Catch of the Day
caverns.jpg


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.


It is a foggy summer morning at Xanadu weyr, a deep grey coats everything out of doors and has driven Apprentice Dolphineer n-talya indoors for the morning. The young girl sits at one of the tables nearest the hearth, a book open before her reading quietly. Absently he keeps reaching up and burshing stray hairs from her face as the seem to be presistantly falling back before her eyes.

Fog's not enough to keep weyrlings indoors - or at least, not enough to convince the AWLMs to let them. But, even weyrlings sometimes get a bit of free time, and so Soriana's taken this bit of it to come inside and get something to eat. In she comes from the fog of outdoors, heading straight for the food tables to grab herself a couple meatrolls and a sweetroll.

Hearing someone pass behind her Natalya looks up and smiles brightly as she spots Soriana, "Hi there." she calls out and gives a cheery wave, having not seem much of the weyrling in some time.

Soriana is called! She looks over and balances her rolls to wave back, then makes a detour while keeping them balanced to pick herself up a mug of klah before making her way over to Natalya's table to join the dolphineer. "Heya!" she says, and grins. "Long time no see."

Natalya smiles and says, "It has been really." she smilse brightly, "how are you and your Luraoth doing?" she marks her page and closes her book to focus her attention fully on Soriana as she comes to join her.

Soriana stretches back in the chair, getting comfy. Mmmmh. Her eyes close for just a moment, and then she opens them again. "Oh, we're good! She's flying now." A grin. "I don't know if you've seen any of the practices, but they all are, stretching their wings and that. How about you?" Her brow wrinkles briefly as she tries to recall. "Wasn't there a dolphin friend who might want to pair with you?"

Natalya smile and nods, "Echo, he is great, I am out with him almost every day." she smiles brightly, "We have been working on diving techiques lately it is really interesting and honestly beautiful way under the water."

"That's right, Echo." Soriana nods, then tilts her head to the side, listening. "Yeah? Luraoth likes swimming too, though of course she's nothing like a dolphin when it comes to that." She laughs lightly. "I bet she'd like meeting him sometime, though." Soriana picks up one of her meatrolls and starts eating, then peers over at that book. "So what've they got you studying today?"

Natalya scrunchs her nose and looks down at the book and says, "Marine biology, mostly stuff based on the local sea flora, and some of theres uses." she scratches her head, "It is sorta confusing but yeah.."

Soriana leans over to take a look. "I think I read some of that stuff once. Back when I was still picking a craft." And reading random books out of curiosity. If only she had time for that anymore!

Natalya blinks and says, "Really? I never know there where so many species of seaweed." she shakes her head, "But it is good for alot of stuff, and can actually be pretty tasty."

Soriana laughs. "Okay, I admit. I kinda skimmed that part. After red, green, red-green, green-red… yeah, my eyes pretty much glazed over." She grins, and has some more of her meatroll (no seaweed here!) before nodding. "We had to eat some on our survival camp when we were candidates. It… wasn't the greatest, but! That might have been the preparation."

Natalya giggles and nods, "I think all food is in the preparation." she smiles and says, "As for the glazing over, I think that was what I was doing when you came in." she smiles, and sinks back in her chair, "it good to catch up with you finally. I think this if the first time we have talked since the hatching…"

Soriana nods her agreement around a mouthful of food. Aaaaall in the preparation! Omnomnom. Then, she laughs. "Is it really? I mean, has it really been that long?" She tries to think back - surely there must be something, but… yeah, she's kinda coming up blank.

Natalya nods and says, "Yeah it has. Right before I think it was. we where talking about I guy I sorta liked and you didn't approve and all." she smiles a bit.

Soriana thinks back, back, through the mists of time (they're kinda like the fog outside) to try to remember. "Ohh yeahhh…" she says, and then frowns briefly, taking a long-ish look at Natalya and then getting a slightly distant expression for a moment, one common to weyrs. The talking-to-dragon look. After a bit, she says, "So… did anything, uh, happen with that?"

Natalya giggles and says, "Well he sorta took me on a date to Ierne, we went shopping hand a nice picnic, it was alot of fun."

"I… see," says Soriana, and that bit of a frown is back. So's the distant look, her eyes flicking to the ceiling for a moment, then going down to the roll in her hand. She takes a bite and chews it before she says anything, just to give herself time to think. "And… uh. Did he… was he a gentleman?"

Natalya smiles and nods, "he was a perfect gentleman, he even kissed my hand at the end." she blushes bright red. yupe it seems her crush is still firmly in place, even if she hasn't seen him in months.

Complete with hand-kissing! Well now. "Hmm." Soriana gives a slight nod of her head, though the frown is… well, kind of persistent. Another slow and contemplative bite of food, and then another question strikes her, and she's just got to ask. "Did you ask him on the date? Or… did he ask you?"

Natalya says, "He said he wanted to treat me to the day cause I was so nice to him while everyone else here was being so mean…"

Hmmmm. So goes Soriana, and then… she gives a slow nod. "Well." Does she approve? Maybe not so much if the bit of frown still lingering is something to go by, but. "He's back at Ierne now, isn't he? I haven't heard about him coming by lately."

Natalya shakes her head and frowns just a bit, "he is really busy with his business and all." she says, "I am sure he will visit now and then."

Soriana nods a little. "That's what I thought," she says, and while Natalya may be frowning, Sori's frown is easing somewhat. "But, you know… people make time for what's important to them." She smiles a little. "I'm sure he's got a lot to keep him busy."

Natalya sighs and nods, "Yeah I know. and really I have been busy alot lately myself. Not like apprentices get much time to themselves. I was lucky to get the day off to visit Ierne that time."

"Well," Soriana says, and then she glances at the ceiling again for a moment's pause before looking back down to Natalya and smiling. "If you still haven't heard anything in a couple months, when they let us start going places," and oh, won't that be exciting! "I'll give you a ride to Ierne sometime when you've got a rest day."

Natalya looks over to Soriana and says, "you would really do that for me?" she smiles, "I didn't think you approved."

"I don't," Soriana says. The words are blunt, and the tone is matter of fact. "But you're obviously still into him, and so… I'd rather there was someone there to keep an eye on things." And Soriana can be a chaperone? The responsible defense against hormones? Hah. It's a wonder the whole cavern hasn't broken out in laughter. Nevertheless!

Natalya smiles brightly and leaps up from her chair to throw her arms around Soriana, "Oh Thank you!"

Soriana puts an arm back around Natalya, returning the hug. She's got an awkward sort of expression on her face - mostly smile, but with twinges of discomfort and uncertainty. Is this the right thing to be doing? Is it encouraging things, or…? She doesn't know. "You're welcome," she says, and works to get her face back under control and looking like she knows what she's doing by the time Natalya's looking at it again. "I mean, it's not going to be anytime soon," she warns. "We're not even doing mounted flights yet, let alone between. But…" The time will come!

Natalya nods and smiles, "That ok, I don't really have much time off right now anyways. I have so much to learn." she giggles, "I should show you the dress he got me. Oh and the new swim suit."

"Lessons, huh?" Soriana says with a trace of a grin. "I remember what that's like. Always something new to study!" She sounds almost wistful - not that she doesn't have plenty of lessons as a weyrling, but… it's different. Even if she can't say exactly how, it is. As for that dress… "Yeah, I'd like to see it." She smiles. "And swimsuits, well… those're practically everyday wear for you!"

Natalya giggles and says softly, 'I don't normally wear a bikini though…" she blushes a bit, "It is the most briliant purple one I have ever seen."

Not just a swimsuit. A bikini. "Oh," Soriana says, and her expression twitches. "I suppose not. The journeymen probably wouldn't approve." She's quiet for a moment, then puts a smile back on her face. "I've got a purple jacket from Ierne." Pause. "If it even fits anymore… but anyway. The weavers there do some amazing things with colors."

Natalya nods and says "They do, I sorta want to go back just to go shopping, I saw some stuff in dolphineer blue I was thinking about getting as well.." not noticing the reaction to the mention of the bikini she not, "It wouldn't be good to use with the diving gear or anything either."

"Well, when we go, we can definitely go shopping," Soriana says with a flash of a grin. Not that she's usually all that into shopping, and yet. "You've got those wetsuits for diving, right? The ones that cover you up from head to toe?"

Natalya nods and says, "Yeah, we do some skin diving too though, for shallower water, just the tank and our swimsuit and fins."

Soriana nods to that. "Still, I'm sure you want something sturdy for that." A moment's consideration, and, "Do the tanks get uncomfortable? Like, I've been doing practice with a flamethrower, and sometimes the strap starts rubbing at me and gets kinda painful. Does that happen with the tank and fins?"

Natalya nods and says, "The straps over the shoulder can rub you raw. and the tank is heavy." she smiles, 'It is worth it though to see the stuff I get to see down there."

"I can imagine," Soriana says with a half-grin. Of course, imagining is just about all she can do, unless she tries to fit in cross-training with the dolphineers to an already full schedule. "It's too bad you can't bring down one of those camera things the techcraft has. I'm sure it'd make great pictures…" Here's the other half of the grin. "And that the pictures wouldn't do it justice."

Natalya frowns for a moment thinking, "I might have to talk to one of them about that…" nodding her head, "they would have to water proof it some how…" she smiles brightly, "that is a great idea Soriana." bouncing alittle on her feet right now she continues, "you are right about it not doing justice, maybe when I make journeyman I could maybe take you out.."

"If you can make it work…" Soriana says. "I dunno much about them, mostly I've just seen a techie carrying one around and yelling at people when they got in the way of her pictures." She grins, then huhs. "That'd be neat. If it's something you can do with someone who doesn't know what they're doing. I mean, I can swim, but…"

Natalya nods and says, "Anyone can dive, it would just take a couple of lessons, we wouldn't go to deep and Echo would be there in case anything went wrong. I am going to talk to the techies about those cameras. I think it would be great to get some good images from down there. maybe it would help explain things in the book, better then just drawings.."

Soriana grins, and nods. "In that case, it's a plan!" Surely even a goldrider can spare the hours for a few lessons from… well, whatever her post-weyrlinghood schedule turns out to be. (Other than 'busy'.) "They'll probably enjoy the challenge." Because, well, techies. "Maybe you could even work with one… he makes the camera, you take the pictures. It could be like… a journeyman project or something. For both of you!"

Natalya nods excitedly and says, "Maybe, that is such a great idea." the overy exuberant girl throws her arms about Soriana once more, "oh, thank you, thankyouthankyou!"

This time, Soriana's smile is more definite. When it comes to underwater photography, there's no downside! At least, not that she can see. So, she grins, and hugs Natalya back once more. (Hey, maybe the tech apprentice'll even be cute and distract Naty! (Sori can dream, anyhow.))

Natalya bites her lip and says, "No the only problem is finding the right techie…I don't really know any of them.."

Soriana considers on that for a moment, but… only a moment. "Well… the Steward used to be techcraft, right? And this is practically his job anyhow, 'cause… the sea is a natural resource surrounding the Weyr, and… you'd be… making use of it. I mean, you could totally sell the pictures, or use them for education, and that's to the good of the Weyr." And Soriana is totally stretching the truth and making unsubstantiated claims, but maybe if she moves on quickly nobody will call her on it. "So you could ask him! He'd probably know who from techcraft'd fit."

Natalya nods and says, "that is a great idea, I will let him know you sent me his dirrection." thinking to herself, "I will need to work up some kind of proposal for him first probaly right? I should get working on that."

And after that, there may be a lecture about the proper uses and abuses of stewards in Soriana's future! But for now, she just grins and nods. A proposal? "Yeah, that sounds about right! With, like… what you plan to do, and expected outcomes and risks. Kinda like a case report." A moment later, she hmms. "I suppose you don't really have those in dolphincraft, do you? What with the not having patients and all. But, anyway. A proposal sounds like a good start."

Natalya says, "Well we do have patients, I mean we do work as healers for the dolphins themselves."

Soriana huhs, and nods. "I guess you do. I didn't really think of that, but… it makes sense." She grins. "Not like there's anybody else who knows more about 'em than you do."

Natalya nods and says, "It is one of the things we can specilise in, i am getting some training on that end now, just the basics but."

"…but if you're out with your partner and something goes wrong, you'll be glad you know it." Soriana smiles. "It's the same with weyrlings, they teach everyone the basics of dragonhealing. Just the practical bits mostly, not all the details of muscles and joints and… everything, but… yeah."

Natalya nods and says, "Exactly, they are showing us enought to get by until we can get a real healer.

Soriana nods. "Yeah. S'about what I know about human healing." Well, and whatever she can adapt from her dragonhealing knowledge, but it's kinda hard to adjust sometimes, except for the basic bits like 'blood should stay on the inside.'

Natalya nods and says, "I have alot to learn still on that score." she smiles, "But anyways, enough about me…tell me about your mate?"

Soriana laughs. "It's interesting, though!" she insists. "It's nice to talk about something that isn't dragons - it's like we're tucked away there and we barely hear about anything that isn't whatever new exercises the weyrlingmasters have for us." She gives her head a shake, grinning. "But… Luraoth is… heh, what do I even say? She's great." A fond smile. "She likes sunsets and long walks on the beach…" Soriana trails off into distraction for a moment, and the smile turns rueful. "…and she's reminding me that she hasn't gone hunting today, and she's getting hungry." Sori rises to her feet, giving Natalya a hug. "I should go, but… come by sometime and meet her for yourself, okay? She'd love to say hi." She grins, and wiggles her fingers farewell before picking up her sweetroll to finish on the way and heading out again. Back to weyrlinghood with her!


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