Finding a Purpose (Innes 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.

It's getting late, but not so late that the tavern is empty. Innes isn't the only person here to be nursing a drink, but she's one of the few who has no company. By all rights, she shouldn't still be at Xanadu. Her plans have been thwarted by her own incompetence in keeping track of her belongings, which is why she's now seated in the tavern after a very short absence from the Weyr. She's hunched over at her barside stool, with her belongings - all of them, this time - in a heap on the floor beside her. She has a mug of ale clasped between both hands, and she shifts from time to time to bring the drink to her lips.

Even Weyrleaders need time to unwind. Even so, now is not one of those times for Ka'el, who has disappeared in one of those behind the bar rooms in which much ale and liquors are stored. Keeping track of the Weyr's stash has become a personal project of sorts, and tonight's one of those monthly visits in which stock is checked and discussion ensues about just which Weyr provides the best imports. And which, if any, imports are worth trying anew! It's been a time of such talk before the young man emerges from that back room, holding with him a long-neck glass of something or another that looks frosty with chill. He moves out from behind the bar, giving the nearly but not quite empty place a quick sweep of his eyes. He's still dressed in office wear. A business casual look of dark slacks, black boots, pale blue collared shirt, and jacket left open. He soon shrugs out of that, lifting the bottle to his lips afterwards to take a swallow just as his eyes pause on a long, luggaged figure. Swallow. "Welcome to Xanadu … or I hope you enjoyed your stay. Depending on which way you're goin'."

Innes doesn't like to stay in one place for long. It isn't just her somewhat paranoid fears of being tracked down by the family and craft she abandoned that keeps her moving, although that does play a large part in it. It's also the appeal of the open road, and the way her feet itch to get moving again. She's been too long at Xanadu already, no matter how many friendly faces she encounters. It takes a moment for her to realize that Ka'el's remarks are addressed to her. Her gaze shifts away from contemplating her ale to glance sidelong at him, her green-grey eyes sweeping up and down as she takes the office wear and the face that looks vaguely familiar. Perhaps she saw him at some point during her stay. "Thank you," she answers with a short nod, "I'm on my way out, with any luck, but it's been a good few days."

Ka'el does tend to get around! Likely paths have crossed, though only that. But now paths are crossing again with the addition of words, and if there's one thing Ka'el is rather good at, it's talking. So, uninvited does he claim a barstool, draping his jacket on a nearby empty seat and placing his bottle down upon the bar's counter after another swig. "With any luck?" he echoes with slightly elevated brows. "I hope that doesn't mean your stay here wasn't a good one," he remarks. "Or unpleasant in any way." Blue eyes bounce to her ale. "It isn't the drink that's runnin' you off, is it?" he asks with a faintly crooked grin. "Maybe I'm biased, but I've to say we've the best in-Weyr brew around. Imports aren't bad, either. We only accept the best, you know."

"Oh no," Innes assures with a quick wave of her hand to dismiss the idea. "It was quite pleasant. I was even here for the clutching, which was exciting." Were it not for those itchy feet of hers, she might stay longer. Those feet, and the creeping sensation that she's on the verge of becoming a freeloader. Her brows lift slightly with his claiming of a barstool, but she doesn't remark upon it. Instead, she follows his gaze back to her ale. She's quick to shake her head, raising her mug in something that vaguely resembles a salute. "Not at all. You'd get a fine score on the drink, as well as the hospitality. If anything, people have been too friendly. But overall, I'd say Xanadu is in fine form, would visit again, all of that." The hand which isn't currently wrapped around her drink is used to flick a little check in the air with her pointer finger to mark off her imaginary scorecard.

It's always nice to hear when people are behaving themselves. A vague smirk curves his lips as he nods at her and her mock checklist, hands busing themselves with rolling up the cuffs of his sleeves. Up the arm, to the elbow. "Too friendly?" He laughs. "Then likely you haven't met everyone. But at least if you had to meet a majority've one type of person, the friendly ones are the lot I'd hope for. You'd leave with a sour taste in your mouth for Xanadu if the opposite were true." He gives the contents of his bottle a swirl, expression sobering lightly at the thought of the newly clutched eggs. "S'always a thing to see, isn't it? It wasn't your first viewing of a clutch, was it?" he asks with a note of curiosity in his tone before his brows lift suddenly, as if remembering a quick fact. "…Also. My name is Ka'el," he tacks on with an impish grin. "Rider of Kanekith." He pauses, eyes going vaguely distant for a second. "… My apologies. Rider of bronze Kanekith," he says just barely refraining from rolling his eyes. "A very particular about titles dragon."

Innes finally releases her hold on her mug, realizing her death grip might offer the wrong impression. Her lips curl in a grin as she admits, "If I'd met the other kind, I'm sure I would have been escorted out for starting trouble. Justified trouble, of course." There's some mischief to her smile which might bring into question just how 'justified' that trouble would be. She already has several people convinced that she plans to light things on fire, after all. She twists on her stool to face him a bit more, leaning her elbow on the bar and leaning her head toward her hand. Her fingers twist into her hair, toying with the ginger strands. "Not my first," she tells him with only the slightest hesitation. "Still worth watching, though." The mention of a bronze dragon causes her brows to draw together and her lips to purse. She opens her mouth, but the question dies on her lips. Instead, her expression smooths back to that slightly sly smile. "It's very nice to meet you, Ka'el, rider of bronze Kanekith." No, she won't forget that bit. "I'm Innes, of noone and nowhere in particular."

"Of no one and nowhere, eh?" echoes Ka'el, mulling over the words one at at time. "Sounds like a lonely place to hail from and difficult to get back to." His drink is nursed, the cold bottle nipping at the fingertips that press against its smooth surface, wet now with condensation. Eyes drift, focused yet unfocused, settling on one of those gathered droplets of water. "But I guess you wouldn't want to get back there, would you? Is that why you're here? During this particular time and at this particular place?" He blinks once, and his head is given a near imperceptible shake, as if his own riddling words are too confusing for even him. But, even so, he looks back at her with a faint tip of his head, as if seeking an answer. … Heh. Maybe that one bottle is one of many that he's had this evening!

"You'd understand if I told you the whole story," Innes answers with a halfhearted shrug. The implication being that she won't, of course. She isn't in the habit of giving that kind of information to friends - or wouldn't be if she had any to speak of - and it certainly isn't for the ears of strangers. Her head cants away from her fingertips, drawing strands of hair away from the rest until the tips finally set themselves free and fall past her shoulders again. Her gaze is slightly narrowed, and her brows are drawn together as she contemplates his words. Or at least attempts to do so. "I… no?" The words are spoken without the slightest hint of understanding. "I don't know. It's just chance that I'm here, really. Chance and weather." Her gaze drops to the bottle he's been nursing. A drunk bronzerider, perhaps? They certainly do breed strange ones around here. "What are you talking about?"

Good question. What is he talking about? Ka'el may be asking himself the same thing, but if he is, he isn't aware of it. A majority of his brain is contemplating her answer. The first one she gave, a vague hint of something complicated. He understands complicated rather well, as life tends to be that way more often than it isn't. But there's another answer that interests him. 'Chance and weather'. He grins a little as he shakes his head in disagreement. "Nothin's ever up to chance," he says in return. "Chance is far too random. I believe in reason." A pause, then, "Or, at least reasons for the happenings of events and things." What is he talking about? Superb question. Blue eyes turn to a darkened window, seeing the distorted reflection of himself and her and chairs and the gleam of bottles. And then beyond the glass, the gleam of something else. His gaze stays there for a few elongated seconds, and then, beneath the brief veil of a blink, they're back on her. "Ignore chance, or luck, or circumstance. What is your reason for being here?"

This is starting to feel like an interrogation of sorts, no matter how pleasant he may be or how innocently the questions are posed. Innes' immediate response is to turn back to her nearly finished mug, closing herself off to him neatly. "Plenty of things are up to chance," she mutters, before quickly downing the rest of her ale in a few swallows. She wipes the back of her hand across her lips to finish it all off. "There's no deep reason. I'm traveling, it started raining and I was here. I stayed because it was nice enough, and I've been sleeping outdoors for a long time now." Her shoulders are tense and drawn toward her ears, and her gaze keeps shifting between her empty mug and the door. She leans to one side so that she can reach her hand into her pocket and pull out what little money she has. There's enough to cover her drink at least, and provide for her until she can find more temporary work. But it's not much. "I should get going," she announces, trying to hide her eagerness to escape this particular line of questioning. "I meant to be gone already, but I forgot something, and now I think I've overstayed." There really is something off about the bronzeriders here. "Pleasure to have met you and all."

Ka'el remains facing her even as she turns away, and although his hand remains on his drink, it doesn't seem as if he has any intention of drinking any more of it than he has already. This girl, Innes, is proving to be enough to capture and keep his attention, as unwanted as his attention may be becoming the longer that he speaks to her. Her empty mug is considered, but another drink isn't ordered for her. She means to go. Overstayed. He shakes his head at the word. "You haven't." He dismounts from his stool now and stands. "I've run you off, haven't I? I apologize," he says before drawing a hand down his face, as if to clear both vision and mind. "But I believe you're mistaken. You haven't overstayed. In fact, I don't think you've stayed long enough. See, I believe you're still here for a reason. You've meant to be gone, yet you remain. You've your things," he nods to her pile of belongings, "but you've say here instead of catching the dragon out. I think you're kept here because you serve a purpose." He smiles afterward, the look genuine, yet small. "My dragon's name is Kanekith, as I said. And he doesn't think you should go just yet. He wants to give you a chance to find your purpose."

Innes bats away his apology with another wave of her hand, accidentally dismissive in her eagerness to escape. His words mostly bounce off her ears, heard but not truly registered. She slides off of her stool, leaning over to pick up her few belongings and sling her bag across her back. "No apology necessary," she manages, trying at some semblance of politeness. Aside from running her off, he was quite nice, after all. But she doesn't even get the chance to step away before her mind begins to pick through those words that have been flowing past her. Here for a reason. His dragon. Giving her a purpose. Being a former weyrbrat, she has a sneaking suspicion as to where those words might lead. There's a wariness to her gaze as she finally looks at him again, asking slowly, "What, exactly, does bronze Kanekith think my purpose might be?"

Ka'el's eyes seek hers when she finally looks back at her, and although remnants of his smile remain, his gaze has sobered to a look more serious that his former jovial demeanor. "One thing about Kanekith that's been true since the first moment my hand touched the shell of his egg is that he'll guide. He guided me to the path that led me to him and this life that I live now, but I had to choose to follow it. As for you…" He shakes his head, "Your purpose is hidden somewhere that you've got to find yourself. Kanekith is like … a glow in the darkness that's meant to turn you in the right direction, but it's a light that isn't destined to last the whole way through. You've to decide if it's worth stumblin' through the darkness that it's left behind to find the purpose that lies somewhere at the end." He pauses, as if listening. Then. "You would've made a good Candidate for his clutch, but his has already hatched and Impressed. Since you're here now instead of then, and neither one of us believes in chance or luck, he believes you're here now to stand for Luraoth's."

And there it is. The suggestion she's afraid is coming is out in the open, but it's the words that come before that catch her attention. Her head tilts ever so slightly to the side as she considers her options. There's that ever-present itch for the open road, but more than that, there's the desire to redeem herself in the eyes of her family. A dragonrider can't be a disappointment. Her eyes move toward the doors again with a sort of longing. She should just go. "I should just go," she echoes aloud. A hand runs through her hair, tangling in it and twisting in a way she finds comforting. "I don't believe in some purpose leading me toward some particular direction in life. The words sound nice, but nice words are easy to say and harder to make true," she informs him, her words careful. "But." There's always a but. "Is this like some kind of binding contract? Could I leave at any time before the hatching, if I decided it wasn't for me?"

"You could just go," confirms Ka'el with a nod, but he says nothing more after that. He listens instead, the ever-present feel of his dragon a heavy one on his mind as Kanekith looms in a way his physical body won't allow him to in such a small space. Ka'el smirks faintly after a while. "Trust me. Nice words aren't always so easy to say," he remarks as he lifts his drink again. "I'm not here to convince you. I'm Kanekith's voice in this. It's his offer that you're free to refuse, and you're welcome to walk out and continue on your journey to nowhere as no one if that's what you want." A drink. "A contract? No. If you change your mind, as long as it isn't done in a white robe on the sands, you may. It's been done before" he answers knowingly. "But if you Impress? There's no walking away, remember that. Your life changes forever the moment your dragon finds you.." He trails there, and with another look to that window, to the gleam of bronze behind it, his smile returns. "Ask yourself is it worth it? If the answer is yes, then.. I've a knot for you."

Innes laughs after a moment, though the sound is somewhat strangled by the tension that still lingers in her body. "No, nice words aren't always easy, you're right," she relents in a rare moment of willingness to do so. "Pretty words might have been a better way of putting it. Things that sound like they mean more than they do." At least to someone who only has the outsider's view of Kanekith's perspective. With one last reluctant glance toward the door, she shifts the weight of her bags to lay them on the barstool she recently vacated. She tugs at her hair, lifts her gaze toward the ceiling, and then nods. "Okay." It's closer to a simple exhale at first, but when she speaks again her words are firmer. "I'll give it a try. Maybe all of those pretty words will turn out to mean something." And maybe there's a part of her that would very much like to belong somewhere, in spite of the appeal of the open road.

Ka'el's relief is a flood that washes over his body, wholly submerging him as she takes up the proposed offer. "Words can't express how glad I am you've accepted," he says, body slumping a little before he swivels in his seat to take up his jacket, reaching into an inner pocket to retrieve a single white knot. "Kanekith would've had a party of pity for himself. Searching .. isn't a thing he's ever done." A rejection would've hit hard! Grinning now, he offers the knot. "I wish you luck. You'll needn't sleep outside anymore. The Candidate barracks are near the hatching arena. Claim one of the better bunks before they start filling up. Rules are the common sense sort. Be respectful to all you meet. No fighting or leaving the Weyr without a rider. Mm,…bedding with men..or women is not allowed. You may drink," he nods to her empty mug, "but not to drunkenness. Listen to the Candidate Coordinators, and you'll be fine." He shoulders his jacket now, nodding to the barkeep to leave his drink on his ever-growing tab. "I hope that you find something, even if it's just new friends in a new place. And now that you're staying after all, at least for a time, I'm sure to see you again soon, Innes."

Innes arches a brow, her eyes darting toward the door again - this time toward the assumption of the mystery bronze who vouched for her character. Never searched someone before? Her ego can't help but swell a bit at that. "Tell him thank you," she says awkwardly, "even if I'm not quite sure of it just yet. It's something new, if nothing else." Her head bobs as he relates the rules, ticking them off in her head. Nothing too difficult, provided she doesn't lose her temper. "Copy that. Behave decently, and don't have too much fun." Her shoulders have fallen back to where they ought to be, and much of the tension seems to have left her body. She even manages a slight smile as she takes her knot, clutching it carefully. "I'm sure you will. Hopefully not while I'm in the process of being grabbed by the ear and tossed out of the Weyr."

Ka'el bobs his head once. "I'll tell him, definitely." He doesn't seem overly worried about Innes's unsure feeling about this whole thing. Shards, he felt the same way! It's those overconfident ones they need to worry about. He laughs at her interpretation of the rules, namely 'don't have fun', at which he shrugs a single shoulder. "Have a little fun. Don't have too much fun, else you'll risk overdosing," he quips, laughing after. "Well, after goin' through Candidacy myself, you'll have to do something extremely bad to be kicked out! But if that's you…I'm not going to be the one to toss you out. Far too much work, I'm told." Jest is back on his face in full force now, also easily heard in his tone of voice as he speaks. But now it's time to go. Back to the office. Outside to check on the waiting bronze. "Good evenin' to you, Innes. If you've any questions, ask the Candidate Coordinators." And with his jacket draped over his shoulder, the young man heads off to move outside and greet his excited big bronze who already knows the big news. Of course she accepted. He's awesome … why wouldn't she?

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