Fishing for Help

Xanadu Weyr - Steward's Office
The office of the Steward is a place for things to pass through. On the side of the wooden desk nearest the door are a pair of boxes labeled In and Out. The center of the desk provides a place to process those papers, with a set of draftsman's tools - pens, pencils, rulers and compasses - tucked in a small wooden box. The computer, as it receives fewer messages, is set off to the side of the desk.
One thing that stays in the office is the Steward himself - at least, so long as he holds that office - and so there's a comfortable chair behind that desk, as well as a pair of plain wooden ones in front of it for those passing through.
Bookshelves line the walls, crammed with tomes ranging in topic from weather patterns of the southern continent to crop output for the last one hundred turns. They are some the many things of which a Steward must have a passing knowledge - one sufficient to let him delegate the rest. To record the events so delegated, there are a pair of file cabinets full of paperwork not yet so historical as to merit relocation to the archives.

Jethaniel sits at his desk, going through a sheaf of papers and annotating them with quick marks of his pen. Outside, it's a bright, hot summer afternoon - just shading to evening, and the caverns past the hallway have begun to bustle with the dinner rush. In here, the light comes from electrics, and the sound of the caverns is muffled by a door that's only open a crack, leaving just the sound of pen and paper and the occasional chirp from a green firelizard sitting on a pillow on the Steward's desk as he works.

A light knocking can be heard on the doorway to the setwards office a few moments before n-talya, one of the weyrs young dolphineer apprentices peeks in, the normally bubbly and overly energetic young girl appears very nervous today, a small bundle of papers is gripped tightly in her hands, "Sir." she says softly.

"I will be done mo-" Jethaniel begins as the door opens, looking up at his doorway. While the direction of his gaze is up, the doorway remains empty; this is his first clue that the situation is not what he expected. He stops speaking, and his gaze drifts down until it encounters Natalya. This might be constituted the second clue, though really, it's less a clue than a revelation, albeit still a partial one. "Ah," he says in response to the degree of discovery so established, and sits back in his chair, setting his pen aside to offer a smile. "May I help you?"

Natalya says softly, "Yes sir. Um, I was having a discussion with weyrling Soriana the other evening and she suggested I seek you out. um…." she looks extrememly nervous and licks her lips lightly.

Jethaniel nods slightly, as the presumption that those seeking him out intend to interact with him is verified. He remains in a pose of attention, gaze remaining up instead of returning to the papers in front of him, as further context is revealed… but the scenario remains incomplete. As Natalya trails off, he regards her a moment, then lowers his gaze to his work… briefly. One moment's glance, and then he looks up again, offering a small smile. "Why don't you come in and sit down?" he asks, extending a hand to indicate the chairs in front of his desk, then picking up those papers he was working on and setting them aside. His desk is clear, for now; the old business is concluded (or at least tabled), and thus he is ready for new.

Natalya noa and moves to take a seat across from the Steward and says softly, "I have started to think about some thing for my journeyman projects…." she looks nervous and says, "and I was thinking I am going to need the help of someone knowledgeable with techonolgy…..Soriana suggested that I come to you on this…."

It is not usually the case that apprentices require the approval of the steward for their journeyman project. Jethaniel leans forward slightly, his interest becoming somewhat less a matter of politeness and more a readiness to assess the likelihood that this project bears a risk of substantial damage to the Weyr or environs. It's that, or it has resourcing requirements sufficiently obscure the supervising journeyman is unwilling to request them. In either case, it seems likely that… "Ah." Natalya has revealed a third possibility, and it takes Jethaniel slightly by surprise. He sits back, and smiles ruefully. "My active involvement with the technology craft is, of necessity, limited at this time." He pauses a moment, and then… he leans forward once more. "However. It is, at present, the evening." And thus, no longer a part of his workday as a Steward, never mind the stack of papers he was finishing. "I may be able to advise you."

Natalya nods and says softly, "That is what I was hoping. Or maybe be able to help put me in contact with someone that could possibly help me…" she looks about, "I have scene some of the equipment that your craft uses for taking and reproducing images."

"That is possible," Jethaniel replies with an incline of his head. "I am aware of many of those working in the technology space. It will, of course, depend on the requirements." Which, he hopes, Natalya will provide, and as she begins, he nods. "Do you refer to photography, or projection? They are admittedly related, however, the differences are rather key."

Natalya says softly, 'I don't know a great deal about it but I think it is called photography. What I was looking for….hoping would be possible is maybe to make the equipment to be um… waterproofed and able to withstand pressure."

"Photography is a technique for capturing an image, usually on a plate or film that is treated with chemicals to produce an end result similar to a painting," Jethaniel explains, then folds his hands in front of him, leaning in slightly. "There exist cameras with a certain degree of water resistance," he begins. "There are very few absolutes, particularly when it comes to technology. Sufficient pressure is capable of overcoming any object, including and surpassing steel and stone. However," he smiles, "it is often the case that an absolute is not required, merely something sufficient to the circumstances. With that said, perhaps we should take a step back, and instead of discussing a technological solution, discuss the problem you wish to solve."

Natalya says softly, "Thre is a lot of Flora and fanua in the ocean and bay around. I have been spending a lot time diving with my journeyman and partner. I have read quiet a few books about the plants and animals but we don't really have good images othere then hand drawings…" she looks unsure of herself and says, "I was thinking of trying to catalog them… But I wound need the equipment that would work, well 30 to 40 feet under water at least, maybe deeper in some places."

"Ah," Jethaniel says, and his expression is considering. "So, you intend the system to be used beneath the water. I do not believe any of the extant cameras have that degree of innate water resistance. It is, of course, possible to immerse them within a sealed container; however, that would create a degree of distortion… feasible, perhaps, but undesirable." His gaze drifts across the room, settling for a moment on a map of the Xanadu region. "The optics involved would be complex… perhaps the starcraft could assist, they have some familiarity with unusual focal parameters. As for the device itself…" Jethaniel trails off into thought, then looks back to Natalya. "I believe such a device would be possible, at least in principle." He smiles slightly, and adds, "The implementation may prove challenging, and you may find you must make compromises to achieve your objective. Nevertheless, I believe it to be possible." He leans back in his chair, and sighs. "However, I have neither the time nor the expertise to personally investigate."

Natalya nods and says softly, "I was just hoping that maybe you could point me in the right dirrection." she smiles and says, "I do thank you for the time."

"Quite so," Jethaniel says, and nods slowly. "Quite so." He looks down to his desk again, gaze traveling over outbox and inbox and past the stack of papers, and a small sigh escapes him before he looks up again. "I suggest you talk to journeyman Parin. He is likely the most suited to advise you further; he does some work with photography." Jethaniel reaches for a sheet of blank paper and his pen, and writes a quick note addressed to Parin - nothing much, just a suggestion that this may present an interesting project. He signs his name at the bottom, then folds the paper over and extends it toward Natalya. "I look forward to hearing of your progress," he says, presenting a smile.

Natalya smiles and says, 'I will keep you informed. I know the healers where intrested in the plants, maybe it this will help.

"Oh, yes, there are certainly various applications," Jethaniel says with a slight wave of one hand. "After the technological problem is surmounted, that is. The quality of the light alone…" He hmms. "Yes, I do suspect the starcrafters can advise you there. The situations are analogous." Jethaniel nods consideringly, then drops his gaze to his desk once more before lifting it. "Was there anything else?"

Natalya stands slowly and says, "thank you sir that was all." she offers her hand.

Jethaniel rises to his own feet, and extends his hand over the desk to take Natalya's in it. "You're welcome," he says, and smiles. "Good luck." He'll wait for her to depart, and once she does, he'll sit back down at his desk and pull that sheaf of papers back in front of him. Strictly speaking, his day should be over; it's dinnertime, and he should be leaving. However, these papers do need finishing, and he won't be all that long at them. Jethaniel will be done momentarily.

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