Quila is Searched

Xanadu Weyr - Wanderin' Wherry Tavern

It is often whispered in the crowds that converge here, that a certain Weyrleader was asked what he wanted in the remodeling of the pub that was not so long ago given a refreshing. He muttered back over the rim of his ever-present mug, "I don't care what you do with the place, just so long as there is plenty of ale." With that in mind, cask after cask of ale lines the walls of the tavern, the remodeler's idea of a jest. As they age, the casks bring a real rustic atmosphere to the pub, along with the deeply wooden flavor that seems to be the theme throughout.

The lighting is dim, as it should be in all good pubs, and the tables and chairs are plentiful. A long mahogany bar, intricately carved with runner beasts, stands vigilant duty at the head of the bar, lined with stools for those patrons that seek the bartender's company.

Mid-afternoon sees the tavern a little on the slow side of things, the lunch rush is over and the dinner rush yet to come. It's into this convenient lull that E'gin* makes his appearance - and by appearance it is nothing short of an entrance worth seeing. The twenty-one turn old bluerider pushes the door open, stumbles in and allows it to swing shut on it's own with a resounding crash behind him, which draws a glare and a growled reprimand from Beldar. But nevermind all that. E'gin's face is a bloodless white and his mouth is working as he grips the back of the nearest chair. It seems he's intently focused on not keeling over.

And it's been such a pleasant afternoon. Quila has taken advantage of the slowness of the afternoon to relax in solitude, sitting on her own at a small table near the door and slowly, blissfully, nursing a tall cold glass of something. As a result, she gets to be the lucky soul sitting nearest the door when E'gin makes his spectacularly dramatic entrance, and hers is the chair that he happens to grab hold of. She, in her usual elegant style, utters a curse quite loudly first at the crash, and then again, more quietly, as she heaves herself out of her hair and spins to get a good look at the bluerider. A slow blink, and then she steps forward to put a hand on his shoulder. "Can y'breathe?" It seems a reasonable greeting, given the circumstances.

One of E'gin’s eyes crack open to peer back at the young woman when he feels her hand on his shoulder. See the cursing? He's likely quite used to. Hands on shoulder, not so much, apparently for his ears turn red, though he nods, swallows several times before he manages to stutter, "Y-yeah, I- I just n-need-" And here comes Beldar, glass in hand, who says gruffly, "Sit lad. I've got your usual." The tender shakes his head tolerantly and asides to Quila, "He'll be fine, Miss." The glass is plunked on Quila's table and the busy man heads off, back to his bartending where life is less dramatic - most of the time. E'gin mumbles some sort of apology to the girl, the words unclear although the tone can't be mistaken for anything else, and just flops into her vacated seat without so much as a by-your-leave.

Quila narrows her eyes thoughtfully as she watches this exchange between bartender and bluerider, just standing to the side as the drink is brought, reassurances made, and the bluerider has made himself quite at home in her chair. After a long consideration, an internal debate of sorts, she'll slowly step over to the chair on the opposite side of the table and lower herself to it, leaning back in a deceptively relaxed pose. She scoops her glass to her, curled against her chest, and just looks at the fellow for a minute. Finally, "Y'sure you're all right, feller? That was quite an entrance."

Completely oblivious of the partially-finished glass in front of him, although he has to reach right past it for that glass Beldar brought, E'gin's pallor is, if anything, getting worse. Nevertheless, he nods as he lifts his to his mouth and squinches his eyes closed, gulping half the glass in several swallows while holding his breath. It's strong stuff, evidenced by the flush that arises in the wake of the downed liquor and the soft coughing fit that follows. Opening watery blue eyes, lifting them to Quila's, he stammers a soft voiced, "S-sorry, Ma'am." His adam's apple bobs as he gulps, "But, y-you see, Mazunth- h-he's feeding." And that calls for another drink, this time it's one long sip before the glass is lowered and he finally notices she's got a drink. "Oh. Heh. Were you sitting here?" It's a nervous chatter that follows while that glass is held halfway to his lips, "Y-you must be new here, I'm E'gin. I didn't mean to barge in on you or anything it's just-" Yeaaaah, he'll just stop before he goes TMI. He's out of breath anyway.

"Feeding what?" is Quila's initial response, dark brow furrowed in confusion. Then the lightbulb clicks on, she puts the puzzle pieces together, and her mouth forms a silent 'o' that melts, eventually, into a slow (admittedly amused) smile. "Y'got a weak stomach." It's a statement, not a question, and though it's said with a hint of laughter there's certainly no malice in it. With the mystery of his apparent distress solved, she settles in more comfortably, propping her boots up on an empty chair to the side of them and taking a healthy swallow off her own drink. "Guessin' y'didn't grow up at the weyr, then? Well. S'pose that's an unfair assumption, guess even weyrfolk probably get wibbly 'bout the…" She waves a general hand. "Viscera." And then presses on as though she hadn't brought the subject up. "Not been here long, that's true. And yer welcome to the chair. This one's more comfortable anyhow."

E'gin shoots the young woman a short look of disbelief. And then snorts softly into his lifted glass, takes a hearty swallow before lowering it once more, wincing at the thump it makes when it hits the table. The young rider takes a long breath and explains in a voice that tells a well-rehearsed tale, "I- It's not my stomach. It's my head (or so they've been telling him). Not b-bothered by blood and guts it's that, that…" One hand waves in vague fashion towards the feeding grounds, "One m- minute they're alive and mooing, enjoying the sunshine and life… and the next-" He cringes a little, waiting for the laughter he's sure is coming; he's been though this before. And in a self-directed irony he admits, "Nono, I'm afraid I grew up right here." He lifts both brows while giving her a weak smile. He has no excuse and he knows it.

Quila nods thoughtfully, dark eyes losing that spark of laughter as she watches the young man while he explains. Gone is that hint of friendly teasing, though there's still a trace of warmth as she ventures to finish his sentence, illustrating with a flick of her fingers. "And the next they're gone." She nods. That it, just nods, absently twirling a curl of her hair around her fingertips. "My ma and da are both riders. Grew up with it. Never bothered me much to think 'bout, but my sister… oh, she's a /good/ person," she says emphatically, tapping her glass against the tabletop just for added measure. "Always bothered her. Got white as a sheet, same as you." That's added a touch cheerfully, and she'll finally lean forward to extend her hand to the bluerider. "Pleasure to meet you, E'gin. Name's Quila."

Gone? Now don't make E'gin cry. See? There goes his chin, all wobbly. But at least she didn't say the D-word. More booze, that'll help! The glass is lifted once more and too-bright eyes reproach her over the rim while she's talking. After lowering his glass partway, while pensively eyeing the tiny bit of liquid that's left, he informs her, "Normally Mazunth and I- we sort of… put a little mind distance when he k- …eats." He manages on the end of yet another swallow, "We c-can't do that today though because-" He breaks off when her hand reaches across the table and he reluctantly takes it, gives it a quick, single shake with a clammy palm, bobs his head nervously and flickers a furtive look up at her, "Welcome to Xanadu. Quila. That's a pretty name." And look. He managed that without a stammer. Seems the alcohol has helped a little. "Where did you say you were from?"

If Q notices that chin wobble, that suspect glint in his eye, she tactfully doesn't comment. Just persists in watching him steadfastly over the rim of her own cup, slowly swirling the rapidly diminishing liquid within. "Because why?" she'll ask, when that sentence is cut short, even as she gives his moist hand a squeeze with her rough one. The compliment for her name earns a shining smile and a little half a shrug, one hand spread wide as though to say - though with utmost humor, mind - 'well, just look at me.' As for where she's from? "Didn't. Say, that is. Here and there, mostly there, now here." And if he somehow can't decipher exactly what that means, she'll elaborate with a quirk of a smile at the corner of her mouth. "Trader, mostly. I was born at Ista though, grew up there. How long have you been a rider?" Since they're making small talk, she'll throw in her own question, possibly to helpfully distract from whatever his lifemate is doing.

There's blank confusion and rapid blinking while the bluerider's lips soundlessly form the words, 'here and there, there now here' until with a little headshake, he just lets it go. "Ista," E'gin repeats with a grimace. If his voice is strained, perhaps it's explained when, a few beats later he asks with that glassy-eyed look she ought to recognize as a rider communing with his dragon, "Mazunth wants to know if you like animals?" Without waiting for a reply, he ducks his head and fishes something out of the pocket of his flight jacket, fumbles with it, almost dropping it before he gets it up to the safety of the tabletop. It's a white Candidate's knot. Delicately, the bluerider explains while his slightly shaking fingertips nudge it across the polished wood in her direction, "Cos if you do, Mazunth w- would l-like you t-to Stand." He swallows and braves a look at her face, explaining in a little rush, "It's why we- I- had to stay with him. We're on Search." He coughs, realizing he's forgotten to answer and does so belatedly, "S-seven turns now since I impressed." Faranth only knows why he did.

Quila does recognize it, it would be impossible not to growing up daughter to two riders, and so she'll respectfully wait until that look has faded before she answers his question. Or start to answer his question. "Animals? Well, I s'pose…" but it trails off into a somewhat tense silence as that little twisty bit of string with all its meaning is dropped onto the table top. /Now/ she'll stop watching the bluerider, for sure, to look intently at that knot while he poses that stammery, all important question. Her answer is forthcoming, surely, but for now she'll contemplate in silence, and at length tilt her head back to drain, in one fluid motion, what remains of her beer. Glass goes thunk. She leans forward, elbows on table, carefully licking her lips before she speaks. "Well. That's interestin'." She purses her lips, and then slowly fingerwalks her hand over to the knot to pluck it up off the worn wood, squinting at it as she draws it near. "Y'know, I waited most o' my youth-" Because she's so old now, see. "to get one o' these. Was sure it'd come any day. Finally stopped expecting it." The knot is twisted between her fingers, first one way and then the other, then she shoots a smirk E'gin's way. "Guess you can tell yer Mazunth I accept."

E'gin fiddles nervously with his nearly empty glass while she's contemplating. He and long, tense silences don't get along so well, you see. It's only by force of training that he manages not to blurt an apology for presuming to ask in the first place for the duration of her weighing and measuring and that he remains seated at the table rather than bolting out the door. So great is his relief when she says she always wanted to be a Candidate, that he goes all teary-eyed and really. He doesn't even notice that her all-important answer about animals was not decisively answered. "Ah, h-he knows," he assures Quila and then goes on to explain the rules of candidacy, all chattery with relief, offers to show her where the barracks are and that perhaps Mazunth will be in the clearing when they do and boy, won't he be all pleased with his 'girl', just please don't ask the blue how his meal was or he'll get sick. Poor Quila.

And Quila, with the general distracted air of one who has their life abruptly turned on end, listens to all the explanations, accepts his offer of direction to the barracks, and if she gets to meet the dragon she'll drag herself out of her introspection long enough to try and charm the beastie with smiles and eyelash batting and all sorts of gratitude. E'gin, should he permit it, will even get himself a kiss on the cheek, offered with a wink and a murmur of thanks. Then she'll get herself settled in, and voila. Shiny new candidate.

*E'gin npc'd by Thea

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