Here to Clean Up

Xanadu Weyr - Caverns
A massive cavern in it's own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as are the walls where numerous tapestries hang to provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckled through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt, leveled carefully but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.
The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area, however, is the one near the Kitchens where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. Its plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr and equally plain that on such occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are appropriated from all the other areas.
A big fireplace is set into the wall near the Kitchens as well, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.

There are ups and downs to being in the caverns most of the afternoon and all through dinner. The food is an obvious plus. Sneaking bites here and there and taste testing. The gossip. ka-el never knew so much went on in a weyr. From trivial things to 'I've seen that feller who'se supposed to be with so and so creepin' into so and so's cottage late one night'. It's all been interesting! But washing dishes? Eh. At least it's somewaht cleaner work than dealing with coals. Kale is heading out of the kitchens, wearing a thin, plasticy black apron and carrying an empty bin. The time is evening, and the dinner rush is beginning to thin out, leaving behind plates that need to be scraped and washed. He's on the tail end of his side of the caverns, plopping that dish bin down on the table, and eyeing the plates and silverware.

Kale is heading out of the kitchens! Soriana, on the other hand, is not. She's just now getting down to business, and that business is sweeping the caverns after the dinner rush! Who knew so many people had such dirty feet? And the leaves! Autumn is very pretty. Autumn leaves tracked all over the floor… are not, at least not when you've got to sweep them up. Sweep, sweep, sweep she goes with a big broom.

People are just dirty creatures! Just look at this table. Kale grunts a bit and leans against his bin, glancing from a half eaten plate of food, to a slightly spilled bowl of stew. Nibbled on rolls.. "Did any of this even get in their mouths?" he muses as he gets busy with loading the junk into the bin, a small clatter sounding with each clump and rattling sound of silverware. At least it isn't so busy that the other candidates at work don't have to be sought out with too much vigor. He can see Sori over there, sweeping up a storm. "If you find any spoons down there, will you bring'm to me? Heard two riders got into today. A good minute've flying spoons.

"Spoons? Really?" Soriana stares at the back of the nearest rider, as a convenient proxy for whoever actually causes that mess, then shakes her head. And she's sweeping out a storm, thank you very much. Sweeping up a storm would cause more mess, and then she'd never be done here. "You-" Clink. Her gaze tracks down to the floor, and… oh, look. It's a spoon. She stares at it a moment, then bends down to pick it up by the handley part and bring it over, broom in her other hand. "Here you are," she says in tones of maximum dubiosity, then glances in the dish bin. "…and I thought Idrissa was the only one who leaves half eaten plates all the time."

Kale points to the spoon as it is found there on the floor. You! "Thank you," he says while taking the simply crafted item from her, fingers purposefully brushing hers in the process. He lifts the thing up to eye level, inspecting the bend and curve and chips and overall shape of it. Does he need to recommend a new cavern set of spoons and forks? He's intrigued til he remembers that someone's mouth has been on this, and making a face, he drops it in with the others. *clatter!* "I think they feed it to … dragons maybe?" he informs of the uneaten, wasted food. "Could be wrong, but I've the lovely job of scrapin' all this into a bigger bin that's taken away at the end've each meal. "You'll see." He snorts. "Lucky her. Did y'see the chore board? It was a rest day for her. Wonder if it was for her craft too."

Soriana's fingers are all about that brush, but then… ah, they've got to start with the sweeping again. Sigh! But she makes sure to do her sweeping near Kale for now, studiously busy if anyone happens to glance that way. "Not dragons," she says. "But maybe… something else." Another beast! It's all perfectly good as long as you're not picky. Glance. Soriana is picky. Glance away again. Sweep. "Yeah, I saw," she says about that chore board. "Not that it matters. I don't think she could keep away from the stables a full day if she tried."

Dinner rush may be thinning out, but there are still people to feed. And after the rush, foodthings need refilled! So Garawan has his hands full with foodthings to be placed on tables! How a trader got into such a situation is probably not too unclear, though… there's a Candidate's knot on his shoulder. Looks like the searchdragons got him! Regardless, he too has an apron on over his clothes, a cloth one, and has a large tray of food held in his hands, with several full plates upon it. These he is placing on the tables.

Who would eat scraps? "Canines … uh, cannibal herdbeast, likely." Ah yes. Them. Kale nods sagely as he gradually moves down the table once one part has been cleared up, stacking cups within his bin of dirty dishes. "Y've heard of them, haven't you? The secret herd of cannibalbeast kept on the far side of Xanadu, hidden deep within the forest. They say they're an experimental thing created by a beastcrafter who went mad, and they were bred. The crafters couldn' get rid of them, hard as they tried. So, all they can do now is feed'm and keep 'em contained." True story! Or so they say. Kale pauses, his bin a bit full, and considers what more he has left to do. "Argh.." he eyes Garawan who is bringing out more plates to be dirtied. Not his fault at all, but still! "I'll be here all night washin' dishes."

"Or maybe they just all go in the compost heap," suggests Soriana. Not that cannibal herdbeasts aren't perfectly reasonable and logical. Especially compared to things like …compost. "There's one out behind the greenhouse." Or, then again, there is that cannibal herdbeast option! "Of course I've heard of them. Only, the bit about keeping them contained… sad to say, you've been had. They actually escaped turns ago, wreaked havoc on the herds before they were finally chased away. The dragons had to flame them before they turned tail and ran! They're still out there somewhere. Lurking. Waiting for their chance to come back and finish what they started. Sometimes, on a clear night… you can hear the fiendish mooing in the distance." She nods sagely, and reaches down to pick up a piece of carrot between thumb and forefinger and drop it into Kale's dishbin. "Well… make people stop being hungry, then." She grins over to Garawan. "You got anything less appetizing you could bring out instead?" she calls. "As a favor to him." She points a thumb at Kale.

Garawan looks up as he's called to. "Eh?" A blink. "Terribly sorry… I only bring out what they tell me to bring from the kitchens." He's missed the part about the cannibal herdbeast, which is probably a good thing. Not being a native to Xanadu, he just might believe it! Then again, he does seem to have a good head on his shoulders since he /is/ a trader, so maybe not.

Gasp! Wild cannibal herdbeast that lurk the shadows of the forest and places beyond? Kale's distraction is seen by the slowing of dish collecting as eyes stay rooted upon Soriana. It's a riveting story! Filled with mystery and action, horror and violence! "An' all this time I thought we were safe…" he muses, head shaking slowly. "Jus' last sevenday, I could've sworn I heard a herdbeast in the distance one evenin', but it sounded far off…and there was somethin' rather sinister about that moo." He nods in thanks as that carrot piece is dropped, then grins toward Garawan as he answers. "Ah, that's too b-.." Waaait a second. He pauses, looking him over. "I know you.. you're the one who traded me for the boots, aren't you? The caravan guy?"

"Beware… beware the herdbeasts," Soriana tells Kale, then looks apologetic to him at Garawan's answer. "Well, I tried," she says to Kale, then nods to Garawan. "Wise of you, I suppose. A cook can be a fearsome enemy if you get on their bad side. Those wooden spoons…" she shakes her head, trailing off, and sweeps her way around the table. Sweep, sweep, sweep… hmm? Caravan guy? She looks back at Garawan, giving him a closer inspection.

"I am indeed," Garawan replies to Kale's inquiry. He empties the tray he'd been holding as he speaks, and then bows properly. "It's a great pleasure to see you again." And he puts that look on his face again, the pleasant smile that never really goes further than the surface. Uh-oh. Shysterface, anybody?! Actually no, it's not that bad. But it is clearly a 'professional' face, as if he expects to have to be a people person here.

Kale juts out a leg and gives his ankle a roll, showing off the boots that he wears. "They're holdin' up great," he says as he plants his leg back down, boot on the ground. "Hey, you've got an alright deal there. Bringin' out the food that no one's touched yet?" He eyes a gnawed bone of some sort left on a plate. "I'll trade. I'd trade in a heartbeat if I could, the both of you." Sweeping? He could sweep all day! "Ooh, it's not the spoons you need to be most wary of," he says to Soriana, glancing to the kitchen. "Have you seen a cook throw a stale roll? They've deadly aim."

As Garawan bows - bows! - and puts on that smile, one of Soriana's eyebrows arches slightly. "Huh," she murmurs to herself, continuing her look over the fellow as he talks to Kale. Oh, and sweeping. She's definitely still sweeping, except when she forgets for a moment or three. At this rate, she will be here all day. Meh. "Ah, your turn will come for sweeping, I'm sure…" she tells Kale, then hehs. "As will mine in the kitchens. I'll beware of those rolls when it does!"

Garawan chuckles at Kale's wish to trade. "Ah, except I forgot to eat earlier," he notes. Which must be hard for him, to see all that food and not be able to eat any of it until he's finished! And Soriana's statement draws a nod. "Indeed, we will all get our turns in chores. I am… not looking forward to cleaning the toilets." He shudders at the thought, pulling his hands closer to himself protectively. Notably, Garawan has a pair of leather gloves on those hands. And if anyone has seen him, it's been with those gloves on. He never removes them, except to sleep.

Oh yes, it's defintiely coming back to Kale now. The bow. The gloves in the passed heat of summer. Dish gathering has come to a stop now. His bin is full anyway and needs to be dumped along with the dishes he already gathered … and he should probably start washing them before clean dishes become low. Buuut… he lingers a tiny bit longer, especially when toilet cleaning is brought up. Poop. Urine. Belonging to other people! He gives a visible shudder. "Hopefully that goes fast," he says, nose wrinkling. "What does this mean for ya, huh? Candidacy. Do y'still get to sell your wares?" he asks, then ohs! Right. "This is Soriana," he offeres in introduction to the sweeping girl. "Dunno if you've met her. An' this is…" Ah, shards. What was his name again? "Garai.." Nope, not that! "Uh.." He gives the guy an apologetic look. It's been a while since they've met!

"So find something bite size?" Soriana suggests. The ol' snatch an' grab an' gulp! She shrugs a little, then hehs. Oh, toilets. "You'll have to do it again if you get a dragon," she says, and she's actually smirkinga little as she says it. Around and about she sweeps, and she nods as she's introduced. "Hey." She doesn't bother to free a hand from her broom.

Garawan nods slowly, concurring with Kale's statement. Oh how he hopes that goes quickly! But then Kale is asking him how his Candidacy affects his trade. "As long as I do my chores," he states. "The caravan understands. This would not be the first time that one of ours has been Searched. We do tend to follow the hatchings, after all." Soriana gets a bow as well, when Kale introduces her. Though at the lack of name, he supplies easily, "Garawan. A pleasure to meet you." As he straightens, he answers her question, "Ah, no… I should be fine, nothing rather than a little stomach-rumbling. No one ever died from minor stomach rumbles." At least, not as far as he knows.

It'll just be mega sized poop, that's all! Oh the things one doesn't think about when picturing themselves on dragonback soaring aboe the clouds. A look of dawning touches Kale's face as Garawan speaks his name, remembering the similarity of it to another's. "That's right. An' I remember you did tell me about a girl who was searched an' impressed. …. Well, maybe you'll be the next one the caravan talks about!" Same story, different character. His eyes draw to his bin. No way is he snagging anything from in there to offer a grumbly-bellied candidate. But even if there was, he wouldn't have the time, for *crash!* Was that the sound of a precariously tilting too tall stack of dishes falling back in the kitchens? Wince! "Ah…shards, I should check that. And do these." He hoists his bin up. "If I ever get to leave, I'll see the both've you back in the barracks."

"Suppose it's good your caravan's sticking around, then…" Soriana says to Garawan. "They'll get to see what happens." Then she reahches down to sweep out under another of the tables. "Yeah. Nice to meet you," she says, and nods to his lack of actually eating before she, too, glances up at the sound of the crash, giving Kale a sympathetic look. "Yeah, I'll see you… oh, midnight, you think?" Another glance at the dishbin, and a rueful grin. "Good luck."

Garawan chuckles to Kale's mention of him possibly being the next. But he shakes his head. "Very unlikely, I would wager," he replies. "I have nothing a dragon could possibly want." He sounds like he really believes this, too! Then…. oh dear, a crash! Garawan places a gloved hand to his mouth and blinks. "Goodness." And at Kale's mention of checking it out? "Do be careful," he offers. And he gives a pleasant wave as the young man departs. It's only then he turns his attention to Soriana's words of his caravan sticking around. "Ah, most of the time those searched from our caravan are left standing," he notes with a dismissive wave of his hand. "I was at Eastern as well. This time will be no different. But it will only be a bit longer before I no longer have to worry about it."

"M'guessin' one," remarks Kale to Sorias his eyes shift to a small group of riders who've just arrived to snag a late dinner. He's never going to be done with these dishes at this rate! With his now dish-laden bin in tow, he nods to the two of them, eyes lingering on Garawan. "Y'never now. There might be a dragon in one've those eggs who'll hatch with black feet," a grin to his gloves, "an' a love of traveling." Who knows! But a clamber coming from the kitchens prevents him from lingering any longer, and he shuffles off to deal with the mess of fallen dishes and wash them up, flashing a grin over his shoulder before disappearing.

"Then it's even better they're sticking around, or you'd have an awful time catching up with them," Soriana says, then tilts her head. "So why do you say yes? If you don't think a dragon'd be interested… are you really that into cleaning toilets?" She gives another glance to Kale, a smile and a wiggle of fingers before returning her attention to Garawan as she waits for his answer.

Garawan offers a quiet huff of a chuckle to Kale's comment. But he doesn't respond, as he doesn't want to keep Kale and get him in trouble. Soriana's statement draws a mysterious-looking smile. "Having a man in the candidate's barracks is the best advertisement a caravan can have. If we are able to provide what the candidates cannot get themselves — and do so while not allowing the candidates to break the rules, do you have any idea how valuable that is?"

"Hmm," Soriana says, and a frown tugs at the corners of her mouth as she subsides into quiet for a moment. "Can't say I do. But then, maybe that just means I'm not looking for what you're selling." The hint of frown is still there, though she tries to school her face into a polite expression, and she gives him a nod. "If you'll excuse me… I'd better get on with the sweeping."

Oop. Looks like he's poked a sensitive spot! Or something similar. Soriana seems upset that he's using the candidacy as an attempt to get business. But then, since he's obviously not going to Impress, he's got to get SOMETHING out of it, right? Oh well… no one ever said that making money was nice business, did they? However, he doesn't push the issue. Instead? "There is still more to be put out here I think," he notes mildly, keeping that same professional expression. He offers a polite nod that's half a bow, and replies, "Good to meet you. And if you do need anything, don't hesitate to ask." He won't do a full sales pitch, though. No sense in rubbing her face in it. He just straightens, and turns to head back into the kitchens himself. Hopefully not coming in to a whirlwind of crap!

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