The Klah of Portents

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.

Playing in the drizzle probably isn't helpful to a growing dragon, especially since that growing dragon is now within his early flight stages. Those wings need to be stretched and massaged! Not flapping away in the mud and feeling the strain of a bronze's weight as he rolls about on his back. Sigh. Ka'el could've stopped this if he weren't so engrossed in the play himself. But now he and Kanekith are separating. The drizzle has strengthened into a steady rain, and the temperature is dropping with the setting sun. Time to go home, dry up, and get oiled and massaged! … After a meal. Ka'el's stomach is grumbling loudly as he steps into the caverns, pausing long enough to stamp off his boots before making a beeline to the food. His hands are wiped on the side of damp jeans on his way. That'll get them clean enough for dinnertime. Nevermind the streaks of mud in his hair and splatters on his clothes. Clean. Enough.

Humans need to be fed! So do dragons, of course, but humans can't just go pounce a herdbeast and chew it down whole. They have to actually get food cooked and served and they usually even eat it off plates and with forks and all that sort of thing. Maybe not with three different forks and five knives, but still a basic level of manners. Mannerly. Enough. …or something. Soriana's just about finished with her own dinner. There are remnants of it on her plate, ones that Haruhi is busy turning her nose up at as she lounges along the table, and a mug of klah that she's vaguely swirling and staring into.

Some of this. A little of that. Eh … no make that a lot of that. Please and thank you! "Oh, what're those?" Little spring rolly things? Sure, why not! Why is it that when one is hungry, EVERYTHING MUST BE EATEN NOW AND IN HUGE AMOUNTS mode activates so quickly? By the time Ka'el has gotten through the line, his plate is a heaping mass of rolls, meats, tubers (both mashed and baked), those new spring rolls, and he's still eyeing the row of foods that he didn't have room on his plate to take. Eh. He'll save it for round two. Now it is time to sit and eat. Getting a drink obviously doesn't rank high on his list of things that must be done now, for it's without one that he meanders to the table like a lion stalking its prey. Now which table to claim.. Ah ha! Soriana's. *plop!* goes his plate as he sets it down. "Sorry Haruhi, gotta move." At least, move out of prime 'sitting across from Sori' seating. "What's it tellin' you?" he asks the goldrider, gesturing to the mug she so intently watches before he sits without invitation. "Tell me my fortune."

Eat ALL the food! Soriana gives a bit of baked tuber a nudge across her plate, then looks up as Ka'el claims his place at her table. "Hey," she tells him, and does her part to nudge Haruhi away. The gold chirps a complaint, but it's an easily ignored one, soon persuaded to go away with a bit of a scritch to her head as she settles in Soriana's lap. "It's tellin' me there oughta be a new pot brewed, because this one's startin' to turn funny." That would be the hazard with klah in the afternoon. Nobody's done a fresh pot since morning! She smirks, and gives them another swirl. "I foresee… you're going to get even wetter before the night's out." Easy. Bet. That's why she hasn't headed back yet, after all. So wet ouside.

It takes so much self-control for Ka'el not to dig in to his food like the ravenous animal he feels like he is. Instead, his fingertips press as he holds his hands to his mouth, watching in intense concentration as his future is read. He'll be wet? Shock and awe! Sputtered disbelief! He widens his eyes and pulls in a breath that's held and gradually released in a whispered curse. "Shards.." The horror! "There's … nothin' that can be done? Is my future sealed to be what it is, or can I tempt Fate to change? Tell me I'm not doomed for wetness with no escape!" His brows press and the expression on his face turned pained. And it all lasts for a handful of moments before the act begins to dissolve with the appearance of a grin. "Eh. Could be worse, I guess." He plucks up a warm spring roll. "Have you tried these? An' why're you drinking klah now? You behind?"

"The klahbark has spoken," Soriana intones, and gives her mug another swirl before gazing into its depths once more. "Wetness and mud. Your fate is sealed." She looks up to him, and smirks. "Sorry. For both of us." And then, she looks over at those spring roll things. "Yeah, they're pretty good," she agrees, and takes a sip of her klah before making a face. It still doesn't taste all that good. Sigh. "Aw, it's not that late. Besides…" Repeat that sigh. "Aren't you studying? I heard there's going to be a test on hand signals tomorrow. Like, all of them, not just the basic ones we've already been using."

So the spring rolls have passed Soriana's judgement. But, will they make it past Ka'el's? He eyes the rolled morsel with critical gaze, then with a shrug, takes a bite. Crunch! Chew, chew… Hm.. Hmmm! His brows raise a little at the taste of it, and the look on his face isn't unpleasant. Operation Spring Roll is a success! He takes another bite while listening to her, allowing the news of his fate sink in. "Well. I guess that means I'll have to live out the rest of my dry…ish moments in bliss before I'm washed away. Wanna help with that?" He grins at her, though at the mentioning of tests, the look twists. "Shards, don't remind me. There's a couple've hand signals I'd like to give every time I think about that test," he snorts, though can't help but snicker after. "I'll study…when I get back. Maybe. Figure by now either I have it or I don't." His tone, while not utterly careless, does seem far more relaxed than he probably should be about any weyrling test. "Don't stress out."

"Ish," Soriana says with a look at some of Ka'el's clothing. He's not all that dry. "But… bliss, huh? Might have some of that. Not in this klah, though." It's kinda like the opposite of blissful. Haruhi peeks up from Soriana's lap and gives a look that's also the opposite of blissful. Somelizard is grumpy today. Soriana mostly ignores her, reaching down and giving her head a nudge without even looking. She laughs at the mention of those hand signals, giving her head a shake. "Yeah, I know. Some of those are like… do people even use those? Ever?" She sighs. "Well, I mean, it's not like I'm studying now…" she says, and smiles. Briefly. "But I figure I should look them over, at least. And I've got to oil Luraoth's straps again, they got wet today. So… yeah. I figure I'll be up for a few hours yet." Hence the klah. "And I only had the one… and half milk." Because it was crappy klah, partially, but still. She prooobably won't be tossing and turning and awake all night. …sigh. Don't stress out, right. "Yeah, I know." She knows many things! And many of them make her sigh.

"No, they don't," Ka'el replies oh so knowingly about those unknown, unused hand signals. "No one uses them, but they figure they'll have use learn'm anyway just to see how much our heads can take before one of us is driven mad. My marks are on T'bor," he says conspiringly, dropping his voice a smidge and leaning over the table a smidge, brows lifting before he sits back again. "We'll study together," he says simple, tucking into his meal again, speaking between bites and swallows. "You throw signals at me, and I'll toss some at you til we're both sick of seein' each others' hands and find somethin' better to do with them." He has ideas, if that time comes, and the grinned look on his face is proof enough that he does. He glances at her less than grand cup of klah. Ka'el to the rescue! "Want me to go back in the kitchens and demand a new pot? Fresh and crisp for the future weyrwoman junior of Xanadu? How could they refuse?" A wry smirk.

Soriana hmms consideringly. T'bor, huh? "Yeah, probably," she says after giving the matter due thought. "It's him or K'asin." And aren't they lucky their fellow weyrlings aren't here to hear this discussion? Not that anyone's really truly expected to go mad, right? That's not part of V'dim's plan, riiiight? She can but hope. Sometimes it sure seems like it, though. The idea of studying together makes her smile, and she nods. "Hey, maybe we'll invent a few of our own. Surely we can come up with more useful signals, maybe replace a few of those awful ones… or at least give them second meanings." More interesting ones! That should not be put down on the test papers. Ever. Oh, but she's grinning now, and then she rolls her eyes at the suggestion of getting more klah. "I don't need to be up for that long. I'll polish the straps while you're signaling." Or she'll try to, anyhow. "Junior weyrwoman. Hah. I'll be important or something." She glances around the room, taking a look at all these people far older and more experienced and everything than her, and shakes her head. "Nah. Future junior or not, I don't wanna make Ocelara glare at me."

There. He got one! A Sori smile. And the sight of it makes him vaguely grin in quiet triumph. "K'asin huh?" He pauses to consider that, brows furrowing. "Eeeeah yeah, I could see that. Still think that between the two've them, T'bor's got him beat." … Heh, they aren't here to hear this, right? Has this been confirmed?? Ka'el plucks up a flaky biscuit to begin peeling back the fluffy layers to eat one at a time. Meticulous biscuit torture. "Fine, fine no klah. But don't complain to me later that you've a bitter taste in your mouth or somethin'. I could've fixed that. And yeah, you'll be important. Within the ranks of importance.." He lifts his hand up, palm parallel to the table and held up to about forehead height. "You'll be here. A 'Very Important Person', so you should get used to bein' sucked up to." A smirk. "Not by me, of course. By other people who don't know any better." His voice is light. Playful and teasing. Eating has slowed as the growling monster in his stomach becomes satisfied, even without the assistance of a glass of water. Outside, the rain continues. Not a torrent, though with the distance they'll have to walk, probably not the best weather to go out in. "Hey. Wanna pretend we're regular people like before and sit with me on the couch an' do nothin' til the rain lets up?"

Well, Sori hasn't actually gone and looked, but she doesn't remember seeing either of them lurking close. "K'asin broods, but T'bor's the one that'd actually go crazy, I think." She leans back in her chair, and shakes her head, tilting it to look at Ka'el's height of her future importance. "Hah." Him, sucking up? "Do you even know how?" She raises an eyebrow at Ka'el, complete with teasing grin… though… people sucking up to her. Faranth, that'll be weird. If it even happens. Ka'el might be wrong, despite the nagging feeling she's getting that he's actually right. She reaches out a hand for him, then huhs. Staying here. Spending time together. Relaxing. First she smiles at the idea of it, then she frowns because there's that studying and strap-polishing, and then… she nods. "Yeah. I would like to do that." The smile returns, even though she should study, because… well, there are some things more important than studying. Polishing Luraoth's straps is one of them, and she'll make sure to get that done before bed. Sitting (cuddling) on the couch with Kale… yeah, that's another one. "But if it doesn't stop by ten, we've got to go back anyhow." Responsibility. She has it. Mostly.

Hmmm, can Ka'el suck up? "Wouldn't you like to know.." he remarks with a smug smile. "Too bad you never will." Sori's future may, in truth, be an unknown, but it is fun to tease her. If not tease, weyrlings would be neck deep in worries and what ifs! What if he doesn't go back to the smith? What if he does? Is that best for him? For Kanekith? What if Soriana doesn't want to be in a role of leadership and paperwork and limited freedoms? What could she do then? What if she decides to leave? Such a mystery, the future. The present is much easier. Presently, Ka'el is done eating and, like Soriana, knows there's much more he should be doing. Responsible things. But, shells, he's been responsible for days. Sevens! Isn't it time for a break from it? He rises from his seat, brushing his hands against his jeans before moving towards Soriana and nodding to the Comfy Couch before the Fire. The same sofa near which he was a zombie cannibal with her so long ago. "Ten," he repeats, nodding in agreement. "Got it. I'll have you home by nine forty-five. Your parents'll love me." More teasing. Easy-going and playful. There are more important things, yes. Things they should tend to. But, for a little while at least, as boy and girl sit before a low burning fire to talk, not talk, and .. yes cuddle, 'want' trumps 'should'.

Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License