Playing Catch Up

Xanadu Weyr - Smith Forge
Loud, dim, and hot is the large area set up for the Smith's forge area. It's been roughly divided into separate areas, the large common one holding the main forge lodged against the western wall, with bellows at the ready and a chimney rushing high to open in the ceiling outside. This is the area that the apprentices are taught in and are able to use, the nearby wall clasps a vast and unspecialized collection of tools, while the built-in shelves of another wall host jars of nails, crates of wood and metal scraps, spools of wire, sacks of sand, and heavy bins of Cromcoal, all decorated with a fine coating of grime and sawdust.

To the other side are the separate forges for the Journeyman's use, each one kept clean and neat, even when in the midst of a project. Behind and to the back is the private forge reserved for the Master Smith of Xanadu.

It's raining, but it isn't one of those heavy downpours that drives people indoors for the day. It's gentle. Almost a soothing sort of drizzle that patters down on rooftops and drips onto the spring grass. It's a cool spring day, leaning towards evening now, but the sun still hangs low behind a wall of gray clouds. Ka'el has had a busy day, as his days tend to be. It's rare to find him even behind his desk nowadays. With things .. progressing along in his personal life, he's been here, there, and everywhere in his free time … and even while not in his free time! He's trudged through the sprinkling rain and has stopped by a few places before landing himself here, in the forges. He's not even sure how he got here…an old habit, perhaps. He has no reason to be here, but a feeling of nostalgia washes over him once he steps into the clanging, warm forges. He smirks a little, pushing the hood from his jacket off of his head as he steps further inside to investigate. Monitor. There are a lot of new faces here! Where have the turns gone?

It's raining, it's… not pouring? For a cool spring day, the forges are certainly bustling with activity. These are the GOOD days, when the weather outside counteracts the heat within and one doesn't swelter too much while at work. Many a few face here, several familiar and long lasting. Among them is Kiena, though it's rare these days too that she's here. Today is her lucky day though and she has enough spare time (such an unusual concept these days!) to dabble in the Craft she loves. Not that she has time for any projects or Big Things, but even hammering away at some simple metal tool is therapeutic and satisfying enough. A test, to see if she still has what it takes! Ka'el arrives just as she's dealing the last few blows of her hammer and then after a cursory inspection by her eyes and a Journeyman, she goes to put it through the last stages to cool and harden.

Ka'el eyes a forge with a hungry eye. It wouldn't take him long, would it? Just a little practice, that's all. And then he'll be on his way and .. Well. Maybe he could stay a while and actually try to make a simple tool.. The more he thinks of it, the more tempting it's seeming! .. Not good for Ka'el, as he usually loses himself in his work, which means the forges may have him all night! Luckily though, before he gets too engrossed in his daydreaming, he's brought out of his reverie by the sight of a familiar face. Or rather, familiar frizzy hair. Blink. Is that Kiena? He pauses where he is, smirking slightly before he redirects his walk towards her, hands clasping behind his back. He lifts his brows nosily, peering at her forged item with interest. "This is the last place I thought to find you.." he says with a light smirk, browlifting. "What're you making? Or rather, what'd you make?"

Resist the temptation! Resist! It's so easy to be sucked in and lost. Even Kiena is feeling the pull and has to wrench herself away when everything is done and set aside. Could she finish another one? Maybe help with the final steps of something? No. No, she knows better. Those days are gone now and for now. Someday, perhaps, she'll be back but not right away. Hearing Ka'el behind her, Kiena will start and whirl, eyeing him with a surprised look to start that then switches to a smirk and a slight roll of her eyes. Wiping at her forehead with the back of her arm, she'll step away and untie her apron to hang it on a nearby hook with the others. Her hair is it's usually untamed frizzy mess but she's kept most of it tied and twisted back today. "Likewise and the same, sir." she drawls, with just a touch of emphasis on the last bit as she executes a half-salute, half wave. "And what's got you lookin' at me like that for? I'm not shirking anything, if that's what you've got going on in you're head. But to answer your question, I was helping on crafting the ever important tool: a shovel." Smirk. "Nothing fancy. No time for that. So what brings you by? Here to indulge?"

"Not shirking, eh? Well I'll be sure to check the records to confirm that," says Ka'el with a voice of mock authority, arms crossing across his chest. His act fades with a grin though, and he oh's at the revelation of the grand thing that she's making. A shovel! He can dig it. The world would be lost without them! "Never thought I'd see the day where I'd miss making something as simple and mundane as a shovel…" he says wistfully, exhaling a soft breath. His grin returns now though, and he shakes his head in answer to her question. "Not sure what brought me here, exactly. I … was just walking. Ended up here…" A smirk and he shakes his head. "Sounds like the beginning of madness, doesn't it? Ending up in a place and not knowing how you got there? I'd blame it on the summer heat but we're not quite there yet." He chuckles and shrugs a shoulder. "I was just thinking, I think. And I used to think best here. Was considering trying my hand.." he says, gesturing to a forge, "but…probably wouldn't be in my best interest to lose myself for too long, you know? How have you been?"

"You'll fine the records back my claim," Kiena boasts without hesitation, confident in her "innocence" and just smirking all the more for Ka'el's voice of mock authority. They're saving the world, one shovel at a time! "Better than nothing, though it sure does make the urge to keep workin' worse. Sometimes it is almost too simple, y'know?" she drawls, returning his grin. "Madness?" Her shoulders shrug and she shakes her head again, stepping further away from the forges and out more towards a section that is safer and quieter to lounge around in for some leisurely chatting. "Dunno if I'd call that madness or just a distracted mind, Ka'el. And I'd say it couldn't hurt to have a go at one thing. Can always tell the Journeymen to chase you off if it looks like you can't kick the habit?" Chuckling, her grin broadens. "Or I'll watch your back and haul you off." Isn't that part of being Weyrsecond? No? Maybe Ka'el should add it in. "I've been fine. Busy, as I'm sure we've all been. Duties, Ujinath, my girls and then I've been out to Ista a few times… A little bit of everything." She muses. "And you? How've you been?" In a gentler tone, she'll add: "And Soriana?"

That is definitely part of being a Weyrsecond, yes! Somebody has to make sure that he doesn't fall back into his addiction, right? He just needs … a little taste. Mwuaha. Ka'el peels off his jacket and moves to hook it on a wall hook with the others, brushing off his sleeves a little as he turns to walk back in her direction. "Maybe one small thing…There will always be a need for kitchen hooks, right?" he says with a smirk as he picks up a hammer to press the head of it against his palm. "You've been out to Ista? For the Weyrgames, eh?" He grins a little. "Sounds like fun. The Weyrwoman…eh, Cenlia is it? She mentioned wanting to host a party on Ista. What she cooked up sounds even better than the beach thing that she came up with. Soriana and I had planned to go until… well. Betweening isn't really in the cards anymore." A chuckle. "How are your girls? Seems like I never have the chance to see them. I've been well, thanks. Busy and…over my head about things but, still good." Her question regarding Soriana is answered with a grin. "She's big." A pause..then. "Heh. That doesn't sound flattering. Don't tell her I said that. She's well! I've nearly gotten her convinced, I think."

Kiena chuckles low in her throat and now it's her turn to cross her arms over her chest. Is she a little smug? Yes, just a little. She's totally acting as an enabler right now! An enabler and… safe guard. Interesting mix! "Of course! Can never have too many hooks. Ever! Have at it." Now he's picking up the hammer and she's lifting a hand to make a little 'get on with it' sweep of her hand. Go on! Before his time is up or some random crisis occurs and they're both hauled away! "Yup. Was out for the opening Ceremonies with a few other Xanadu rider's and I've been back a few times since. Weyrwoman Cenlia, yes! She certainly went all out." Kiena grins at this. "And I signed up for a few competitions." she admits casually. "Provided time allows. Only two so far… Archery, which I learned I'm up against my brother's weyrmate for that and the more advanced sky races. Our Weyrlings, by the way, are superb flyers." Chuckling again, she nods her head. "It's a shame you and Soriana have to miss out but… I promise not to let Xanadu's name be tarnished or… whatever. And there's always the Winter Games in Fort?" Her smile turns fond. "Growing fast and more independent every day. And if you want, I'll sic 'em on you in the office? How's that?" That won't end in disaster at all. "Over your head? With what?" Kiena asks, her tone sobered slightly. There's a slight snort. "No, not flattering but an unfortunate truth? I won't breathe a word. Convinced on what?"

Aww yeah, it's hammerin' time! Ka'el doesn't need too much peer pressure to get started, and he takes moment to roll up the sleeves of his shirt past the elbow and then move to pull a heavy apron over his head. Safety first! He listens to her as he moves, heading towards a forge to check the coals and fire, then over towards the useable metals to choose one for his hook. "You signed up?" he says over his shoulder, his grin showing his surprise. He heads back to the forge with his selected materials. "Mmm, can't remember if I ever knew you knew how to handle a bow," he says thoughtfully. "I'm going to say I didn't. Good luck to you, then! M'sure you'll do Xanadu proud. And if you don't … consider yourself banned from our shores." He grins teasingly at her, setting the metal rod on the fire to heat. "Yeah, I've seen the Weyrlings fly … they're good. M'glad for that. What I won't be glad for are two little girls runnin' amuck in my office," he laughs. "You should bring them by. I've acquired a new firelizard, and we've been gifted two tunnelcat kits. They may like playing with them," he suggest. "And I'm over my head with everything regarding the baby," Hey at least he can say the word now without stumbling over it! "At least, I feel that way. But at the same time.. I feel sort of .. confident about it too. Like, it isn't as shocking as it was before." He turns the rod over. "I'm attempting to convince her that we can keep the baby ourselves. Raise it without fostering. We're going to try…see how it works out with everything."

Safety first! Kiena doesn't want the awkward talk to Soriana and Thea (and well… many people) as to why the Weyrleader has lost a hand or some fingers, or was burned or Faranth knows what could possibly be the worst scenario (barring death) at the forges! For her sanity, safety first! "Yeah, why not? Even if just for a laugh or two. Ain't ever really been in a competition before. And I do handle a bow but not very well. Practice with it even less than my Smithing." Which means she'll be… passable at best. Laughing, she smirks at Ka'el, coming to lean against the wall to watch him toil away. "I'll keep that in mind and pass the word on to the other unfortunate souls who've signed up as well." Smirking, she scoffs in feigned insult. "My girls are well behaved, I'll let you know and are aware of boundaries! If anything you'll just be plagued by incessant questions. They're in that inquisitive 'why' stage. Why this, why that, why everything and please explain the meaning of life and the universe!" Laughing, Kiena will seem a bit surprised by Ka'el's mention of a new firelizard and tunnel cat kits. "Oh? When did you acquire these? I'm sure they'd adore the kits." Ahh, baby stuff. Now Kiena looks symapethic and understanding. "Can be overwhelming at times, huh? Confidence is good. That'll keep building. And is that right?" Her smile widens. "Good. Wish you two the best of luck. May work out just fine for you, in the end."

"They'll question me to death? Well then, throw them at me as soon as you can. I need the practice, and by the time mine is their age, I'll have all the answers to everything." And he'll be Daddy the Genius, right? He's gotta be prepared for this stuff! He shifts the rod in the fire a bit, eyeing the glow of the metal, deeming it fit for hammering! He lifts it by the cool end and places it on a nearby anvil. "The kits were a gift from Kera," he explains, pausing to hammer, hammer, hammer. A pause. "She heard of Inkfoot's death and got two kits from her da .. who I'm guessing is a beastcrafter. We've named them Joy and Dusty. Joy is even-tempered when Dusty is not messing with her. Dusty's a mess no matter what and gets in to every little thing." He says it with a fond tone though, pausing to hammer. "Nugget is the firelizard, found out in a forest clearing not too long ago. A few weyrbrats were giving him a difficult time." He frowns a little. "Innes had a spur-of-the-moment lesson of handling weyrfolk from Soriana. And in the end, we now have a madhouse of beasts." And a baby on the way, yay! He shakes his head, though it's done with a smile and an eye on his work. "Thank you for your well wishes. I feel like I'm foolish for being excited. Soriana isn't…quite as optimistic, and between the two of us she has more sense about things."

Kiena laughs again. "Oh, you have no idea what you've just agreed to. There IS no end to the questions. They'll find anything to ask about and next thing you know, you've dug yourself a hole so deep and trying to evade answering the difficult questions." Awkward ones! Maybe he'll need that shovel after all. She'll watch as he works, in curious and idle interest as a Smith observing another Smith's work. "Ahh, that was sweet of Kera and you're right, her 'da is a Beastcrafter. I remember her telling me that, but for some reason it stuck in my head that he dealt with runners. Good names! Sound like quirky little critters. Never had time for 'em myself. My three firelizards and Ujinath are enough, I think." And on some days, they all try her patience to the limit. "What were the weyrbrats doing with him?" This brings a frown and hint of disquiet to the Weyrsecond. "Wait… the lesson and your acquiring of Nugget go hand in hand?" This sounds like an interesting story! "Nah, I wouldn't say your foolish, Ka'el. Being excited is a good thing. Soriana may yet come around? It can be… difficult sometimes to see how something will pan out and then once it does…" It clicks. Sometimes.

If the questions from the twins get too awkward, Ka'el has an easy out! - Go ask your mother. See? It's all about passing the buck! It'll be turns yet before any child of his starts rambling off questions that cause him to fumble with a reply. He'll blissfully save that experience for when he's twenty-six, yes? He laughs at her answer though, continuing to work with the metal. His eyes don't leave the glowing piece as it's manipulated by force. Flattened on one side, then turned to even it out. As he works, the metal's glow fades, though he doesn't stop pounding until it looks just right. Then, back on the fire it goes to regain some of the heat. "One firelizard was enough for me," he says, shaking his head. "Never had it in mind to Impress another but… Eh. From what I could tell when I arrived, they had been poking at him, and one had him by the tail. He looked newly hatched, so I'm guessing they found his egg." He returns to his rod, pulls it off the heat and back onto the anvil to make the curve of a small hook. "Sori and Innes got there before me .. we were practicing sweeps and the clearing was our rendezvous. Anyhow, the Weyrwomen handled the kids. Nearly had'm in tears when they said they'd spend time in the cells. Once they finally let him go, he ran up to me and … I had a new lizard on the brain." And his baby is constantly on the brain, especially now as weeks and months have ticked away. "Has your brother's weyrmate had her children already?"

Nope! They'll ask why they have to go ask their mother and it'll spiral from there! Kiena leans back against the wall, weight shifted to one side and arms still crossed loose and comfortably over her chest. She frowns and then almost to the point of scowling. "Glad Soriana and Innes set 'em straight! They should know better than to taunt and torment critters. Hope that that scared 'em." No sympathy here from this bluerider! Maybe they're fortunate it was not HER who found them. "Well, good luck with your new firelizard and the two kits now too." Blinking, Kiena's mouth quirks into a lopsided smile that looks rather amused or perhaps impressed that the Weyrleader remembered that tidbit of information! "She has had them. One boy and a girl, Elladyr and Aranthi. Both healthy! And their mother too. Been meaning to visit but even they're caught up in the Istan Weyrgames."

"Oh I doubt those weyrbrats'll be anything but model citizens for a while," remarks Ka'el, looking and sounding satisfied by hte level of punishment that they did get. Darn kids. Darn teenagers! "Especially now that Sori and Innes have their eye out for them. She isn't a Weyrwoman yet, but she does a hell've a good job givin' the evil eye. If it was up to her, she probably would've had them thrown in the cells for at least a seven." And he wouldnt've batted an eye! Poor Nugget had a rough hatching. The hook is soon finished, with only a few ornamental things left to be hammered in as final touches before it's set off to cool. Ah. …Now what else can he make?? He eyes the forge, then thrusts the hammer out towards Kiena. "Here, take this from me before I get carried away.." he laments. "Congratulations to Fort, then. I'll have to send Th'ero a note of congratulations." It's good to keep Weyr ties strong! He moves to replace the apron, dusting his hands off on a towel before finishing off with a brush to the sides of his trousers. "The wonders smithing can do for the mind," he says with a relaxed sigh. "I should check on Soriana before the rain gets any worse. Are you heading out?"

"We can only hope," Kiena agrees to Ka'el's remark on the supposedly reformed weyrbrats. Time will tell? There's a laugh then, "Evil eye? Sounds like she'll be a good weyrwoman, for sure!" No sympathy from any of them for those weyrbrats! Serves them right. Snickering when the hammer is held out, Kiena will push off the wall and take it from him, setting it aside with the rest of the tools. "Done and done." she drawls, only to chuckle. "If you want, I can pass along the message? I'll probably cross paths with him at some point…" The offer is left to take or leave and as Ka'el seems ready to head out, Kiena also goes to find her jacket and slip it on. "Told you it couldn't hurt for a little bit of smithing. And I best head out. Otherwise I'll forget my own advice and warning and go right back to work here… and I ought to see to Ujinath, among other things. It was good to just chat, Ka'el. Catch up. Give my regards to Soriana, will ya?" And so goes the usual farewell, though Kiena may very well tag along for the trek, unless Soriana is somewhere else away from the coastal road where the Weyrsecond's weyr lies. Either way, she'll keep him company until their paths split and it will be another wave and good natured grin and well wishing before she's off to face the rest of her day.

"Will you?" says Ka'el, nodding to her. "That'd be great, thanks. I figure I'm already late with my congratulations, and if I send something, it may not make it Between. And I don't want to leave Soriana here…in case something happens." He's been at-the-ready for months now. Any signs of stress or distress, he's there to alleviate! But now that it's getting later in her pregnancy, there might be other things he's watching out for…things he has no idea how to handle himself if and when they happen! Thank Faranth for healers. He moves to grab his jacket and slip it back on. A glance outside deems that the hood would be a good thing to wear as the drizzle hasn't let up just yet, and so he covers his head with it. "S'always good to chat with you, Kiena," he says with a smile. "Don't forget to bring the girls by sometime to see the tunnelcats and Nugget," he says as he walks with her, boots gently sloshing in the mud. He indeed is by her side all the way to the coastal road. Soriana must be home! And she may definitely need a hand with those aforementioned animals. The rain makes children go nuts at times. Let's not even get started on the effect it has on critters! He waves to her before heading home.

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