Questions of Impression

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.

Jessamin meanders-or rather, waddles-from the Kitchen, with a sizeable, steaming pot in her hands. She picks her steps carefully, so as not to spill the contents, looking almost desperately for an empty spot to set it down. A savory, spicy smell emanates from the pot, and a hint of good herdbeast meat. A larger brown firelizard perches on her left shoulder, wings folded back and chirruping merrily. On her right shoulder, a smaller, younger blue looks curiously about, meeping softly every so often. And, in a quilted apron pocket, something squirms about; a lanky, wedge-shaped brown head peeks out, perhaps the youngest of all. "Madder, would you mind…?" The older brown flies from her shoulder, taking to wing above the tables where many edibles are laid out for general consumption. He hovers in that area, as if scanning for something. A happy trilling signals evident success, and he lands in an empty spot just the right size for the pot. "You're really a dear! That's an extra treat for you after chores." Smiling, Jessamin waddles over to the table, setting the pot down as soon as her firelizard gets out of the way.

Niva, perhaps, has given up any hope of Hisolda returning, for she's meandering through the cavern, a middle-aged blonde woman at her side. However, they're not even half way across the room before something is said and there's a loud gasp from the blonde, and the presumptive interviewee is sticking her nose up in air and stalking off towards the exit without a look back. A soft sigh, and Niva shakes her head, fetching a mug of klah even at this hour, and settling down at a corner table rather than returning immediately to the office.

Papers. D'son has papers he's been 'hiding' behind and a mug of klah close at hand. When Niva sits down at the table one over from him, the Weyrleader lowers said papers and peeks over. "Another one bites the dust?" he asks with a wry turn of his mouth and nod in the direction the blonde went. The thunk of the pot to another table earns a curious look over in that direction and he whistles lowly. "Either that's a lot of soup … or that's about to be a firelizard bath."

Jessamin shakes her head at the departure of the strange blonde woman, and turns towards D'son at his remark about firelizard baths. A soft chuckle escapes her. She glances at his knot, eyes widening slightly though still twinkling. "Madder knows better than that, Weyrleader. Turquoise is learning, and as long as Stitch stays in the apron for now, there shouldn't be a problem. Oh, and it's chili in the pot. Too spicy for firelizards." She grins impishly, flipping her runnertail out of the way so Madder can return to his perch on her left shoulder. She scritches the side of his neck affectionately. "Good job there. You're really learning to mind well." A sympathetic glance is spared for Niva; she makes her way over to her table. "Can I get anything for you, Weyrwoman? Looks like you're having a rough start to the day."

Niva flicks her gaze at D'son, before flicking her fingers at the Weyrleader. "I should leave the interviewing to you. I've not a clue what I said." The Weyrwoman looks in the direction the blonde disappeared, with a shake of her head. "It seemed fine - I asked her if she would be able to learn the computer system, and then off she went!" An exasperated sigh, and Niva shakes her head, gaze flicking to Jessamin, shaking her head. "I'm fine. I'd be better if Hisolda would come to her senses, but.."

D'son just eyes the plethora of firelizards with a little shake of his head. "If you say so," the Weyrleader says with a shrug about the lizards. "And chili? Huh. Tasty stuff." Dels clears his throat at Niva's commentary and sets his papers down. "Maybe she already knows it?" he suggests with a quirk of his brows, then nods. "Yeah, I've sent two letters now and talked to her once. Still no dice, though she uhh … seemed to like the idea of regular days off and a small army of assistants to help out."

Jessamin says "Days off, in the Caverns? Ha. That'd be a lucky day." Jessamin chuckles softly, shaking her head. She, too, takes a moment to fetch a mug of klah; her expression turns somewhat thoughtful as she sips the stuff, curling her slender, needle-pricked fingers around the mug. Her gaze is turned out towards the clearing, though her thoughts seem to be a little farther than that. "I wonder what it'd be like, Impressing on the sands this time." She takes a sip of the steaming stuff in the mug, and eyes both D'son and Niva. "Would it be too… personal… to ask either of you about it? What it was like Impressing your lifemates, I mean."

D'son's not the only one eyeing the firelizards, Niva giving them her own long look. "They better stay out of trouble." She adds absently, before she shakes her head and looks back at the talk of Hisolda. "She had days off. It wasn't my fault she wasn't able to finish everything on the other days." Her tone is a bit snide, and then she rolls her eyes. "Things have to get done, off days or not." Her gaze lingers on the candidate as she returns with her own mug of klah, giving D'son a lingering look, before waving the question to D'son first. "His was more recent."

There's a touch of confusion registering on D'son's face as Jessamin makes that remark. "It's … usually a good idea to you know, have those. Take them if you have them. Work all the time doesn't really do anyone any good," the Weyrleader tells the firelizard girl. "Right. I um … think we were a little understaffed," Dels says very carefully in response to Niva's snide remark about the headwoman. "So that's part of my proposal to her. More support staff." Careful. Careful. And then he blinks at Jessamin. "You mean … Standing. Right? No guarantees about Impressing. And uh — well to be honest, it was itchy. Inimeth made me itch all over."

Jessamin shakes her head, sitting down at a nearby table; she utters a soft sigh, wriggling her feet around. Looks like she's been up and about for some time. "I meant more about Impressing, than Standing. Been through being on the sands once already." She smiles, looking into her mug. "Someone said once that it was a moment of total, complete peace. But everyone's different, you know?"

"Then I suppose you have some hiring to do, don't you?" Niva tells D'son with a tilt of her head and a bit of a smirk. "I'm sure Vivian would be able to help, too, going through the possibilities." And then, as Jessamin elaborates a bit more, Niva shakes her head. "Kilaueth was… heavy. Like.. I was to weighed down to move." She flicks her fingers as she attempts to explain it.

"Right but you said 'Impressing on the sands this time' — no way to know if you will," D'son points out again, shooting Jessamin an odd little look. "And yeah, different people, different dragons. All I've found in common is 'intense'." He blows out a breath. "Heavy. That doesn't sound … much like fun," the Weyrleader says and drums fingers on the table. "Actually, I won't be asking for Vivian's help with that. Thea would be more appropriate," Dels says mildly enough, though he's shooting Niva a look now from beneath his brows.

Jessamin inclines her head in deference to D'son, perhaps even ducking it a bit shyly. "You're right, Weyrleader. There really is no way to know." She nibbles her lower lip, and nods as she listens to both. "Intense. Yes, I imagine it would be. Itchy… heavy…." She tries to stifle a laugh, shaking her head. "Still, to know you're never alone again…."

"It was quiet… for all of a moment. And then, loud and heavy, and…" Niva shakes her head with a sigh. "Not that I'd change it.." She murmurs, glancing sidelong at D'son.. "Thea, Vivian, whichever. They both dwell." Niva rolls her eyes at her daughter and her junior, before she's settling back with her mug of klah.

D'son stacks his papers together and takes a swig from his klah. "Thea. It's part of her duties, not Vivian's," Dels says with sudden firmness and pushes his chair back. "Please excuse me, I'm going to go see to some of this," the Weyrleader says with a polite nod for the Weyrwoman and a brief smile for Jessamin. "Whatever happens, good luck," he says sincerely before he retreats.

Jessamin smiles bemusedly, finishing her mug of klah before standing again. "I guess I'd better get back into the kitchen. That's my duty shift for today, and I'd better not shirk." She starts off towards the kitchen, only stopping a moment to look back at Niva, and the departing D'son. "Thank you both. It's given me something to think about, hearing what Impression was like for you."

Niva wrinkles up her nose as D'son excuses himself, shrugging a bit. "They'll have to put up with Vivian sooner or later. Might as well find out if they can stand it before we waste time hiring them." Niva calls after the departing teen, before looking back at Jessamin with a bit of a smile and a nod of her head. "Your welcome. As the Weyrleader said, though, ever experience is different."

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