Of Sand and Stars

Xanadu Weyr - Beach


The unerring range of subdued white rises and falls in a multitude of sandy dunes, creating an endless amount of tiny valleys constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of a dragon. Smoothing out as it slopes gently to the edge of the deep blue water, the sand darkens and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect. The beach itself is set along a low cliff - the height lessoning as one heads eastwards, blocking a portion of the beach from direct access.
The wide wide stretch of water opens up to the east, the far distant shore way beyond the horizon and the beach curves ever so slowly round to east and west, distant arms of land embracing the wind-ruffled Caspian Lake. East leads up to the mouth of the Rubicon River, where the protecting cliff is merely an arms length higher then the sand, and beyond that, a winding road leading out of Xanadu's territory. Westwards, the beach narrows as the cliff swings out, leaving a path wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to the sheltered cove designated the Weyrling Beach. However, cut in the cliff face to the north are a variety of rough, wide staircases, providing access to the clearing and to the meadow.

While others play and enjoy the bright sunny day, the cool breeze, the killer waves and the floating seeds, along with all the activity on the beach, Kire is dutifully collecting samples of sand for his master. While the glasssmith does much of the work to make the mirrors that are used for the starviewers that the starsmiths use, his master has a notion that sand from Xaandu Weyr would make even better mirrors to use in starviewers. Thus while everyone gets to play Kire is spending the beautiful afternoon on the beach collecting samples of sand from different points on the beach.

Thea walks on the beach near the water's edge, the wind whipping her hair about her face. She's not dressed for swimming, rather in her flight leathers and boots. She wipes the last bit of perspiration from her forehead with one hand, and turns towards the wind, shaking her head just a bit to help the breeze to blow her hair back off of her cheeks which are beginning to lose the heat-pink flush from sitting with Seryth in the Hatching caverns. She watches the waves for a moment, turns to walk and as she does, she spots the teen picking up sand from here and there. Pausing to watch him with a puzzled half-smile for a few moments, she finally asks, "What are you doing?" Well, it's obvious what he's doing, so she corrects herself. "I mean, why are you picking up sand?"

Kire opens his mouth as he assumes that some other snarky person was trying to make fun of him. He turns to see who is asking him and he stops. It's a rider, that's obvious from her riding gear, but his eyes flies to her shoulder. It's a junior weyrwoman, so he's gotta be respectful. He hears the second question and he takes a deep breath to explain himself. "My master has a theory about the sands of Xanadu Beach being perfect for making mirrors for starviewers, but do to the gout in his knees he cannot bend down for long periods of time to collect the samples that he needs. He sent for an apprentice so that this apprentice could gather the samples and other equipment that he needs to prove his theory. I was lucky enough to be the apprentice that was chosen by the Starcraft to help the Weyr Starcrafter."

With a pleasant expression, Thea listens to the young man explain, nodding with the bit of a smile growing as soon as she hears the words, 'my master'. "I see. You're in the Starcraft then." Not asking, rather confirming as her eyes flicker over his knot briefly. She stoops to sweep a small handful of the sand into her hand, allowing it to trickle through her fingers onto the palm of her other hand. Still crouched there, she looks up at him, "So, what exactly is in this sand that your master feels is so perfect?" Her tone is light, playful.

Kire caps one of the sample vials and he puts it carefully it in the holder, "Yes my name is Kire. I am an apprentice Starcrafter." He watches her pick up a small handful of sand. "Well as my master has explained it to me. The uniformity of the sand, the whiteness of the sand offers the perfect, when fired, reflection and it is in immense supply. He postulates that a couple barrels full of Xanadu Weyr sand when fired correctly will allow us to see planets on other stars. Whether this is true or not I don't know, but he is my master and I do what he says." He sighs as a group of teens walk by laughing and taking before he picks up another vial to fill it.

"As well you ought, your master should be pleased." She rises gracefully in one fluid motion, dusting her hands off on each other, before offering one to Kire to shake. "Welcome to Xanadu, Kire," she says simply. "I'm Thea, Seryth's rider," she says simply. She steps aside for the teens, quick green eyes take in their carefree laughter and a sympathetic glance is given to the teen working. "Hard to work where the rest are at play, but at least it's not a damp windowless workroom, no?" A swirl of seed-down skitters down the beach in a min-whirlwind, enters the lee created by the pair of them and breaks up into an eddying fall of fuzz about their faces.

Kire nods, "I hope that he is. It would be a lot of work all for nothing." He brushes off his hand and he takes her hand to shake it with a firm grip, "Thank you for the welcome. At least here on the beach I can't explode anything." He looks around, "I'm pretty sure." He nods, "I know. Hard work has it's own rewards. Very true. I could be down in the depths of a mine. It is nice to see this star instead of all the ones at night." He brushes one of those seeds as it sticks to his sweaty face.

Thea laughs as tiny white puffs cling to her eyelashes and hair. And immediately coughs because she inhales a few. She shakes her head, flicking at her lashes with the tips of her fingers, freeing the down to fly on the wind and attack someone else. She mock-growls in response to Kire's comment, "Let's keep it that way when you're in the kitchens, too, or they may want to quit feeding you." There's another half-smile before she's looking totally bewildered, "This star? What star?" She blinks at the bright blue sky, but before he has time to explain, Thea turns towards the Weyr. Over her shoulder, she says, "You'll have to explain about it some other time though, Kire. Seryth is calling." And her steps quicken as she heads off at a slow jog.

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