06.04.3013: Brains and Brawn
Summary: Taryn and Elspeth talk as he helps her carry her shopping.
Date: 04 June 2013
Related: None
Elspeth Taryn 

Grand Esplanade — Landing, Imperius
Although the Grand Esplanade is centered on a double lane for ground vehicles and carriages, the majority of the broad street is held for pedestrian use. Smooth pavement extends out around planters that keep vehicle traffic away from people on foot, exposing a broad expanse to the feet of passers by.

The Esplanade leads past scores of little hole-in-the-wall shops and kiosks selling everything from daggers to scarves to jewelry. Light posts are interspersed with the planters, casting a warm glow over the Esplanade at night, while electrostatic shields blur the skies but keep off any rain from above, leaving the Esplanade crowded day or night, rain or shine.

Towering over the Esplanade to the west is the shimmering steel spire of the Citadel, while the Gardens of Erkwin and the Landing Stadium lie to the east. Directly north is the magnificent Palace Towers, seat of House Sauveur.

June 4th, 3013

Ironically, one of the busiest parts of Landing has become a sort of point of relaxation for the country-raised Taryn. He has taken up his favorite place to perch and watch the endless comings and goings of the multitudes. He watches the people, their interactions, and their lives like a scientist spying on test subjects. Of course there is the running commentary going on in his head, giving his own and often sarcastic interpretation of the people. It is mid-afternoon and the sky is perfect and what imperfections might arise the fields keep the rain from actually falling. He has spent the morning and afternoon so far working with the Lady Soleil's tempermental horse and his body is exhausted from the ordeal, but if anything it has set an unmovable determination in his soul. But taking a break for this, he sits up on one of the dividing planters, legs hanging down slightly as he is currently enjoying a handful of fresh grapes.

Elspeth finds the Esplanade relaxing for other reasons - judging by the bags she's carrying, she is either a bit of a hoarder in the shadow of the looming war, or just a garden variety shopaholic. There's fabric, groceries, spare parts; a very motley mix of things she's carrying. They do share one common thread. Together, they're really quite heavy. So when she decides to take a break, she isn't quite staggering as she reaches those divided planters and flumphs against one near Taryn, setting her bags down so that she can fish out a hankie and wipe her face. That done, she glances to the side, then offers him a smile. "People watching?"

Taryn hops down off the planter. He lands rather light on his feet. "More or less…" He looks over at the large number of bags and how they were obviously quite the burden for the young woman. He offers a slight bow of his head, which sends his mop of blond waves into his face. Almost with subconscious practice, his hand reaches up and pushes it back. "Ever thought of perhaps making two trips and halving the load?"

Elspeth leans against the planter and laughs. She shakes her head. "Never crossed my mind. My friend and I did a workout today surrounded by Khourni warriors. There is /nothing/ to make one so ashamed of the state of one's fitness as that. I consider this…strength training." She grins. "But under other circumstances, I would consider your advice to be eminiently sensible, Mister…?"

Taryn laughs, "If you think that makes you feel out of shape… You should try keeping up with three children, ages ranging from eight to twelve… Worst four hours of my life…" Of course, he looks at the woman in a different light now. If she was working out with Khourni warriors, then perhaps she requires no help from him. He offers a friendly smile, "Taryn Wystrel, m'lady…" His accent carries a Valen flavor to it.

Elspeth does not look like a warrior, which may be the source of her rueful expression. "Ahhh, yes. Family, friends, or did you have the bad luck to get drafted by dint of employment?" His introduction has her bowing her head. "Mr. Wystrel, it is a pleasure. I'm Elspeth Adeyemi, and no lady at all. I'm a Scholar with the Academ, that's all." She looks him over, head tilted to one side in obvious curiosity. "Visiting, or a transplant to the city, if I may be so terribly rude as to ask?"

Taryn smirks slightly, "Boss's kids… So I couldn't just tie them to a tree and take a nap for a couple hours." He is obviously joking about tieing the children, though there is a glimmer in his eyes that suggest the thought might have actually crossed his mind at least jokingly. "Nice to meet you, Miss Adeyemi." He purses his lips and cants his head slightly, "Well, that's not that terribly rude in the least… but I think a bit more complicated of an answer… The truth of the matter is I am not yet sure…"

"Ahhh," Elspeth says, nodding like that explains it all. She reaches down into one of the grocery bags and pulls out a bottle of water. After a moment's thought, she offers another one to him. "Want one? We could pretend that it was some more interesting beverage, but it's a bit early in the day for that," she jokes. "And hmmm. Trial run, then? Deciding to see if you like the feel of Landing, or would prefer to commute?"

Taryn shakes his head, as his gaze moves to the bottle, "No thank you…." He chuckles ruefully, "Oh, I know that I don't care for the feel of Landing… The place is like a giant ant mound… always crawling on top of one another… always in motion… Give me an open field… where by the Six the rain actually gets to touch the ground. Nah…" He pauses, as if changing his choice of words from what he was about to say. "One of the Awakened had a dream that I should come here and that there was a reason for me being here, but so far, I don't think that I have found it…" He pauses, "I have been offered two jobs… one in the caverns of House Peake… and one working with the Lady Soleil's horse… But neither of them feel right, in the pit of my stomach, you know?"

Elspeth shrugs, drops the extra bottle back into the bag, and opens her own to take a drink from it. She sighs happily. "Mmm. I suppose it can feel like that, if you're not used to it. I grew up here, so it just feels normal. Put me somewhere I /can't/ hear the background hum of who knows how many million souls, and I just feel lost and alone." The mention of Awakened causes her to perk up, though. "Oh, really? How interesting. I'm also Awakened, and they are my main area of study. The dreams can be difficult to interpret, but are usually accurate in /some/ regard." She takes another drink. "What would you like to be doing?"

Taryn says softer. There is something slightly strange to his tone. "So I have been told," he says in regards to dreams being difficult to interpret or possibly about them being accurate. Then as if he were putting on a mask that begins with a smile, "I have worked with horses ever since I was a small boy. That really is the only thing that I have ever really expected out of life… but there was always a feeling that there was something more… so I have no idea I guess…"

Elspeth's assessment is sharper with that slight strangeness in the young man's tone. Her eyes narrowing slightly as she considers him. After a moment, though, she shakes her head, as if dismissing whatever she was thinking. Instead, she offers a sympathetic smile. "Ah, the persistent restlessness of a person in search of their destiny. That does have a cruel and pointed sting. Well, I fear I cannot offer a purpose in life, unless you've a desire to enroll at the Academ…although, you might visit the Imperius Library there, at least once. Sometimes, when looking for that certain something missing, it can help to browse through a great wealth of information. Something might 'ping'."

That last smile might have been a mask, but the laughter that almost rolls out of Taryn is far from it. "Oh, I have absolutely no place somewhere like the Academ… " He leans back against the planter, "Half the time I'm doing good if I read the ingredients of a food package… Thinking isn't really my best skill." His brow furrows slightly as he shakes his head, "Nah… doubt that it's anything of the sort.. Destiny is not for people like me… " He shrugs, "I have met some really interesting people… yourself being added to that list…. I have seen things that I would never have back home… perhaps that is why I was supposed to come… to experience life outside of my narrowed vision. Who knows?" For someone that "thinking isn't really his best skill" there is more than just a touch of intelligence in those eyes.

"You may be doing yourself a grave disservice, Mr. Wystrel. The academic skills have very little to do with native intelligence, and a great deal to do with practice. A flaming idiot can easily achieve an advanced certification…and they often do," Elspeth adds, dryly. "Likewise, a very intelligent young man may have not a great deal of formal learning, but be in possession of a fine mind, as I suspect you are. It's possible that you're right, however; experiencing a wider world is a great good in and of itself." She smiles, takes another drink. "But, if I were to hazard a guess, I'd say /you/ don't believe that's all you're here for."

Taryn smirks, "Oh, I don't know anything about a fine mind…. Unless there is a market for one that is pristine and never have been used." His voice then softens once again. "Nah… there was a feeling…" Now the images of a dream might be shared, but the "feeling" of a dream is mightily difficult to truly explain. He shifts slightly, and in an apparent attempt to change the subject, "Do you need help with your strength training and getting your things back home?" He smiles, "I, at least, do have a reasonably strong back for carrying."

Elspeth clucks her tongue, giving him a stern look. "Self-depreciation is only so humorous, Mr. Wystrel." But after that, she lets it go. Or maybe it's just that his offer has distracted her. She looks down at the bags at her feet, and sighs. "I think this is the part where I'm supposed to assert that I'm a strong, capable woman, more than able to carry my bags myself. Which is true…but I really don't want to. If you would help, I would be most grateful." She reaches down, still claiming the lion's share for herself. "Now, about this feeling…?"

Taryn shakes his head, "I am in no way suggesting that you are anything but a strong, capable woman, Miss Adeyemi… merely tryin' to do right by another strong and capable woman who raised her son to offer his help when he could." The young man reaches down and picks up whatever bags are left behind. He almost then drops those very bags, "Feeling? Oh… um… I don't really know… just what the Awakened described… said I would feel it when I found it… " It's possible, even if not very convincing.

Elspeth bobs her head in an approving manner. "Nice save. Very nice. You can tell her mother that she raised either a very polite son, or a smooth-talking one." She grins, shuffling the bags around until they're semi-comfortable, then starting to walk towards the edge of the market district. "Hmm. Yes, that does sound like something we'd say - accurate, but absolutely unhelpful." Still, there's a quickness to that response that suggests she's more humoring him than buying it. "Well, while you're here, it at least sounds like you've met some people, and done some things. Hopefully made a few friends? It's a big city to be without family or friends."

Taryn grins and arches a brow, "Do the two have to be mutually exclusive?" He completely skips over the lingering conversation of his dream. "I have met some people that I would like to call friends… I don't know if I could call them friend right now… "

Elspeth laughs. "A point, dear sir, a veritable point. Although the cleverness of that response only inclines me to weight the 'smooth-talking' possibility a bit more highly, you realize. Valen men, always with the charm." She clucks her tongue again in mock disdain. Her expression turns more genuine as he goes on, though. "Ah, well. That is at least a worthy pursuit, is it not? The making of acquaintances into friends. Better than the making of enemies."

Taryn doesn't respond to that, but just smiles all the more. He nods, "The bonds of friendship and family are some of the strongest things known to man… it can blind a man and make him see what others may fail… it can hold action or inspire greatness… it can make you more giddy than any alcohol or as sober as a funeral… and all this… you can only be held and never hold it with your own hands…" He grins, "We Valen men are nothing if we are not passionate about something at any given moment."

Elspeth stares at him for a moment. Then she grins back. "So I see. Now that was poetic." She shakes her head. "Well, if you are sufficiently passionate about the matter, I'm sure that you'll have no trouble in meeting your goals, whatever they may be." She strolls along for a bit, then says, in more sober tones, "Ah, by the way, I /should/ apologize. For co-opting you like this, I mean. You can, in fact, tell me to go hang. I won't feel offended. Very. I won't feel /very/ offended."

Taryn shakes his head and offers another smile. "There is no call for apology. I do not recall you asking a total stranger to carry your things." He pauses as that smile twists just slightly, "Quite the opposite actually… that complete stranger offered to help carry your things… I suppose that I could apologize for being so bold.. I'm not apologizing since I didn't intend it to be that way… " He pauses just slightly, "I try to make the world a better place when I can… even if it is something as small as offering a helping hand to someone who could have succeeded without it, but didn't have, like carrying too many bags from a shopping trip…" He grins, "When surely the person in question was charmed and dazzled by the wily merchants here in Landing."

Elspeth makes a dismissive gesture. In her current state, that mostly means rustling the bags in one hand, and hoping that the dismissive tone is conveyed. "All right, all right. No apologies on either side. Although it could be argued that taking advantage of a polite offer is far more bold than making the offer in the first place." She grins. "But…I will say this. That is an exceptionally worthy sentiment, Mr. Wystrel, and it speaks well to your honor. Even if you are wrong about two things." She makes a haughty little sniff. "The first being that these are 'too many' bags, as opposed to just the right amount. And the second being that I was charmed and dazzled, rather than having driven hard bargains with a cutting business acumen that would reduce you to tears of /awe/ should you ever see it in action."

Taryn grins, "You might argue that it is taking advantage of the offer… or it could be that you were not risk offending the kindness in which the offere was made." He chuckles. "I am not so sure… I think if I were to gather up every thing that I own… it might take up only a little more space than these bags… and that is assuming that it takes that much space… But I know not what you have nor what you require… So I will grant you that… " He shakes his head, "Perhaps it is because you have lived in this place so long… I have seen wolf packs that were not so ruthless as the merchant here… nor could that wolf pack pick a carcass so clean so quickly."

Elspeth chuckles. "Let's go with that, then, so my reputation is safe. And there's nothing wrong with being one who travels light. But a good portion of this is for my work - materials, and the like. So it isn't as if I'm simply buying knicknacks. And, I confess, I do enjoy having things. Perhaps, when you decide where it is you want to be, you'll also find a growing fondness for things that cannot be easily moved." His characterization of the merchants, though, draws a full-throated laugh. "That's probably because they think you're a tourist, my good man. Tourists always get soaked, because they're not going to be around long enough to figure out how badly they were swindled."

Taryn chuckles, "Well, I am a tourist… I just find it difficult to imagine that any tourist is so gullible." Of course, most tourist probably have more money to spend than the frugile ranch hand. "You're work? I thought you said you were some kind of scholar… thought all you did was read books."

Now, the look Elspeth tosses his way is deeply, exaggeratedly mournful. "Ah, Mr. Wystrel. Tell me you are not one of those people who feels that the academic has nothing to contribute to the world? And we were getting along so /well/." She heaves a melodramatic sigh. "Of course I work. I teach, a little. But mostly I do research. Research does involve reading books, but it is also work. Not that reading books /isn't/ work. And in my free time, I design certain things, including clothes. It's a hobby. What about you? Any hobbies I can be disdainful of to salve my wounded pride?"

Taryn's eyes widen, "No, of course not… I think that people like you are very important… It is academics that discovers new ways of making the world better… you inspire those you teach… I just have no idea about it… my schooling was mostly vocational… I was cleaning stables by the time I was ten… after that, it was expected that in some fashion that is what I would be doing for the rest of my life… " He pauses, "Don't get me wrong, I love working with horses… When I get to take one out on the open plains… it's a sensastion that you just can't describe… it's freedom.. it's power… it's humbling too.. cause you realize that it is by the grace of the animal that you can be so free… and in that it is imprisonning as well."

Elspeth transfers her bags over to one hand, with a pained groan, just long enough to pat his shoulder. "Relax. It's okay. I was just teasing you," she assures him, with a grin. "My skin is much thicker than that, I promise. But that does sound like an interesting sort of life…although there's a downside to getting pushed into something so early, as well." She peers at him. "Freedom and imprisonment, all at once. That's a neat trick, if you think about it."

Taryn looks relieved and nods. "I wouldn't have wished to have offeneded you like that, Miss Adeyemi." Taryn shrugs, "Not everyone is given a choice in their life. Arguably no one really is if destiny can muck things up whenever it feels like… I mean do we make choices or are those choices already made for us… " He smiles, "Guess that is one of the benefits of not being burdened with such deep thoughts… I try to just live each day as it comes and deal with whatever that day has decided to put before me."

Elspeth chuckles. "If you ever offend me, I assure you I'll let you know, Mr. Wystrel. You've not come close yet." She leads the way towards one of the commercial rental vehicles, and does the dance of summoning. Which, in this case, means flailing with bags. "I'm not going to walk all the way home with these. Fitness be hanged." As the vehicle comes to a halt, she loads her bags, then turns to look at him. "Hmmm. I think you don't do yourself any favors by claiming to be less than you are. It's not my life, of course, but just an observation. And if you want to get a tour of the Academ, some time, or perhaps be introduced to some merchants who /aren't/ out to skin you for your pelt, let me know? I'm on the Infosphere." She gives her address there. "It really was nice to meet you."

Taryn helps Elspeth put her bags into the transport. He smiles and nods, "Good to know." He shrugs, "I don't really think that I am… I know who and what I am… I'm a horse groom from a small village in the Southern Wilds… If I'm more than that… I have yet to discover it." He nods slightly, "I might take you up on that… you can show me around the library… I imagine that I would be as much out of my element as a fish flopping around on a hot rock."

Elspeth she smiles. "We grow with every moment, you know. None of us solely are what we were. If you're here to find out why the dream sent you this way, then be open to the fact that it may be a transformation that it's sent you for." She smiles. "And I would be delighted to show you the Library. Most of it's holotape, so you might find it more natural than you think." She hops on, reaching over to pay for the transport. "At any rate, be safe, and enjoy your journey, Mr. Wystrel."

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