Curiosity Killed the Cat

Xanadu Weyr - Store Room

This large storeroom is lit with a series of electric lights, illuminating the smooth cut walls. Rows of shelving contain all sorts of items, while large trunks contain all sorts of clothing, and a mix-matched variety of furniture is stacked up in one corner.

With summer drawing to a close at Xanadu, the general populace of Xanadu Weyr has been busy making preperations for the end of the season, the following fall, and the winter beyond it. The fields are being harvested, the fishing fleet is taking advantage of the lovely days, and the looms are busy. However, with new goods coming in, there is the matter of older goods, and so this afternoon Niva has stuck herself in the Store Rooms, where she's carefully beginning to work her way through the shells, discarding those things that are no longer useful, and making room for the new things.

Farrah walks into the storeroom with quiet purpose, and the air she projects - that she knows what she's doing - helps her slip past the drudges who would be otherwise suspicious. Indeed, she bee-lines right over to a section of the glasswares not far form where Niva is working. Her wrap becomes a makeshift sling with a few deft movements of her hands, and she starts to populate it with odd-looking beakers and flasks.

With a few people coming and going, Niva's attention barely even takes note of Farrah's arrival, the Weyrwoman continuing to work her way through a shelf of questionable herbs, shaking them as the dried plants seem to dissolve. However, the clink of glass on glass as her turning her attention back to Farrah, gaze going from the shelf, to the makeshift sling, before her attention lingers on the knot on her shoulder. "Need something.. particular Healer?" She asks after a moment, tone more curious than disapproving.

Farrah starts at Niva's question, the glass making a pleasing crystalline rattle in her sling. "Oh! Just some extra supplies, thank you, Weyrwoman. Not that the weyr has any lack of it, but for what I'll be doing, it's best to have things separate from the general Healing supplies. Wouldn't want someone giving it out as medicine by mistake." There's an awkward half-smile at that last, barely sticking before slipping away.

Niva tilts her head a little bit more, considering the younger woman with interest, even as her clipboard is slid onto a shelve - quite possibly to be forgotten about completely - as she leans against an old table settled in the middle of the store room. "And, Healer to Healer… what *are* you going to be doing?" Now it definitely is curiosity that colors her voice, as even the tiniest bit of a smile lingers on her lips.

"Studying fire-head," Farrah chirps back with alacrity. Hearing that the Weyrwoman is also a Healer, she dives, full steam ahead, into a technical explanation of her studies: "Fire-head is endemic to the South, and - fortunately - does not seem to be contagious, or well-established in the North. Which, to me, sounds like it must come from something that lives down here. The question, of course, is /what/? If we can figure /that/ out, we may find ourselves preventing fire-head more often than we treat it."

Niva nods slowly at Farrah's quick response, but before she can ask for more, its being willingly supplied, and the Weyrwoman is nodding again, fingers tapping on the underedge of the table top, pondering her research. "Have you any particular vectors which you are looking at?" She asks as soon as the Healer finishes her explanation.

Farrah wrinkles her nose as she confesses to Niva, "I fear it may be parasitic, as it often strikes visitors to the South, as well as the young. Parasites can be, well, messy to track down." She goes to raise her hands to her hair in thought, forgetting the sling full of glass until it sags precariously. Then, she's stooping to gather it to her chest before any spill. "But. Erm. I'm hoping it might be something simpler, like contact allergy to some plant."

Its mid afternoon, and while Niva has been attempting to organize the stores before they are refilled as summer draws to a close, it seems that the Weyrwoman has become distracted by Farrah's healer-research, and her gathering of supplies. "It would make sense - that perhaps those who have lived here are exposed to it from an early age, and thus do not have the same sudden, severe reaction to it?" Niva contemplates this slowly, shifting as if to tug up on the sling, but Farrah is catching it first. "As Master Alric knows, any way in which the riders cn be of use, you need only ask." Niva says with an inclination of her head, even as her attention drifts back down the rows of the store room, which are only starting to be sorted. "There may be records, of some sort, though, it could be difficult to.. locate them."

"Exactly!" Farrah is pleased that Niva follows her logic, a genuine grin brightening her face. "Thank you again, Weyrwoman - but I'm afraid much of this will be my own legwork. Although if anyone comes down with fire-head, I would like to interview them as soon as feasible." There is a sympathetic smile for the messiness, and she ventures, "No more difficult than trying to find the cause or the cure out there in the jungles."

A lot of people tend to be busy in the middle of the afternoon. It's the perfect time for a rider with a relatively new weyr to sneak in and snatch a few nice things to spruce up the place. With everyone otherwise occupied, it should be easy to snag a few nice things and slip away without anyone the wiser. R'zel sneaks in, makes his way over toward the furniture, and ends up right in front of the weyrwoman and the healer along the way. He blinks, freezes, then salutes. "Er, good afternoon, Weyrwoman." He says, trying to sound casual.

"If we have any reports from outlying holds, I'll be sure you're notified as well." Niva nods at the Healer, smiling a little bit. "If nothing else, travel is faster a'dragonback. Though, for your own safety, I would.. recommend taking someone with you, should you go searching. Just.. in case." But, before she can elaborate, there's a young rider appearing in the store rooms, and Niva's mouth is twitching upwards into a grin as she straightens up from the table on which she's leaning. "Rider.." She inclines her head, though pleasant enough.

"Oh right, felines," Farrah says absently, apparently having forgotten about gigantic, man-eating predators in the woods. Oh my. She blinks owlishly at R'zel's entrance, giving him a once-over with no obvious attention paid to face, rank knot, or body.

Seeing an opportunity to deflect any sticky questions about what he might be looking for in the storage caverns, R'zel seizes on the snippet of conversation he walked in on. "Looking for a dragonrider to take you someplace? Searching for something? I'm the guy to help. R'zel, rider of brown Mikalath. I'm part of the transportation wing. Pleased to meet you." He says with a smile, extending a hand to Farrah. "The Weyrwoman is quite right. Felines can be nasty, especially in the warmer seasons."

"The felines are.. prospering this turn, too, with the escaped herds not knowing to run from them." Niva says with a grimace, making a face as she steps away from the table. As R'zel gives a rambling introduction, the weyrwoman's eyebrow arches, as she shakes her head. "And what were you coming in here for, rider?" She asks after a moment, curious mood now turned to the brownrider.

"Running doesn't always stop them," comes the somewhat subdued voice. "Not when it matters." Bootfalls where there were none bring an ordinary face into view, a man mostly garbed in a long, hide coat. Several sealed, wooden tubes rest in his arms, all lashed together with a bit of leather thong. "Excuse me," he murmurs, making to step around the room's occupants towards the rear.

Farrah carefully balances her sling full of oddly-shaped glass under one elbow as she takes R'zel's extended hand. "Farrah, Journeyman Healer. Perhaps I will look you up next for, ah, what do they call it? Back-up? Next time I go collect samples" Using slang is not so cool when you have to think about it for a minute. She moves to the side as Tenebrous moves past, the beakers and flasks in her sling clinking pleasantly.

"Oh. Er…" R'zel doesn't have an immediate answer for Niva. He looks around the objects in their immediate vicinity. "Just looking for some…" Eventually his eyes land on the sling full of glasses that Farrah carries, noticing them as he shakes her hand. "… jars! I need a glass jar for… cleaning my paintbrushes! That's all." Smooth. Eager to divert the topic again, he smiles at Farrah. "I'd be happy to help you. It's my job, you know." He's even more relieved when the unfamiliar man with the wooden tubes arrives, hoping for further distraction. He backs up to allow him by.

"I've always been told not to run." The weyrwoman counters the words of the strange man as he passes by them, gaze lingering on him as he goes, tilting her head curiously. R'zel's answer, as questionable as it is, barely receives anything other than a nod, letting the words go in one ear out the other. "I see.." She murmurs without really hearing him, still curiously watching Tenebrous. What a day!

There's no emotion in Tenebrous' voice as he moves between the shelves, further from the group. "You won't get any argument from the cats…" The subtle rasp of wood on wood can be heard, followed by the taps of gingerly placed wooden objects.

"An artist, then?" Farrah asks R'zel, half-ignoring Niva and Tenebrous as her lazer-narrow focus sets its sights on the man. "How is your sketching? I may need someone to draw the biological specimen when my work gets published." There's a sureity in her voice, and choice of words: 'when', not 'if'. "We didn't have too many cats at Landing. But there isn't much room for them to hide, on a plain like that."

R'zel seems quietly relieved when the weyrwoman fails to interrogate him further. He happily contributes to the line of conversation about felines. "Well, if you absolutely have to go into their territory, the best thing you can do is bring a dragon with you." He gives Farrah a wide, genuine smile after her questioning. "Ah, you are certainly speaking to the right person! I am indeed an artist… and sketching is something quite good at. I could show you some of my work, if you'd like. And I'd definitely be interested in participating in a published work."

Niva glances at R'zel and Farrah, shaking her head as they discuss artwork. "I'm certain you'll get all the exposure you could possibly want, rider." She comments, nodding at the mention of felines. "They're the worse to the south and west of Black Rock Hold - plenty of wild herds, and appropriate dens." She shakes her head, shuddering just a little, before she's following after Tenebrous, moving from row to row, tilting her head as she looks for him.

The quiet, steady 'slide-tap' of those wooden cylenders grows louder as one grows nearer to Tenebrous' position. Further and further into storage, until you see him, standing before a set of shelves. Several of the containers are marked with coal on the front, symbols corresponding to contents, most likely. "To the south…" he's heard mumbling, over and over.

"Excellent." Farrah punctuates the sentence with a nod that suggests she considers the matter settled - R'zel could probably at the citation to is resume, already. "Now, I just need to find the cure." A trivial matter. Her keen eyes focus on R'zel again, as Niva drifts out of sight, and she asks him, "Have you ever had fire-head?"

R'zel gives the fellow mumbling over by the coal an odd look, perhaps wondering who he is or what he's looking for. However, the prospect of getting some of his illustrations published snags his attention back in short order. "Can't say that I have. No, I've had the fortune to have good health for most of my life. Why, is that what your work is about? Fire-head?"

Niva pauses at the row that Tenebrous is lingering in, lingering at the end of the row herself, watching him slide the tubes into place, making no move to speak up, and potentially interrupt the man's conversation. After a moment more of watching, she turns, making her way back to the front of the store rooms, catching Farrah's questions. "Why not put up a note, asking anyone who has to come speak with you?"

Finished with whatever he was doing, Tenebrous moves away from that patch of shelving and quietly makes his way towards the section of storage that's reserved for cloth. The quiet shuffling of boxes and containers is the only sound that marks his otherwise unremarkable presence.

Farrah makes an analytic noise to herself - something like 'hrm' - and continues to question R'zel. "Never? And how long have you lived in the South?" Verily, she's so absorbed in her own line of questioning that she misses first R'zel's, then Niva's, absently realizing it and blurting out answers: "Oh, yes. — Yes, about the fire-head, and yes, that would be wonderfully efficient, that note thing." As scattered as she is with conversation, Tenebrous' inobtrusiveness leaves him entirely off her radar.

"All my life." R'zel replies to Farrah, looking slightly amused. He arches an eyebrow. "How long have /you/ lived in the South? Surely you realize we're not all fire-head-ridden down here. But as the Weyrwoman says, I'm sure you would have no shortage of responses if you put up a note of some kind."

Niva looks back over her shoulder as Tenebrous moves on to the cloth, lingering and looking curious again, even as she distractedly rolls her eyes at the rider and the healer talking of firehead. Hisolda, however, is quickly interrupted Niva's ability to poke around, as the headwoman is appearing in the doorway, and summoning her. "Good luck with your studies, Healer.." And then she nods to R'zel, though her words are extended to Tenebrous. "Don't make a mess!" Her voice carries, before she's excusing herself, clipboard totally forgotten as she's needed somewhere else.

Tenebrous blinks a moment later, glancing after Niva, and his mouth drops open. Sudden realization dawns in those eyes, but he quickly closes his mouth and lowers his head. She's gone, she missed him. And…exhale. Still, there's a more hurried nature about his quiet search now, and it's not long before he's heading back towards the entrance, footsteps all but silent.

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