Not Tech, Savy?

One of the benefits of having a goldrider join your wing? The reports. Precise, elegantly worded, neatly hand-written reports. Half Moon Bay was never a place known for embracing technology, and was content with this. It shows in subtle ways at first, that blank glassy look of terror anytime someone tries to get her near a ‘devil-box’. The manner by which she manages to navigate long distances without any modern navigation equipment to speak of with perfect accuracy, or tech aids. (Someone caught her using a gps as a coaster at one point.) She is perhaps the very definition of old-school dragon riding. But the instant you try to get her to wrangle a database or read a doppler screen? Her eyes glaze over. You’d have better luck teaching shipfish to fly.

And then there’s I’aija, whose experiments with tech never truly began until after he was tapped to lead Deluge. Reya might have been crazy at the time to give the untried bronzerider that knot, but he’s thrown himself into it as thoroughly as possible. And that does involve a lot of computer-learning and crash courses, long hours spent with the more tech-savvy members of the wing as well as with crafters. He might not be able to type as fast as, say, Sv’eli or Niita, but he’s getting there. And a lot of his practice, if he’s honest, involves writing recipes. And while he certainly enjoys the craft of those hand-written reports, that’s just not how it’s done in Deluge. It’s time to queue up the inspirational music, because he’s hunting Tanit down with a fresh new laptop, all set up and ready to go, and he’s going to teach that shipfish how to fly - or die trying.

“With all due respect, I’m pretty sure that the minute I hit that glowy button that turns the devil box on, everything is going to explode, or catch on fire. OR BOTH.” She frowns looking at the contraption, “And have I mentioned I have three - count them three four year olds? The buttons will all be gone inside the month.” It’s not quite a whine but close enough for administrative work. “And My reports are perfectly legible as is. Reya hasn’t complained.” Or maybe she has, who knows?

“And with all due respect,” I’aija replies as he opens the devil box and turns it toward her, his finger on the power button, “I think Sv’eli would be very sad to hear you think he’s not good enough at his job to make this goldrider-proof.” He taps the button, letting the device power up while he explains, “You don’t have to take it back to your weyr, either. You can leave it here and pick it up when you’re ready to do your reports or- however works best for you. Niita does that, when she has to; she usually has to wrangle her kids every other seven or so.” The background screen is a clever one: icons are arrayed along the top, leaving the full expanse of a group photo of Deluge unmarred. The wing’s riders are proud in the picture, the lads shirtless and most of the ladies, too; I’aija’s front and center with a derpier grin than usual. “I have a bag and charging cord for it, too.” He has not seen the picture and is not, in fact, looking at the device at the moment. “Speaking of, here’s the pointer.” mouse, whatever. “Just plug it in on the side.”

“Sv’eli can -” Whatever the end of that sentence might have been, the world will never know. Hopefully I’aija’s fingers weren’t in the way because swoosh go both of Tanit’s finely scarred hands to close the thing, a slow deepening crimson spreading everywhere not covered by wetsuit. “Sv’eli set this up?” She squeaks staring at the clicky thingy (mouse) and trying to look everywhere but at the man’s face. “Um. I . Is … ah… public…is that a thing around here?”

I’aija knows better than to keep his fingers in a potential trap! Which is precisely what the laptop turns into. His eyes widen for a moment, only for concern to take over. “Wait. What? What are you-” Tanit’s blushing prompts a troubled look and he reaches for the laptop to open it again. “Did he put dicks on the background-” again is probably the ending of that thought, but it trails when he sees the actual picture. “Oh. That? That’s just our wing photo. We take a new one after we get a few new members.” He glances askance at Tanit. “With you joining up, I think we’re due for a new one. But- uh. What’s bothering you about it?” He heard the word public, but he’s probably not connecting dots. Missing inputs!

Makes a small strangled sound. “If he puts - dicks on the devilbox, I have to use - I may personally see to the removal of his..” Not quite as threatening when the words are squeaked out an octave too high. She closes her eyes, draws a breath, counts to three. “I really hope you guys don’t expect me to go around topless.” Come to think of it, has anyone seen much of her outside that wrist to ankle wetsuit? “It’s ah… well.” Still somewhat flushed. “Not what I would recommend sticking there if you want any of the reports to sound… halfway intelligent.” She admits, “And I was fairly insistent about the wings being clothed in my presence.” Because drool is not a good look for any weyrwoman, let's be honest. “But… not my weyr. So - I guess it’s one more adjustment?”

“If you don’t lock the computer,” and that will be one of the FIRST lessons I’aija gives, “and Sv’eli finds it? There will be dicks. Or sometimes cocks.” Feathers make all the difference there, though. “Ah, that. No, no. You don’t have to go topless at all. Niita’s pretty bold and some of the other women are, too. I figured that if us guys could go topless, there’s no reason they couldn’t, too, if they wanted. It’s not too unusual here, but- I’m guessing Half Moon was different?” His smile is soft and he leans to look at the picture again. “I guess we could do a formal one next time, in our gear.” It could be a welcome change of pace, even! At least for one photo. His smile brightens again. “Here. Let’s do that as our first lesson, hey? Changing that picture to something else.” Which will involve him moving next to Tanit and pointing out all the places the pointer needs to go. Fortunately, there are all kinds of pictures stored - including a few candid ones of Chauth on the sands. From the angle, it looks like all the eggs are hers.

Tanit glances back to the image again, cheeks still red. “I mean… I guess if I had skin like that and was that well proportioned I could understand being proud of it.” Fiddling with the zipper at her neck and tugging it upward absently. “I say this in the strictest of confidence but my IQ tends to drop in direct proportion to the number of attractive and scantily clad people around. I’ve nearly walked off ledges before.” She admits, sheepish.” The pictures of Chauth draw her attention then, and she smiles, “I don’t think I will ever get used to how pretty she is.”

“Eh. You can’t see her, but Daena’s in the back,” the sixty turn-old wing ‘mom’ as it were; also a die-hard Seacrafter, birthed in saltwater and mother of ships. In short: she’s been rode hard, put up wet, and rode hard again. “So far as I know, no one really notices after a while, you know? At least, that’s how it is for me.” I’aija shrugs. “Be proud of who you are. Don’t worry about them.” But he’ll not hammer on the point too long, adding only: “I’m sure you’ll get used to it if you see it enough. But if it’s too rough- just let me know.” His grin hitches lopsided when she gets to those pictures and he moves around to the other side of her to lean on the counter that’s conveniently there. “She’s gorgeous,” he agrees with a softening of his expression. “And maybe she’s prettier here because you’re seeing her through someone else’s eye, too. I kind of feel the same when I see pictures of Els.”

“I learned the hard way when I was younger, you don’t dive at certain times of year without wearing the right gear..” She smiles though, “I would love a clothed version though just for future reference, I even have lots of loud floral print shirts I can loan out for the occasion - so you know you can be shirtless under that.. And that way I don’t have to explain to poor Z’tan or Wendyn why I have a bevy of shirtless folks as my desktop.” ” Of Els, she grins. “I like him, He’s got that earthy no nonsense thing down, and seems so far to be the sort to let people learn things the hard way.” Plus who doesn’t love the rascal’s sense of humor? She frowns again looking at the computer again. “OK, so what’s next.”

“It’s mostly just for swimming, really,” he muses, but there’s a shrug with it, easy-going as ever. “The real work, with the hard diving and actual practice, all of that’s done in the right gear. Safety first!” I’aija digs in a pocket to pull out a notepad, thoroughly filled with his neat, precise printing; no cursive here, just no-nonsense block letters. He flips to a blank page and makes some notes, then nods after giving his teeth a thoughtful suck. “Next time- you know what? We’ll do that. Floral shirts for the lot.” More notes are made, only to pause at that mention of Els. “He’s- that. All of that. Just endless prairie as far as the eye can see and not a scrap of patience for stupidity.” It’s said fondly, even if he might have been at the receiving end of his scathing commentary from time to time. “He’s been good with the others, too. Surprisingly.” It might be the no-nonsense part, though, and the habit of dry questioning. Who knows. “Okay, so. Let’s get you set up with some typing practice first. We don’t have to get into the other stuff today; I just want you comfortable with the keys.” Fortunately, there’s an app for that! Navigation and clicking and typing time, go!

Tanit nods, grinning for the commentary on Els, before dutifully setting to the keys.


“I’aija, it is an absolute travesty! That goldrider has got to go.” Sv’eli mutters cradling a pair of laptops. “I was being helpful, and you know, fixing her keyboard after the spawn pried the keys free.” He gestures to the laptop in question, “And I even made the background super special so she could enjoy it.” He frowns. “Next thing I know, my entire drive is wiped clean. Do you know how long it took to collect all that?”

Tanit’s smile is positively saccharine. “I didn’t know that the key would delete the files. It was an accident. And I did warn you about images that my kids may see. I really don’t want to have the Flits and the Vytols conversation just yet.” Ok, so maybe she hoped that the set of buttons would do that, but she’s not entirely repentant. “I’m happy to send you all the Barneth the purple dragon images your little heart can handle.”

I’aija listens, patiently, if with only half an ear to Sv’eli’s complaints. There’s a vague grunt here and there, a sidelong look for the bluerider’s whining about how much time was spent acquiring his questionable materials, then a look back to the laptops. “We-ell. Looks like you’re going to have to spend more time working, Sv’eli. On actual work,” he adds, looking up at the poor, put-upon wingrider. “And add in some extra drills, too. I’ll have Daena put you through your paces.” As for Tanit, he turns his attention to her with a tilted smile. “Next time, maybe try a less drastic maneuver, eh? He might have had something valuable in there.” Not likely, but still.

Somewhere, Elsvruth’s mind can be felt, a dull twang of guitar strings accompanied by the rattle of tumbleweed over dry soil. Two words manifest in that dusty terrain: « Clever girl. »

Sv’eli frowns, though it twists into a smile as a thought occurs to him. “Well since she seems to have figured out how to navigate files - I guess this means she can help start pulling the radar reports, and learning to use the gps locators?” Cue the nerdy evil grin. “Don’t think I didn’t notice you using one as a coaster.”

To her credit, Tanit doesn’t quite hiss. Though there is a satisfied tilt to her smile. “Hopefully there will not be a next time, but… I’m a dive specialist, I don’t know why those beeps and boops matter to what I’m actually doing at the end of the day.”

Chauth’s flicker is there and gone. « Always wait for the most opportune moment to press an advantage. »

I’aija sniffs once, thoughtfully, then nods, before motioning at Sv’eli. “I can get her through that. You have a date with Daena. Go, go. Don’t leave her waiting, or she’ll shiver your timbers the bad way.” His attention tilts back to Tanit who, hopefully, still has her laptop. “It might not matter to what you’re doing, but you’re helping out someone else on the wing. And all the reports go to me - because I need them.” And there are only so many hours in the day for him to be pulling and compiling reports. “Just like we need your expertise in diving training and all of that. It’s just good for everyone to be able to do everything if necessary.”

« Good. » The word is a well-played note on a distant violin, shivering in the void.

Muttered: “… I hate it when he does that.” So damned creepy.

“Fine.” Tanit relents, reclaiming her laptop from the departing bluerider with a defeated sigh. “I suppose it’s a fitting punishment for tormenting Sv’eli.” She mutters, looking for a spot to plug up, before her smile slants crookedly. “I’m pretty sure we can grab a table and outlets at the resort…” Because Food makes everything better right?

“Haven’t you two been paired long enough for you to be used to it?” She wrinkles her nose, “Chauth wishes me to express her appreciation for his musical talents.” Cue eye roll.

There’s a little bit of side-eye, but I’aija seems to weigh a few options before saying, “Pack it up and c’mon. I think they got a fresh shipment of bovine in today, come to think of it.” And, even if they didn’t, he can suss out the best bits of meat from what’s in stock, so it really doesn’t matter all that much. While he collects his things, he remarks with a bit of borrowed dryness, “I’m used to it, but it always sends shivers up my spine.” His nose wrinkles just a bit at Chauth’s relay. “He appreciates the sentiment,” is probably a direct translation.

“I wonder if it’s a little like the way Chauth tends to just… appear in whatever dragon’s thought’s she’s talking to, kind of like a will o'the wisp, one minute you feel her and the next you don’t. All music, shadow and light..” Clearly not needing to be told twice to cart her be-stickered laptop to a place with better food options. “I feel like I lucked out since both her Sire and Dam had a tendency just to besepeak anybody as they pleased, Seyu does it too, and Leirieth now that I think about it.” Cue the tech duck line, follow the leader Yo.

I’aija waggles a hand a bit. “I think so, sometimes. He’s just- he’s quiet most of the time. So, when he comes out with something, it’s jarring.” Not always, mind. But the bronze has his moments. He collects his stuff in short order and, once Tanit’s good to go, the bronzerider leads the way to the Resort - where power outlets, food, and drink can all be procured. Let the lessons in report pulling begin (even if they do involve a significant amount of deliciousness as an incentive).

It really doesn’t take long to get settled at the best possible table with power outlets, a decent view and most importantly, all the deliciousness that can be reasonably consumed. “You’ve been a rider for how long now? I probably should remember, but - I keep losing track..” Tanit admits reaching for a glass of what looks suspiciously like a margarita. “I guess the advantage of the Devil box is that it’s way more mobile. I used to do paperwork in the kitchens at Half moon, because literally only Z’tan or L’ton knew to find me there.”

Some quick math yields, “Almost four turns now? Well, probably more like three and three-quarters.” I’aija sets his rig up - nothing fancy for him, just a functional, black arrangement to match, well, pretty much everything work-related with the exception of the uniforms and wetsuits. “It just feels like he’s always been there - but he’s also never static, if that makes sense? Some pairs, it seems like they know each other inside and out. With him, it’s always something new.” Not that he’s complaining any, of course! “And you? How long have you been a rider?” Once everything’s set up, he settles in, reaching for a bottle of cider for himself. “Ah! Clever. This will let you go- well, pretty much anywhere at all if you can find power or you have spare batteries.”

Tanit grins, “Aww, not long out of weyrling-hood then. How cute.” Setting up her own sticker-spattered monstrosity. Children. There are a few moments while she does the mental math. “Just shy of a decade? Chauth will be nine next month.” Nose wrinkling at the number, “It really doesn’t feel like it has been that long.” Cue pointer finger typing of passwords. “You were a chef before then, I take it?”

“Ye-eah. Straight out of the frying pan and into the fire, with the wingleader business.” I’aija laughs and rubs the back of his neck. There’s a slight quirk of his brows for that recounting of time, a low whistle escaping him. “I’d have never guessed. Jays. Any words of wisdom for the likes of us?” His password is deftly rattled in and he navigates to the usual portal to get ALL THE THINGS. “I was, yeah. A meats specialist, to be precise. Meat Maestro. Meat Master.” He could go on and, thank Faranth, he doesn’t. “Els got pretty chonky in weyrlinghood, but you’d never know it to see him now. Anyway- here, go to that part, there, and go to the ‘radar’ section.”

“If it makes you feel any better that’s about how I felt about being Senior, we weren’t long out of the awkward knocking holes into the barracks stage. And no one could leave anything sitting out near the edge of a ledge for turns.” Brows knit together as she considers the question, taking a minute to pull up the appropriate software. “Everyone is going to have ‘advice’ about how to do your job, and it’s good to listen and take in new ideas, but.” She glances up with a lopsided smile from over the edge of the devil box. “Trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to tell someone to feck off when needed. It doesn’t take a computer nerd to see what you’ve already accomplished in Deluge, and you are always looking for ways to improve.” Waving a fried cheese bit at him on the end of a fork for emphasis. “I wish there were more Wingleaders like you. Just don’t let it go to your head.”

Another low whistle escapes him, though it’s longer and lower than the first; more awe-struck than anything. “I don’t envy you that at all though, from all I have heard,” which might be precious little, “you did well.” I’aija watches while she gets to the software in question, nods once, then gestures at the assorted fields available. “Date, radar source- I guess it doesn’t matter which, since we’re just getting you comfortable with it.” He’ll leave her to handle that while he listens, head cocked just a bit to one side. Also, where did that cheese come from? Where are his fried, cheese-stuffed peppers?! (they’re coming, honest, but don’t mind him if he eyes that fried bit of goodness with envy for a while) Still, when she finishes, he settles back, his expression pensive - and, yes, pretty humbled, too. Subdued, “That might be why I’m doing okay,” never perfect or great; there’s still a lot of room for improvement, “because the job’s too important to have an ego. Maybe some of the other wingleaders see it differently.” But, not him. “Thanks, Tanit. It really means a lot coming from you. … though, I wonder if following my gut is a wise choice, considering where we are now.”

Tanit shrugs, “You play the hand you are dealt.” As for the job she did, another shrug is offered as she waves over a cheese bit, Bribe, peace offering, or act of mercy? You decide. “R’en nearly broke Z’tan’s nose because he felt the evacuation orders should have come sooner.” She grins, “I suppose Zel just has the sort of face that people feel good about punching. No one tried to hit me over it…” At least so far as she is aware. Wiping the grease on her fingers off on a napkin before trying at the fields indicated. She sighs, “…but I was equally responsible. And that’s the thing you have remind yourself whenever you fuck up big. You have to make the best decision you can, with what you know in the moment. I regret what happened to Seyu’s egg, but If I had to do it over again, knowing what I knew at the time - I’d still make the same choice. ” She smiles, “And learn how to do better from hindsight.” She glances around with a wild toothy smile for following their guts in the resort. “This is the way.”

He’ll take the offering, regardless of her intentions - bribe, peace offering, or act of mercy? He’s there for all of them at this point. Not to worry, though; he’ll sacrifice one of his poppers to her in turn. It’s only fair! I’aija does fall into a serious silence while he listens, though, his eyebrows knitting just slightly in thought. He glances only briefly at the screen but, as she seems to be getting things in the right spots, there is no correction or further instruction; the darling nerds of the wing have done a fantastic job of making things a bit more user-friendly than in turns past. In the end, he draws a deep breath and lets it out slowly, with a firm nod and a faint, slow smile of his own in a dim echo of her wild and toothy one. “I can only hope that I can handle things with that kind of- grace? Humility?” « Wisdom. » “Wisdom.” He rubs the back of his neck, then turns back to his own computer. “It’s not hard to own up to mistakes, though I know some struggle with it. It’s the rest, the learning from it - and carrying the burdens of it - that seems harder. All I can do - we can do - is try to follow your example.”

The basket of cheese bits gets set within easy reach of both of them, because sharing is caring right? She snorts, “You intend to set the weyrling barracks on fire during flamethrower practice?” She says of her example, lifting her glass to drink as her lips twitch upward at the edges. “Or do you mean you intend to cover the hatching grounds in glitter so that no one is ever free of the stuff?” She taps a finger against the table, thoughtfully. “Or filling the Weyrleader’s office with potted lime trees?”

Once the poppers are delivered, they’re added to the communal snack pool; sharing is caring! I’aija orders a few other appetizer-y things, just for kicks, and lifts his bottle as she lifts her glass. “He would have if he had a chance to,” for a lot of reasons, really. “And if it catches fire, then that’s clearly the builder’s fault for not planning accordingly.” Of the hatching sands covered in glitter: “Doesn’t everyone want a souvenir?” Glitter: the gift that keeps on giving until you die. “And potted lime trees just sounds like a great idea for everyone, honestly. They’re great for adding a splash of something extra to fish tacos and to tequila,” or whatever it’s called on Pern. He doesn’t know because his typist doesn’t. “How’s that report coming along?”

“I have a few as souvenirs potted at the ledge that we are remodeling for our living quarters.” Hence Z’tan walking around bandaged like a mummy. “Remind me to enlist you next time I pay a ‘diplomatic’ visit to Xanadu’s Weyrleaders.” She grins, “It’s been ages since I’ve been able to go dancing with Risali.” The devil box screen, through some miracle of technical shenanigans has started going through a series of errors culminating in a blue screen of death. “Is it supposed to do that?”

“Sure! It might not be entirely in my job description, but I think I can make some exceptions.” It’s his wing; he’ll do what he wants. I’aija’s mirth fades when the screen barfs up the dread screen in blue. He sucks his teeth, then takes a pull off of his drink before setting the empty bottle aside. WELP. “Guess we’ll have to reboot it,” he figures, nose wrinkled just a bit. “And, if that doesn’t work, we’ll have to bring in Sv’eli.” Troubleshooting probably could be done via the ol’ dragon hivemind network, but Elsvruth and Novvth don’t really see eye to eye (mostly because the blue doesn’t seem to blink, but don’t tell him that) and their translations get weird.

“I did warn you that I am pretty much an analog kind of girl.” She notes frowning at the devilbox blue screen of death. When button pressing doesn’t work to power it down, she pops out the battery and lets it sit a while. Waving over another round of drinks while they wait. “Hopefully it’s just my machine and not the entire database?” Back in goes the battery and the power starts back up, … until strange noises and an odd chemical scent start coming from the devil box. The

“The database should be fine.” Fortunately, there are off-site backups of, well, pretty much everything. Still, I’aija’s interest is roused further by the curious noises and chemical aroma. “Give me a sec here…” He reaches over to unplug the box and pop out the battery before it can do any further harm to its own innards, “Annnd it seems like there’s something else going wrong in here.” Which prompts plenty of brow-furrowing and a suitable distraction for him; he’s not even aware that she’s ordering more drinks. “Maybe some of the boards are getting overloaded,” is his best guess. Which ones and how? No clue!

Tanit blinks owlishly, eyeing the machine the way one might eye a tunnel snake about to strike. Devil box is muttered under her breath as she uses a finger to push the thing as far away from herself as possible. “Who exactly thought it was a good idea to merge the techies with the physical rescue team again?” As the new drinks arrive, she claims hers with a sigh. “I understood about 5% of that.” Rubbing a hand across her face. “It’s probably a good thing that my reports are all hand written out before I type them… I don’t know how to do a backitwhatsit or whatever you called it.” At least it’s not throwing sparks, and with the power off the smell seems to be dissipating.

I’aija fans a bit, trying to disperse the rest of the smell as best he can. “Yeah, Sv’eli’s going to have to get his hands on this again. Sorry, Tanit.” Maybe he should apologize to the laptop, too. Oh well. “That happened well before my time, though. But- there are techies and there are techies. And you need computers to run all the weather reports and compile accident statistics and just a whole lot of other stuff.” Nerds. They’re all nerds and he’s infected. “Most of the time, the backups are automatic, but…” he eyes her computer warily. “Well, I guess we’ll have to see what can be salvaged. I’m not as good about understanding the computer part of it, just how to make it do the stuff I need it to.” Software? He’s aces. Hardware? Nope. “We’ll get you there, though. You’ll be doing backups and working with the database like a pro.”

“I’m kind of regretting deleting his pranks and dirty pictures folder now.” She admits frowning at the laptop, poor laptop, it’s really the one everyone should apologize to. “Hey at least it didn’t catch fire?” Maybe it needed a few more minutes, but it’s something. She shakes her head. “It’s just not something I thought out when I asked to join.” She admits, before glancing wistfully in the direction of the ocean. “The water, I’ve known all my life, I can read currents and waves, and navigate the same way most of the folks from my Island do.” She laughs, “Sometimes I miss glow baskets and watching the phosphorescent waves. Here is all the noise and light because of Landing and the tech halls.” She shrugs, glancing back over. “Do you ever worry about what all we may have lost in the name of progress?”

“Eh, don’t feel too bad for him. I have a feeling he has a drive somewhere to keep backups.” And if he doesn’t, well, consider that a lesson learned, too! I’aija places a hand on the laptop, as if to console the poor device. Alas, poor Pern and its lack of googly eyes. If any laptop needs them, it’s this one. And while he grins a little at the notion that it didn’t catch fire, his expression sobers swiftly enough, with a slight rise-fall of shoulders. “Eh, it’s admittedly a very small part of your job. It’s just good for you to know just in case. You can navigate by currents and waves and stars; some of us do it by radar and readings and calibrated instruments.” His smile is faint and soft and sympathetic. He lapses into silence for a time after, looking from her to some point in the distance, looking without seeing while he sips his beer. “Sometimes. But, then I think about all the lives that were lost because of a lack of progress.” He sniffs once, thoughtfully. “I think the old ways can still work alongside the new, it just takes some balancing.”

Tanit mm’s around her drink, giving the man as much consideration as the words. “I suppose that is fair. I think it is more that I worry about what happens when you get too reliant on the tech, you know? Take Daena for example, I am fairly sure that she knows all the same tricks I do, and I’d have no qualms dropping her off somewhere in the middle of the ocean with a rowboat, and her finding her way back without the aid of her dragon or modern equipment. But Sv’eli? I feel like he’d resort to cannibalism in the first ten hours.” She snorts, “But maybe I don’t give him enough credit.”

He lifts his bottle briefly, the gesture one of concession. “You’re not wrong. That’s part of why I wanted to have you with us, after that diving stunt.” Somewhere, Elsvruth’s amusement can be sensed, a dry plinking of piano keys to emulate laughter. “Daena can read the stars better than most starcrafters. The water, dolphins, all of it. She could probably tell you how old a boat is just by the wood they used,” but, then, the former seacrafter likely would have been a master had she not made the mistake of sitting too close to the Sands. “And I think the two of you can teach all of us the way to do it, just in case.” Of Sv’eli and cannibalism, I’aija just chokes on his beer and struggles through snorted laughter. “If you mean as a victim of it, sure. I don’t think he has it in him.” Dry as bones: « That’s what they all say. »

« You do not like the teeny pervy one? » Chauth’s presence is a flicker of ghost light suddenly dancing amid the rattle and drum of dry bone.

Tanit for her part snorts, “Look I did ask if you were dive trained, and you said yes.” Eyes still glittering as she hides the grin behind her glass. “All I’m saying is the guy is a teensy bit creepy.. You can never know what’s going on inside that brain of his.”

Ghost light flickers on the sun-bleached bones of a beast, carving a sickly smile on the skull. « No. » A single, flat note.

“I think we established that we had entirely different interpretations of ‘dragon dive training’,” I’aija counters, though his bottle (unfortunately) does not mask his grin. “He knows what he’s doing. Whatever else is rattling around in his head is none of my business.” Beer sip. No one wants to know that. No. One. “But. If he causes problems for you, let me know. I think Els is just itching for a chance to cull the herd, so to speak.”

Tanit shrugs, “Fair enough, he doesn’t really bother me, although the background issue has become something of a merry war between us.” A brow inches upward at the word cull, “The herd in general or Sv’elli specifically? I mean… I think in general everyone does their job well, to my knowledge it was only really the last wingleader that was mentioned as being something of a problem, but then again you know your wing better than I do at this point.” Polishing off the last of her food. “Should we go see if Sv’eli can salvage this thing?”

I’aija waggles a hand. “He just likes efficiency, that’s all. Any chance he gets to cut dead weight, he’s eager for it. And I think it chafes him when he can’t carve things to the bare bones.” It’s nice and diplomatic - and throws Elsvruth under the bus, not that the bronze has any fucks to give about it. The man’s not wrong, after all - especially about the bones part. He finishes off his beer and pitches a few extra marks in as a tip. “Everyone’s doing their job and doing it well, that’s all I care about.” He starts packing his stuff up and nods, “Yeah, I think we can catch him before Daena breaks him.” Maybe.


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