Traveling For Food

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.

Lunch is one of the meals that is certainly meager, but so is every other meal since the start of the shortage. Food is lackluster and portioned off so that everyone can get some. Kiley is in the caverns for lunch, settled at a table alone; she's not exactly picking at her food so much as she is eating very slowly. A bored look crosses the woman's face with a touch of thoughtfulness while her gaze lingers towards the ceiling. She sits like this, slowly bringing food to her mouth, staring elsewhere while her mind obviously wanders. Her journal is present beside her, but it remains closed and untouched as she attempts to finish her meal.

Karona re-enters the caverns from the hotsprings, as she does almost every lunch, freshly bathed, in pristinely cleaned - if a bit shabby - clothes. She heads straight for the serving tables, at a fair pace, perhaps to make up for the time spent bathing. A plate is grabbed, and a glass of water, and, so armed, the woman moves to sit in the first available seat, happening to be across from Kiley. There's a polite nod for the other candidate, and a "Hey.", but mainly the older woman's attention is on her food. She digs in as soon as she's seated, eating as quickly as is polite and healthy.

Kiley is drawn from her thoughts by the movement around her, her gaze drawn easily towards Karona and smiling for the greeting the older woman gives. "Hey." The younger repeats with another smile playing at her lips. How are you doing?A questioning look follows before her gaze flickers away to watch the entrance of the caverns rather than watching the other eat. Her own food remains ignored for the moment before her gaze flickers back down to her plate and she begins to scoop bigger helpings. "Really wish there was more to eat." The woman mumbles softly, her bottom lip coming to stick out just a bit.

Karona grunts slightly, and lifts her shoulders in what might be a shrug, but it's a very brief movement. "Not so bad. It's the kids I feel sorry for, those growing boys… well, I can live without lunch now and then." she says, though her attention shifts back to her food. Did she just admit to sneaking food to the boys? Perhaps. It's not like it's a crime, but it may explain why she's eating so quickly. "They're not gonna let us starve," she points out, "can't have malnourished candidates fainting on the sands."

There's a blink towards Karona as Kiley slowly turns attention away from her plate towards the older candidate. "I guess.. There's a lot of them younger than us." The woman heaves a small sigh, looking back to her plate and picking idly at the food. It takes another moment before she scoops some more up and places it into her mouth. Her eyes shift to the other as she chews, remaining silent until she swallows. "Well, no. They won't. But I used to eat a lot more than this. Sometimes I'm still wishing to eat more." Eyes shift away and her brows furrow. "It is rather selfish, though. I shouldn't think like that.." Her fork sections it all off and she shrugs, "I guess it could be worse. Though I really wonder how long until things return to normal."

Karona pokes at her plate, and furrows her brow. "Yeah… more food would be good. What I wouldn't give for a nice meaty pie right about now." she says, shaking her head. A thought occurs, and the woman's eyes light up. "Hey. What do you say to a small trip? Bet no-one'd notice if we were gone, long as we got back before afternoon work. We could pop out of the Weyr for lunch." she suggests. "Suppose I can't just stare at my commission marks forever, might as well hire a transport rider for a bit. Get a good meal. Ierne has good food." she finishes, with a grin.

Kiley nns at the mention of meaty pie, making a face at her plate. "Would be nice.." The woman agrees with the slight hint of dread in her tone, her fork now stabbing into the food as if blaming it for not being better. However, the mention of sneaking out for food has her turning a wide-eyed look to the other woman. "We can do that? Truly? That would be /wonderful/. Having proper /food/." Even her stomach rumbles in agreement. "Are you sure you want to use your commission marks for that? I'd be forever thankful."

Karona chuckles slightly at Kiley's reaction, and nods. "Why not? It's not like I have anything /else/ to spend marks on. Between the Weyr and the craft, my every need is… satisfactorily met." Her clothes are second-hand, and there might not be much food on her plate just now, but apparently she has nothing to complain about. "What /do/ people spend marks on, anyway?" she muses, then shakes her head. "Nevermind… but yes, I don't see why we couldn't. We're allowed to leave the Weyr as long as we have a rider with us, and obviously we will. Like I said, long as we're back before the afternoon work shift, no-one will even miss us."

"That'd be /wonderful/." Kiley sighs happily, "as long as you don't mind spending them, I'd be happy to take you up on that." The woman gives a gentle push to her plate, the unsatisfactory meal now not good enough. "I don't know. I think I would spend it on.." The woman trails off in consideration then shakes her head. "I have no idea, actually." Shoulders shrug and then the smile on her lips grows even wider. "That'd be wonderful. We can go and eat and have the rider with us.. Maybe offer to pay for his meal as well so he'll stick around? And we'll be back before chores start up again."

Karona chuckles slightly, and tips her head. "The food in Ierne's marketplace is worth the trip, trust me." she says, pushing her own half-eaten plate away, and getting to her feet. "At least… I remember it that way." she says, brow furrowing faintly. "Anyway, wait right here." she says, glancing to the exit. "I'll go fetch my marks," from the barracks, no doubt, "and a rider." she promises, taking off at a run. It may seem like an eternity to the starved, but in actuality it's only a few minutes before Karona returns, rider and a couple of candidates in tow. "Kiley!" she calls, beckoning the computercrafter candidate towards the exit.

"Food?" If someone is mentioning food, you can imagine that somewhere there is a teenaged boy whose ears are perking up. Flandynn would be that sort this time around, crossing into the cavern with interested eyes, a hollow gut, and a flush to his cheeks born of cooler weather. Dark hair falls and flops every which way, a product of the breezes without and a brisk walk. In a blink and a breath, the teen suddenly inserts himself into the 'candidate' grouping. He's just a Pernese ninja like that.

"That sounds wonderful.. Shells. I'm /hungry/." Good food makes the woman's stomach rumble. When the other gives the instructions to wait, Kiley sits there with bated breath and fidgets. And when finally, Karona returns Kiley jumps from her seat. Over she flees and there's a look of utter glee on the woman's face. Flandynn gets a wave as he inserts himself into their gaggle of candidates, sneaking out for a good meal.

Karona grins, and bobs her head. "Food!" she confirms, positively beaming at Flandynn. Food, glorious food! The rider seems to be a little more serious about the situation, in fact he looks as though he'd rather not be taking candidates across Pern, thank you very much, but he's been paid good marks, and he has a job to do. "Right. Rule one: Don't wander off. Do everything I tell you, don't ask stupid questions and /don't wander off/." he stresses, leading the candidates out to the dragon. It doesn't even dampen Karona's sudden cheer, not one bit. "Oooh, you just wait till we get there! Awesome food!" she grins.

Ierne Weyrhold - Marketplace

A wide square full of shops and stores and sidewalk vendors of all types. Mostly Traders who specialise in certain items or Crafters who wanted a place in which to market their wares. Due to the WeyrHold being a major trade center, its an ideal place for something like this, open all turn round rather then just people selling during gathers.

Thanks to the time difference, it's actually early morning in Ierne, but the marketplace is quietly running all the same. They must get a lot of visitors. The rider landed some distance away, and Karona has run the entire way to the marketplace, grinning widely. The rider is hanging towards the back, following, but making sure no-one strays from the group.

Flandynn so easily inserts himself into the group, comes easily from being on the smaller side of the others. And, you know what? Food is delicious, so all the better. A trip is well… a trip? It leaves the teen just as windblown, flush-cheeked, bright-eyed, and eager to once more find himself in a foreign land. Hanging out with dragonrider folks ain't too bad. Booted feet set upon the ground, chest filling with new morning air as he draws in a deep breath. The teen begins humming a tune, which eventually find words as he continues closer to the market area, yet another sea chanty. This one has to do with ports of call, the lasses in such places, and the prices of the lasses.

The difference in time does little to damper the woman's mood and desire for /good/ food, fresh food, and food that is more interesting than the back of her hand. But rather than running as Karona does, Kiley takes her time to catch up, humming with a childish delight for the impending arrival of food. She is happy to linger behind and watch everything around her with a sense of newness lingering over the woman. "I'm so.. So excited to get out of the Weyr for a little while. And /food/!" Delight is heavy in her tone and then, surprisingly, she begins to skip forward to catch up with the others.

Karona stops a short distance into the marketplace, and beams. "It's like a gather, but it's always on!" she says, pointing out the stalls. "It's been a while since I was last here. I… don't really know what's good any more, but wasn't much bad." she explains. Flandynn gets eyed, for the song. "Have you been before?" she wonders. Ierne has such lasses, after all. "I used to live here. Best turns of my life." she boasts, for to her it /is/ a boast. "Right! I think our gracious rider would be annoyed if we split up, so let's move around the marketplace, yeah? As a group." she warns, as a young boy tries to make a break for it. "I've got the marks, so, uh… stick by … m—" her attention has drifted, eyes glazing over. There might even be drool. She shakes herself, and clears her throat. "Ah, stick with me. This way, /gorgeous/ meat pies." she says, trotting over to that very stall.

Flandynn shakes his head from side to side following Karona's words. "No, ma'am. That I have not. The Yokohama, the fast trip to Ierne for food. You riders done be turning my head." He flashes her an impish wink, coming along behind the rider only to slow to try to meet Kiley's skip. He won't skip though, far, far, far too manly for something like that -or something. "Skipping? Never would have thought I'd see the day. I imagine by the time you get some of this food in you, you'll be apt to flying us home yourself."

Kiley stops beside Karona, grinning at the older candidate as she points out the stalls. "Anything is better than what is at the Weyr at the moment." Comes the insistence from the computer crafter, more delight thick in her tone. Her questioning gaze lands on Karona and brows lift, "you used to live here? To have a market around must've been nice.. But then you'd always be spending your marks." Her brows draw into a frown at that but it quickly fades. "Right, let's not split up." There's a glance towards the rider and she smiles towards him. The boy that tries to take off is met with a frown and eyes roll before she's moving along with the other candidate towards the stall. Flandynn gets a look and she frowns visibly at him, nose wrinkling . "Do you /have/ to tease me every time you're around me?"

Karona grins at Flandynn. "Hey, I'm no rider, I'm just a candidate like yourself." Right. And the rider that brought them here, what's he, then? He's frowning, but quiet. Keeping an eye on the candidates. Kiley gets a tight-lipped smile from the man, juuust briefly, and then it's back to frowning. Karona doesn't seem at all concerned, having reached the stall. She's bouncing on her heels as she waits in line, though thankfully it's a short line. "Heh, nah, I never really did spend many marks." she admits, with a shrug. "Well… not my own." There's a pause, as the line moves, and she shuffles ahead - second in line now! "…I was just a kid though. We moved to Ista when I was twelve." she grimaces.

"How else am I going to get you to pay attention to me?" Flandynn queries after her, dark eyebrows lifting upwards in challenge as he walks backwards in order to better look after Kiley. His head inclines just the slightest, his smile just as faint. In the next breath though he is pouncing away, for he can scent the foodstuffs, and durn if they don't smell yummy. His head comes back up, smiling widely at Karona, "Not yet, you aren't. But soon I imagine." His head turns to look back to the rider who did bring them here. Yes, he is deliberately turning his head to do so. Yeah, he is being corny, what is new? The teen tries to peek around Karona, looking towards the front of the stall. "Maybe if we find him some pieces of hard candy he'll sweeten up that frown of his."

Kiley nods to the rider for the tight-lipped smile then turning attention away without a care at all, utterly carefree and happy for the fact that they get food! "I wouldn't be able to resist spending it.." Laughter follows as the woman admits to spending someone's marks that were not her own. "I see…" Another smile is given towards the woman, "I guess it is nice to visit?" She questions with a tilt of her head. However, Flandynn speaks and the computer crafter colors a dark shade at his words and the woman frowns at him. "Why would you want me to pay attention to you?" Her brows furrow into a frown for that challenge and she sighs, turning attention away from him and making to look over some of the food at the stall.

The person ahead of Karona is served, and the woman practically leaps to the now vacant spot at the stall. "Uh, yeah, one of those meat pies. No sauce." she says, glancing over her shoulder. "You guys want anything?" she asks, waving at the stall. "Well… I suppose I've as good a chance as any candidate. /You/ might find yourself riding soon too." she notes, with a nod to Flandynn. She smirks at the suggestion of hard candy for the rider, and suddenly finds reason to stand with her back to the man. "Mmm, perhaps. Maybe something sweet, a bubbly or three perhaps." she ponders, though she finally manages to tame her wild smirk, enough to glance back at the rider. But that just sets the smirk off again. The rider doesn't seem to notice: "Hey! HEY! Keep away from there!" he's snapping at one of the curious young candidates. Kiley's confusion over Flandynn gets a raised eyebrow, but no response. The marks however… "What would you buy? I mean, apart from food. I… I just can't think of any things I want, except maybe a pool table, but my little journeyman's room isn't large enough." she shakes her head slowly. "Still, saving is the plan, so I can retire early."

Either Flandynn doesn't hear Kiley's words to him, or he simply doesn't feel the need to answer, or maybe even the idea of a meat pie has banished all other thought other than FOOD from his thoughts, there is no response back to the young woman. Instead, his words find something else, "Marks are meant to be spent, but if you get things for free, all the better." And then the teen will admit with a hushed voice, "I haven't had a mark to my name in months, haven't spent any in twice as long. It is all about… opportunity." He flashes Karona a wink, fetching up at the fore of the stall, and getting his pie. Look Ma, no marks!

"A meat pie with no sauce is good." Kiley notes, looking towards Karona. "I'd like one." A smile comes to her lips as they debate the sweets. "I think he may appreciate a bubbly or a few." The computer crafter agrees. The snapping has her turning around to consider the rider with a curious uplift of her brows before turning back towards the others. "Maybe four." Just for putting up with all of them. For the question, the woman shrugs. "I don't know. Some tech things, but, that's just me. Maybe.. Music lessons." Flandynn's lack of response goes unnoticed as her attention also returns to the food before them.

The pies are served, and Karona grabs one, sliding the required amount of marks across the stall counter, before turning away, and walking in a random direction. "Anyone wants to go walk… some place else, just ask, I'm not fussy. Got my pie." Her tone on the word 'pie' is nothing short of fond. Mmm, piiie. "Mmm, got a chest of marks back at the Weyr, just waiting to be spent. A set of nice smithing tools, maybe…" Mmm, wooork. Honestly. But then, there are no more words. There is only pie. Munch munch NOM, mmmm.

Quarter of the pie? Already stuffed into Flandynn's mouth. He chews away, cheeks puffed like some kind of Terran chipmunk. Hard to grin with a mouth so full, he instead wanders away some, those steps inevitably brining him away from the 'group' and towards another stall. Toys. Nose-wrinkle. He starts to move away, only to pause and return back, finding a ball in among the dolls and figurines and cards and other assorted playthings. He starts to reach for it, only to get a grunt from the stall owner -teens reaching for toys? Yeah, not going to happen. He begins to scowl in return, only to hear as Karona wanders off. It is a quick swallow later as he calls after her. "They're just gathering dust. Spend those things!"

Kiley takes her pie with a happy hum, taking a slow bite and watching the other candidate as she makes the offer to walk. There's a nod and she begins to move along with the group as they begin to follow Flandynn, seeing as he has taken over. There's a look towards the toys as they reach the stall, brows furrow and she considers the boy with an uplift of her brows for his call to Karona. Her head shakes and she slowly turns away to begin searching around the stalls for something more to eat.

Seeing as Kiley has wandered away, that leaves the boy needing to find another partner in crime. Another quarter of that pie is chewed upon as the teen moves to link arms with another candidate, bumping up against him. There is a long moment of chewing and swallowing, and then a dropped voice. "Saw the ale tent back there. They will never know…" An almost greedy look turns on the other candidate's lips, there is a conspicuous look back to the rider, a shared smirk, and off they go to meld into the crowd.

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