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Rumor Retaliation

Writers: Miriah, Yvonne
Date Posted: 12th July 2021

Characters: Alina, Enali, Wirrame, Namila
Description: Enali ensures that Alina overhears something that she shouldn't, and Alina retaliates in her own way
Location: Dolphin Cove Weyr
Date: month 9, day 1 of Turn 10
Notes: Mentioned: Cyradis, J'ackt


Things had been moving far too slowly and the little growth in her
belly seemed to be getting bigger far too quickly. It irritated her,
especially when the kitchen staff seemed to be so thrilled that she
was carrying. She'd gotten more advice about pregnancy than she ever
wanted to hear and some of the older women seemed intent on touching
her stomach, something that Enali wanted to screech at each time. But
she bit the inside of her cheek and faked a sweet smile, pretending to
welcome the attention she received. It was worse with the other girl.
that stupid, insipid Wirame, constantly gushed about the child she
carried, only a month past herself.

Enali felt a surge of annoyance but paused when she considered
something. Everyone seemed to hush when that greenrider came in to
help in the kitchens. None of them knew why she was there, but it was
said that J'ackt sometimes came in to speak to her. The thought of him
made Enali grind her teeth, but the connection between the two brought
to mind the Weyrwoman's strict instructions, **Don't tell his
weyrmate.** Well, nothing was said of her _overhearing_ and being
hopefully pained by some bit of news regarding her weyrmate.

So she waited in the kitchens one evening until she knew Alina was
nearby, but couldn't see her and spoke a bit loudly at Wirame. "So,
did you get the same talk from the Weyrwoman about the baby?"

Wirame hadn't seen Alina and having just come in to get her own meal,
didn't know the greenrider was nearby. "You mean about telling J'ackt?
Yes." The simple girl sighed. "I don't understand why he doesn't want
to know, but I guess there must be a good reason for it."

The other women fell into a hushed silence and one gave her a nudge,
but Enali pointedly ignored it. "It's silly. He should know that
there's two of us. He has a responsibility. After all, he's got two in
the creche, maybe three! I think it's absolutely disgraceful!"

On the other side of the stand, Alina's hands slowed at washing greens
for the evening meal. She strained her ears to hear. They were talking
about herself and J'ackt. The blood rushed from her face as she stared
at her hands in the bowl of water. She could feel the woman beside her
deliberately not looking at her, even as the the rest of the kitchens
seemed to stare.

From the corner of her eyes, she could tell that her words had somehow
affected the greenrider and Enali felt a surge of dark satisfaction.
**Does that bother you? I hope it does!** She turned her attention
back to Wirame and rushed on before one of the kitchen drudges could
direct her attention to Alina. "I think he thinks he's better than
other riders. _They_ at least take interest in their babies, if only
to visit."

"Well, I don't know about that..." Wirame was going to continue, but a
tug on her arm and a quick whisper stilled her. She gasped, her eyes
flicking in Alina's direction, and paled. "Oh no.." She breathed and
then bit her lip. "Look, sorry, but I've got to go! I'm expected
somewhere else." Face flushed, the drudge gathered her things and
hurried out, thoroughly disappointing Enali.

That was enough. They _knew_ the rules. As J'ackt had told her, she
wasn't supposed to know... and of _course_ some stupid drudge had
decided to test her. Alina narrowed her eyes, then took a deep breath
and stuck her head around the edge of the counter with a sharp-edged
smile. "I need a clean dish towel. Do you have one...?"

Another drudge hurried forward with a towel, her eyes darting between
Alina and Enali. As she handed the towel to Alina, the young girl
spoke quickly, but quietly. "I'm sorry, greenrider. Just ignore her.
We try to."

Enali wasn't able to quite hide the smirk that flashed along her lips
at Alina's appearance. She righted her facial expression quickly and
attempted to look remorseful. "Oh, I'm so sorry. I didn't know you
were there."

The greenrider gave the drudge a once-over, mentally noting her smirk
and expression. She reminded Alina a bit of her sister when Elana was
at her nastiest. Familiar territory. "I'm sure you didn't," she said

Enali let her hand rest on her belly for a moment, noting the slight
roundness there as she gave Alina a thorough once over. She'd never
really looked at the other woman and to be quite honest, she wasn't
overly impressed with the greenrider. And hadn't she heard something
odd? That this...Alina...was from Emerald Falls like her? She hid a
little sniff of derision. Surely not and if she was, she obviously
cared little for her home, especially if she'd linked up with that
piece of wher dung.

**That wher dung planted the babe growing in your belly,** she
reminded herself with more than a little disgust at the notion. That
surge of distaste brought out the next words before she could stop
them. "I'm sorry, I just didn't recognize you. I thought you were a
new drudge."

"Well, some people _do_ find it difficult to remember names. For
example, I don't know yours...?"

"Well, it's not often that greenriders are punished with kitchen
duties," Enali pointed out and heard a soft snicker behind her. She
felt a surge of vindictive glee at the sound. "Me? Oh, I'm no one
important, obviously." Her smile was syrupy sweet. "I'm just a poor
drudge." Inwardly she seethed, but she couldn't afford to give too
much away.

Alina batted her eyelashes like a nitwit. "I'm so sorry that you think
being here is a punishment! It's certainly not for me. I just like
helping, and _I_ like the company here." Let her try to twist that.
Alina knew that they were playing to an audience. "And you should know
by now that _everyone_ is important at the Weyr. What's your name?"

Enali caught the falsity of Alina's syrupy voice and fluttery lashes;
her eyes twitched, narrowing just a little before relaxing. She wasn't
stupid enough to give her own name and what was the harm of a little
white lie. She could make sure that the other girls didn't spill the
truth with a few well placed threats; she knew all about them.
"Wirame. Not that it's any of your business." She ignored the quick
glances from the other girls. She sniffed, pointedly looking down her
nose at Alina and laid her hand on her belly. "Obviously there are
benefits to working here and not going /between/ all the time. I can
give riders something you obviously can't." Surely if she could, as
much as greens rose, she would have. And there _had_ to be a reason
that the fecking bronzerider didn't want children. "Excuse me."
Pushing her hair back over her shoulders, she strode away, head high.

A small, quiet drudge approached Alina and spoke softly. "I'm so
sorry, Greenrider Alina. Her name isn't Wirame. Her name's Enali.
She's a bully. No one likes her."

Alina smiled, then let it fade as she thought quickly. "_That's_
Enali? Oh gosh, I'm so sorry... if I'd known she was such a bully I
wouldn't have agreed to...." She put a hand to her mouth. "I shouldn't
have said."

The drudge, despite her gentle manner, could not resist gossip; her
eyes flared with interest. "You wouldn't have agreed to what?" She
lowered her voice. "Did you not know about her?"

The greenrider shook her head. "Just her name."

"So what did you agree to?" The drudge kept her voice low. "She's been
mighty put out lately, ducking out on work due to her condition and
all. I don't know why she's here, but she's a nasty bit of work."

Alina hesitated. "The Weyrwoman asked J'ackt and I not to say
anything, for her sake..." she bit her lip and lowered her lashes as
if she was shy. "All I know is that nobody can know who the real
father is or it wouldn't go well for Enali. But please don't let that
get around! I'd be in so much trouble."

The drudge's mouth opened in a surprised "oooh". "She's been saying
it's your Weyrmate's and acting like she's all upset about it." She
glanced around. "Of course I won't say anything." She planned
immediately, however, on telling her best friend. The other girl
_hated_ Enali and wished that she would just go back to her Hold. "We
all kind of wish she'd go back to Emerald Falls."

The greenrider nodded sympathetically. "She seems rather... well, I'm
sorry you have to work next to her all the time is all I'll say about
that," she said, sounding a bit prim. "What's your name?"

The other girl curtsied. "I'm Namina, greenrider. It's okay. Sometimes
people come here with all sorts of notions or attitudes. They either
stay and get used to it or they don't and they learn hard lessons.
That's all."

The greenrider's lips twitched; is that what they thought of her? It
was exhausting, all the negativity towards holders. However in this
case Alina thought it was perfectly warranted. "Nice to meet you
properly, Namina. Hopefully you and I get paired up next time so I can
represent my home a bit better than _she_ does. And please, just call
me Alina."

"Oh, I hope so." Namina smiled in response, always happy to find favor
with a rider. "I'll try that...Alina."

Last updated on the July 21st 2021

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