A Danger Door!

Innovation Hall
The interior of the Innovation Hall facility is more spacious than it appears from the outside. It's also pretty much best described as orderly chaos. The rectangular shape of the building is taken up by a series of three sided stalls that line each of the walls. Eight in all each one is just big enough for several people to work in and are of different configurations; some having shelving and tables and some having a more open design that allows work from the floor up. In any case, the back of each work space is open to the main room to promote the common use of tools and the sharing of ideas. Two offices are on either side of the main entrance at the north and two more exits, seldom used, are located east and west in case a quick getaway is needed. The south end of the building features a very heavy door that is labeled DANGER in very clear red lettering. Access is restricted but it's pretty well known that behind there are two more stalls for special and dangerous projects.
It's the middle of this place that makes it work! Shelves full of just about every kind of tool someone could imagine are strategically placed so that nobody has to walk farther than anyone else to get to them. Quite a lot of parts populate those shelves as well from new-fangled electronics to old fashioned gears and gizmos along with the raw materials to make them. Comfortable chairs, arranged in three sets of two each scatter the free space and a sofa is tucked neatly into a corner.
The decor is kept quite simple with floors of glossy, polished marble and walls of what appear to be wood panel. Appear to be. It's actually some synthetic thing the plastic craft has concocted up and shows under close inspection. Fabrics, decorations and the like (along with most things that don't need to be there that could potentially be set on fire) are kept to a minimum. Here and there, clever designs and schematics have been allowed to go up on the walls but those are generally removed fairly quickly.

Innovation Hall is certainly no stranger to odd hours, but one would think that the place would be practically bustling about an hour before noon-time. Rhodelia certainly would think so, especially as the junior was supposed to be here meeting a specific smith about a pretty specific little project and yet… she's left alone and left to wander and wander the junior does. As tempting as some of those shinier materials in some of the stalls might be to poke, she does good and doesn't touch anything, firmly keeping hands behind her back until she plops down in one of those armchairs in the center. "Did everybody take an early lunch?" She ask, maybe to Inasyth since doesn't seem like there's much of anyone else around to answer…

Ajral's exiting another room just as Rhodelia appears, and assumes that somehow the goldrider is talking to her — "Basically everyone," she says, veering Rhodelia-wards. She's carrying a schematic she's taken from the room she was in, which … is now also empty, as the glass-smith she was talking to is also seen leaving. It really must be early lunch time all around. « We should join them! » Navenath announces, and she's looped Inasyth out of habit, since Ajral's talking to Rhody and all that. « I like lunch. » Ajral pinches the bridge of her nose, eyes shut, and then says, "We just had breakfast. We can have lunch later. She eats too much," is accompanied by a flop into a chair. "It was insane in here when I came in, and suddenly everyone's gone."

« MAYBE THEY'RE THROWING US A SURPRISE PARTY!!!! WE SHOULD BE REALLY, REALLY QUIET AND SNEAK UP ON THEM AND SURPRISE THE SURPRISERS! » Although how quiet Inasyth can actually be even if she's trying nobody would really bet marks on. The jubilant gold tosses in streamers and party horns in with her normal flood of champagne bubbles and anybody in the meadow might spot one really big dragon trying to do a belly crawl towards the feeding grounds. Rhodelia gives a roll of the eyes, assuming the mindhealer was filled in via dragon-grapevine. "She eats a lot cause she runs everywhere, prolly." Rhody isn't the healer after all, minds or otherwise, but it seems like a safe guess to her. "I was supposed to be having a meeting. I checked the time like four times before running over… This is weird." To state the obvious.

"Oof, someone blew off a weyrwoman? I feel bad for whomever that was," is what comes out of Ajral's mouth, but her 'feeling bad' looks like being delighted by that person's suffering. And that is how one can tell she's not in professional mode anymore, now that she has her whatever-it-is glass schematic. "I would assume so, yes, about Nav. She's not sure why she shouldn't run everywhere, though she does also like flying. She just tries to get them all in. And now she's asking why she can't have her own helmet and tinted goggles because they're cool." Navenath's skeletons are having a dance party amongst the streamers, and one of them's blowing a party horn. And Navenath adds, « If I had a helmet and tinted goggles, I could be in disguise for the party. »

Any other weyrwoman and maybe the blowing off would be more concerning, Rhodelia however has made a fine art of learning how to push back unwanted meetings and so all she does is give a shrug from where she's lounging in that overstuffed chair. "Maybe… something came up. For everybody!" While originally that may have been intended as a joke, once the words are out, she does straighten up looking around the abandoned hall. "What if something came up to distract everybody?" That'd have to be a pretty big something! Inasyth is much too distracted with the idea of the surprise party and is delighted with the idea of helmet and goggles, letting out a loud rumble of laughter with complete disregard for any supposed sneaking she was attempting. « That would be great. But if we don't have time to get you a helmet and goggles, you could just hide behind me. And then when they see me, nobody would be expecting you to jump out and go SURPRISE! » The giant gold rustles a wing, inviting the little green nearly half her size to come nestle under. So they can sneak. Together.

That's a concerning prospect to Ajral, who is looking around a little nervously now. "Wouldn't we know?" says Xanadu's highest-ranking Healer cautiously. What if they don't know. She is feeling a little weird, come to think of it; kind of itchy and uncomfortable in her seat. There's a restlessness under her skin, but she tries to push it away and ignore it. "I cannot imagine what would do that, it's a little concerning. Should we go look for them? Look for … anyone?" Navenath is all too pleased to go nestle with Inasyth, even as they're going to walk doing it — it's too bad that when she makes her appearance and scoots over to her larger friend that it's clear she's glowing like a flashlight. « I know, » she says, « I kinda got brighter somehow and now everyone will be able to see me. » SULK.

It's a very, very good thing that Navenath is green and not gold because Inasyth can give a delighted trill as she headbumps her little friend. « Girl! You're glow-up's gonna bring all the boys to the yard! Or the pens! And the sky! » From belly crawling she's not happy feet trotting. « Ohhh… ooohhhh… ohhh. Maybe the surprise party is for youuuuuu! Know any cute little blues that have been lingering around more than usual? Or less than usual if they were plotting surprises??? » Rhodelia's caught off guard even as she's peering about the empty hall and gives a little cough. "I should certainly look for them. Are you sure you should?" Cue some pretty exaggerated eyebrow wiggling towards Ajral.

Navenath had been a little apprehensive about this glowing thing, but Inasyth is making it sound a lot better. She returns the headbumping, which is hilarious because even though she's huge for a green she is teeny-tiny compared to Inasyth, and a couple of the skeletons blink rainbow colors and take a bow. But still: « I don't know, I just need the disguise, because the glowing has to be a secret! » Which, if Ajral thinks that's ridiculous … she's not quite saying it. She's just tugging at the end of her own braid irritably and saying, "Yes. I'm fine. Just a little — psychomotor agitation. Self-hypnosis can handle anything." A beat. "I think. This is my first trial on proddiness." Hesitation, then: "I'm fine."

Inasyth will take all the headbumps. All of them! But the fact that Navenath wants to keep this all secret (and not just a surprise, there's a difference) has the gold tilting her head to peer down at the younger dragon. « But if it's secret, then how will all the best suitors know to show up? So you'll have the best baaaaabies!!! Oh right, you can't have babies. I'll have them for you! » Cue bubbles filled with little porcelain human baby dolls and dragon hatchlings that are a lovely mix of all greens and golds. « And we can keep it secret and you'll just have to use my cape. RHODY!!! FETCH MY CAPE!!! Rhody will fetch my cape later. » Rhodelia may or may not be doing any such thing, but she has a lot of practice in distracting enthusiastic dragons until they forget what they wanted in the first place. She nods as Ajral at least knows the cause. "I don't think she'll be rising immediately… at least not as long as she's still talking to Ina and not you know, running off to find a nice juicy cow or something." She's safe! For Now! "Want to talk about it or should we figure out what to do about the Case of the Missing Smiths?" Because she's definitely out of the chair now and inching a little closer to one of those closed doors.

« Hey, if you wanna have my babies, I will be all over that, » Navenath tells Inasyth, some of her old bravado sneaking back in around the edges of 'idk what to do with this glowing bullshit, people are looking at me and I don't like it.' It's Navenath, she loves attention, so her lack of enjoyment of it is honestly weirding out her rider a little bit. "I hope she won't, anyway, give me a little time, it's only been a couple of hours? And I was in that meeting when she started glowing, about the infusers and the teapots. So awkward. But — does Inasyth actually have a cape, by the way?" What was Ajral talking about again? It probably wasn't Inasyth's cape. That braid is now getting twisted around her fingers, and she's trying to find her way through the conversational hazy fog disasters again around Nav's imposing psychedelics. "Er. I think we have Smiths to find. Someone might be injured." « I'LL BE THERE TO RESCUE THEM oh wait maybe not yet I might have to do something about the glowing first I think if I don't need to have babies it'll be all right to let you find Smiths. The best suitors just have to … um … » Navenath must have a plan. She always has a plan. She … doesn't have a plan. She makes something up: « Impress you instead. And Leirith. »

« I WANNA HAVE EVERYBODIES BABIES!!! MAYBE I CAN GLOW TOO??? » Inasyth closes both sets of eyelids and scrunches down, grunting even as she concentrates super-duper hard before cracking an eye to glance to Navenath. « Any brighter? » Sadly, sheer will can't really influence draconic reproductive systems at the moment and she's the same tawny gold as she was moments before. Back inside, Rhody doesn't give any hesitation before answering with a simple "Yes." for the cape. Somewhere, somewhen, someone was recruited to make a cape large enough for the massive queen. And it's fabulous. But as Ajral agrees Finding Smiths is now the goal of the day, Rhodelia grabs her hand and starts off to look at one of the nearest bays. "Maybe there's some clues. Or someone could have left a note for their apprentice. Off to… wherever! If we're lucky." Too bad nobody thought to bring some detective caps!

Navenath is watching Inasyth and waiting for a gleam to appear: she's actually surprised when she has to have a series of skeletons shake their heads identically. « Nope, sorry, » she says mournfully. « I'll do the glowing. You do the egging. We can prepare this together. » Ajral had no idea a few hours ago, but by the way she's been twitching recently … this is definitely proddiness, and it sucks. (This is her first time. Maybe it will suck less later.) "I love it already, I think Nav can't wait to see the cape. Checking an office for a note sounds like a good idea — or a study room? Which must be one of these …" Ajral eyes the doors before them, looking for one that's clearly labeled, like, Apprentices Who Are Lost Go HERE. "I guess one of the offices? Of which there are not that many."

A few of Inasyth's mental champagne bubbles actually burst when Navenath confirms the willing-to-glow didn't actually work. Don't worry though, she has a literal unlimited supply of more bubbles to take their place, a few even encapsulating those headshaking skeletons. « Together! But first, we need to go check on our surprise party. At the PENS!!! » Because really, what's a surprise party without snacks? Inasyth is all forward momentum, not even bothering to take to the skies because who would expect them to trot all the way through the forests to food???? Rhody nods as she listens, peeking into one of those stalls that looks like it had some sort of wire crafting project set up on one table and on the other… a cold cup of klah and half a sandwich. "Well, don't think they all went to lunch. Maybe a combined meeting? But why wouldn't that be out here…." She spins, waving at all the empty space where there's NOBODY (except them). The spin comes to a sudden stop when she notices a door she hadn't really paid attention to before. Especially surprising considering it's marked in big red DANGER doors. "What do you think's behind there?"

"Um," says Ajral, eyeing the DANGER sign and the fact that it's red. She makes that typical line face: the one where her eyes are rather flat and her mouth is indeed a straight line, then says, "Something extremely dangerous." Navenath is normally the one who runs places, so Inasyth wanting to go get snacks in a route that isn't flying is completely and utterly fine by her, but she can't entirely focus on going to get a meal because of what Ajral just said. « Hang on, did you hear 'extremely dangerous'? They HAVE to go in there. Humans! Enter the danger room! … please, » is added in her first-time-proddy timidity. Ajral's genuine curiosity/concern blend is temporarily dissolving into giggles. Okay. Control over the proddy slipped. She's getting back to it. "We should … probably check it out. Just to make sure that the Smiths aren't … in danger." It's a reach, but it's a legitimate reach.

"But do you hear that? There's a ticking!" says Rhodelia with her face inadvisably close to that DANGER door to the point where her ear is right on it. "And I think I hear voices!" They're muffled, but someone is on the otherside! Inasyth's trot comes to an abrupt halt, talons digging furrows in the path as she tries to slow her momentum down so suddenly and whip her head back in the direction of the Hall. « Maybe that's where the surprise party will be! We won't fit, so humans go in our proxy!!! » At least she has learned physics won't always bend to her whims by now, but the gold is echoing her little sister's pleas with 100% certainty, no timidity for Ina!

"Ticking? Must be a bomb," Ajral concludes — or maybe that was Navenath speaking through Ajral — with a firm nod. "We'll have to let ourselves in and make sure everything is okay." Navenath is really good at stopping on a dime, because running is her routine, and she too sliiiiiides to a stop, wings out like she's surfing on the air. « That or they're going to explode. Both sounds really good though. Wait — I'm told that exploding isn't really good. Fine, whatever, » Proddy Navenath kind of thinks everything is extremely good.

« It could just be a really big clock! Maybe the clocktower needs a friend! Wouldn't that be cute??? » Inasyth is always the optimist. She certainly doesn't have the agility of the Navenath, but the bigger dragon tries, nearly toppling as she skids to a stop, but wings helping keep her upright before she trots around in a circle to face back towards the Innovation Hall and Excitement. Rhodelia gulps and takes a step back and then another three for good measure as folks declare possible bombs. "We should check on it, in case folks are getting hurt. But maybe… do you see any goggles? And the big smith's aprons?" Because remember everybody: Safety First.

"Try a workshop," says Ajral, and Navenath is saying the same thing, « Try a workshop, » at the exact same moment. Maybe they get a little overly-blendy when Nav glows, or maybe this is a particularly right now kind of issue. If they end up swapping eye colors, then it's going to be SUPER weird, especially since one of them is a dragon and one isn't. "Like — this way," Ajral's gaze has caught on a smith shop with an open door, where they can steal goggles and aprons. « Get goggles for me, » Nav reminds her, but Ajral just rolls her eyes because none of the goggles in there are appropriately dragon sized. There is a pair that's Ajral sized, though, and she tosses a Rhody-sized option toward the goldrider.

"Right, right," Rhodelia nods distractedly as if she had forgotten they were probably surrounded by potential safety equipment, but luckily Ajral's got her back! Goggles are caught and donned and she even manages to grab some oversized blacksmithing coats, one for her and one also tossed over towards the mindhealer. With gloves! Appropriately mad scientist'ed on up, time to face the door again. "We can do this. One the count of three?" Ready or not, here they come!

Safety equipment is the healer's specialty, even if Ajral is a mindhealer and minds don't — yet — have safety equipment available to them. (Which is completely and totally inconvenient!) "One," says Ajral. « OH HERE WE GO, » says Navenath, rolling onto her side and forgetting entirely that she was going to the pens for snacks because room that says danger on it. "Two — wait, are we sure we have everything we need? What if the whole room explodes? What if we kill our dragons?" This is not Ajral like behavior at all: turns out being proddy makes her incredibly paranoid. Navenath makes a vocalization that almost actually sounds like 'noooo' as all of the technicolor skeletons facepalm in unison.

Wait was certainly not what Rhodelia was expecting to come after three! Her hand was already on the handle in the process of turning when Ajral calls out to wait and while she turns, the door does open just a crack! The goldrider drops the handle like it's hot and backpedals furiously until she's arm in arm with her friend. "We shouldn't kill our dragons," Rhody echoes that bit of common sense even as Inasyth pipes in with a wash of bubbles for those skeletons. « WE'RE NOT DEAD! YOU CAN GO INNNNNNN!!! » Rhodelia just shakes her slightly ringing head. "We could… call Galaxy? Have them check on it?" But as the door creeps open a bit more on it's own accord, more of the ticking can be heard. And a splashing… and is that cheering?

« What she said! » Navenath is all cheer and sweetness and light and waving skeletons, here. Skeletons doing pyrotechnics, because she's got mental fireworks coming from somewhere, don't even ask. Proddiness has dampened down her loudness, but it hasn't cut her off. « It's fine, my paranoid princess. » (What is a princess? What is she even saying half the time?) That seems to be enough for Ajral, whose contemplation turns into simply, "We can proceed, evidently. The dragons have deemed themselves to be fine," or perhaps not dead. "Galaxy will save us if they have to, and the bomb probably isn't rigged to the door anyway." PROBABLY. "Let's try again: one. Two. Three."

The curiosity really is getting to Rhodelia even as the paranoia is as well… she's easily persuaded especially when the person doing persuading is a trained mindhealer and friend! But despite the slightly worrying ticking, there was also cheering very distant, but there along with some splashing. She pauses, hand in the air as she watches Arjal wait for the decision, but when it seems they have unanimous GO FORTH AND INVESTIGATE consensus, she doesn't wait, but just kicks for the door. "HOLD ON TO YOUR GOGGLES!!!" She certainly is as the door flies open, revealing a short hallway and some sort of auditorium with a bunch of really, really confused smiths and tech-crafters and even an odd baker or three tossed in for good measure. They had all been gathered around a mysterious gleaming contraption that seems to be the source of both ticking and splashing… and a plate with fried tubers and a ginormous burger, but now all eyes are on the intruding riders. Rhodelia gives an awkward cough. "We… heard there was a bomb?" And shamelessly gonna slide a step back and try to hide behind Ajral. BLAME THE PRODDY ONE!

"We thought we heard a bomb, to be specific," points out Ajral, very firmly and cautiously, but her enunciation all precise and — well, typical Ajral. Some of them are used to her, seeing her at various crafter meetings with her careful way of talking. But she's definitely a little more shifty-eyed than usual. "And everyone was gone - you shouldn't all leave your posts like that - so — " She doesn't trail off so much as cut herself off, staring at what's around her. "What even is that, and is it edible?" « IS THAT A DRAGON SIZED MEAT DISH. » It's not that big, Nav. Nothing is big enough for your gaping maw.

Mention of bomb certainly gets a buzz of murmurs going, before someone with the air of being in charge (and a clipboard to go with the air) steps forward. "No bomb. Everything's fine. Just a… bit of a joint project. That we're not ready to unveil to the public just yet. Now if you just step this way…" Because despite all their attempted safety precautions, apparently someone doesn't want Rhodelia and Ajral handing around a very rough prototype machine that involves large vats of boiling oil, a grill and various levers and other moving parts. But one day… perhaps soon, the Meatenator (and fries!) 1000 may just be available for a wider test run… for a limited time!

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