A Mischief of Riders | Ao'mek - Parker

Despite being new, this dining hall is very similar to the one back at old Atricis, giving a familiarity to the new Weyr. It is one large, central cavern carved out from the side of the cliff with many tables of varying sizes and seat numbers. The kitchens are attached, and there is a set of stairs leading down into the lower caverns.
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Shaihulud
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Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:02 pm

(Break off thread from Here, here!)

The fact he returned the kiss caught Solai a touch off guard until she regained herself quickly enough to smile. And here she had hoped to surprise him instead of the other way around. Maybe the gesture meant the evening would lead to a promising night.

"It's all there. I can promise you."

"I know. I'm just weighing it," she assured him before she pocketed the profits. And then, of course, she had the audacity to make her request.

"I just gave you a small pouch full of marks and now you want a drink? Unbelievable." He loved it, and they both knew it; her biting grin said as much. the kiss to her brow was sweetly received by her, and for the briefest moment, she allowed her eyes close in appreciation. "I'll be happy to get you a drink. Be right back."

"I'll grab us a table," she piped back. It did not take her long to find table abandoned by some guests who decided to take to the dance floor so others might dine. As she seated herself, she straightened out her dress and adjusted herself to appear more eye-catching. She knew her best attributes were her neck and shoulders, so why not appreciate them more, and let them be appreciated?

"Here we are food and drink. Don't know about you, but I'm rather hungry."

"I am starving. Been so busy all day today that I nearly forgot to eat." Preparing for a feast could be the worst, but thank Faranth the food always made up for it. After she slipped the first bite in, and tossed a treat to Scarletto, she finally brought up their little game from the Hatching. "So a zultanite first... really? I still can't believe that was your first bet." She gave him a chuckle before she slipped a piece of roll into her mouth. Shards it was savoury in all the best ways.
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Parker
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Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:43 am

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Ao'mek was very, very tactile. A complete stranger could come up and kiss him square on the lips and he'd only be a little shocked and none upset. Therefore, a kiss on the cheek by someone he did know was not at all shocking. He also didn't find a kiss on the cheek indicative of how the rest of the night would go, though, as usual, he was open to most things.

"I am starving. Been so busy all day today that I nearly forgot to eat."

He chuckled. "To be honest, I always try to eat as little as possible on a feast day. I know how good the food is that will be served so I want to make as much room as possible for all of it." Generally he thought the food at the weyr was fantastic, but during a feast the food was phenomenal. He took a bite of one of the savory rolls he'd grabbed. "Goddess...this is literally the best thing I've ever put in my mouth." He stated with excitement. It had perfectly seasoned meat, caramelized onions, and some sort of creamy cheese.

"So a zultanite first... really? I still can't believe that was your first bet."

"It was a good bet and I stand by it!" Ao'mek defended himself. "Zultanite could have hatched just as easily as a bronze. A smart bet would be blue or green, of course." The blues and greens were generally were the majority of the colors, so they were the safer bet when guessing which would hatch first.
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Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:04 pm

"It was a good bet and I stand by it!"

Though she laughed, Solai was polite enough to cover her mouth as she did so. Mother always said to cover your mouth when there was food in it after all, and for all Solai loathed the rule, she still followed it.

"Zultanite could have hatched just as easily as a bronze. A smart bet would be blue or green, of course."

"True-" she swallowed her bite, and removed the cover of her hand "-but it's about instinct." Of course, her ability to hear dragons may have also had something to do with it, but Solai did not know that for certain, for it was not like she actually heard the beast at the time. "It felt like a bronze would hatch first, and I was right. Though really... a zultanite first? Like when does that ever happen?" If he heard a tease at the end of her remark, he would be right. She even gave him a tap of her toe against his calf to accompany the playful note.

"You could have bet worse I suppose. I do remember when I was younger, after I had Impressed to Tyreth, there was this candidate girl who was so insistent she would Impress to a gold. Faranth she was such a pain in the ass... one of those noble holdbred types who thought they were entitled to everything-" She gave a roll of her eyes at the memory of the woman's outrageous behaviour "-She was so bad that one day me and some of my candidate friends filled her storage chest with crawlies-" A proper chord of laughter escaped Solai. She was only a child at the time, but even at that age, she knew how awful gold seekers could be "-Anyways, at her last Hatching that she ever stood at, there was no gold egg on the sands. NONE! And - I still can't believe this because it's so ridiculous! - But this noble girl still insisted there was a gold in the clutch and she would Impress to it. A secret gold. And it was meant for her and her alone. She was so insistent about her secret gold that I made her a bet, if she Impressed to a gold, I would buy her a gold firelizard egg. If she didn't, she would have to buy me one." Solai was still reeling from the memory. How could someone be that self-centred and full of themselves? "Of course, she lost that bet... and of course she never got me my gold firelizard. But shards it was worth her disappointment. I never saw someone leave the weyr in such a huff. She never even stuck around for the hatching feast."
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Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:33 am

"It felt like a bronze would hatch first, and I was right. Though really... a zultanite first? Like when does that ever happen?"

Ao'mek gave her a feigned look of indignation after he'd politely finished the bite in his mouth. "It could happen. Maybe it has happened. I don't know. I haven't been to all of Atricis's hatchings after all." He stated in defense. Honestly, he knew it had been a long shot, but still....might as well bet on the long shots if you're going to bet. At least that was his philosophy. He was the sort that, if he did bet more, he'd bet on the underdog. "Well, I don't know what trick you have to 'feel' what color will hatch first, but that must be very helpful in winning marks from gullible rider like me." His tone was obviously teasing as well.

He listened then as she explained about one nightmare candidate that she knew of. He didn't really know any noble holders from the north, but he could only imagine that they acted like some of the snobbish crafters of the elitist families of Walled. Entitled, over-bearing, and generally all around awful type. The prank with the crawlies had him laughing hard. He wasn't personally a prankster, but he could appreciate a good prank when he heard one, especially if it was done to someone who deserved it.

"Wait, hold on....she really did think that there was a secret gold in the clutch? C'mon...no...no one can be that dense." Ao'mek said in disbelief. "As a Walled native who didn't even know that golds still existed until about ten turns ago, even I knew that golds have a very distinct shell." It really was amazing how dull witted people could be when they really wanted to be, but to be so delusional to think they were so special that a secret gold would somehow come from a clutch with no gold egg....that took the cake. "Probably better that she didn't become a rider of any color. I'd feel bad for that dragon."
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Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:18 am

"Well, I don't know what trick you have to 'feel' what color will hatch first, but that must be very helpful in winning marks from gullible rider like me."

She briefly wondered if she should tell him about her skill, but instead chose not to. After all, it was not like she could see the colour of the hide, even if she might be able to distinguish gender on an informed hunch. She also could not sense the source of the identity, which egg it came from, let alone predict the next egg to hatch. It really did all come down to luck, even if she did quietly admit she had a slight advantage over Ao'mek. Rather than say a word, she gave him a small, albeit amused, smile.

"Wait, hold on....she really did think that there was a secret gold in the clutch? C'mon...no...no one can be that dense. As a Walled native who didn't even know that golds still existed until about ten turns ago, even I knew that golds have a very distinct shell."

"You also didn't have an ego the size of a hold," she chuckled back. "Seriously, people are dumber than a sack of firestone." At only eighteen, Solai had learned the hard truth of this. People would rather believe in the impossible because it made them feel better than ever come to grips with bitter truths of reality.

"Probably better that she didn't become a rider of any color. I'd feel bad for that dragon."

"A dragon knows when they are not wanted... though I've seen people like that Impress anyways, and I honestly feel bad for the dragon. The rider says things like 'well, she isn't a gold, but still love her,' like being anything but a gold should be a reason to dislike their own dragon in the first place. It's like they feel morally superior for the fact they love their own dragon. They're a rider. They're supposed to love their own dragon-" a sigh of frustrations escaped Solai, the indignation of the entire thing overwhelming her. "- and then, of course, the dragon is upset, but tries to hide it because they do actually love their rider, and you never hear them say 'my rider's an asshat, but I still love them'. I swear, dragons are so much better than people." Dragon's were ultimately pure no matter the shape of their personality. They loved unconditionally, which was a trait very few humans had. Another sigh escaped her. "Sorry, it's a hot topic for me. Dumb ass riders."
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Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:03 pm

Ao'mek was in the middle of taking a drink of his ale, but he nodded his head in agreement. "Yes, as much as I'd like to think everyone is inherently good, that doesn't mean they are inherently smart. Then, when you combine stupidity with those that aren't so amicable it makes for a very unpleasant person indeed." He really did try to think the best of people, but there were some that made that so difficult.

While she continued to speak, he continued to listen and eat his delicious food. "I am happy that I have only ever run into a few people like that. I can understand why it's a hot issue for you. You're right. Our number one job as riders is to love our dragon unconditionally, just as they love us." Ao'mek couldn't say that he knew what it was like to hope for a certain color, only to impress to another, but he really didn't think it should matter either. To have any dragon believe you worthy was a miracle.

"In Walled, you're beyond lucky if you even get to stand for a hatching, let alone impress at one." Candidates at Walled were generally those that were born into privileged families that could buy them a spot on the sands during the rare times a green clutch was waiting to be hatched. There were some that were lucky enough to get searched, but a lot of the times even they were passed up for a candidate that could pay for a spot. Ao'mek didn't think this was fair, even though in a way he'd been one of those people that had "paid" to be a candidate. "Some people just don't understand the amazing thing they have in a dragon."
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Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:44 pm

Solai was relieved to hear that Ao'mek agreed with her, though she would not have expected any other response from him. Ao'mek had such a soft soul, always cheerful, and always understanding. Of course, he would have disapproved of a rider not loving their dragon unconditionally. However, hearing it did help, which earned the bluerider a soft smile from the greenrider. As he continued, she perched her chin on her delicate fingers, listening to him with open ears, and to his dragon with an open mind... not that he would have known. True it was a bad habit, but Solai had done it for so long that it felt like second nature to her.

"In Walled, you're beyond lucky if you even get to stand for a hatching, let alone impress at one. Some people just don't understand the amazing thing they have in a dragon."

His remark about Walled gave her pause, and for a moment Solai recalled their first conversation with one another. It raised a question in her mind, one of which she was curious to hear him answer. "The sexism aside... what do you think of your culture? Walled?" In asking her question, to some it may have been obvious what it was she actually asked. Solai entrusted Ao'mek to understand what she asked, though if he did not, she would clarify after the fact.
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Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:45 am

"The sexism aside... what do you think of your culture? Walled?"

Whatever it was she was trying to get at was not obvious to him. Then again, he wasn't the sort to assume anything of anyone, regardless of their actions or words. A thoughtful look crossed his face as he leaned back in his chair and sipped slowly on his drink. "I don't know... until Atricis came south it was the only culture I knew." He said with a chuckle.

"Sexism aside....Walled has accomplished some great things, but we've also done a lot of things wrong too. I think the same could be said of any culture. I don't think humanity is capable of getting things perfect, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to be better." Being such an optimistic person it was impossible for him to not see the good Walled had done. The advances in technology and medicine. However, he also wasn't the sort to turn a blind eye to the bad of his culture either.

"I think that's why so many of my people still cling to the idea of the goddesses. Obviously the reappearance of golds and bronzes did not herald in the change that many believed would happen, but still there are people that believe one day they will get to join the goddesses in paradise. I think that longing for a place where everything is peaceful and blissful and...perfect...is a very common desire." Ao'mek was not the most religious of people, but even he was known to pray.
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Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:24 pm

"I think that's why so many of my people still cling to the idea of the goddesses. Obviously the reappearance of golds and bronzes did not herald in the change that many believed would happen, but still there are people that believe one day they will get to join the goddesses in paradise. I think that longing for a place where everything is peaceful and blissful and...perfect...is a very common desire."

It was a bit funny that he would say that, especially when one considered the work done on the part of those who arrived with those golds and bronzes. Yes, there were those in Atricis who 'respected the culture of Walled', but then there were those like Solai and Mul'rec who openly opposed it to instigate change in Walled. The passion of social change was the sole passion she shared with her mother. Sometimes one needed to challenge the system to best serve the people.

The pamphlets scattered about the dining hall were a testament to those efforts, pamphlets that would begin to catch the eyes of the various guests. To be a disturber of the peace made Solai feel proud.

"I know we definitely have our problems here, but... are you happier here than you were in Walled?" she sat back in her seat and brought her wine glass to her lips as she regarded the man, curious as to what he would say. "As a man, as a rider?" It was a personal question, but considering the fact she was pushing for massive change in Walled, she thought maybe it was best to talk to someone from there, to see what they thought in the end. Even Solai was not so callous as to disregard the natives... for all she might disagree with them.
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Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:26 am

"I know we definitely have our problems here, but... are you happier here than you were in Walled? As a man, as a rider?"

"Honestly?" Ao'mek asked, though of course she didn't want a dishonest answer. "No, not really. I'm not unhappier here either, though, that's not what I mean. But if you're asking if my level of happiness is better at New Atricis, then the answer is no." He gave a soft shrug of his shoulders. "There are things here that I like better than at Walled, the roles men can have for example, but there are things at Walled that made me happy that I don't have here at New Atricis." He was merely being honest with her as best he could.

"Look, I'm probably not the person to talk to if you're trying to find someone that's going to be all 'down with Walled Hold' type mentality. My first home isn't perfect, it could change, but I still love it. Just like my new home. It isn't perfect, there are things that could change, but I still love it." Yes, he'd seen the pamphlets laying around and figured that's where she was going with this line of conversation. Ao'mek was not the most politically minded person. He cared about helping people, yes, and wasn't the sort to snub his nose at those less fortunate, but he also didn't think that it was any one sort of culture's fault for suffering. It didn't matter who was in charge, there was always going to be those less fortunate and he truly believed those people should be helped...but whether it was the Mother in charge or one of the north's Lord Holders...there was an equal amount of misery that could happen. Perhaps it was a bit of pessimistic view, but it was how he felt.

"Sorry, if that is a disappointing answer....I've never been one for politics of any kind. I'd rather stay out of it." Ao'mek said with a shrug.
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