The Little Harper That Couldn't Cook

Xanadu Weyr - Kitchens
The kitchen is large and well-stocked with technology as well as those with culinary skill. State of the art equipment has been brought in from the various crafts to be used - stoves and large ovens replacing the hearths that used to be in here. Three baking ovens are usually going full bore half the day, from early morning through to mid-afternoon. Large windows take up the entire of the western wall, generally open wide to the mountainous landscape beyond allowing the cool breezes in to keep the kitchen's temperature to a desirable level.
Tables, cabinets, and counters take up the remaining spaces and walls. Various spices, herbs, and other foodstuffs are found here, and what's not ready at hand is tucked away back in the storage caverns or the massive cold-room large enough to walk inside.
The night hearth beside the door to the main caverns has been kept out of a sense of nostalgia, but the smaller stove set beside it is what's actually used to prepare late-night food. This is where you find late night meals of stew and soup simmering in pots, and pitchers of klah and tea in their electric units to be kept warm.

One moment everything's going great, outside from the tiny detail that the harper by the name of Zalulia is feeling a bit hungry. She's hungry, but it isn't mealtime and she doesn't want to eat something cold. So she thinks to herself, 'hey, why don't I try to cook?' That, as it turns out, is a mistake. One montage-worthy attempt at creating something along the lines of uncooked meatrolls she shoves her newly formed monstrosity into the oven. Then stands there, staring intently. You know how a watched pot never boils? Well staring willfully doesn't speed up the cooking process. As she glowers at the oven the meat continues on at a steady pace, eventually emitting the beginnings of a foul stench. /That/ makes her scrunch her face up in confusion and take a step back. Okay, meatrolls should /not/ smell like that. "Maybe it will just go away," she murmurs to herself. Maybe it was all a part of the cooking process and meatrolls just went through a phase where they smelled absolutely dreadful.

Like thunder to lightning, where there's trouble, there's always an Esiae. "Pretty sure food ain't supposed to smell like that," the junior weyrwoman drawls from her position in the doorway. Hair done up out of her face and a clipboard in hand, it appears she was on her way to take inventory in the storerooms, but this is a worthy distraction, to say the least. Shifting into the kitchens, the goldrider looks Zalulia over with mild interest before eyeballing those 'meatrolls,' brow crumpling slightly. "What in Faranth's name did you put in there?"

At this rate, Kiena's going to get as bad a reputation for being present when trouble strikes as her nephew back in Fort. You'd think she'd know better than to step foot in the kitchens too but, just like Zalulia, she was looking for something to eat that the serving tables out in the caverns are sorely lacking. "Something is telling me we might not want to know?" Kiena remarks dryly from behind Esiae as the bluerider sneaks up behind her. Hey there? Craning her head, she'll try to get a peek but while the goldrider ventures forwards, she'll hang back around the doorway.

The arrival of the two riders and their subsequent questions is met by Zalulia appearing just a bit flustered. "Meatrolls," comes her answer. She begins to make largely nonsensical hand gestures of frustration as she answers, "they have… meatroll things!" Meaning she took a bunch of ingredients, asked herself 'hmm, does this look like it could go in a meatroll?' and threw it in if it looked like the answer could even possibly be 'yes'. In a hopeful voice she asks, "maybe it isn't a bad sigh? I mean, different things smell in all sorts of different ways. Maybe it's even a /good/ thing." Alright, so she's pretty sure that meatrolls aren't supposed to smell like some unholy combination of death and armpits, but she isn't quite ready to admit it.

Esiae snorts for Kiena's remark, shooting the bluerider a fierce grin along with a wave of greeting. "Judging by previous experience alone, you're probably right," she agrees with a wry shake of her head. "The things I've seen come out of this kitchen could curl toes. Granted, I made most of them, but." Wait, what? But it's too late, Esi's attention is already back on Zalulia for those frustrated gestures, brown eyes narrowing slightly to look her over a little more closely this time. "Meatroll… things," she repeats dubiously, eyes darting around the countertops as though trying to figure out exactly what ingredients could possibly have gone into this concoction. "You know, we have a fable for this. It's called 'The Little Harper Who Couldn't Cook,'" she jokes, though it's kind of ruined by the sudden need to press her sleeve to her nose to block out the horrible smell. "I'm… pretty sure that's not a good sign no matter what you're cooking, but maybe that's just me." Eyes dart to Kiena for a second opinion on the matter.

Kiena quirks a brow for Zalulia's gesturing but Esiae's grin is returned with a wry one. She snickers too under her breath for the golderider's reply but as far as second opinions go, she only shrugs her shoulders. "No, not just you." she confirms while leaning against the doorway. Don't mind her, she's going to hang out right by the exit in case she needs to make a hasty exit! Her eyes peer apprehensively at that oven, then to the Harper. "You going to open it and see what's up? Going to have to at some point… unless you are trying to burn them on purpose." It won't get any better if they're on fire, right?

"Meatroll things," Zalulia confirms. "I don't think toe-curling is necessarily bad either. I mean, some people curl their toes when they're happy, right?" Okay, now she's just clinging to strings. She knows very well that Esiae means by 'toe-curling' and here she is, trying to turn that negativity into something good. She follows up by spinning on her heel to face the two, long hair flaring with the rapid movement, and sticking her tongue out at the pair. Then frowning and pulling her tongue back in as she realizes that maybe she shouldn't do that to a person in a position of power. None the less she continues plowing forward to say, "it hasn't been in there long enough to burn. And I can cook! Something's heating up and hopefully solidifying in that oven, and thus I am cooking." As she speaks strings of smoke begin emerging from the stove behind her, black and putrid smelling. Oh my. Just what did she put in those things. Zalulia, of coourse, is yet to notice. Ah well, even is Esiae and Kiena don't point it out it can't be long before the smell hits her.

Pfff, silly Kiena. Everything is better on fire! "I suppose that depends on the context," Esi replies to Zalulia, eyes lit up with amusement as she indulges her fellow Harper. "In this context, I'm literally covering my nose to protect my olfactory senses from being insulted. What can we infer?" This… probably isn't the time for a Harper lesson, but Esiae is ultimately unhelpful when it's someone else causing trouble instead of her. "As it is, I think Kiena's right." And probably had the right idea staying in the doorway, too, judging by Esi's slow shuffle back thataways. Both brows lift when Zal sticks her tongue out, but instead of chiding the girl, the goldrider silently points one finger at the black smoke curling out of the oven. Because, priorities.

Kiena might beg to differ about everything being better on fire! No one appreciated the Fort smithy being on fire. "Yeah, toe-curling for happiness or from a good —-" she'll stop herself there and give Zalulia a once-over look. Even if the Harper were old enough for such jokes, the bluerider bites her tongue. When it comes to childish gestures though? Oh, it's on. Kiena just might poke her tongue right back — or maybe she's wrinkling her nose as she gets a good whiff of that mystery dish in the oven. Esiae points and Kiena just sighs, giving up her spot by the door and letting the goldrider take over as she steps in. Grabbing a dish towel, she'll sidestep around Zalulia if she has to to get to the oven. "Let's not set the kitchens on fire today, hmm?" she drawls just before opening that oven door (and likely instantly regretting it).

Zalulia can appreciate a good battle of the words, even if she appears rather childish at times. She can also appreciate a good freudian slip. Kiena's cut-off remark earns a smirk and suggestive wiggle of the eyebrows. Oh yes, she knows. Then there's pointing, she turns back around, aaand… shit. No, nope, there's no way to write this one off as something good. With a mortified yelp she lunges forward, turns the oven off, and pulls it open. This is a mistake. A cloud of black smoke is released into the room, spreading out and filling the room with a painfully intense stink. Zalulia staggers back with a gagging noise and, with all the grace of a mortified runner foal, attempts to flee the scene of the crime.

Esiae has to snort for Kiena's quick stop. Bunching her fist in front of her mouth for a whole 'nother reason other than the smell, the junior coughs hard to keep from laughing. "Terrible," she admonishes, but she doesn't mean it, a wide smile evident even as she goes to open the kitchen's windows, anticipating their actions. And then… things go black. Literally. "Shelling shards on Faranth's first crack-blackin'-" Esi mutters, doing her best not to actually swear as vile, black smoke belches out of the oven. "You just had to open it." Granted, someone was going to have to open the oven eventually lest there be a repeat of the tavern incident, but she's gonna complain about it for a second anyways. "Evacuate!," Esiae says in the best 'junior weyrwoman' voice she can manage through a cough, blonde hair flipping as she, too, flees out that door. Hopefully Kiena's hot on their heels, because apparently the goldrider ran off to activate the sprinkler system. Pipes threaded from the springs to the kitchen's ceiling stutter sluggishly to life before quietly wooshing water down on the smoke-filled kitchen. Out in the cavern, the woman has tossed her clipboard aside in favor of pressing one arm over her nose and mouth, the other holding on to a circular handle as she waits for the smoke to die down. She… definitely looks like she's laughing behind her arm though, because that's a sane response.

"Shards, Esiae!" Nice string of oaths! Kiena's impressed! Which is short lived as soon her focus is on breathing anything but that foul smoke and smell. She'd probably try to outmatch the goldrider, but she can't get a clear enough inhale of breath to do it. What results is a sort of hacked, sputtering of half coherent words likely as foul as the smoke. She won't hold back from swearing. Coughing into the sleeve of her tunic, Kiena's making as hasty a retreat as possible and only barks her shins once in her attempt to keep up with the fleeing Zalulia and Esiae. All that smoke wasn't good for her eyes either. Kiena will escape alright but she'll go outside, winter or not, for a few lungfulls of cold (so cold) clean air and likely plot to hunt down that Harper girl later.

She doesn't quite have the breath to respond, but Esiae definitely flicks Kiena a wink as the bluerider darts past, having caught that colorful sailor talk back there. Eventually, the smoke more or less settles into a heavy, sluggish stink, enough so that Esi feels safe turning off the sprinkler system and making a run for the outdoors herself, along with most of the people in the caverns. It's safe to say Zalulia will never live this down, but for now she will escape justice, for the goldrider is off to see to the cleaning and maintenance of the kitchen equipment before the next big meal rolls around.

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