Terribly Factual

Xanadu Weyr - Archives
This large, windowless room is set floor to ceiling with shelves that contain ledgers and tomes, maps and diagrams from the first founding of Xanadu to the present. Arranged by topic, one can find records of domestic Weyr management form both Headwomen and Sterwards, wing statistics, Weyrling management, Diplomatic efforts, weather reports, events and vital statistics all dating back over one hundred and fifty turns.
Though kept scrupulously clean and in glass-fronted cabinets, it's impossible for the older tomes not to gather some dust and mold, so the scent upon entering is of antiquity, musty, earthy and rich. Electricity provides ample lighting with which to see. A large wooden table sits in the center of the room with several seats arranged around it. Situated on the polished top is a stack of paper, a container of writing instruments, a large magnifying glass and basket of emergency glows.

It's another lunchtime that Marel is not seen with her class or with her lifemate, but somewhere distant from all of them: in today's case, the archives are what have drawn her away and kept her attention, several books laid out before her at the spot at the table that she's chosen and managed to keep for herself and from company. Elbows propped on the edge of the table, Marel blinks placidly down at the nearest text, her gaze following the written lines, a notebook sat beside her, its pages blank and free, as of yet, of any notes.

Most lunchtimes, Soriana's there with the rest, talking and eating food. Today was no exception, at least at first, but she left early. After the eating, but before the conversation was over - though there may yet have been a few people finishing their meals. She was done with hers, at least, when she made her excuses and left. The back hall leading here is familiar enough to her, but this time, she keeps going past her mother's office and into the archives. Those are less familiar, and after she lets herself in she pauses, looking back along the rows of shelves consideringly. Huh. There sure are an awful lot of them, aren't there?

Marel looks up at the sound of footsteps, but if she catches enough of a glimpse of Soriana to identify the new presence in the room as her, she still remains just as she is, attention swinging back down to her chosen book. A minute passes, maybe more, then she carefully flips the heavy volume shut and leans forward to draw the next in her temporary collection towards her. The title printed on the binding identifies the text as one regarding weyrlings, or the theories behind the training of weyrlings, which is, of all of them, the one she finally begins to take notes from.

Soriana sighs. So many records… but she supposes she'll never get there if she doesn't get started, so she steps forward into the room. She's headed for the shelves, though she pauses when she notices Marel there at the table. A moment's hesitation. Is she supposed to be quiet in here? Well, whether she is or not, Marel seems to be busy working, so Soriana doesn't say anything. She does, however, wave before continuing on the shelves and beginning her own search.

It's not a wave, but a nod that Marel gives in answer, her focus lingering on Soriana for long enough to follow her fellow weyrling to the shelves, her attention dropping away politely so as not to seem intent on figuring out just which book she's after. Another few lines of neatly-printed script later; a frown and the turning of a page and she calls, "Do you know which book you're after?" Terribly factual, not particularly warm, but it's something.

Now then… where would it be? Soriana looks to the shelves, frowning at the assortment of tomes and bound papers. She's still doing it when Marel speaks, and her lips twist in a rueful sorta-smile as she turns her head back. "Not really? I want… administrative records, I guess, from the Annex. That's probably where the duty rosters would be." Probably. Then again, maybe they were considered dull enough to not be worth saving, or maybe they're buried in some other document somewhere.

"They're likely in the same section as the records from the Infirmary," Marel replies, glancing back down at her present work at hand. "Same materials; same subjects, more or less, in many of them, I suppose." Though… "Lists of staffing are probably in a different volume to general administration. I imagine files were - are- kept about staff, though whether even past ones are kept public and with the rosters, I don't know." She shrugs one shoulder, surrendering and excusing her thoughts all at once.

With the infirmary, now that's a thought. Soriana nods to it, then tilts her head as Marel continues. "I'm not looking to pry about anyone." Soriana half-frowns - maybe it's thoughtful? - and turns her head away as she crosses the archives, checking the volumes on the shelf for the right section. "I just want to see what sort of work schedules people had." A pause, as she bends down, and she adds without looking up from the shelves, "…goldriders, especially." Preparing for a future argument? Maybe.

"Of course you aren't." So even is Marel's voice that simply anything could be read into that reply, should one wish to. "You'll probably want wing roster and statistics too, in that case. You might not get a full picture of how time was divided for them if you don't check both. Neither one likely gives all the information on its own." The next turn of a page has her writing again, notes made in the margins of her work, all littered with little question marks.

Anything at all, really. Soriana's face goes still, neither smile nor frown, and she's quiet for a moment. Maybe two, but then, she's listening to Marel's explanation, so that might account for it. "Thanks," she says. She draws out one of the tomes, standing up and turning back to face Marel. Soriana regards the other for a moment, then sighs. "I'm no good at this." She crosses the room, setting her book down on the opposite end of the table from Marel. "Are you still mad at me?"

"I'm not mad at you." And that, it would seem, is the truth, if Marel's ever-serene expression can be trusted to be any true reflection of her feelings. "I just don't have much of an opinion about you or what you think of me anymore. You're in my class and I'm sure that one day I'll be calling you 'ma'am', but other than that…" She shrugs again, not even particularly invested in that motion, turning it into little more than a twitch. "I don't dislike you," the brownrider adds a half-moment later.

Soriana pulls out a chair for herself, though she doesn't immediately sit down. She just stands there, watching Marel at first, and then… just looking down to the table. Not even a particularly interesting bit of the table, either. Just… the table. "I'm sorry," she says after a moment's silence. To the table, but then she looks up again. "I am. Because I like you, but… if you want me to keep leaving you alone, I will." She shrugs, and drops her gaze again - as well as herself, into that chair.

Not particularly prone to grudges, Marel can at least offer, "Me too," in a voice only just above a murmur, "for whatever I did or didn't do. I don't pretend to understand, but…" A twitch of her lips this time, not quite a grimace. "Whatever it was or wasn't, you should know how I feel about Ka'el." She's silent for long enough then for it to seem like she's about to unearth some great truths from the depths of her heart, yet when she finally does speak, it's to state only: "It's like he's one of my brothers. I care about him a lot, and if you find that weird and that means we can't talk to each other, then…"

"You didn't do anything," Soriana insists with perhaps more heat than she meant, her eyes darting up again… and then sinking back down, as she bites the inside of her lip. Other than that, she's quiet as Marel puts the words together, looking up again as she speaks with… well, a dumbfounded expression. "Shards, of course you do!" she says, whether it's interrupting or not. She doesn't care. Sometimes words just have to come out. "You're friends, I know that. Faranth, I'm glad he has a friend like you, maybe he'll listen to you sometimes." A roll of her eyes for the absent Ka'el, and then she shakes her head. "Jnelle's crap about him making out with you was just crap, and I should never have listened to her in the first place. I'm sorry for that, too." Soriana finally stops talking, and slumps back in the chair. "Sorry." For the outburst.

The only reaction Marel permits herself to have is a slight widening of her eyes as Soriana speaks, though she can't quite stop staring at her all the same, the grip on her pen going slack. "He—" She begins to say, only then there's Jnelle and making out and what? "…I guess it's nice to know that she has her own little fantasies," sounds a bit too grown-up and out of place, likely stolen from family or friend, and perhaps makes her mask of calm seem all the more affected, a little grown-up charade. Her gaze drops to study her half-finished page. "…I'm better at talking to boys than to girls. Been with Mur'dah my whole life, so… I suppose that figures. And now there's Isyriath and… Maybe I don't trust girls very well, because there're so many girls like Jnelle."

One corner of Soriana's mouth quirks up at that line about fantasies. It's not funny, except… it is and she can't help it. Soon enough the not funny part reasserts itself and the not-even-half-smile fades. She looks away, back to the shelves, though she's not really seeing them. More just… not looking at Marel; trying to give her space. To not pry… though she listens, nodding slightly at the mention of boys. Mur'dah's name makes her lips tug to the side slightly, but then she nods again. "Boys are easier. You just… talk. Or do stuff. You don't have to guess." Her lips quirk. "If a boy wants to insult you, he'll insult you."

Marel regards her notes for a moment, then stands, beginning to stack her chosen books into a neat pile balanced in her arms. "Boys tell it like it is, most of the time, whether they mean to or not," she remarks, heading across the room to methodically re-shelve the books she carries. She's silent as she does so, not for lack of words, but out of wanting to get the texts back in exactly the right locations, her steps leading her to lean back against the end of one shelving unit once she's done. "Maybe we should just agree to speak to each other like boys do," she proposes wryly.

Soriana nods agreement to Marel, then lowers her gaze to her book as the other girl reshelves. Not that she gets as far as actually opening it or reading actual words, mind you, but she's definitely looking at (through) it. In the end, she lifts her gaze to the shelves again - no, to Marel, leaning against the end of them. A half-smile, and then the other half comes along to join it, though somehow it's still lopsided. "Might work better. Though… I'm okay with skipping the fart jokes if you are."

"Yeah… I think we can forego that much of it," Marel agrees with a half-smile of her own. "And I'm sorry, but I won't be going into raptures over any pretty girls either." Though, given the colour of her lifemate, who knows what the future holds? Maybe it's that thought that reanimates her, drawn towards the doors leading back into the caverns beyond by some invisible force or need to escape that prospect. "Isyriath wants to see me." Or she wants to see him. One of the two. "I'll… see you later." Which is better than avoiding or not seeing, at the very least. And so she slips towards and through the doors.

"That's okay," Soriana agrees about the lack of pretty girl discussion. "I don't think it's actually required." After all, some boys aren't into pretty girls either! Or are sufficiently brotherly that it'd be weird. Soriana nods to the mention of Isyriath, the smile lingering… then growing slightly. "Yeah. See you around." Of course, being weyrlings together, how can they not? Even with getting their own weyrs soon, there's still classes. And yet… it's definitely better than avoiding. Soriana turns her gaze back to the book, once Marel departs, and this time she actually gets as far as opening it and starting to read.

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