Picture Perfect

TechCraft Hall - Courtyard
Like many courtyards, this one is fairly large and can easily accommodate a few small dragons at a time or maybe a couple of large ones. Large square pavers have been used to cover much the ground, and though worn with time, the area has a neat and well structured appearance. Vegetation has been kept to a minimum between the stones, helping to preserve the longevity of the stone. Near the entrance to the hall, benches and tables can be found on the unpaved areas, and in place of stones there is gravel. A large clock has been placed above the doorway and quietly ticks away the time.

Must be graduation day for the Techcraft - a group of young journeymen, most barely of age to walk the tables, are gathered before the entrance to the Hall. Several Masters are arrayed before them, soliciously settled upon chairs. In front of the crowd, Nikolan stands behind the tripod supporting his beloved camera, fiddling meticulously with its settings. Nearby, his own master looks on, bemused. "It's not a commission, boy. Snap the shot and let these poor things go celebrate." Ignoring the importunings of his superior, Niko fusses until everything seems just right, then snaps a series of photographs.

Ahh, graduation. The time when seasoned apprentices are thrust into being fresh journeymen! A fine time to visit, and that seems to be what D'lei is doing. He comes in from the side opposite that entrance with its fresh-faced journeymen and well-aged masters, taking in the scene - and the part with the camera, because that's interesting! Closer and closer he stalks the wild photographer. "If our own works aren't good, how will we ever convince anyone else?" D'lei replies to the Master while Nikolan's busy, his tone light and a smile on his face as he watches the photographic process! At least, the parts of it visible outside the camera.

Appropriate lights and filters have been set around Nikolan, who takes no notice of D'lei's approach as he fiddles with the camera's lens and takes another couple of pictures. Finally, he steps back, tossing a wry grin at his Master. "As you command, Master, so I obey." At least, once he's decided to. He turns his thumb up at the group, and it takes but mere seconds for the newly-minted journeymen to disappear in an explosion of sound, leaving their own teachers gazing after them in befuddled bemusement. Joriksen sizes up the bronzerider and snorts rudely at him. "An amateur wouldn't know the difference, and the boy'll touch 'em up as he develops them, anyway." As he begins breaking down his setup, Niko tosses a wry grin towards the pair. "And how close did we come to frostbite spending hours at High Reaches looking for the perfect snowfall?" The impudence earns the young journeyman a pointed 'hrmph!'.

Proper obedience takes time! Like training an apprentice into a journeyman. D'lei regards Joriksen back, his own expression remaining in a smile even at that snort. He's had his practice being dismissed by Masters, he has! "Me, I don't know a lot of things," he replies. "Still get warm feelings when something looks good, though." A shrug, with a cheerful grin to go with it that… might just widen a bit at Nikolan's rejoinder to his Master. All he says, though, is, "Did you get the shot?"

"I couldn't feel my nose, my toes, my hair, or my eyes, but yes, damn him, we got the shot," is Niko's muffled reply as he turns away from the pair, unscrewing and rolling and coiling and going through all of the necessary breakdown motions. Joriksen snorts again, but there's a definite affection to the sound this time. "Broke my second best camera doing so, too," reminisces the master. "Extreme temperatures, as you should know," he adds, indicating he knows just who D'lei is, "are not good for small moving parts. Ah well, worth it." Filters and lights stowed in their canvas bags, Niko carefully detaches the camera from the tripod, then with one smooth, practiced motion, snaps several shots of the pair. "Scoundrel."

D'lei turns his head to survey Nikolan after that list of frozen bits, and he grins. "At least they thawed," he offers the other before turning his head back to listen to Joriksen. He nods, as-you-know and all. "And the cameras are more delicate than many," he says. "Even among the instruments of the ancients, they have one of the higher failure rates." And then he's on Niko Camera! Slightly slower than the Master to catch on to it, but that's because he's had less practice. Once he does, he turns his head and grins. "You can just crop out my side of it," he suggests with a playful tone. "Leave the distinguished part." A vague wave toward Joriksen, the grin remaining where it is.

"Where would be the fun in that?" Niko asks lightly as he thumbs the trigger that advances the film, then begins unscrewing the lense from the body of the camera. "I prefer more realism in my shots, and no one, even the good Master," and he nods regally to Joriksen - earning that trademark snort, "is perfect." He carefully tucks the lens in its padded case, following it with the camera itself. Thus packed, he slings the box-like bag around his neck and approaches the pair, hands tucked snuggly in the pockets of his many-pocketed pants. "If it truly bothers you, I won't develop the film, but I assure you, I'd do nothing to embarass the Hall or Weyr. Much," he adds, with a smirk.

D'lei laughs, with a shake of his head and an expansive wave. "It's fine," he says to Nikolan. "Put it on posters across the continent, for all I mind." …this is probably also exaggeration, just in the opposite direction of the previous one. The truth lives somewhere in the middle! "Besides, I've had to give reports right after flying through a thunderstorm. There's a bar for me to look notably bad, and this is nowhere near it." A pause, and then a grin. "…which isn't meant as a challenge, but who am I to say how you'll take it?"

"I'd say it's all in the eye of the beholder," Nikolan replies diplomatically, shrugging his lean shoulders. "I don't think you'll find yourself in the least bit embarassed by the photograph, to be perfectly candid with you." The slight broadening of his ever-present grin suggests he's fully aware of - and responsible for - the pun. "Just to be fair, however, I'll make certain you have full approval rights before I use them to advertise my services. Work for you?" Joriksen shakes his head over the temerity of his journeyman and moves to take up the canvas and plastic cases containing the tripods, lights, and filters - the ease with which he handles the burden belying his supposed frailty. "Don't be up too late, boy. Xanadu may clutch at any time and I'll expect you there to capture the happy event." The master's eyes slide slyly towards D'lei - indeed, he knows exactly who the bronzerider is - then he moves off, easily shouldering his burden.

D'lei seems amused by that diplomacy, even as he nods, and his own grin widens in an echo of Nikolan's before he nods again. "Seems fair! Though, now I half want to see a contest in advertising. Get photos of a pair of people, send one to half the holds, the other to the rest…" He trails off there, giving it a shrug to go with that lingering grin. Joriksen's glance and note about the clutching brings a duck of his head as if to hide the grin - which he fails at - before his head lifts once more. "Best be careful, when you do," he says to Nikolan as Joriksen departs. "Don't give Leirith a chance to break the equipment."

"I'll be sure to stay well out of her reach," Niko promises, rather fervently. "These things are a pain to tune just perfect and I don't want to have to do another one for at least a turn." There's a story there, but the journeyman isn't inclined to share, particularly as his attention is caught by a distant figure disappearing into the hall. "Ah - hmm," he hums under his breath, then flashes a brilliant smile at the bronzerider. "I'll try to have these developed before the clutching; maybe I'll see you there." Yeah, he knows who D'lei is, too - if only vaguely by reputation. "If you'll excuse me…" Without waiting for a reply, the photographer turns and lopes towards the hall. He has plans.

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