Unsettling Settling

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.

Exits lead off in all directions, a big archway the largest and that leading outside. Shallow stairs to the west lead to the offices and administration area while tunnels to the east lead to the infirmary, kitchen and resident's quarters. Southwards, a sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs and southwest is a wide tunnel, carefully roped off to avoid accidents.

Seryth is on the sands tonight, watching over her eggs, and Ocelara is perched on her improbable chair, the strange wicker thing still in pathetic need of either repair or repainting, with her baskets of wool at her feet and a spindle in hand. There are certainly faster ways of making yarn on Pern, but she seems very content to hold a sort of court all her own. Now and again, a headwoman's assistant comes to her, to consult…or even one of the assistant stewards…and after a few moments of discussion, they putter away. She looks supremely self satisfied…and serene. Maybe that's just delicately smug. None the less, the late evening in the Caverns is a calm one tonight, save for a pair of very young kittens that are busy trying to decide who is bigger, floofier, and more aggressive. Their antics are providing some amusement for the late crowd, such as it is.

Briana comes into the caverns with a blanket over one arm and a small basket in the other. The girl looks run off her feet tired, her eyes bleary and darker circles around her eyes that stand out even with her mocca skin. With the sounds of the kittens playing, a little grey furry head pops up out of the basket and gives a little mewl to the playing pair. Suddenly the basket swings a bit as the grey fur bundle leaps out and lands every so gracefully, rolling to a stop. It gives a little shake of its head before it approaches the other kittens. "Storm are you ok…" Briana starts in a tired voice as she goes to check on her escaping kitten before she notices its direction. The young candidate looks up to the Headwoman, eyes going wide for a moment as if she might be in trouble for being out so late.

M'nol looks up from his meal at a side table as Briana enters, then smirks, "Hey, there, candidate Briana."

Ocelara glances up as well, mostly at the sound of a kitten hitting the floor. Did anyone know there was a particular sound associated with juvenile felines landing on stone? Well…there is. She considers the kit, then the young woman…then M'nol, for a moment anyway. "Good evening to you too, Candidate." She glances meaningfully at the timepiece on the wall. "Was there a problem with your chores to be still busy, so late?" It's not cruelly asked, but it is…hard to read.

Briana follows the woman's gaze to the timepiece on the wall then back to the Headwoman, "No ma'am, just couldn't settle in the barracks." She says as she stands there holding a small blanket over one arm and an empty basket from the other. Her escaped kitten cautiously approaching the other kittens playing in the caverns. Briana's dark ringed golden eyes look back to her kitten then to one of the seats by the fireplace, "Figured I might sit here a bit and see if I could settle." She admits before biting her lower lip at the woman.

M'nol quirks one brow, glancing between the two ladies, "Any particular reason you're having issues settling in? I really shouldn't condone you being out too much later before the doors get locked."

Ocelara nods a little, though she makes a gentle gesture, "Still…if you're not settling, it won't hurt to have a bit of peace and quiet out here." If the sounds of small felines counts as 'quiet'…" She smiles a bit, another serene expression. "We'll keep an eye on the time, and make sure you're not locked out like some of them were that first few days." Alright, she's amused at the misfortunes of a few careless others.

Briana isn't the only one that is cutting curfew close. The sailor, one time already caught out side the barracks by M'nol, appears in the caverns shortly after Briana, yet not from the same direction. He looks squeaky clean, freshly bathed in the hot springs with a towel slung around his neck, padding along in shorts with sandals and not much more. There's evidence of some accident he's had at some point in his life, a burn coiled around his waist, along with a few other small knicks and scars. Stories behind those no doubt. Around his neck hangs a brass ring (not the jewelry type) on a simple loop of string, which pops up against his chest with each powerful deep stride he takes. Whatever direction he had been about to take does stop too when his gaze finds his 'outsider' comrade, redirecting toward Briana's side. Landers approaches the fireplace, "Allo Briana…" eyes snapping to the headwoman and M'nol, each earning a nod from him, M'nol receiving a promise, "T'will make it this time ta the barracks before it be locked." Yes, he would be one of those careless few.

Briana tenses again at M'nol's questions, "I don't mean to make a fuss…just.." She bites her lower lip again and looks between the pair and seems to relax as the headwoman gives her permission to stay. "I ain't heard from Kal and sleeping in groups like that…" She starts before taking herself to one of the chairs by the heart, though she keeps an eye on her little kitten to make sure it does not stray to far. As Landers comes in she looks up to him, not missing the scars present, glancing briefly down to the one on her own arm before looking up as he joins her near the hearth, "Hey Landers…"

M'nol nods easily to Briana, "You'll get used to it with a little time. I'm sorry your friend hasn't been in touch, though. I'm sure something must've come up." He glances up at Landers with a smirk and a nod, "Well, you're both with me, so worst comes to worst, I'll vouch for ya." He scoops up a bunch of tubers and chews cheerfully, "How's things for all of you?"

Ocelara offers M'nol a bit of a smile, and keeps up with her spinning, as if it were almost second nature. "Indeed. I'd be willing to vouch for you too…now have you tried something to help you relax a little? A bit of warm tea and milk, perhaps? It's alright to feel uneasy; I remember the time I stood. I was horrified that I had to sleep in the same room as men. Kept me awake for a good sevenday."

Landers is able to piece together what the conversation is of, making his way over toward the fireplace to lean up on the wall next to it in the meantime as to not interrupt. Casually folding his arms up against his bare chest, he looks complacent, certainly not in a hurry to include himself in the commotion of the barracks just yet. There is a sympathetic look flashed to Briana when M'nol mentions Bri's friend not contacting her, his lips showing a slight disapproval as if he could really influence the long distant friend that way. Eyes linger on Bri for a time until M'nol's words encourage a response from the sailor in that seafaring accent of his, "Be ok. Feel like I be wasting time doin odd ball chores. Nothin ta do with me craft…" a shrug though rolls from one shoulder, canting his head down to the side, "Be wondering how long this will take. Laera didn't say. Cause Bri be right, tis a bit much ta deal with some of them kids in the barracks."

At M'nol's assurances, Briana looks up to him and gives a little nod, "Perhaps I should have waited for him…" There is a little sigh to her voice as she tucks the sheet around herself, leaning her head on the back of the chair, her gaze going from her kitten to the other people here. "Well thought perhaps if I could rest here a bit, I would be tired enough to fall asleep in the barracks." Warmth to help with drowsiness. "Tried tea last night, fraid it didn't work well at all." She looks up to Landers standing nearby, "Oh I am sure they are nice and all…Just a lot of new people. Just…well…don't know.." Her voice just drops away again as she bites her lower lip.

M'nol shrugs easily, "The barracks didn't bother me. Some of the folks in 'em, though. It was all worth it in the end, at least. The stupid chores, memorizin' names and histories. Turned out I liked that stuff more, anyway. But at thirteen? Shards, I was miserable." A few more bites of tuber are dutifully masticated before he grins at Briana, "Tea's a stimulant, anyway. Ever try half an egg, scrambled with cheese and a glass of redfruit juice?"

Ocelara counters M'nol's advice with, "Depends on the tea, brownrider. Chamomille'll help most to sleep. And yes, some of the youngsters can get on your nerves fast enough…they're excited, as they should be. But think too…you should get used to them now. Should you find a lifemate…you'll be spending the next 18 months with them…maybe longer. Youngsters or no."

A large young lad makes his way tenitively into the cavern looking slowly about appearing to be very lost. Diffently not from around these part. He apparently appears to be looking for somethings.

Lan squints his eyes toward Bri, listening to her regret over the fact that she didn't wait to say goodbye to her friend. Nothing he could do really but offer an empathic expression, rubbing the side of his face with the end of a towel in the meantime. "I dun work hard enough now ta fall asleep easy," he admits quite frankly, since the work with his craft was quite intensive and physical. At best he cleans nets for them after the regular candidate chores are done, too late to ride out on a fisher. "Aye, ton of new faces," a shared look with Bri, since they've had this discussion before. He continues to stand near the fireplace, the warmth from it ensuring he wouldn't catch a chill, considering he's standing torso exposed and in shorts with sandals, hair damp at the roots for the recent bath taken. As for Ocelara's words, he lifts his brow, taking her words for consideration, "Nah sure whar they be excited 'bout." Dragons? Mm, well, only upwards of three hundred are ever impressed at one time at one weyr, so the reality of the matter was odds were not good. Better odds at a race track. "Nah entirely convinced that it be for me…" he trails off with a slight dismissive shrug, as if he wasn't going to over think it, even if he had already.

"I am sure I will get settled soon enough. Took me a while at Ista and you get your own cubbies there. I would often go outside to sleep." Briana admits to the headwoman as she nestles more into her little chair, looking tired at least. Maybe this plan will work at least. "I know they aren't so bad, just…strangers. Not all strangers take well to…well people of different backgrounds." She responds and looks up to Landers with a knowing little smile of comraderie. With her chair back to the entrance, she does not notice the arrival of the Large young man. "Oh the dragons are nice Landers. They always been nice to me at least, despite what the others used to say."

M'nol glances up as the lad enters, then over at Ocelara, "Okay, true. But it still tastes positively horrid." His eyes slide to Landers, "What's to be excited about?" He chuckles bright, "Shards. You lot haven't gotten to touch the eggs yet, have you? You'll understand once you get to do that." There's a certainty in his voice. It was the moment for him, too.

Lan worms his lips together in a pensive mannerism, tongue flicking out to wet his lips as his eyes rove back toward Bri, "Aye. Some. Szayelth… mm, be different," he decides to push away from the wall just then, fighting back a yawn before further mentioning, "Tis an honor, aye, but still dun know why. Be missing a piece of the puzzle…" The piece that makes other people overjoyed about the chance to stand for the eggs in attempts to impress a dragon. It was a historical tradition, true, but the man wasn't necessarily raised in an environment that encouraged the concept of riding, as so gleaned from his accent along with his previous admissions. M'nol gets a sidelong look in passing as the sailor makes for the scraps of food and drink left out, gathering up what he can. A cool drink and a bit of fingerfood later has him returning, chewing down plenty already. The young man had a lot of muscle on him and looked like he could be one of those lucky ones who could eat about anything and not gain a pound. He stops by M'nol, that questioning look still there, "Why be we touching them?"

Ocelara smiles, very softly, and nods, "Even though I decided for myself, that the dragons weren't for me…there is something about the touchings…and the hope they bring, that made even me hope on the Sands that it was going to happen. It's the reason the younger Candidates are still excited." She modulates her smile into something closer to wicked, "And Landers, if you think you're not getting enough work…I assure you, I can find you chores that will ensure you sleep like a babe each night until the Hatching. It's well within my power."

Lan stealths a look at Ocelara, as if half hiding behind M'nol just then, for that wicked promising voice has him gulp down hard on a piece of cheese. "Aye… ya might as well while ya can," he must be nuts! Or he really did feel he was shirking from the workload he had before, "I dun want ta be getting soft. Need ta stay fit ta get back ta the boats after." Laera said he could get back to his craft after, she promised, in a way.

Kaldrozen walks alittle further into the cavern and says to a passing server, "Um I was told I might be able to find a particular Candidate here….Briana by name." he reaches up to scratch his head lightly and looks slowly about.

At the mention of eggs, Briana shakes her head a bit. "No sir, we haven't. I looked at em and well frankly it seems hard to think the dragons would come from em.." She starts to explain and glances up to Landers, thinking of their shared conversation, "Oh yeah, She is a little grumpy, ain't she?" She comments of her 'uncle's' Dragon. "I ain't met her too often." As M'nol and Ocelara talks about the touchings it is then she notices Kaldrozen at the entrance of the caverns and her tired face brightens as she jumps up from her seat, the sheet falling to the ground, "Kal, you came!" She calls out to him and makes a quick place to the tall young man.

M'nol's grin brightens as Briana's night in shining riding gear arrives, then glances at Landers, "Shards, man. Candidates have been touching eggs since early in the ninth pass. Makes hatching injuries much less likely. And the eggs'll… talk to you, I guess is the best way to put it. It's not so much words as feelings and emotions. Some'll touch you a lot, some a little. Farry's made me cry. Or so Thea teases."

Ocelara gives M'nol a soft glance, then agrees, "They certainly opened up my mind to…what could be." She keeps half an eye on Briana, though…eyeballing Kaldrozen as he makes his move into the caverns; no need to point the girl out….she's headed that way!

Lan's face is filled with a look of surprise at the sudden change on Bri's, following the source of it over toward the so named 'Kal.' It's one of those looks to inspect the girls source of abrupt change. He might have responded to her comments, however due to the behaviour of the young woman, he suspects none of it would matter. Instead there is a light smirk of his lips for knowing the feeling at seeing people held close to the heart, sipping on his cool redfruit drink in the meantime. His attention strays back to M'nol, listening with an certain amount of attentiveness between mouthfuls. "Talkin eggs," he says around a hunk of bread ripped from a nearly hardened roll, a dubious squint in his eyes.

Kaldrozen smiles brightly as he spots Briana and moves towards her, "Of cource I came….Once I found out it was ok for me to…" he smiles a bit tenitively and says, "Everything going ok here for you?" as he notes her tired expression.

Ocelara watches the Candidates for a few more moments, before she begins to pack her knitting away. "M'nol, if you're watching the Candidates, I have a few bits of work I should really do before I turn in…" Like they were being babysat or something, "And Landers, I will ensure that we find something strenuous enough to keep you occupied until the Hatching." That's a promise!

Lan gives M'nol a friendly nudge with his elbow at Ocelara's promise, his voice low, "Reckon I jus eight balled myself mate," he smirks around another munchie, giving Ocelara the most pleasing of smiles. Now from his glance between the two reuniting friends and the assistant weyrlingmaster, he chooses the weyrlingmaster to zero in on, "Ya reckon ya teach me a few things. Be not even knowin ya name, not formally." The names on the boards in the barracks had listed who was who and there was likely a few times they had been introduced, but even so, Lan offers over his own name, "Be Lan sir. I be owing ya fer the other night. Let me know iffin I can return the favour."

"I was worried, I never got a letter..and…I tried to look for you before I left, but I couldn't find ya." Briana says as she meets up with a lad who is obviously very close to Briana. Her arms slip around him, mindless that two 'chaperones' are present. Well hugging is surely allowed."I have been worried I hurt ya bad, but …the dragon was most insistant and I was told it was rude to turn em down." She explains in a hurry of words. Little Storm is off playing with a few other kittens in caverns. This perhaps was another source for the girl's sleepless nights. Worrying over her boyfriend.

M'nol nods to Ocelara, "I'll make sure they get back there in plenty of time for morning chores." His grin's almost evil, but it softens slightly at Bri and Kal's moment before flickering to Landers, "I'm sure harder work can be found. And yes. The eggs are quite talkative when they wish. And they're looking at you and making decisions about who they want." His hand is extended to Landers, "M'nol. Brown Faraeth's. I'll let you know, but honestly, I try not to be too wherry-hearted while you're candidates." His eyes flick to Briana, "Hand check."

Kaldrozen nods and says, "Well you had to go." he smiles and says, "I am hopin for you really I am." he returns the hug and smiles, "But I will be waitin if things don't turn out you know..

Lan rolls his eyes, lightly chiding himself for the fact that he admitted he wasn't tired enough to sleep. For the eggs, he murmurs, "We be seein 'bouts that then," as if he was looking forward to finding out what M'nol had been talking about. Things are shuffled around and balanced with one hand, plate rattling and clattering against his glass, managing to extend his hand though to M'nol to give a firm handshake with rough calcoused hands. "Aye, nice ta formally meet ya sir. I reckon I be going now though. Suspect the headwoman ta be shaking me awake early." A sidelong glance for Bri and her boyfriend, half understanding and sympathizing with what she was going through. Shortly afterwards he starts plodding away, wishing well to Bri, "See ya in a while Bri. Thanks M'nol…" and a friendly sort of nod to Kal. With that, he departs.

"I will send Blade to ya when the eggs are ready so you know. I want ya there either way." Briana says with a smile up to her boyfriend. Ah young love. First love. Aren't they cute and stuff? "I will miss ya lots, but they said you could come and visit as long as we didn't do anything against the rules." She says and glances up to M'nol at his words and she steps away slightly from Kaldrozen and lifts her hands, "Nothing improper sir."

Kaldrozen smiles and says, "We won't do anything improper.' he smiles, 'I am just glad to see ya."

Cute? Sure. Of course, Morl's 'first love' ended quite poorly. As did his second. So forgive him the slight eyeroll at young love. Landers gets a brief farewell and a dark chuckle, "Oh, I'm quite certain she'll find some good hard work for you to do. Plenty of water damage lately." He smirks at Kal, "Don't figure. But it's my job to make sure ya don't. Don't mind me."

Landers gets a little farewell wave from Briana, before she slips in to Kaldrozen's side. They look quite the pair, the tall big young man with the petite dark skinned teen. She smiles at the Rider, "Of course sir, well this is Kaldrozen, the man I was talking to ya about that day. Kal this is the rider that searched me, or was it your dragon? Still a little confused how all that worked."

Kaldrozen looks up to M'nol as Briana introduces him and says, "It is nice to meet you sir….though I could wish things had turned out diffrent. I was just told she was gone for the first several days…no one would tell me what happened…."

M'nol extends his hand to Kaldrozen, "Nice to meet you, Kal. I'm M'nol, brown Faraeth's. And he does the picking, I just carry the knots and drag folks around. I'm sorry no one told you, though. That's not right."

"I left a note for ya to get, I suppose it didn't get to ya." Briana says with a frown and tilts her head to his side, "Why I have been fretting, ain't heard from ya and thought you were angry with me." She says before looking up to the rider, then down to the candidate knot on her shoulder and back again. "He is a good looking brown for certain." She says before looking up to Kaldrozen, "He says the eggs will talk to me. Isn't that weird?"

Kaldrozen nods and says softly, "Bri's had some trouble in the past with some family and I thought….Well I was going to look in on them…." he glance to Briana and says, "Talking eggs?"

M'nol looks quizical, but doesn't push about the candidate's past, instead grasping the concept he understands and nodding, "Yeah. It's sort of like having a dragon in your head, but not. You can kinda sense what they're like and they go poking around in your head. Faraeth's was prideful, but sad. And smelled of lilacs." He smirks, "His mind still smells like lilacs."

At the mention of them poking around in her head Briana frowns for a moment, "What if they don't like what they see?" She asks in a quiet voice, glancing up at Kaldrozen as he mentions her family. Yeah, the girl has got some pack of worries on her mind. Concerns about strangers, fitting in, not having the safety net of someone she knows accepts her. "That sounds interesting…why was he sad?"

Kaldrozen says, "I will take your word for it." he smiles, "I am not sure I would want somethin pokin in my mind." he shrugs, "But I am just a simple handyman anyways.."

M'nol chuckles softly, "If you impress, you'll have another mind with yours forever. Remember that. And at first, they're like a child, nothing but questions, awkward moments, and no tact." He chuckles, "Definitely no tact. But don't worry about your past, whatever it is. They only care who you /are/ and who you can be. Just be yourself, relax, and let it happen. If it touches you, you probably touched it, too. The dragon always knows." His eyes glaze for a moment, then he chuckles, "He says he wanted to find his rider."

Briana slides her hand into Kaldrozen's as she listens to the rider speak of the young dragons. "Blade was a little like that when she was first hatched. I would get odd…glimpses from her occasion and she would spook easy and stuff." She says perhaps speaking of a firelizard. There is a touch of hope in her gaze as he speaks of not worrying about her past. She hardly looks like a girl with a rough past, save for the long scar on her arm. "I don't know now if I am looking forward too or dreading the touching now. Very intriguing."

Kaldrozen nods and says, "Well as I said bri, I am hopin for you." he smiels and leans back on his heels.

M'nol Grins softly, "Look forward to it. Just like the hatching, warm, open, welcoming thoughts. Let them see you for you and don't worry about the rest. If your dragon's out there, they'll find you. If they're not, you can always stand again."

Kaldrozen smiles and says, "I am sure you will do fine Bri.. You are the best…I admit I wish it wasn't here ….So far away but…"

Briana squeezes Kaldrozen's hands giving him reasurance, or perhaps herself or both. Slowly she nods to the rider's assurances, but it is the chiming of the clock that catches her attention and she looks up to Kaldrozen, "I got to get to the barracks, please visit again…" She says as she leans up for a quick peck on the lips before she finally releases her hand to hunt down her little kitten and the blanket she dropped, "Thanks for waiting up for me M'nol.." She says knowing she already will be pushing curfew.

Kaldrozen smiles and says, "I am sure you will do fine Bri.. You are the best…I admit I wish it wasn't here ….So far away but…" he nods, 'I need to be findin a ride back to Ista at this point anyways.

M'nol nods to Bri, "If you hurry, I won't even have to let you in. Relax and just enjoy the process." His eyes slide back to Kal over his fork, "I can take you back if no one else will. Your ride didn't stay?"

Kaldrozen says, "I had to beg a flight to get here….I don't fly well…."

M'nol chuckles brightly, the sound ringing through the mostly-empty cavern, "Well, of course not, lad. Ye don't have wings. Now, why don't we see if'n your ride's still here and if they're not, Farry'n I"ll manage it. Don't want you getting in trouble at Ista, now do we?"

Kaldrozen shrugs and says, "I don't know that theyed miss me really.

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