Seeds of an Idea

Xanadu Weyr - Luraoth's Menagerie
Before being cleared to make space for the training field, this expanse of land had been a farm. Fence posts still mark out small pastures or tracts of cropland that have long been left to go fallow and become little more than grassy patches of wildflowers. The path from the coastal road weaves between scattered fruit trees left over from an orchard, offering some measure of shade along the walk.
A huge barn with large doors that swing easily are moved by a mechanism with the sound of clinking chains and the chugging of a generator. Within, what must have once been storage space and the home for farm animals has been transformed into a place fit for a dragon. A huge stone makes up the center of the largest chamber, with heating or cooling with the flick of a tail. There are other stones set about in three other dragon-sized nooks, clearly set there for the comfort of guests or patients.
A set of metal stairs as well as a freight elevator around the side of the building allow easy access to a loft area that has largely been left untouched from the time this place was a farm. There's plenty of room for storage, but also room for any number of animals that may come to live here. One corner has been clearly dedicated as 'tunnelcat territory' with a bunch of little platforms, ramps, tunnels, and toys.

Bright and early on a summer morning - well, not all that early. The sun's well above the horizon, making the dew sparkle on the plants. Soriana is, for the moment, nowhere to be seen, but Luraoth is just emerging from her barn. The gold dragon lifts her head toward Rukbat, spreading her wings to let the light fall across them.

Kera wasn't up at first light, or anything near that actually. Having woken and felt half way decent, she vacated the dorms before some Journeyman comes looking for some apprentice he thinks needs a task. After a quick breakfast, she's pushing along a wheel barrel with abucket and other tools she may need working around the young queen's weyr. Turning off the main path, she hums to herself as she approaches Soriana's place. Seeing dragon, Kera dips her head politely to the queen. "G'morning Luraoth." Setting the wheelbarrel down she pauses to look around a few moments. Stepping towards the door she gives a quick couple of knocks "G'Morning Soriana, are you around?" She waits a few seconds "It's Kera."

Luraoth stretches those wings, as if she wants to soak up every bit of the heat. Not that it hasn't been quite summery, lately… and yet. Luraoth is becoming a warmth-craving creature, her couch-heater turned up and her days spent in the sunlight of meadow or beach. It's probably got something to do with the way her profile has begun to change. And the bronze in frequent attendance. And the dragonhealer visits for her maternity appointments. She chirps softly to Kera for the greeting, and continues her fanning to the sun. Soriana's a bit slower to appear, but a moment after the knock, the door of her cottage opens. Here she is, a mug of klah in one hand. Yes, it's a warm summer day. So? She has a small smile, but she blinks as she sees Kera. "Oh, hey. Uh…" Did she forget about something?

Kera watches the Weyr's youngest queen after the knock and continues humming that little tune. Looking back to the door as it opens, she offers a smile as she takes in the klah bearing weyrwoman. "Morning Soriana. I was just letting ya know I was around." She gestures over her shoulder to the wheelbarrel setting a few paces back. "Any strange scrurrying nioses ya might here will probably be me." Wiggling her fingers to her friend, Kera turns and goes back to the tools she brought. After rummaging around, she tugs on some gardening gloves and a couple of small hand tools, trots towards a spot at the corner of the cottage.

"…good morning," Soriana says slowly. She must have missed something. Because… uh. She trails out across the porch and down the steps, following Kera and the… wheelbarrow? Soriana gives that klah a longing glance, but it's kind of hot for drinking. No helpful awakeness aid for her! "Uh. What're you doing?"

Kera glances back to Soriana, then down to her gardening tools then back to the young rider "Gardening?" No one said there would be a pop quiz during it though. "We talked about me puttering around your yard, adding things here or there…" Finally putting together that Soriana isn't quite 'with it' yet, she smiles and gestures her friend to go back to what she was doing "Don't mind me, I just thought I would prep a couple of areas so they would be ready for planting." With a halfhearted shooing motion and grin "Go enjoy your klah."

Soriana takes a sip of her klah despite the heat. At least it isn't burning-her-mouth temperatures. Quite. "Right, we talked about… talking about it." She smiles, now. Mm, klah? She doesn't seem to be getting shooed away, though. "I don't remember agreeing on an actual plan for it." Soriana comes over and looks down into the wheelbarrow, reaching down to prod at one of the tools before looking up again. "I mean, I'm glad you're enthusiastic, but let's not get ahead of things."

Kera shifts her tool to one hand and reaches into her back pocket, tugging out a folded peice of paper. Working to unfold it with her other hand full, she uses a couple of shakes and swipes across her leg to spread the page out and offer it to Soriana. It shows a rough sketch of Soriana's yard with little notes and options to consider. Pointing at a couple of spots with a gloved covered finger "I wasn't gonna change anything too much. Weeding mainly today while you consider how you want to go about things with the plantings."

Paperwork, already? Soriana reaches out to take the offered page, though, glancing at it… then taking another sip of klah… then looking at it in more detail. "But I like those flowers." Weeds. The ones with the scraggly green leaves but the vivid red blooms. "…and what's this part mean, where it says 'impatiens'. What's the hurry?"

Kera looks where Soriana points out and smiles "I'm not getting rid of any of your current flowers. Just gonna pick any stray weeds out and clean up the flowers beds." She assures the rider. "And impatiens was just a suggestion for something that could be sprinkled among what's already here. It comes a few differant colors and petal shape." Peering back to the young Weyrwoman with a smile and offers a shrug "There are alot of differant flowers that would be quite pretty scattered about." The last question makes her pause a bit and she glances around the yard briefly "Sorry, I didn't mean to make you feel rushed. It was a couple sevendays ago that we talked about it so I thought I little weeding would be alright."

Most of Soriana's current 'flowers' are weeds, depending on how one looks at them. The former farm hasn't been landscaped so much as let return about halfway to nature - because even thistles are pretty, in the right setting. Low maintenance, too! They scatter themselves around, with no need for niceties like 'beds' or 'cultivation'. "Yeah, but…" Soriana gives her head a shake, and has another sip of the klah. Anytime now, brain. "Let's start small." She smiles. "Okay? I mean, right now the place looks good - not that it couldn't be better, but… I don't want to find it suddenly turning into a construction site because stuff gets half-done and then you get busy with lessons."

Kera looks from the yard, to the paper, Soriana then the paper again. After a few seconds she smiles and gives an apologetic shrug "All my little notes were not all at one time type thing. A little bit here, a little bit there. Small additions. Nothing more than digging a few small holes that I would be filling in with something as soon as I dug them." Nodding as she explains and glances around as if she can already see the additions "Where would ya like for me to start this morning?"

Soriana smiles back. "Okay," she says, and hands the paper back before taking another sip of the klah. "So… here's what I'm thinking." The klah's still too warm for the day, but at least it's working. Soriana leads the way partly around the barn, to the side facing back toward the Weyr itself. There's a few tumbled stones from what might have once been a paddock wall, half-hidden by plants that shot up with spring and are now beginning to wilt with summer's heat. "Maybe put something together here? I can see it on the way home, and it's… well, sort of a mess. But it could be nice. Sort of a… stone-walled garden." Admittedly, the wall-remnants are a couple feet high, but… it's the idea?

Kera folds the paper back up and slips it in her pocket. Canting her head a bit, she follows Soriana around the side of the barn and spots the wall in question. Stepping closer she scrutinizes it and nods easy enough. " Crouching down inside the walled space, Kera prods at the wild-growth climbing up the wall with little clingers. "What would you think about a little bench, or a lounging chair with side table? Could make a nice little place to sun or read as you enjoy the garden."

For the moment, Soriana perches herself on the wall - carefully. Some of the stones aren't all that stable. She has a sip of the klah, watching as Kera investigates the space. "That could be nice," she says of the idea of a bench or chair. "And maybe a bit of vegetable garden, or… oh, what's that plant that's got the sort of… it's a herb, they use it with roasts a lot. It smells nice."

Kera smiles as Soriana starts to picture how she wants the space. She continues tugging on the stray creeper that climbs the wall. Giving a few gentle taps at a few differnt spots of the wall, Kera chews on her bottom lip and gives her head a hint of a shake "I'm not sure how steady most of this wall is though. Won't really see what ya have to work with til I clear away the overgrowth. I don't know about making the wall sturdier, you'll need to find someone else for that." The mention of the herb sends her mind to turning "Well, there's basil. And Thymus. Both of those are used for seasoning dishes." Kera considers a bit longer "Tarragon as well."

Some of the stones stay where they're put. Others, well… they wobble. Soriana nods. "Well, we don't have to do anything with the wall, anyhow. Though maybe it'd be nice…" she trails off, picturing possibilities, then shakes her head. "Anyway. It can just be decorative, for now." Insofar as a tumble of random rocks counts as decoration? She hmms at the listed herbs, considering. "Maybe?" she says uncertainly. "But it'd be nice to have some of that here. With the weyrbarn-" she indicates the wall with her mug, "-I figure Luraoth's scent will keep the stray 'beasts away."

Kera steps back as she starts tugging greenery away from the old wall. "I only meant sturdying it up a bit so ya could lean against it confidently." She nods agreeably at the mention of the dragon's scent keeping stray beasties away." Continuing to work as she talks, soon she has the beginings of a waste pile. "Be right back, gonna grab that wheelbarrel." Kera wanders away briefly but soon returns pushing the little contraption in front of her. Pulling the bucket out and setting it aside, she starts tossing the waste into it. "So, other than being rudely interupted in the middle of your klah,…" She flashes a grin to her friend " have ya been this past sevenday Soriana?"

"Oh, yeah, that," Soriana says. Not that she's not still sitting on it, stable or no… but it'd be nice to have less chance of tumbling and cracking her head open, she supposes. She nods to Kera's departure, staying where she is and having a few more sips of klah. It's sort of like Mur'dah's weyr all over again! Only, with far, far less work to do. At Kera's question, she laughs. "That's why I brought it with me," she replies, and has another sip. So maybe that's why she's not helping. As the mug lowers, she smiles. "Oh, well. Busy," she shrugs one shoulder, "But not bad. How about you?"

Kera kneels down at the base of the wall and starts snipping with garden shears, and tugging the greening away. At times it seems to resist being evicted, but a few sharp tugs is enough to seperate them. Nodding agreeably "Likewise, been keeping busy." tossing more stuff in the wheelbarrel, she snorts "Ka'el and that dragon of his had a little fun at my expense the other day. I'll think of something to get them back though."

Besides, Kera wanted to do gardening, right? So… Soriana shouldn't get in the way of that. Nope. She'll just sit here and sip her klah and watch and chat. "Are you starting to study for senior apprentice yet?" Not that, in a way, all apprentice studies aren't for that, but… there seems to be extra studying at some point. When the goal's in sight? Soriana's mug pauses at the mention of Ka'el, a brow lifting. Her tone is ever-so, ever-so-carefully casual as she says, "Oh?"

Kera chuckles. "Yea, he had a few laughs and run me through the wringer to boot. All sorts of rules, that now I know of coarse were not real. Then that puffed up bronze of his sends a wall of water at me with barely any warning. Felt like a dolphin for a few seconds." The apprentice chuckles and peers over to Soriana with an amused wink before chucking another handful of weeds into the cart. Nodding to her friend "Yea. Always trying to get in extra studying. But people keep telling me I need to put books down and go do other stuff." She gestures around absentmindedly. "So, this is me, doing other stuff."

Soriana listens to Kera's explanation of what happened, her face quiet, and then at the end… she laughs. Only briefly, but it's a laugh. "Your fins seem to have worn off," she says with a tilt of her head, and has another sip of klah before nodding. "Other stuff is good! You need to take breaks from your work. Otherwise you'll go crazy." But then Cyrus would be busy! …until he went crazy. "So I guess I can't ask you to plant any medicinal herbs?" she asks, tone teasing. "Or it doesn't count as other stuff anymore."

Kera works along the wall, clearing the overgrowth away before scooching over and continuing on. "Thankfully they did. I'ld never hear the end of it from my mom if I had permanent fins and refused to follow in her craft." With an easy going shrug "I've no problem with planting medicinals. I help tend portions of the greenhouse sometimes. I'll work up a couple of lists. One for herbs used in cooking. Then a list of medicinal plants and some purproses of them for you to choose from."

Soriana chuckles. "I suppose that would make it hard to refuse, wouldn't it?" Her gaze drifts away, seeking out her dragon. Luraoth's found a sunny spot, located on a slight rise, and has spread out to soak up the warmth. There's no bronze shadow with her - yet - but then, Galaxy tends to have early morning patrols. He's likely busy. Soriana looks back to Kera, and nods. "I can give you some marks to buy 'em, once we've picked stuff out. Or send a bill." Oh joy, more paperwork!

Kera smirks. "I doubt she would have given me a choice." Tugging another handful from the wall, she stands and tosses it into the cart. Tugging her gloves off, she slaps at her knees a couple of times to brush off the dirt. Nodding to her friend. "Some things I will be able to take cuttings off of from the greenhouse. Or start some rootings. That'll save a couple of marks there. The rest can be figured out as we go." Grinning she gestures to the cart "I'm gonna run this to the compost. Shouldn't take me too long." Flashing a quick wink "Get yourself another mug if I take too long." Wiggling her fingers, Kera takes up the handles and starts pushing the little cart along.

Cuttings. Rootings. Right. It… certainly sounds like Kera knows what she's doing, which is good, because Soriana doesn't! "…yeah. We'll figure it out." Because that's about the only part of it that made sense to her! She nods about the compost heap, then makes a face. "I should head in, actually." So she's not late to the office, again. "I'll see you later, though! Lemme know when you've got that list!" Soriana goes back to her cottage to do her final morning getting-ready, then heads down the road and to the admin complex. With, yes, an extra mug of klah in hand.

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