The Puzzle of Life

Xanadu Weyr - Archives
The the walls and ceiling of this large, windowless room have been fitted with wooden paneling and flooring. Kept polished, the dark finish gleams, covering cold stone, the thick tapestry on the floor muffles footsteps and further insulates from unwanted noise. Set with tall shelves that contain ledgers and tomes, maps and diagrams from the first founding of Xanadu to the present, arranged by topic, one can find records of domestic Weyr management, wing statistics, weyrling management, diplomatic efforts, weather reports, events and vital statistics all dating back over one hundred and fifty turns.

Though kept scrupulously clean and in glass-fronted cabinets, it's impossible for the older tomes not to have gathered some dust and mold over time, so the scent upon entering is of antiquity, musty, earthy and rich. Electricity provides ample lighting with which to see. A large wooden table sits in the center of the room with several seats arranged around it. Placed on the polished top is a stack of paper, a container of writing instruments, a large magnifying glass and basket of emergency glows.

On one shadowy corner, almost invisible behind the panel that forms the door, is a service access, given away by the brass key hole set at waist high in the wood. As it is kept locked, one would need a very good reason for wanting admittance and seek the appropriate person having the key to unlock it - the steward, the headwoman or one of the weyrleaders.

There's been a break in the summer heat of Xanadu. Cloud cover has shrouded the sun, causing the temperature to drop by some degrees. Rain threatens but probably won't fall, but the added coolness has driven some outside to enjoy a slight relief while it lasts. Ka'el is not one of these. The young bronzer finds himself in a part of Xanadu he's never had much reason to step foot in before. The archives are a place that seems ancient. It even smells old in here. Tomes and volumes eight, nine, ten times his age line the shelves of this place of information. He's claimed a few thick ones and has placed them upon the table in the center. The topic? Dragons. Anything he can find on them, which granted is a lot, and so he's picked on a few relevant ones to spread out before him. All of them are open, and Ka'el sits with a writing utensil in his hand, a notebook open and blank, and a look of vague frustration on his face.

The door opens and then K'vin steps inside, heaving a loud breath at being out of the heat and into a cold place. He raises an eyebrow as he sees that another person is already there and he brushes his hair back from his face. "Greetings." He says simply.

Ka'el glances up upon hearing the voice of another. He straightens when he indeed spies another rider present, one more seasoned than himself without a doubt, and as is habit he rises from his seat and greets him with a salute. "Sir," he says crisply, yet quietly. Although there's no one around to say it or uphold the unwritten rule, this place seems to demand quiet voices. He glances down to his blank page, grimacing a little. Wasted time. "Might I help you to find somethin', sir?" he asks, attention back on K'vin. He isn't getting anywhere with his own research. Might as well offer assistance to someone else.

K'vin waves his hand a bit in front of his face in a dismissive way. "No sir with me, you're making me feel older than I already am." He offers. "I'm K'vin, Khirsath's rider, and I was just looking for a cool place to hang out." He says simply. "You look…concerned about something."

Ka'el grins a little. "Sorry, sir. Habit." And that may or may not be the last time the term slips from his mouth. He glances down to the mess that he has on that table and exhales a slight breath. "Yes s- … Yes, I am, I guess. Maybe not "concerned" but … seekin' answers. Answers that these ol' books don't have for me." He wrinkles his nose a bit, but then remembers manners. "Sorry. I'm Ka'el. Bronze Kanekith's rider." He moves closer to him and offers his hand. "Well met, K'vin." He pauses, then smirks. "I think dragons with K-names seek riders whose names match. That, or our dragons have a good sense of humor."

K'vin grins and clasps that hand firmly in his own. "What are the answers you're looking for?" He asks, dragging a dusty chair out from under a desk and sitting down on it without bothering to sweep it off. "Maybe I have some of those answers."

Ka'el gives the man's hand a shake that's accompanied by a friendly smile before he pulls his hand away. His question is considered, eyes glancing back to those useless books and pages and… He moves back towards that table, which isn't very far from where they're standing anyway, and sits, facing him. "Maybe," he says. "Or maybe I'm the type've person who wonders things that have no business bein' wondered about, and there are no answers." He pauses, watching him for a long moment. Then..well. Time to take a chance. "You've probably been ridin' for a long time, huh? .. You ever felt like what you signed up for, you had no business signin' up for? Like, you took the wrong road?"

K'vin crosses his arms over his chest and sets one of his botts over on his knee. "Hmm, what exactly do you mean?" He asks softly, one eyebrow raised, puzzled at the odd question asked.

"I mean," says Ka'el who fidgets with the pen that he still holds. "I mean that … I love Kanekith. I do. With all this faults, I love him. But…" His brows furrow faintly. "Do you ever think of what your life'd be life if you hadn't stood? If you would've said no to whatever dragon searched you when you were searched? And do you ever think that it'd possibly be … better than your life now?"

K'vin groans a bit and looks down at himself for a moment. "I did a lot, son." He answers simply. "Kept me awake at night some times." He says simply. "But I wouldn't trade the life I have and had with Khirsath for any possibilities of a better life, that's called "letting go of the prey to chase the shadow" you know?" He offers. "You could change the face of Pern with ifs"

Ka'el listens intently. Far more intently than he has in any course or class he's taken. He knew he couldn't be the only one in history that felt this way! Though, when it comes to his friends, he's the odd one out. The only one unable to see the sunshine and flowers at all times. "Then, what'd you do?" he asks, brows furrowing. "How'd you stop? Ever since graduation, it's been…nothin' but flights an' talk of flights, and trouble and…" he makes a face. "There hasn't been anything good since."

K'vin shrugs. "You're still young, and still dealing with the newness of being a rider." He says softly. "It'll all come together, like the pieces of a giant puzzle, you're made to do this, otherwise you wouldn't have been chosen." He says softly. "What were you prospect in life?"

One, big, complex puzzle. Ka'el thinks this over. He ponders the blue dragon that searched him. The goat he got because of it. The stammering rider. Where is his place in the puzzle of his own life? "I was tapped into Galaxy," he answers the man. "But..before that, I wanted to be a smith," he says, straightening a little. "I was an apprentice, hopin' to be moved to senior within the turn. Now I .. ride Galaxy, but I want to put my smithin' to use there too. Make weapons and armor." He watches him, a note of curiosity in his eyes. "What were you, before a rider?"

K'vin sighs. "I was a healer, made myself a dragonhealer but I quit a couple of years ago." He says simply. "With the threads not falling anymore, who said you couldn't be a smith too? You won't be a mastersmith, and you'll have to put your dragon as priority over anything else but yes, why not?"

Why not? Indeed. "I've already been tapped to Galaxy for Search and Rescue. I couldn't bail." Or maybe he can? "In any case, I like Galaxy, I do. I feel useful in it. But I do think I can do both. All three. I can be a smith and keep up with my drills in Galaxy and take care of Kanekith. That's what I want to do. If I were a wingsecond or wingleader, I'd have less menial tasks to do and a little more time..," he says, sounding spirited. "..What is it that you do now, now that you aren't a dragonhealer?"

K'vin shrugs. "I don't do much of anything anymore." He says softly. "I'm nearly 80, you know, I'm still somewhat fit but drills or anything of that sort is just too tiring for me."

Nearly eighty? Yeesh. The man has one foot in the grave already! Right alongside V'dim. *cough* "..Would you mind it much then, if…when there's time, I spoke with you again?" Ka'el asks, sounding almost hesitant to ask, but the opportunity is a golden one. The man is wizened. He's seen and done things riders half his age probably never have before. Who better than to ask questions of, til he gets the hang of this…rider thing. If there is such a thing as getting the hang of it. "And, might I ask one more question?"

K'vin shrugs again. "Well, sure, I could use the company." He says with a smile. "And yes, what is your question?" He offers with a wave of his hand.

There's a smile from Ka'el now as K'vin voices his willingness of giving him a portion of his time from time to time. Ka'el's pleased, almost to the point of relief. The pen in his hand, which he has been idly turning and turning, is placed down on the tabletop now. "What's the best way, do you think, for someone like me, who doesn't have ties to anyone of influence on Xanadu, to become a wingleader or second? It's the Weyrleader's decision, isn't it? I don't listen much to rumor, but you can't help but to hear them. Rumor has it that leadership places are only given to family. M'not one to believe it, but.." Facts are facts. "Some do."

K'vin shrugs. "I haven't been involved in anything of the weyr for so long I don't quite remember." He says simply. "You'll have to ask your own wingleader, if he needs a wingsecond, try to make your own set of ties, work, overwork if needed."

His own wingleader. Ka'el makes a slight face but nods afterwards. "Work and overwork? Done and done," he says with a light smirk. "I know it's early to be thinkin' of movin' ranks, but I figure if I don't, someone else will. The 'second spot's been open for turns in Galaxy." Maybe it's just been waiting for a certain young bronzer to fill the role? "I can do it. I know I can. There must be somethin' this world of dragons that we excel at, Kanekith an' I. We fit somewhere in this puzzle." Ka'el rises from his seat and goes about closing all of those books he had spread open on his desk. "I thank you," he says as he hefts the books up, carring them to be reshelved, "for your time. I live near the forest, if ever you wish to stop for a drink … of…tea..?" Is that what elder riders drink? Tea? He sounds unsure.

K'vin grins and nods. "Tea or whatever you have to offer, I might be eighty but beer and alcohol never harmed me." He reminds the young rider with a smile.

Phew! "Well that's a relief. I've never made a pot of tea in my life," Ka'el admits with a laugh, shelving the last of the books. "Ale then. I've a few bottles left. We'll drink and you'll me the secret of how to live til near eighty an' still have my sanity." He grins and dips his head to the man. "Back to duty. This was lunch." Which either he never ate or ate quickly beforehand. "Good day to you, sir." Old habits die hard! With another nod, he turns and strides out, leaving the old man to the equally old books.

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