for you though!" The braid has managed to snake its way over her shoulder and Elawyn flicks it back behind her where it swings again. "And no, I like it here too much. I thought I'd wait a while before going anywhere else." When Zafirah joins them and speaks, she arches an eyebrow and looks over at the young apprentice, then sits up. She opens her mouth to speak, but Briana must have already said what she was thinking.

Zafirah shovels some food into her mouth "Yeah, they're all talking about you. Wondering what you're going to do." she says without much preamble and around a mouthful. "There's even a bettin' pool goin' on how long after you've gradymatated that yer gonna take off." She tilts her head a bit an regards Briana thoughtfully and then glances at Eirwyn "Ya know her? She gonna flip on us ya think? Me I dunno yet." Nope, no shame.

"Crazy? Definitely. Must be even more so for you though!" The braid has managed to snake its way over her shoulder and Elawyn flicks it back behind her where it swings again. She frowns and her eyes narrow as she regards Zafirah. "A betting pool? On Bree?" Those jeweled eyes roll up in exasperation. "Why in the world are they doing that?"

She frowns and her eyes narrow as she regards Zafirah. "A betting pool? On Bree?" Those jeweled eyes roll up in exasperation. "Why in the world are they doing that?" Elawyn shakes her head and then glances over at the goldrider. "Something going on?" She asks, looking between the two."

Briana looks to Zafirah awaiting the answer and while it is not what she had wished, it is clear the direction of the answer was expected. She looks down at her food troubled though by the words. "So it has gotten that far, has it?" There is a glance up to the others in the caverns, some meet her eyes but most look away pretending they had not been looking at her. Finally she looks to the two across from her. "They are betting on how long will it be till I prove that I am only just a renegade after a gold dragon to turn against the weyr." She starts and takes a slow breath and glances down to the journal, "For it had happened before."

There's a nod as Zafirah goes through quite a few bites before answering, starvin' she is. "Aye, there's a fair number who be thinkin' that. There's some that aren't sure like me. Most be watchin' though. Keepin' there distance and the like. Me, I think it be best ta get ta know ya. Or well. Hope I get ta know ya. Mother should me that people can be fair different than what ya expect." There's a pause and a tilt of her head. "Course, people be doin stupid things too when they be thinkin' they be doin' right as well."

"Obviously they don't know you Bree. If they did, they wouldn't say things like that." There's another rolling of those eyes, Elawyn flashing more white this time and she picks up a meat roll and tears at it, then wags it in the general direction of Zafirah. "That's not Bree. She'll do no such thing and anyone who says otherwise deserves a pop in the head!" She grins then and leans over the table in a conspiratory manner, "Maybe you could have Sahazyth sit on them." She straightens again and sniffs. "Well _I_ know Bree and I know she'd _never_ do anything like that!"

Briana listens to the girl across from her. "Well your mother seems like a wise woman. I hope I can prove everyone wrong, though they might then be upset at me for making them lose some marks." She says with a little forced humour in her voice at last bit. "I wish people would get to know me. I spent several turns here as a kid, I have lived at Ista too. I love the dragons and the weyrs." She says with a passionate note to her voice. "Yes I got family at the camp, but …well it is not a good place for the likes of me, so I chose to return to the weyrs when I had a chance." She explains openly of her background. She looks to Elowyn at her defence of her. There is a thankful warmth to her eyes. "I don't want people getting into fights over this…"

Zafirah shrugs a bit "Yer right /we/ don't be knowin' her. Brought in from outside. Who knows what all she's been taught and brainwashed ta do." she says as she eyes Elawyn. "She could be Kate's sister or half-sister for all anyone knows. Only what she tells us." She hmmphs a bit "Course, iffen ya rather not know what people are thinkin' I can be goin back ta just eatin' me food and all." she does nod a bit to Briana "Well, mother's mother. Dunno about wise and all, she be a little nuts and all, but she's been around." she notes "I'd been around with her, we be seein' lots of different things. I be thinkin it's worth it ta be keepin an eye on ya, but it be worth ta be seein ya do right by us all."

"_I_ know Bree well enough to tell you she won't be running off." There's no lack of confidence in Elawyn's voice and she sniffs again before finishing off the hapless meatroll. She grins over at the young goldrider. "I don't _plan_ on getting into any fights. But can I still have her sit on people?"

Briana looks a little troubled by the words, but is really working to keep her composure. Occasionally her eyes unfocus as apparently she is talking to her lifemate for those familiar with riders. Her lifemate no doubt, helping keep her calm through all of this. "Well there were no Kates or Kefia at my camp, but there is more than one camp. As for being related…Not out of me Ma and I am most assured that me Da's name is not Kefia, I look entirely too much like my Da to think it is otherwise who it is." She gives a vague gesture to her darkened skin and golden eyes, "But you are right, it is only just words and I can tell you anything." She picks up her own fork and stirs the food on her plate and shakes her head a bit, "I think I would rather know, thank you for giving me that courtesy miss…" She says leaving the question at the end to get her name. She smiles over to Elawyn, a bit more relaxed at the girl's presence. "Well Sahazyth will protect me from harm, words only do harm if I let them."

"Names Zafi. Zafirah iffen ya wanna be formal. Daughter of K'nan and L'ton, foster daughter to Senkyou and apprenticed to the mine craft." she states as she lays what little credentials out on the table so to speak. "It's always best ta know. Nothin' worse than being blindsided I think. She does eye Elawyn and lets out a sigh "And that be the type of attitude that won't be doin' her any favors." she states as she jerks a thumb at Briana. "They'd be even more suspicious, and many be a suspicious lot round here." she notes. She hmms a little at Briana "I wouldnae be saying ya look too much like yer Da, they'll be wonderin' iffen yer like him more'n skin deep as well. It'd be a fine, fine line you'll be treadin'." she shakes her head a bit, then there's a head tilt "Ya got a guy?" she asks as an almost complete change of subject.

Elawyn starts to open her mouth and say something, but then decides to simply just go with the sudden change in subject. She shrugs and leans forward again, but this time it's just to take her glass of redfruit juice and sip at it. A sparkle of mischievousness glints in those green eyes but she doesn't answer for Briana. Nope, this is alllll hers.

"I ain't nothing like me Da." Briana says with a flash in her gaze and she shakes her head, "I ain't nothing like him. What he did to Ma…well.." Her jaw tightens a bit before looking down at her plate to try and calm herself. Unfortunately it is hard for Briana not to stand out with her dusky mixed skin tone and those eyes and that golden knot on her shoulder. There is no hiding from the looks of people around her. Looks that are hard enough for anyone to handle much less a 16 year old who already has self esteem issues. The last bit does cause her to nod, "Yeah, he is at Ista. I miss him terribly, but its not so easy to get together these days." She says with a glance to her knot before looking to Elawyn and giving her a look before a more relaxed smile touches her lips, "Nothing out of you about him."

Zafirah headtilts. "So, what does he do? And yeah, be hard iffen yer a weyrling. Heck it be hard bein' an apprentice." she snorts a bit and then shrugs "So, ya ever think about havin' come out here? Just ta visit? Will he be here for graduation? And what does he look like? His he hot and all?" A pause "And why don'tcha be wantin her to say anything 'bout him?" she asks as she sits back a little almost with a touch of suspicion in her gaze.

"ME?" Elawyn takes on a completely innocent look, her eyes widening and sh epresses one hand against her breast. Her lips tighten, but there's a smile behind them as she takes another sip as if to hide a augh. And Zafirah? That laugh isn't supressed for long, for it escapes though she tries to strangle it quickly. "Got a lot of questions, dontcha?"

As the topic moves on to her boyfriend, Briana at least relaxes a bit, even with the teasing looks from Elawyn, "Cause whatever she says she will do to make me blush." She says with playful accusation. "He is a handyman up at Ista Weyr. He has visited a couple times when he can get a lift up. Just been so hard to match our schedules of late." She says and glances to her knot again as explanation, "Hard to explain these things to young dragons, so…sometimes easier to stay apart." She lowers her gaze for a moment, cheeks darkening, "Well I certainly think Kal is handsome and tall…and built very strongly..and.." She pauses and clears her throat. Yes as mushy as any other teen about their first love.

Zafirah just grins around a mouthful of food and takes her hunk of bread and wipes up the gravy off her plate. "Well, people ain't always forthcoming on their own. So ya gotta ask. Other be worse than me. They'll be assumin' he's a renegade. But tis a good thing if he's established at Ista, means people know him. Though, some will say he's been there ta keep an eye on things and all." she grins a little "A strong handyman though. Must be nice." she sighs dreamily herself. "I knew a guy once. But he sailed away and I ain't seen hom back since. He was a fine lookin' one though." A glance back at Elawyn "What about you?"

Elawyn flutters her eyelashes at Briana but she does hold her tongue. She sets down her cup and then shrugs when the question is now directed at her. "Not really. Don't seem to have any guys interested in me - at least, not for anything resembling a relationship." She works on her second meatroll, those eyes twinkling again. "Got any suggestions?"

"Yeah he was there before me, and he was at a hold before that…" Briana says as she looks over the girl for a moment. "They really would make that much of a conspiracy? I was living there and got searched. If I wanted to mess up Xanadu, would I not have come here instead?" She seems well troubled by the lengths of the 'conspiracy', "So really nothing I say will make any difference cause they will just make up a reason for it?" She says with a sigh and leans back in her seat dropping her fork in her plate.

Zafirah hmms a little "I dunno, there's a few older apprentices in the miners that are pretty hot. Should be movin' ranks soon." she then nods a little to Briana "Aye, they be makin much of nothin'." she says quietly "Still, can be easier to check someone out who's been around visible places." She hmms as she eyes her plate. "Huh, dang I barely remember eatin' it. Minin's hungry work. Still, stay visible. Piss people off iffen they can't catch ya doin somethin fishy. Serve 'em right. You seem like a good sort. I think I like ya."

"Don't listen to it Bree. They're just jealous, that's all." Elawyn waves her hand as if dismissing anyone who dares to speak badly about her friend. "You'll show them. You'll show them all. I know you will." She sniffs again and then finishes off her juice. "Just ignore them and do your best. You already know your worth because _she_ chose you." She pushes away her play and lets her gaze focus on her friend across from her, expression serious. The smile returns and her face lights up at the last words Zafirah speaks. "She's very likeable, Bree. I know I like her!"

Briana looks down at her plate thoughtfully before she lifts her hade towards the vague direction of the Barracks. Her eyes unfocus as the gals speak about her and to her. Her features do relax finally and there is a little nod before her mind focuses back on the conversation around her. "Yeah, M'nol searched me and Sahazyth chose me…" She replies with more conviction to her voice, "Two dragons at least thought I was worth being a rider. They won't catch me doing anything fishy, cause I don't plan on doing anything. We just want to be weyrfolk like any other rider is all. "

"Are ya daft?" Zafi asks Elawyn. "Lusiath chose Kate. Does that show her worth too? Just because a gold chooses ya doesn't make you a good person. Kate sure ain't now is she? There be riders out that be raidin' too. Me mother ended up in jail at Ista cause of one of 'em. Bein' a rider just means that yer a good fit fer the dragon. Doesn't mean nothin' about yer morals." She shakes her head a little and rolls her eyes. "Honestly." she snorts a bit "But yeah she be seemin' a good sort." she looks at Brie "Glad they won't, cause I be thinkin' on puttin marks on ya that you'll send yer Da ta between iffen he be comin' after ya."

Elawyn turns to glare at Zaf. "Maybe it didn't mean _she_ was a good person, but I know Bree, so when I say she was worthy, she's worthy!" Elawyn shakes her head and then shrugs. "Shards, just have Saha sit on him if he does come after you." Yes, she's fixated on the idea. Obsessed, maybe?

Yes it seems Elawyn would like to see a person Pancake. Briana tries not to smile at the girl's enthusiasm at the idea. That there is at least one champion at the table does seem to help Briana a lot. She looks back to Zafirah as she speaks about Kate. "I am sorry about that…Never much heard of her till after I impressed. Ma tried to raise me right as best she could. As far as my Da, other than my life, I owe him nothing." Her voice has an edge of steel in it. She gives a little smile though, "Well I intend to insure you win your marks back."

Zafirah smiles at the glare "Then don't be usin' it as a valid argument. They'll be tearin' it apart." she notes and then shakes her head a little "Never a good idea ta be riskin' the dragons and well. Nice as it might be, dragons should never be attackin' people. There'd be a panic." she ponders though "Be kinda fun though to see a renegade go flat." Squished like grape.

"Fun? It would be hilarious." The girl giggles, the straightens. "Hey, how do I get in on the betting? I want to put my bets on Bree." Elawyn brightens, that mischievous twinkle returning and she reaches toward Zafi to brush at her, though she doesn't actually make physical contact. "I've got a few marks saved up, I wouldn't mind making a few more! What's the return?"

Briana watches the debate about her between the two young woman. "I would never risk Sahazyth. She is my heart and I am hers…" Briana does interject on that point at least. As Elawyn asks about the betting Briana covers her face with one hand and just shakes her head. "I never meant to get this much notice…Just.." She gives a little sigh as she drops her hand and reaches for her fork to try to resume her meal. She works at sitting a little straighter. She will not let them beat her down today.

Zafirah chuckles "Yer a gold rider, ya be gettin' attention whether ya be likin' it or not. Not fer me. Me mum's Phaili is enough fer me." she notes with a smile. "Me, I like the caves too much. The mines, the darkness of it. Can't be fittin' a dragon in there, not lest they came in miniature." she chuckles a little "Yer just be gettin' a lot more attention than most." She tips her head a little "Oh, another thing. Couple of teh boys be thinkin' it'd be right cool ta be ya know, gettin' ta know ya a little closer cause they think ya be on the bad side. That or they be wantin to break ya. I wouldnae be trustin too many who be tryin' ta be gettin ta close ta ya."

"You're a goldrider, Bree. You're going to have attention just for that fact alone." Elawyn points out as Zafi does the same at the same time. "Maybe not drags, but you can fit firelizards down there." SHe grins, then it fades. "Eh…Zafi's right, you watch yourself." She shakes her head again and then stands. "I've gotta get. I'll see you two later. Hey, let me know the odds on the bets, right?" She grins and winks at Zafi, then walks around the table to give Briana a hug. "Just don't mind what they say. We know the truth." Then she stands straight, waves and heads on off.

"I used to like exploring caves as well…its like this underground world where you can believe in anything. Escape for awhile…" Briana says as she looks over to Zafirah, "But yeah…Sahazyth ain't likely to fit in a cave, especially now. She is bigger than even the green dragon that helps train us." Briana says with a touch of amazement in her voice. The mention of the boys though causes her smile to drop rather quickly. Briana sighs and slides fingers through her hairs, "Well they can try." She says as if it were a dare, "I ain't bad, so they will be rather disapointed and I don't intend on breaking so they will be doubly so." She says with conviction in her voice before looking at the departure of Elawyn, "Take care of yourself. Be careful alright? Don't want my friends getting into scuffs on account of me."

Zafirah hmms a little "I should be headin' out too. We've a curfew and all after all. Gotta be in before lights out or it's extra chores fer me, and as much as I'm enjoying the hard work, I don't need it added on to. Watch yer back and all. Because I'll guarantee someone will be watching it fer ya and not in a good way. It was good gettin ta know ya. I think, I think you'll do well fer yourself. And I be hopin ya do well fer us. Because we'll be yer people an all too." She grins brightly "And dontcha be fergettin bout that boy of yers. I wanna meet him."

"I should be getting back as well." Briana says as she rises from her own seat, grabbing up the journal as she does so. "Thanks for the heads up Zafirah, it is appreciated." She takes a moment to walk to the exit of the cavern with her, "I consider this place my people now, I consider myself to be of Xanadu first." She says with a nod before offering the girl a smiling and heading on to the darkness.

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