Xanadu Weyr - Stables
The Stables of Xanadu Weyr are composed of one long building, lined with box and standing stalls that are kept thoroughly clean by the resident grooms and stablehands. Runners nicker and neigh at everyone who enters, save for the obstinate ones that just flicker their ears in indignant curiousity that they dare not make visible. The foremost stalls near the door to the Barn Yard are the grand box stalls which are home to the prized runners of Xanadu, as well as the most pregnant, those which are so far along that they require constant observation by the Herders, so as to ensure easy foaling.

However, the primary design of stall which lines the broad pathway that is covered in saw dust which is the main avenue of the Stables, is that of the Standing Stall. Many runners are in the standing stalls, with ropes strung across the front so as to keep the runners from leaving their designated containers. A few hay bales sit here and there along the avenue, some of which act as seats for the stablehands and grooms on their breaks, others as snacks for those runners who can reach out their necks far enough. Buckets and baskets of grooming supplies, brushes and combs, and the like also sit here and there, occassionally knocked over by a wayward hoof or inquiring muzzle.

There was a time in his life where the stables was a place that he frequented quite regularly. As a young teen, kicking around with friends. Lounging in the hay. Being picked on by Chief.. Heh. Good times were had! Nowadays, Ka'el has little to no reason to stop by. What he chooses to do in his free time has changed largely from age fourteen to twenty-two, and lounging about in the hay while eating candy seems silly! But, there are still times that he'll come here. Possibly for old time's sake. Possibly for something regarding work. Today, the Weyrleader can be found within the stables near one of the stalls of a brown mare. He's feeding her hay from his hand while studiously examining her stall. There's movement around him. Apprentices sweeping or covering the horses because of the chill. Although still day, the breeze is chilly as temperatures have steadily dropped day by day.

With her hood up against the breezes, Kera steps across the hoof beaten path towards the large stable building. Eyeing a runner being led into the warmth of inside by an apprentice, the greenhealer sidles away, giving the crazy-eyed runner a wide margin so it doesn't lash out with a hoof. Hitching the over large pack on her shoulder, she mutters, earning an inquisitive little croon from the lizard that is taking short 'flight hops' from perch to perch. Looking to the fence post Polgara is currently preening on, Kera chuckles "Easy for you to say." Sighing and peering in, she sucks it up and steps inside, followed by the young lizard. Her gaze darts around, looking for the easily marked emergency supply kits. Keeping track of where she steps, not wanting an unpleasant surprise on her boots, feet start towards the nearest kit affixed to the wall. Seeing Ka'el a few stalls away, she watches him briefly, noticing he seems to be studying the inside of the stall. Pushing her hood back, with little breeze in the stables "G'day Ka'el"

"Maybe it'll be me and you today," Ka'el murmurs as he rubs a hand between the mare's eyes, smiling a little. "It's been a time, and…" He trails off, eyes turning at the sound of his name. The greenrider is greeted with a nod, the smile somewhat slipping from his face just as he pulls his hand away from his four-legged friend. "Good day to you, Kera," he greets in return, pulling a few long stalks of hay from a hanging bale to feed to the runner who seems very content to stand and snack, tail swishing every now and then. "You're just in time," he says, turning back to the mare but speaking to Kera. "I was just about to get this girl ready to ride. It's been a time since I've done rounds around the outskirts of the Weyr and surrounding woods. Will you join me?"

Kera reaches the small hinged cabinet that Polgara just happens to land on, and swings it open, her attention flipping between what she's doing and what she can see of what Ka'el's doing. A brief glance at some notations has her grabbing a new kit from the large pack slung over her neck and shoulder. Ka'el telling her she's 'just in time' makes her pause, brow lifting at the man curiously. As he finishes, the other brow joins the first. Head already shaking as her eyes go back to her task , scribbling today's date and initialing the tag at the edge of the new emergency kit. "Yea, um, I would…but, I've sooo many of these that need to be switched out." Flicking her gaze back towards the bronzer and the runner he's feeding, "Besides, I'll need my limbs intact when that crazy beast tries to throw you off." Stuffing the new kit in the hinged box and shoving the old in one side of her pack. "Maybe if I finish, Moncerath and I can head out and track you from above. Be able to tend your inuries quicker.."

Ka'el chuckles a little and flags down an apprentice by lifting a hand. It's crazy how little effort is needed to get the attention of others. It's as if they're just … waiting for him to show that he needs them for something! In any case, one is there in a jiffy. "If you wouldn't mind getting her ready to go out," he requests, gesturing to the mare. The apprentice nods and gets to work! While she does that, Ka'el steps back and turns his full focus on Kera, a brow arching up at her excuse. "Somehow, I don't think those kits are going anywhere. They'll still be here, ready to be switched out, when we return," he says. He crosses his arms over his chest, watching her now with a vaguely amused look. "If I didn't know any better, I'd assume you weren't a fan of runners," he says. "Being thrown by a runner has only happened once in my life, and it was my own fault for it. You aren't afraid, are you?"

Kera spends a moment murmuring to her young lizard, no doubt praising her for something or another, adding in a little chin scritch. The young queen's gaze whirl with contentment and hops on the shoulder when Kera signals her to do so. Almost pressing herself again the railing as a girl leads the brown mare out of her stall, she shuffles her feet to keep moving towards her next goal. "They may well still be here, but they wouldn't have been switched out for fresh kits. I could forget to get back to the task. One of these crazy animals goes vicious and attacks someone. Only, the injured person is out of luck cause the numbweed has lost potency. And it'll be my fault cause the J.o.d (journeyman on duty) assigned me the task this morning." A quick chitter from her shoulder makes the greenhealer grin. See, she has a witness. Ka'el accusation stiffens her posture marginally. Her mouth opens and closes as if to argue with the Weyrleader, before she finally sniffs and denying what Ka'el says with a vigorous headshake. "Absolutely not! Just because I've a healthy respect for how vicious they can quickly turn, doesn't mean I'm afraid of 'em.." err, yea it does "Just being cautious. Not afraid…" yea, she is.

"Kera, Kera," tsks Ka'el. "You think I'd allow you to forget to finish your craft duties? Of course, upon our return I would remind you of the kits and would even go as far as to tell you which one you last switched out, so you wouldn't waste time replacing those that have already been replaced." He smirks, moving to remove some of the runner's tack from the wall, handing it over to the apprentice to save her a few steps and a little effort. "And I believe you're the only person I've ever heard refer to a runner as 'vicious'." A smirk. "Felines, yes. Runners, though? It's about the same as calling an ovine 'terrifying'." He watches as the saddle is settled, straps tightened and the like. Almost akin to readying a dragon. Almost, but not quite. "Riding a runner is a skill that every dragon rider needs, and in some ways, already possess through riding their dragon. There are similarities but…only being on the back of one will give you the experience you need." He looks over to Kera. "You need to practice. You may not always have Moncerath to get from place to place. She won't be sand-ridden, true, but she may be injured or ill in a time you need her to travel a short distance, possibly for an emergency." A pause, smirk, then, "or, there may be the unfortunate event in which your Weyrleader requests you to runnerback somewhere or to patrol with him through the woods."

Kera watches Ka'el warily as he assures he wouldn't let her forget to take her duties back up. "Uh huh." Shifting around so that Ka'el and at least one apprentice is between her and the runner, Kera lifts a weighted shoulder briefly as her friend goes on. "And crazy. I said they were crazy too." Polgara rubs her head back and forth along her cheek while comparisons of felines and ovines are spoken. Not liking where this conversation is heading, Kera has pretty much forgotten she's supposed to be changing out the first- aid kits. "My own feet got me around well enough before Moncerath. They can get me around just fine still." She doesn't mention the idea of her dragonmate being injured. Ka'el goes on and after a moment the greenhealer looks as if the man has sprouted a second head on his shoulders, one that resembles the runner he promotes to eagerly. She's quiet a second or so before chuckling a bit weakly "Oh haha. I didn't know you liked to tell jokes Ka'el. It was a joke right? Had to have been." Cause it almost sounded like a threat. Kera eases the heavy pack off her neck and sets it aside in the least mucky spot she can.

"Sir," says the apprentice, now leading the mare out of the stall. "She's ready for ya. 'Er name's Autumn Star, if you're wonderin'." The girl earns a smile from Ka'el who takes the reins and nods his thanks to her, allowing her to get back to what she was doing before. She skips off, ready to brag about having been trusted to ready a runner for the Weyrleader. Won't they be jealous! Ka'el gently rub's the mare's nose. "Crazy. Ha, you aren't anythin' near the like, are you? Naaah, not at all.." he speaks to the runner, who swishes her tail again. She likes attention! And no she is not crazy, thank you very much. "Before Moncerath, you weren't a rider," says Ka'el whose eyes return to her. "And before becoming a rider, you hadn't duties to the Weyr." A smirk. "What do you mean? I love jokes. Skyler will tell you that I tell the best of them, as I have him in stitches most days! The boy thinks every word out of my mouth is funny. But, heh .. why would I be joking now? It isn't that hefty of a request, is it?" he asks, inclining a single brow. "If you were afraid of runners or had never ridden one before, that'd be one thing. I'd understand you not wanting to ride a patrol, as asked, but you said you weren't. So now I've to wonder why a mountain's being made out of a molehill." Or whatever the Pern equivalent of a mole may be!

Kera nudges her shoulder upwards, signaling for Polgara to hop onto the upright post next to her. Canting her gaze to Ka'el as he coos and gushes over the mare, expression turns rather sceptical, though she can't help but snort in amusement at how 'funny' Ka'el says Skyler thinks his daddy is. "He probably still thinks shoving his foot in his mouth is a hoot." The other stalls are glared at as the bronzerider verbally works her into a corner and she grudging peers back to her friend. "Fine. I don't like them very much. I used to help my dad with them when I was little, til one of them lashed out for no reason." Still not admitting to being afraid of them she merely shrugs uneasily. "Every since, I do my best to stay clear of them all." Sidestepping a pushcart, Kera swings open the first-aid cabinet and grabs the kit, checking the date , adding as an afterthought "And I did have duties in the Weyr turns before Moncerath came along. The infirmary 'is' part of the Weyr still isn't it?" Grabbing a fresh kit from the pack, she scribbles current info on it and pops it into the cabinet.

"Having a fear of runners is understandable if you had a negative experience with them, Kera. That's all you had to say," answers Ka'el evenly, hooking the mare's reins for a second, even though she doesn't show any signs of wanting to dart off because she is unled. He moves away from her, approaching Kera instead. "What is not understandable, and what I will not tolerate, is your loose attitude regarding rank, considering your tone." He pauses near where she is working, hands again clasping loosely behind his back. "I'd like for you to pause while I'm speaking to you, so there's no chance of misunderstanding what I'm to say."

Kera gives a little nod of her head as she at first when Ka'el starts, finishing with switching the kits out she crouches to put tuck the older kit into the pack, but merely ends up crouched down and looking up to Ka'el in confusion, "Wha.." Tossing it down on the pack, she stands and regards her friend with another nod, unsure if he's starting a new joke or not. Gaze flickers over to the runner briefly before focusing on the bronzerider again.

"Kera … " Ka'el pauses and stops, exhaling a breath as he glances up for a moment, as if looking for the best words to say. "When I was an apprentice and my Journeyman spoke to me, I listened with every fiber of my body. When he asked something of me, whether it's something I wanted to do or not, I did it to the best of my ability. I saw him as a person that I wanted to model after. Someone I wished to be like and I felt privileged to learn from. I am your Weyrleader, and if I was going to use a comparative term, I'd be akin to your Journeyman, if not Master of a craft. I am your boss, yet I think that…somehow… the professionalism has been lost. I speak to you and I feel as if I have only half of your attention. I ask something of you, and you do what you can to get out of it instead of doing it because it's been asked of you." He shakes his head a little. "Maybe it's my fault for not pushing my rank as much as I probably ought to have. Sweeps and patrols are part of your duty to the Weyr, be them by foot, by runner, or by dragon. And no," he answers belatedly, his tone just slightly sterner at this, "your former crafting tasks as a healer apprentice are not the same to me as your duties to the Weyr as a Xanadu rider."

Kera 's confused expression doesn't clear up quickly, but it does slip away eventually. Nodding a time or two as she follows Ka'el's points, a frown growing as the realization she has to learn how to ride a runner sinks in. Keeping her attention on the bronzer, her weight shifts to rest on one leg. Mouth opens then closes a couple of times while Ka'el talks, but she wisely doesn't say anything since she's in trouble already. After a few seconds under the man's gaze, her weight shifts again and she works to keep her feet still.

"I've been on your side far before this knot was on my shoulder, Kera. Of that you can believe. What you had to go through with the Headwoman and your troubles during apprenticeship, I never thought was fair. I did my best to prepare and help you through Weyrlinghood, even though I could pretty easily tell that some of the lessons weren't your favorites. What I read of your files before graduation spoke of the same things that I'm telling you now, but I didn't hold that against you. You're my friend, and you have been for a long time. But I don't want that to get in the way of professionalism," explains Ka'el. "That's what happened with Mur'dah, and I barely speak to him now. We have no friendship because he wasn't able to handle both being my friend and being my rider. I don't want to lose your friendship, Kera, but I have to be able to trust that you won't use it as a crutch or an excuse for behaviors that I wouldn't accept from any of my riders." He pauses, brows furrowing faintly as his head tips. "Do you understand what I mean?"

Kera digs a bootheel into the sawdust to try and still her nervous feet. As Ka'el goes on, her jaw begins to drop. Realizing that she's standing there with ehr mouth hanging open, she closes it quickly. Ignoring the stares of the wild eyed runners staring from their stalls, she nods briskly to his questions "Yes sir. I appologize for misunderstanding. I thought we were discussing a 'what IF' scenario." weaving her fingers together in front of her, mainly to keep them from fidgeting, she adds "And I had not realized my behavior had been so unnacceptable and will correct that promptly sir." Kera dips her head to further her point.

"It's a strange world we live in, isn't it? Of changing ranks because've rising dragons. I'm still getting used to it myself. Working with Soriana during the day as partners running an entire Weyr, going home at night as weyrmates expected to leave work things at office. I'm still learning too," Ka'el says to her. "Keeping my friends who now call me Sir. Figuring out the best way to keep the easy friendship that came first and still having the business relationship that's necessary. We're all still learning," he says, his expression not at all harsh or angry. Neither is his tone. "I'll let you get back to your kits," he says with a nod to one of those aforementioned kids she was updating. "And I'll get to my ground patrol, alone this time. Together, we'll have to get past the runner thing, though. I was serious when I said you may not always have Moncerath to rely on, and knowing how to mount and ride a runner is an important skill."

Kera nods her head agreeably when Ka'el remarks about the strange world, figuring it was a rhetorical question. Attention stays focused on the Weyrleader, mainly, every so often that runner he's leading is eyed warily. The mention of the kits snaps her out of the runner distraction, reaching down for the pack strap distractedly. Hitching it back across her neck and shoulder once more, she peers back to Ka'el again, lips pressing together a bit at the reminder she's expected to now deal with crazy vicious runners. Toss that in what everything else that's been said she Kera simply sighs, not bothering with attempting a smile. A quick nod tips her head forward a couple of times "I'll get right back to the kits…Enjoy your…ride sir." The last voiced while her gaze slips back to the runner.

"Thank you," says Ka'el. "And thank you for listening, Kera. I'll see you soon." He waves to her and heads back to the runner that he left, unhooking her reins from that hook. "Autumn Star, is it? Come on, then. You and I have a date with the forest." He leads her off, the wheels in his head turning as the clip-clop of hooves drift out the door.

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