Enthralling Entrails

Xanadu Weyr - Store Room
The storerooms here are carved into the stone, stretching back deep underground beneath the upper hallways that serve for residences and work areas. There is, after all, little need for natural light here; a series of electric lights are more than sufficient to illuminate smoothly cut walls and the assortment of supplies kept until they are needed once more.
For some of the things here, that time will be long in coming. Broken furniture and torn clothing awaits the opportunity for someone to repair it - or else the kindling and rag piles. Other items are more immediately useful; gently worn clothing and boots are neatly arranged in rows and on racks, especially in the quickly outgrown children's sizes, and an assortment of furniture and small appliances in functional condition await new homes.
A series of side rooms connected to the kitchen are the larder which feeds the Weyr through the winter. Sacks of grain lean against barrels of salted meat and wheels of hard cheeses stacked high. Refrigeration and dragonflight make for a more flexible winter diet, but it still takes a great deal of food to provide for this many people. The food is a tempting target for tunnelsnakes, and the occasional scuttle can be heard in the otherwise quiet depths of these caves.
Toward the southern edge, near the path leading down to the hot springs, there's the laundry rooms, a set of steam-filled chambers where water and soap are scrubbed into fabric of various sorts and the dirt and grime is scrubbed right back out.
Much of the stores are easily accessed, requiring only the appropriate permissions to be borrowed from. These supplies are, after all, here for the good of the Weyr and the people living here. A few rooms - those containing particularly valuable or dangerous items - are kept locked.

There's usually someone in the stores, given the volume of Weyr residents and the near-constant bustle of the kitchen. For now, though, it seems largely empty, as the lunch rush has died down and now one seems to be immediately in need of used furniture. From a back corner comes a rustling, and then the clink of metal against metal. Someone is here, sprawled on the floor, methodically taking apart a small clock which somehow found its home here instead of in the tower. Nessalyn is absorbed in her task, deft fingers picking out small pieces as she studies the inner workings of the thing. Is this strictly her territory? No. But surely no one will mind.

"Yeaaaaaaaaaaah, but pink?" comes the highly skeptical voicing of one of the assistant headwomen, winding around a corner trailing a young huntress. Taeli, meanwhile, is SUPER excited about this, gesticulating LARGELY with skinny arms all akimbo. "Yes! Pink! And bright pink." She pauses, seeking a word with her mouth working silently for a moment. What's exactly the way to describe what she means right now? "Obnoxiously pink!" Her grin resumes with high enthusiasm, and she pulls up right before she tromps all over Nessalyn's clock examinations. The noise she makes is high-pitched and entirely in theme with the rest of her.

The word 'pink' is all it takes for Nessalyn's nose to wrinkle in disgust, but the woman doesn't look up from what she's doing. She's too busy plucking out a particularly delicate piece of machinery with a pair of tweezers, the tip of her tongue juuuust peeking out from between her lips as she focuses on the delicate task. Which is ruined as a pair of feet nearly trample over her work, and those tweezers slip from her grasp and fall into the belly of the clock. "You are obnoxiously pink!" she snaps, glaring up at the semi-familiar face of the huntress. It appears Nessalyn is mere seconds away from resorting to feral growling to express her dismay. "You're blocking the light."

"I mean, I ain't that pink," Taeli pragmatically says after discreetly examining the inside of her wrist, the palest part of her. For a fair-skinned blonde-haired blue-eyed kid, she's sure tan from all that sun she gets. Hunting really isn't an indoor job, except the odd moments when people like the ones she's around now get skittish about exterminating the odd tunnelsnake. "What light?" is her followup question, looking owlishly over her shoulder before side-stepping with alacrity. "Oh. THAT light." Not at all displeased by any snapping or the way the assistant headwoman just SLIPPED OFF muttering about something needing done, Taeli instead crouches down, flexible as a little kid as she compacts into a neat folded-Tae over her feet flat on the ground. "Whatcha working on?" she asks, her fisherfolk twang doubly thick from her audible fascination with all the teeny tiny little working parts.

"Bet your insides are," Nessalyn comments in a tone that's almost unsettlingly cheerful in comparison to the dark glower of seconds before. At least she doesn't reach for the small knife resting on the ground amidst the mess of her clock-destruction. "That-" It seems her answer is unnecessary, and the woman grunts in mild approval as Taeli seems to get the message without any further prompting. Surely, this is the moment that the huntress moves away on her quest for whatever ridiculous pink thing she was searching for — but Nessalyn's relief is short-lived. She scowls as the girl drops down next to her (and who was that assistant headwoman and how does she set ALL OF HER THINGS on fire for leaving the girl here?), adamantly refusing to look in her direction. "A clock." Slender fingers reach into the belly of the broken timepiece, fishing around for her lost tweezers while trying not to knock anything out of place. "I wanted to see how it worked."

Taeli brightens right on up when one of her favorite topics are brought up. "I bet my entrails are!" she agrees with legitimately the most cheerful voice that exclamation has EVER been exclaimed by. She's downright chipper. "Huh. So these are like the… entrails for it?" To borrow a familiar topic. She extends callused fingers without actually touching anything, just a reach towards the nearest discarded cog. "It's so… tiny." Fascination has indeed overtaken her voice. "Do you work on these all the time?"

Nessalyn arches a brow at the cheerful outburst, eyeing her knife for a moment before thinking better of it. Taeli probably doesn't make a habit of slicing unsuspecting people open, although the question is certainly present in the brunette's mind now. "Yeah, sure," she begrudingly answers after a moment, blue eyes narrowing as the girl's hand hovers near a cog. Then, "You can touch it. Just don't break it." The distrust is clear, even if permission has been granted. There's a soft 'hah!' as she finally fishes out her tweezers. She lifts the clock up for closer inspection, checking for any unwitting damage she might have caused. "Not these, but I-" There's a struggle in her voice, a mixture of distraction and something else which causes halting pauses in her words. "I'm an engineer. Putting things together is part of what I do."

If Taeli is a serial killer, she's never, ever going to be figured out. Mostly because all the blood could be contributed to her day job and come on, she's a goddamned labrador made human. Those blue eyes of hers brighten again when Nessalyn gives permission, and she scoops up that little cog, holding it up to better examine the teeth. "One's chipped," she says, "Just on this little teeny corner right back here." Her finger wiggles at it. It doesn't, thankfully, immediately disintegrate. "An engineer. That's, uh. Fancy?" Yes? That word? Maybe? Taeli? ???

Nessalyn is highly suspicious of Taeli's motives already, but to be fair, she's a firm believer that all so-called 'nice' people are up to no good. That friendliness has to be a front for something. "Let me see," she demands, holding out her hand for the chipped cog. "Probably not the only reason it wasn't working, but it's something." She reaches up to the back of her head with her other hand, where strands are brown hair are piled atop her scalp in a messy bun. Tucked into that mess, amidst bits of wire — and, yes, another cog — is a small magnifying glass, which she pulls out to get a better look at the damaged piece. "It's like solving puzzles. And you… you like entrails?"

Oh, it's probably a front for a whole bunch of family-based psychosis pathways and neuroses, but who's really paying that close of attention? Taeli appears harmless enough, unless you're a wherry or an inconvenient pest. "Here," the girl helpfully says, handing over the cog with ginger care. "It's… this one," she points at the chipped tooth gingerly, the close-cropped nail on her pointer finger miraculously clean of blood or gore. "I mean. I really don't like entrails. But they're kinda fun once you get past the gross part of them! And people get really freaked out by them. Like we ain't all walkin' around with a bunch of them coiled up in our bellies all the time." How's that for self-deception?

As far as Nessalyn is concerned, the girl is an inconvenient pest, but at least she's not actively seeking her disposal. There's no thank you forthcoming, but there is a brief nod as she accepts the damaged piece of this particular puzzle, holding the magnifying glass up to the indicated tooth. "I'll have to find a replacement." She pinches it between her fingers, inspecting once more before carefully laying it back in place on the floor. "How are they fun?" There's genuine curiousity mixed in with the faint skepticism. "I don't think they mind them when they're on the inside. That's kind of the point."

"Fun for canines. Have you ever seen a pack play tug o'war with herdbeast entrails?" It's a game that doesn't last long but apparently the memory of it is enough to rouse a snickering-giggly kind of sound out of the blonde-haired huntress. "The rest of a carcass ain't much fun. Just a bunch of meat. I mean. I guess if you're out in the middle of the backwoods eatin' chitlins you consider all that mess edible too, and I ain't meanin' to snub my nose at anyone, but hell if I'm going to EAT them." She peers closer at that magnifying glass, leeeeeaning over and craning her neck to try to see as Nessalyn sees through it.

"I can't say that I've had the pleasure." A dubious pleasure, her tone suggests. Nessalyn stares at the girl for a moment when she makes that sound, scrutinizing her as though she is another piece of machinery that can be taken apart and inspected for flaws. "Pretty sure you'll eat anything if you're hungry enough. We're all meat." The invasion into her personal space has Nessalyn pulling back, flinching away from any possibility of contact. The glass is offered up instead, with the grunted warning of, "Don't break it."

Taeli wrinkles her nose in a show of erstwhile invisible girlishness. It's a strange dichotomy given all of her examples of tomboyishness up to this point — well, excepting that whole hot pink thing. "There's way better things to eat then entrails. I mean. There's a whole sea out there." Fish is delicious, says the daughter of the fisherfolk. "Oh no, I don't want to hold it. It looks really…" BREAKABLE, "…delicate." Taeli does give Nessalyn a little bit of a weird look though, as if she saw that flinch away and can't reconcile it. After she's pulled back, she lifts a hand and huffs a breath into a cupped hand, totally non-casually checking to see if her breath just totally stinks or something. HEY LISTEN. Reasons.

"Sure, but you can't always get to it. Plenty of people never see the sea," Nessalyn points out, unable to resist the opportunity for disagreement. The prospect of eating entrails doesn't seem to make her squeamish, but then again, she rarely eats anything with real nutritional value. Entrails certainly won't make it to her plate. "As long as you don't drop it, you won't break it," she promises with a roll of her eyes, but she doesn't press the issue, either. Instead, she pulls back her offer, tucking the glass back into that knot of hair atop her head. "What are you doing?" She may not be much for direct eye contact, but Ness's half-focus on the girl beside her does catch at the sight of her checking her breath.

Taeli crinkles her nose at Nessalyn at the thought of someone never having the opportunity of seeing the sea. "Yeah… okay." The dubiousness is almost tangible in the air around her. Her blue eyes track the glass back into her bun, seemingly as fascinated by the concept of HOLDING THINGS IN YOUR HAIR as much as the intricate tangle of parts that composes the clock's innards. The girl again leans back on her haunches, momentarily confused by Nessalyn's question. Then: "Oh!" she says, as if realizing. "Just, y'know. I leaned toward you and you made like I had bad breath or something." She shrugs her gangly shoulders once like no-big-deal, social awkwardness doesn't register.

Nessalyn makes a sound which might almost be a laugh, save that it lacks the warmth of humor behind it. She reaches for her tweezers again, cradling the clock carefully as she aims again for that piece she was trying to extract before Taeli's interruption. Her hair is certainly worth the inspection — aside from what tools can be safely tucked into the bindings of her messy bun, bits of wire are wrapped around the strands, with bits and pieces salvaged from other machines occasionally twisted into place. It's practically an art piece. "What?" Genuine confusion floods her features, only to have defensiveness come nipping at its heels. "You were too close."

hold up wait a minute "Wait what do you mean? Too close?" Taeli tilts her head at Nessalyn, her ??? inquisitive totally-speaking-a-different-language confusion almost comically visible.

"Haven't you ever heard of personal space?" Nessalyn makes a vague motion to indicate the wide berth she'd prefer be kept around her person. "I don't want to touch you, and I don't want you touching me."

"Personal space?" Blank look from Taeli on this one, even as she moves from her crouch to actually sitting, her athletic legs sprawling in front of her any-which-way. She manages to not invade Nessalyn's personal space or bother the gears in front of her, at least. "But I wasn't going to touch you. Not like… touch touch. I just wanted to see what you were seeing." And here, finally, inprobably, the bloom of pained kicked-puppy finally appears in pathetic glory. :( :( :(

Nessalyn does not feel bad. SHE DOES NOT. She does, however, grimace as Taeli sprawls, fearing the worst for her carefully laid-out innards as the other girl settles herself. When nothing comes to pass, she visibly relaxes, turning her gaze back to the clock's belly again. "That's why I tried to give you the glass." And if there's a touch of sharpness to those words, it's definitely not because she's feeling at all guilty.

Dude no, look at that face. Taeli looks like someone just told her that her favorite plushy is stuffed full of carcinogins and that she only has a week to live. (Totally crushed.) So she just looks down at her lap, for a long moment, before starting to get herself back together to get up to her feet. :( "I'll get out of your hair," she says, the vivaciousness of her bubbly voice subdued to something small, compact. "So you can finish your clock." If she had a tail it'd be tucked between her legs as she gets her feet under her and starts to straighten back to her feet.

There's a twinge of something that passes over Nessalyn's features, but it's there and gone again as they harden into stone. She feels nothing, thank you very much. "Great," is her muttered answer, her focus falling very determinedly upon the clock in her hands. The need for such obsessive focus has passed, but she refuses to look away. "Go find your pink thing."

Tail-tucked, Taeli slinks away without further commentary, to lick her emotional wounds for all of, oh, probably thirty seconds before finding someone to bowl over with her incredible infectious awe with life. So it's a win-win! Hypothetically. Except she's not going to find her obnoxiously pink item, so maybe not a win-win. But close enough for this episode of horseshoes and hand grenades~

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