Men and Beasts

Xanadu Weyr - Kitchens
The kitchen is large and well-stocked with technology as well as those with culinary skill. State of the art equipment has been brought in from the various crafts to be used - stoves and large ovens replacing the hearths that used to be in here. Three baking ovens are usually going full bore half the day, from early morning through to mid-afternoon. Large windows take up the entire of the western wall, generally open wide to the mountainous landscape beyond allowing the cool breezes in to keep the kitchen's temperature to a desirable level.

Tables, cabinets, and counters take up the remaining spaces and walls. Various spices, herbs, and other foodstuffs are found here, and what's not ready at hand is tucked away back in the storage caverns or the massive cold-room large enough to walk inside.

The night hearth beside the door to the main caverns has been kept out of a sense of nostalgia, but the smaller stove set beside it is what's actually used to prepare late-night food. This is where you find late night meals of stew and soup simmering in pots, and pitchers of klah and tea in their electric units to be kept warm.

It's a little early for dinner, a little late for lunch. That weird period where the tables in the caverns have pretty scarce offering and the kitchens are wildly busy undertaking the task of feeding the population of Xanadu. In addition to prepping dinner for the caverns, there's a side of the kitchen working on packing up boxes for folks on-the-go to grab and take along wherever their day happens to be leading them. F'yr is lingering near there, but his day is doubtlessly leading him back to the prison hatching sands. He rarely gets to leave the exceptionally hot cavern these days since Glorioth can rarely be either lured away or trusted on the sands without F'yr to run interference for the unsuspecting. The destination explains his tank top and cargo shorts, and his unobtrusive lean against one of the walls in wait, presumably, for something to take back with him. There's an easy smile on his lips as one of the workers departs his side and he sinks back against the wall, folding his arms over his chest, trying to failing at taking up less space than his broad shouldered, tall frame helplessly does.

Is it any surprise that, given his reception, that Shiloh has been very careful to avoid that exceptionally hot cavern? Like, go the long way around if he has to go that way, kind of avoidance. He might be holding a grudge >.> He might still fear for his life. He might definitely have decided that big, bronze dragons are not to be trusted and it is best to avoid tempting fate twice. He doesn't need that sort of terror in his life! But what he does need is some food. And so… kitchens. But he pauses on the threshold, checking his boots for mud (which he already knocked off before coming into the caverns) and waiting for some sort of acknowledgement before entering the domain of those with culinary skills. It's that moment of waiting, as dark eyes drift around the space, that lands his gaze on F'yr (he's kinda hard to miss) and just… stare. It's that sort of 'you look familiar but I can't place it and I'm not sure I want to place it' sort of stare that could be offensive in some contexts. But then it hits him, like a smack to the face. "Oh. It's you." It's not particularly rude but, well. Shiloh can probably do better.

LISTEN. This is not F'yr's domain, and the thing is, the big bronzerider may be getting smiles from the cooks and assistants here and there, but part of the reason he gets those is that he's not in the habit of usurping the power of the wooden spoon. It is one of those spoons that will wave Shiloh in, even if the wielder immediately is swept up to hound down an assistant who's doing that wrong, whatever that is. This abandons poor, slightly-gobsmacked Shiloh to the Quasar rider's tender mercies. Fortunately, where one's dragon believes that he is FAR TOO BRAVE for MERCY, the rider takes a different view. His smile broadens a touch and he gives a friendly up-nod to the other young man. "Hey Shiloh," as if they really are just old comrades happening to cross paths in the kitchen. After all, what better way to put things behind them than to pretend they're very far behind them. "How's it going?"

Narrowed eyes and tight jaw says Shiloh has definitely not put anything behind them. But after a breath and a clearing of his throat, he offers a cordial nod of his head in returned greeting and steps over to be at least conversationally closer. "F'yr," is returned, because he does remember his name (probably because it sounds eerily similar to 'fear', which was definitely a thing Shiloh had in spades last time he saw him). Adopting a similar sort of lean, he allows, "Well enough," to answer that second question. "Settling in. Xanadu is… quite large." It's the truth at least. "How is… How are you?" because maybe asking about dragons is not something he really wants to do?

Judging by the way the blond does not react to all that shade getting thrown his way, it might be fair to imagine F'yr oblivious, especially if one does not know the man. His blue gaze is, however, quite keen as he takes in all that wealth of subtle body language. "Coveting my time in places less hot than the arena." Like the kitchens, which is still hot, especially with all the heat sources and the bodies moving about. "Getting a little stir crazy." That sounds like a polite understatement given the slight tension in his jaw. "Xanadu is quite large." He agrees conversationally. "I started here as a gardener. The gardens and greenhouse are very impressive." This is probably a recommendation to visit if the newcomer hasn't yet. "How're the runners today?" For some, this might just be a throwaway question, but it sounds like the bronzerider actually does want to know.

"I can't imagine." Because he can't. And Shiloh isn't sure he wants to try. Trapped in an oven with an overly aggressive bronze to keep track of? Nope. No thanks. But it's at least said in mild commiseration rather than derision. Because maybe it's not really F'yr that he holds that resentment toward. Just, you know, his dragon. But he's trying to let it go? Maybe? Or at least, separate the man from the beast. Progress! Possibly. "I have heard the gardens are nice," he admits. "But I haven't found time to see them yet." Maybe he will make that time, now that another has joined in the recommendations? Hmm. And runners. Oh, the runners. That at last gets a hint of… well. It's not a smile really, but it's not a frown? It's a twitch of the lips that could possibly have become a smile if he'd put just a little more effort into it. "They are well. Putting me through my paces and testing all the limits," he allows with almost amusement. "But well. I wouldn't expect anything less." And honestly? He loves it. It's his job after all. "Do you ride? Runners," he clarifies, because obviously he rides a dragon.

"Well, the runners contribute their share to making tha gardens beautiful," F'yr replies, expression going deadpan, tone very dry before he grins at Shiloh. He works with the runners, he must get the joke, right? Maybe it will make for a nicer visit if the BeastCrafter understands his one-animal-removed contribution to the symbiotic systems of the Weyr. "Being new, you'll have to be tested. The runners might be the most gentle about that," he offers a commiseratory look because it won't be just the runners that do the testing; he was new once, he knows. "I hope you're managing to stay flexible. It helps keep you sane." ISH. He means not insane, really, but who's splitting hairs here? "The greenhouse is especially good when we start getting the storms, but that won't be for a while yet. Or the snow. A place that still feels green and growing in the midst of winter. It was new when I got here a couple of turns ago. I haven't ridden runners much since getting here. Not really much reason, but I was speaking with K'vir recently about maybe taking it up again." So they might be seeking Shiloh out soon about that. "Where did you come from last?" Was there snow there? Rains?

It takes Shiloh a moment — probably because he's not expecting it — but when the dots connect there's a snort-choke-aborted-laugh sound in answer. Appreciation, at least, for the connection. "Just doin' there part," he agrees, allowing some amusement for the thought. "Contributing to the greater good." Of gardens. But of being tested? Well. There's a grimace for the thought, even if it's not entirely unexpected, either. "Pretty sure I passed the worst of the tests." Please, please tell him that Glorioth threatening to (maybe) eat him was as bad as it would get? Please? I mean, it can't get worse right? (dun dun dunnnnn) "Greenhouse…" The repetition comes with an almost curious tone; like he might check that out too, if he finds the time. There is, as it is, a lot he has to check out in Xanadu. "I expect there's not much cause for runner riding when you've got a dragon," he allows, squinting toward the cooks to avoid looking too sympathetic for the thought. Because really, in what world could Shiloh imagine a life being better without runners? "But there are always a few that could use a ride. And Telgar area. A couple cotholds too obscure to name if you're not in the business of buying herdbeasts and runners." Ah, Telgar. Frigid winters. Smoldering summers. "I'll admit, I don't know how you dragonriders do it; going from winter to summer in the blink of an eye." He's still a little mystified at that.

"Maybe," F'yr allows, not as reassuring as 'yes' but much more honest; maybe Glorioth was the worst of it. "I'm not sure you want the inside scoop." Maybe the bronzerider is rightly concerned about what hot water putting such things into words could get him into. "No, not a lot of cause, and runners that aren't raised here tend to not like the smell of dragonmen. Even these can get… well." He shrugs. But at least the ones at a Weyr recognize what they're smelling? At least, this is in F'yr's limited experience. "If we're smart, we learn to pack changes of clothes in our strap satchels. Or we sweat." Freezing is less likely given the uniform - the one F'yr isn't wearing now - that's meant to withstand the cold of between. "It does spin the head a little. At first. Like anything, you sort of get used to it." It might seem he's forgotten entirely about just where the BeastCrafter has come from as blue eyes range over those still carrying out the work of the day around them. "I doubt I'd have heard of those places in Telgar. Da mostly dealt locally for 'beasts and runners, and not many of the latter. I was too young in the grand scheme to end up with anything to do with that end of things. I just did what I was told." Like a good son. "The beach is nice, here." He adds, "Didn't have that back home. The storms over the sea…" He gives a low, impressed whistle to recommend them. But then it's back to Shiloh, "Was the posting what you wanted? Here?" Perhaps NOT NOW that he's met Glorioth, but. That can't be helped.

"Can't blame them for being a little leery," agrees Shiloh. "I wouldn't be too keen on the thing that smells like it wants to eat me climbing up on my back, either." Shiloh's not sure what he's waiting for — hopefully food, if they remember to feed him — but he's perfectly happy to lean against something, fold his arms all comfortable, and survey the scurry of cooks and assistants alike. Don't mind him; just another giant wall decoration with really no business being in the kitchen. "We supplied a lot to the weyr up there," he explains. "S'probably where most of our stock went. Your dragons eat a lot." It… might be an attempt at good-natured ribbing? Or just a rather obvious observation. Cause duh. Dragons. "The runners were more a side… thing. Raised our own cause it was cheaper than buying. Sold a few, kept most. S'how I got started before the 'craft." Probably how he got into the beastcraft. "The beach I've been to," he allows. "No storm, but was nice to look at just the same. Didn't have that back home, either." And he was probably appropriately awed by it, too. It's the last that has him hesitating (probably because of Glorioth) but in the end he answers with an honest, "It's not what I expected. I didn't pick it — not that I didn't want it. Just… didn't care much where I went, if that makes sense. Didn't really think I'd end up in a Weyr," he admits. "But now that I'm here… Barring one notable exception," and F'yr gets three guesses on what that might be, "It's been nice. Different, but nice."

"Neither," is F'yr's simple but emphatic agreement about the wisdom of the runners'. It's just as plain as plain as when he replies, "They do," with a nod. He will not, here, go into how Glorioth will slaughter whole families of herdbeasts given the freedom (or lack of supervision) to do so. That would just be fueling the fires of fear, right? "But it's a good reason to be in the business. We had a lot of herdbeasts back home, too. If you end up riding out to many of the farms in the region while you're posted here, my family's will probably end up on your rotation at some point." Something about that makes his lips press together and the way he carries on to other topics subtly smacks of distraction. "Xanadu is… not what people expect, I don't think. Unless they've visited enough, or heard the right rumors." There are surely many that vary widely. "When I first got here…" he starts, stops, inserts, "this was the farthest I'd ever been from the farm and didn't know what I was getting into," no craft for him, "but I decided to just say yes to everything offered my way, to get the full experience." There's something wry in his expression, but the slightly nostalgic smile shows he doesn't actually regret it. "One word of advice though. If you ever see an enormous gold dragon in a mud fight with a tiny woman with so much hair," and here he nails Shiloh with a look that indicates this is critical, "Side with woman or you'll end up with a face full of mud." THIS IS THE WISDOM OF EXPERIENCE HERE. HEED HIM.

Definitely better that Shiloh not learn that particular trait of the bronze. Really. His dreams already feature a rather lot of SHARP, POINTY TEETH and he doesn't need to add LOTS OF BLOOD to that equation. If Shiloh catches that bit of distraction, he's at least kind enough not to draw attention to it. Everyone's entitled to their secrets, and most people have at least one. "Xanadu is the first Weyr I've visited." And he heard none of the rumors. Poor boy. He walked into this posting utterly blind (which is… probably why he agreed to it. He just didn't know any better!). "And I can absolutely admit that I was not prepared." Still isn't prepared. PROBABLY WILL NEVER BE PREPARED. But at least he hasn't run screaming for the hills (or home). As for sage advice from those who have been there before him. There's definitely a bit of a question in the arch of that eyebrow, but the quirk of his mouth says he probably understands this advice. "Grew up with four sisters. Four very tough sisters…" He's probably seen a lot of mud. "But I will take the advice to heart, and side with the woman." Because isn't that always the right answer??

"Well, I'm not sure you can be, for this place," F'yr replies for preparation with what sounds like a brief, rueful smile. "I'm not exactly an authority, but if you have questions I can answer…" He lets that hang because he's interrupted by a too bright, too cheerful, "Got your food ready for you, F'yr," from one of the cuter kitchen workers. Does Shiloh notice the subtle flinch in the bronzerider's body in the breath before he's pushing off the wall, the tightness of the smile that doesn't reach his eyes as he offers a polite, "Thank you, Carzana," and the care he takes not to touch the woman as he collects the transport box. He turns back toward Shiloh for a moment to smile something much more genuine, "Smart man," he applauds the decision. "I know a thing or two about tough sisters, but Risa's another thing entirely." Not a sister at all, and oh, sure, also the senior weyrwoman, but that's fine, right? Even they are entitled to mud fights. "I'll see you around." Surely, sometime, somewhen. At least he's not as scary as his dragon? So there's that. Then he's off, heading back to captivity the sands.

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