The Knot (Brohdan is Searched, but Mostly Scared)

High Reaches Weyr - Living Cavern
The lower caverns of High Reaches Weyr are unnaturally straight and smooth, accentuated by the centuries of traffic through their tunnels. Rugs are laid through the more frequently-traveled passages to protect the stone. Though the halls themselves are of ancient construction, much has been added for the convenience of the Weyr's residents. Electric lights are fixed every few yards on the wall, the power for them carried through wires secured on the ceiling.Signs have also been posted with arrows pointing toward the different tunnels and caverns.
The main corridors intersect here to form a large chamber that is almost never empty — even at night. Seating is available around the perimeter of the space in the form of benches and chairs with some small side tables. A small hearth provides some heat during the colder months. One of the corridors off to the sides leads to an administrative hallway where several 'offices' are located. Down another corridor lies the residential caverns and the public baths.


Listen. It's winter in High Reaches, and even though it's midafternoon and the sun has been high in the sky for hours now, it's still colder than a blue wher's left nut outside. Do whers even have— you know what. Nevermind. Let's not explore that. Let's just say it's really dang cold, and really dang snowy, and Brohdan is 110% not bothered by it. If anything, the woodworker looks inconvenienced by the heat of the caverns, a box that's rather large for being a box, or perhaps rather small for being a crate, dumped unceremoniously on a table just inside the doors. Layers are hastily tugged from a figure that qualifies as Bunyanesque, tall and burly and rounded in places where there ought to be angles - hastily because the table was… not meant for such a trial,. It's visibly giving out even as he hustles out of his jacket, gloves catching in sleeves even as he jerks comically within their confines. Almost. Free. He's. Got. This! Aaaand— CRASH. Sigh. A why-me upwards glance is given to the caverns ceiling as what appears to be a stack of wooden plates within go sliding outwards, one with the audacity to rolll noisily into the cavern's depths. This is fine. Nothing to see here. Just one man contemplating every life choice he's ever made that brought him to this moment as his jacket dangles behind him from leaden arms. Just another day in paradise.

It's winter, right? So all the lights /should/ be on and everything should be great. Only…down near where that dish rolled? The lights are out and it looks more like a murky tunnel than the other end of the cavern. Is there a reason for this? Perhaps. But more concerning than the darkness is what seems to be coming /out/ of the darkness. A slight woman appears to be crawling on the ground dressed almost entirely in white. Black, disarrayed locks of hair surround her face and even appear to block most of her eyesight. Her crawling is a bit…odd. It's certainly not like a baby's crawl. Instead her joints seem to crack and pop a little /too/ much and her movements can only be considered disjointed at best. There aren't any /words/ emerging from the woman's mouth, but she does appear to be emitting a groan-like hiss. Her feet drag across the ground, but here is the real problem now - she has the plate. Is it being held hostage? Quite possibly. The caverns should be bustling with people…and yet…yet….there seem to be too /few/ people. And wait, did another light just go out as she moved closer towards Brohdan? Oh yes…yes it did.

Did we say paradise? What we clearly meant was hell, or whatever the Pernese equivalent is. This is something straight out of the kind of nightmares only a backwoods boy can have, something eerie and not at all correct melding out of shadows where none are meant to be. There comes a scream! It is loud, and squealing, and utterly disturbed, and it is coming from Brohdan. "What in feck's name is that?" Jeez, Brodie, don't be rude. Clearly it's a woman. Sure, she might be a little weird around the edges, but surely this is just some kind of— "Sssssshit," gets hissed as another light goes out, all attempts at rationality thrown out the window. Teeth bared in a 'nope nope nope' kind of grimace, previous trials and tribulations are forgotten as he tries to struggle back into his jacket with exactly as much success as taking it off. "Shit, feck, what, I, do, nope, this. This is why I don't come to this feckin' plaaaa—" Aaand down he goes, tripping backwards over his own box. Clumsy, bumbling backwoods hick horror trope unlocked! Go for the kill!!

For just a brief second the woman stops in her tracks when the scream reaches her ears. Sloooowly her head tilts to one side, and from that inky darkness there's a quick flash of /teeth/. They are normal human teeth and they are grinning. Is she trying to reassure him? Perhaps but…it seems to only add to the creepiness of the situation. When he falls backwards the woman suddenly picks up the pace. Her forward lurching quickens and her legs dragging across the floor are clearly audible. There isn't any creaking now but she is /very/ quick. The hand holding the plate is held out towards him while she uses her other limbs to rush the poor name. The closer she gets the more lights seem to go out. This of course /might/ have something to do with the wire that her leg seems to be tangled in…or it could be something less normal. WHO KNOWS. Perhaps Brohdan will know, if he looks close enough that is! "Y-your…plate!" Her words are hoarse and a bit wheezy. How comforting!

Looking close? Shells, no. His soul has departed his body. It is watching (judgingly, probably) from a peaceable distance away, side-eyeing his own actions as surely as those too-few strangers who don't seem nearly bothered enough by this. Or maybe they are. Brodie wouldn't know. He's too busy scrambling backwards over the remnants of his crate, pawing for something, anything with which to defend himself. Hay! … Hay? Hay. Whatever. He throws it. He throws it hand over hand, face turned away, eyes scrooched shut as though maybe, if he can't see the eldritch horror scuttling much too quickly his way, maybe it will just stop existing. It works! You know. Kinda! He's finally made it through the hay stuffing, hands having finally caught on the edge of an unspilled wooden bowl, wrist cocked as though ready to frisbee the thing in the general direction of the creepy woman's face when— "My plate?" If a man's soul slams back into its body and this Pern-Samara is the only thing around him close enough to hear, does it make a sound? It does. It sounds rather like one hyena deflating, pitchy and hysterical. "Oh no. It's your plate now. You can keep it, just… You just stay back there! Or else!" He has this… bowl… and he knows how to use it? "I- I'm a trained fighter, I am!" He's a bowl-fu master! Skilled at craft-maga, if you will! And definitely shaking way too hard to pull that lie off, but it's cute how he tries.

"My….plate?" The hissing words are said almost experimentally and soon enough she's coughing…or is it laughing? It's kind of hard to tell at this point. Still, it's rather creepy until she /finally/ pushes the hair back from her face to reveal a relatively normal and relatively young looking woman. "Really? I can keep it?" And apparently there was an amphibian in her throat because even her voice sounds better now! The amusement in her dark brown eyes is /very/ clear now and then she can't help it…laughter spills forth from her lips, loud, bright, and perhaps even a tad obnoxious!. Apparently, threat of bowl or not, she's going to keep advancing forward. "Really? Me too! Or well, in a way…been out of practice you know?" Look at her, just CASUALLY ignored the fact that she just brought nightmare to life. Instead Reya is just chattering away as she looks at the bowl. But one quick crawl(?) too far and she's letting out another hissing groan. "/Ow/!" Cue a glance back at the tire wired around her ankle.

Whatever Brohdan was expecting to happen, this was not it. The look on his face when the she-demon transforms into a seemingly-normal woman is perplexed to a fault, shoulders hunched up about his ears as though waiting for this to be a trap. "Y… yes?" A beat, in which he seems to realize his voice is still pitched somewhere around girlish, at which point he clears his throat and utters a somewhat-more-normal, "I mean, uh, yes. You can keep it. Gah!" Nope, there it is, that high-pitched squeak again as she laughs and moves closer. That bowl comes up between them, a particularly inadequate shield given it's barely the size of his face but listen. This was the dude throwing hay a second ago. He isn't exactly known for his composure under pressure. "I… what?" He still can't quite reconcile bright amusement and normal words, not yet, blue eyes peeking up over the rim of his bowl, blinking once, twice, before he admits, "No. Not really. I mean, I can swing an axe and use a knife but like." Whittling. He's miming whittling with one hand, wrist wobbling back and forth near the bowl's edge, where leaves and patters criss-cross one another to match the plate in her hand. "Eep!" He only jumps this time when she tries to crawl, and finally, finally makes sense of this light nonsense as his gaze catches on the wires impeding her progress. He glances up. Glances down. Glances up again. Frowns. "Listen. Just don't…" Murder him. He was going to say murder him. But now that the THING is just a woman, it seems silly, so he turns a faint color and mutters something about being an idiot under his breath and stands, taking an unnecessarily long and circuitous route so he doesn't have to pass her directly to gain access to her ankle. "Hold still and I'll untangle you?" Maybe. This is looking like kind of a high-tech hot mess, and he like a man who wouldn't know technology if it bit him in the butt and called him Sally. "I'm sure I can cut one of these without frying me or you or both of us." SUPER REASSURING. AREN'T YOU REASSURED?

Reya seems /more/ than delighted when told that she can keep her plate…and let's face it, she's not the most morally sound woman because her next question, while he's still afraid, is "Can I keep the bowl too?" And yeah she's definitely trying to /leeeean/ a little closer when she asks that. Thankfully she is contained by the wires - FOR NOW. "Fine fine, I'll sit still" There's another bright laugh, perhaps too bright, from the woman as she turns around just enough to be able to watch him hack at the wires. "Hmmm…could be kind of fun if it's a little zap you know? A zinger! An interesting experience! Cut the red wire." This is definitely the point at which he should /not/ listen to her, "Oh oh or…the /blue/ one, that looks like a good zinging wire." What in Faranth's name is she even thinking? Unclear. But now her attention is shifting to the plate in her hands and studying it carefully. She twists it this way and that, trying to exam the wood and see if there are any designs on it. "So you made this yourself….Screamer?" Because she is rude and has not asked for his name yet.

It shouldn't work. It shouldn't. But it does. Brodie wordlessly slides the bowl Reya's way, with the sort of unspoken respect-born-of-fear a terran might reserve for the old gods, as though he's seen enough generational curses to know where this is going and wants none of it. Well. Almost. "Don't let 'em soak in water," gets blurted after a moment, as though the idea of letting them be misused and abused is something even healthy fear of a potential DEMON can't beat out of him, "and reseal 'em every couple months with wax and oil." And then she laughs again, and alas, but it's not the infectious things she might be hoping for it to be. The young man blanches, going a little sweaty around the edges, though that might be as much for the uncanny valley situation this entire experience has been as it is for the sudden choice put before him. "Uh. Yeah. Just a little zap. That's fine. I can handle that." He finally finds a knife in his jacket and already has the red cord in his grasp when— "Blue?" A huff. "You don't know what you're doing any more than I do, do you? What about the yellow and black one? That one seems really feisty." Is this the time for sarcasm, Brodie? IS IT? He seems to be making good on it, at least, jerking is blade through the striped wire even as he says, "I did, yeah." Sullenly admitted in the face of that nickname that he isn't gonna dispute, but he almost hopes the cut cord shuts off what little power is left to hide the embarrassed flush. Blessed idiot. "That and the carving both." Because indeed, it's decorated with matching brocade around the edges, knots heavy and stylized as they weave between raised leaves. "I dunno if I even want to know what you do when you aren't scaring the living pants off folk, do I?"

"Ohhh, I like the feisty ones, go with those!" Who needs sarcasm? Reya's attention briefly wanders from the bowl to the man when the knife is set to the wires. She /should/ wince when the cut happens but instead there's glee….aaaaaand that's when all of the remaining lights go out. Be careful about what you wish for Brodie! Instead of a shriek or alarm though, the woman from Monaco let's out a quiet, "Oooooh….NICE ONE!" The problem is, the Weyrwoman actually sounds genuinely pleased! She should not be this overjoyed at causing this much chaos. Somewhere the engineers are groaning, but honestly it's a minor fix on a cable that was being replaced /anyways/, so hopefully no Weyr relations will be ruined. "But now I can't see the plate or the bowl." And this time she does actually sound quite put out. Slender fingers move to trace around the plate before she realizes that she is FREEEEE and finally getting to her feet. "So….Screamer….care to guide me into the light?" asks the dark silhouette of a woman. Somewhere in the distance there's a glow basket heading in their direction, but…it's not arriving as quickly as the crafter would probably like. It's about now that she registers the question about her activities, "Well instead of lurking in the dark I enjoy lurking in the water sometimes. Oh…and avoiding paperwork." She /might/ be being chastised at the moment by a certain Fuerioth for all this.

He takes it back! HE TAKES IT BACK! "Mother—" Brohdan doesn't finish the word, just lets it hang in the air like a condemnation of his life choices as the rest of the lights go out and he's left, alone, in the dark, with quite possibly the only thing in his life he fears more than his momma's wrath: this woman. "I should have listened," he says as she compliments the chaos of his work, dramatically bleak in humorous discord with her happy tones. "I should have listened when they told all those stories of the weyr. Don't go, they said. It's a trap, they said. Noone ever comes back, they said. And now my brother got kidnapped to Monaco, and I'm going to die here and it's all his fault." Poor Reya. Here she is thinking of weyr relations and mischief managed, and he's bemoaning his fate as though he isn't a six-foot bear of a barbarian wielding a knife. Honestly. At least that nickname seems to jar some sense back into him, that same sass returning in a huffed sound that's meant to be a laugh. "Well you're certainly doing an excellent job of it. Dodging paperwork, I mean. You sure you don't wanna stay? Real good excuse, literally not being able to see. How 'bout you stay, and I'll go. That sounds good, right?" Morals loading… please wait… upload at 45%. "Yeah. I'll just. Take these." He crawls past to his spilled dishes, crashing into them initially before fumbling them about and shoving them towards the fragments of their box. 70%. "You can have yours. And we'll forget this eeeever happened." 99%… upload complete. Sigh. Headhang. "Oh fine. Come here They'll take ages and the door is right there. I hope." He reaches for Reya, forgetting it's dark and she can see him exactly as much as he can see her. Hopefully he doesn't poke an eye out.

"Your brother's at Monaco?" Interest is quickly piqued at the mention of that, and Reya can't help but chuckle again. "Well, to be fair I'm not /from/ here, so it's probably safe for the most part?" Her fingers continue running across the dish that she has in hand now. He can't see it in the dark, but still she's got one of those expressions that say 'pretty please' plastered on her face. "Do you need…help?" Which is a hilarious question given that she is all of 5'1 and definitely the complete opposite of him in every way. Still, she's politely asking given that he's going to help her wander through the darkness! "And I am going to take that as a compliment, I take pride in my ability to /avoid/ all things unpleasant." Slender fingers reach out now and after a bit of fumbling find purchase on the end of his shirt. "Tally ho….ah, what's your name?" Because how /rude/ she definitely didn't introduce herself or ask his name amid all the creepiness.

"He is… yes…," Brohdan says in tones of dawning suspicion, as though this sudden disappearance of his brother and the apparition of this creepypasta made mortal is perhaps suddenly too much of a coincidence… But no. He couldn't have had anything to do with this, could he? "Got recruited to be a candidate there, left without so much as a by-your-leave. We were supposed to be here selling these, but now…" Huff. Her attempt to console him gets met with a noise of disbelief, as though maybe this luck is catching, or he doesn't quite trust her not to have cursed his lineage in secret or something. "Is it?" It doesn't seem safe, not with him yelping softly when she grabs his shirt because he wasn't ready and was definitely offering his hand to a chair and expecting it to move, not her. "No. Thank you. I'll just come back for my stuff. I think I've got this." At which point he promptly walks into a table with a thunk and soft swearing. "That was a fluke." Which is why he walks into something or someone else next, distinct 'this isn't happening right now' silence settling over him. It lingers, changes into something reluctant, as though he was allowing the unflattering nickname because he didn't want her to know who he was. But now she's asked him outright, and the only thing that outweighs his country-grade suspicion is politeness, and so he says, "Brohdan, ma'am, though the less, ah, formal folks like yourself call me Brodie. Isn't much pleasant about the out of doors on a day like today, but, well." Here they go. Hopefully that dress of hers is warm? Because he's gone and thunked into what is definitely the door, given his sigh of relief, and he's yanking it open as though the snow is the most beautiful sight his baby blues have ever seen in his young life.

"Well you should go up there and give him a piece of your mind, that's honestly /quite/ rude," Reya states emphatically. In the dark a grin reigns supreme on her features at the title yelp, but she doesn't comment on that at least. "You don't need to call me ma'am, Brodie." Not that she has actually offered her name yet, but she probably will…at some point. Along the way she /also/ manages to stub her toe on occasion and there's a little 'oof' from her, but before they are going OUTDOORS. As soon as the mid-afternoon winter sun shines on her features there's an immediate hiss because she's BUUUUURNIIIING. Wait, no she isn't. She's just squinting as she adjusts. After a moment though she seems to be well enough to move from squinting to shivering. Ms. Tropical Weyrwoman clearly did /not/ plan ahead in the clothing department. Her teeth are already chattering a little bit when she looks up to the woodworker, "Why are we /here/?" Here outside? Here at High Reaches? Entirely unclear, but it seems like she's going to introduce herself at least. "We should be in Monaco, where it is /warm/ and /nice/ and…not THIS." She practically howls her unhappiness as hands go into her pockets. "How do you even survive out here?" Complain after complaint. But among all of that she's suddenly pausing, lips pursed as she considers the man. "But still…you /did/ get me out of that mess even after I scared the shit out of you…figuratively. Which makes you a /very/ good guy…and you know, I think…well /we/…." Wait, who is she? "Me and Fuerioth think you might be a perfect fit." And out of the depths of her pocketed white dress the gold rider is pulling out an equally pristine candidate's knot and dangling it in front of Brodie, "I'm Reya. This is a candidate's knot, and it's up to you but I /really/ think you should give it a try….if you want that is." A pause. "You could stick it to your brother!"

"Isn't it just?" Brohdan is strangely bolstered by her statement, a different kind of comfortable indignance hitting his tones. "He didn't even say goodbye. Just wrote us a letter from the weyr. Typical. He's always been a strange one, you know. He stabbed me once." No context for that, Brodie? No explanation as to whether it was or wasn't an accident? Okay then. "And I'm afraid I will have to insist, ma'am. It makes you significantly less creepifying." Unless that's how she wants him to remember her, not as Reya from Monaco - though he does utter a sharp "I knew it!" for that reveal - but as the weyrwoman whose scuttling will definitely haunt his dreams for nights to come. "Well, we wear clothes, for one," is offered dry, one of his many scarves unwound and offered for her to take, the size of it more blanket-like than scarf, really, all-told. "And we get used to it, living here for a… living," added very-intelligently, but hey, he's distracted by the words she's saying, and the knot she's dangling, and suddenly he has a choice. Run screaming for his own freedom because he's finally found her foil (THE COLD), or take sweet, sweet vengeance on his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad brother… "Done." Oh nevermind. It's not a choice at all, really. He takes the knot, something of a competitive spirit lingering under all that scaredy-cat nonsense. Which is definitely why he, way-too-politely, says, "I'm gonna get my stuff. I'll send someone out to take you somewhere less scarifying. And maybe bring you a jacket. Ma'am." Is he smirking as he dips a short bow and then runs away? He sure is. What a rude child. Feel free to drop him between later. Nobody will notice.


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