Seas of Indecision

The cliffs that run along the shore come and go, various weyrs nestled along the tops of them or dug into the walls, but eventually they recede enough to expose a beach. The white sand echoes the rise and fall of the cliffs with a multitude of sandy dunes, endlessly creating tiny valleys that are constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of dragons. The dunes smooth out as the gentle slope approaches the edge of the deep blue water. The sand darkens, and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect.

The beach narrows to the southwest, leaving a path barely wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to a smaller, more sheltered cove. The sands are the same white, the waters the same blue, but they're calmer and more tranquil, more protected from the winds that ruffle Lake Caspian and the currents that tug beneath the surface.

Rough, wide stairs lead up to the meadow above and the road that runs along the top of the cliffs, passing through the fields and heading for the river mouth that can be just barely seen from here. The largest of the staircases up the cliff is located near the docks that jut out onto the peaceful blue waters.

The thunk of boot fall echoed and rolled across the jutting dock, layering over the gentle slap slap slap of the water against the man made path. The Journeyman Healer lets loose a soft sigh, her broad brimmed reed hat tipped against the warm summer morning sun already ginting off of the sea. Mornings were her favorite and savored the quiet of the Weyr during these times, almost as if she were sharing a quiet moment with the area surrounding her. Today though the morning carried a hint of anxiety, her shoulders drawn up slightly as she casts a careful look at the water. Dolphins, it's why she was here, to work with them and become better acquainted with their ability to diagnose ailments. Except… Ava looks around, with one arm cradling a notebook, her free hand lifts to hold her hat down against a quick gust, she had no inkling of where to quite begin beyond finding a dolphineer free enough to accompany and guide her with the sleek bodied creatures.

Izobet is probably not the dolphineer to take anyone out on any official business. Judging by her candidate knot, she's not a dolphineer at all, honestly. But she's sitting at the end of the dock with her bare feet hanging over the edge, and looking out at the expanse of water beyond with a wistful sort of longing. When she hears boots over the sound of the water, she says, "Sarmo, I thought you'd never— oh." Izobet pauses mid sentence when she looks back and realizes this is not the man she thought it ought to be, and is in fact no man at all. "Hello!" she says instead, shifting slightly to the side so she doesn't have to twist around to watch Ava, but also not getting up.

The sight of someone puts a sort of excited skip into Ava’s gait, a quickening, purposeful swing in her step. It’s all soon to falter though as she nearly trips as she stumbles to a stop, her eyes momentarily wide as she holds her binder of notes a little tighter. Oh, this was not the person she was to be meeting with. A goofy, wry grin crosses her face after a beat and a short laugh despite herself. “Hello!” Ava calls, her stride resuming, a much more at ease roll now, “Seems like we are both not the person we were expecting to meet.” Ava’s teeth flash in a grin of bemusement. “Im Ava, I was to meet someone out here to begin practicing with dolphin diagnostics but..” Well, she offers a shrug to cap off her explanation, the mostly vacant beach answer enough. “Might I join you while I wait?” Her head tips to the dock edge in query.

The candidate doesn't seem surprised to not be who Ava was looking for since she probably would've known someone was looking for her if she were the person being looked for. But once Ava mentions dolphins, she probably wishes she were the person. "Oh, you're going to work with the dolphins?" She has her own beaming smile as she introduces herself, "I'm Tunnelsnake. Aka Izobet. You're probably looking for Sarmo. I'm his apprentice. Or maybe you're looking for his mentor." Since that's the person who has the most experience with the local dolphins between the lot of them. "It would be so cool to see a dolphin healer!" she says as she pats the dock and shifts back to face the water. "Of course."

“Well met, Tunnelsnake, and my thanks.” Ava responds, that grin still present now with a tone of impish amusement at what she privately assumes is a nickname as she thunks her binder unceremoniously to the decking, lowering herself down after with a mildly exasperated noise. “I hope so.” She starts, legs folding up into her lap to yank boots and socks off, her feet then left to hang, toes wiggling in the water. “Maybe? I should be ashamed that I can't remember who I was supposed to meet with.” Should be but she couldn't bring herself to bother with such anxieties. They would show, or they wouldn’t, Pern would keep on turning either way. Ava brows raise then at the dolphin healer remark and she looks from Izobet to the distant splashes. “Huh,” Ava starts, struck with realization, “You know I did not consider my skills would be put to use for the dolphins as well. I suppose it only makes sense.” Ava leans back, her arms sliding behind her to support the lean, head lolling to one side to continue the conversation even if her eyes keep to the distant shapes. “So, Tunnelsnake," She questions after a moment, her curiosity unable to be kept, "Have you worked with them before then? What are they like?"

"I bet you have to remember a lot of things every day with all that heal-y stuff," she assumes. "And names are hard to remember, anyway. I only remember Sarmo's name because he's basically my dad." There's a pause in which Izobet giggles to herself, then gets all serious again to murmur conspiratorially, "Don't tell him I said that. He hates it when I say that." But she is still grinning. Very serious grinning, as she swings her bare feet casually off the edge of the dock. "I haven't worked with them as much as I'd like yet. But I've met plenty of them, and they're just amazing. They all have their own personalities and they're sooo smart. And pretty." Izobet, clearly biased toward dolphinkind.

Ava gives a little shrug that's accompanied by a humble grin, confirming Izobet's assumption "I suppose a bit, yeah." Her head falls to the side, propped on her shoulder. "Oh is he? I will absolutely have to tell him you said that then." Ava teases impishly, the younger's mirth and awe putting her a little more at ease as she scoots closer to the edge of the dock to sink her feet further in.

Izobet giggles to herself at, probably, the idea of Sarmo's reaction to Ava playing along. So it must not be that serious. "Have you not worked with them before?" wonders the candidate, since she'd been asked what they're like. "You're in for a real treat if you haven't, honestly. Sometimes I wish I could experience that all over again." On some level she's probably aware of her rose-colored glasses where dolphins are concerned, but that certainly won't stop her hyping them up.

Ava shakes her head. "Mm no, today's my first day with them. Always say them off shore back home in the hold but never," A hand arches broadly out to the water, " this close." Ava gives an apprehensive grin as she fumbles a napkin wrapped muffin out of her pocket, breaking half up and passing it towards Izobet in offering. "Honestly I am a bit anxious about it. Another sentient being that talks and thinks for itself? What If I offend them?" Ava worries over the muffin, over chewing even the smallest bite. "Guess I could say the same for the dragons, that took a bit getting used to, speaking of remarkable first experiences." Now that grin turns wry, her head tilting toward the candidate. "They have names right and can speak? What were you training to do with them?" The questions come rapid fire now in a quick breath, trying to drown out the anxiety with her own bit of curiosity and awe. "Did you swim with them?"

"So exciting!" Izobet practically squees. "Ooh, thank you," she adds when Ava hands over half of a muffin and she takes it with a bright smile to nibble at experimentally. Not that she's probably in the habit of not liking literally every muffin she comes across or anything. "I wouldn't worry about offending them. I don't think they get offended. At least…. not in the same way we do. And the ones that want to interact with us seem to have a good sense of humor." Maybe that's part of why Izobet, who is grinning to herself as she takes another nibble of muffin, loves them so much. She nods along confirmation to Ava's question about names and speaking, then offers, "I don't have a specialization yet. It's all so interesting, you know? And I have! At the Hall. I already knew how to swim enough not to, like, drown, but you have to learn to be pretty good at it. The dolphins help!"

"Mm, well, that's good to know." Ava remarks on the topic of offending the dolphins though that muffin is still dry in her mouth as she worries over it. Her hands find her pants legs, rubbing the crumbs off of them at the rest of the treat is poked into her mouth with one finger and she sits a little straighter, fingers tapping lightly on her thighs with an anxious tick as she works to will away the anxiety hanging over her. "Well, I can keep myself afloat pretty well, would you want to go for a swim since we're both waiting?" She would have to take the plunge eventually, figuratively, and literally.

Izobet continues nibbling at her bit of muffin, looking very much like she's starting to get lost in some sort of daydream. Probably about dolphins. Out there in the sea she's staring at wistfully. But then she glances over at Ava when she mentions swimming. And for a few moments her eyes are very much saying omg yes. But then her better judgment, which is probably a learned rather than innate skill, makes her face fall a little bit, and she sighs, "I'd better not yet." It ends up a little dramatic because she'd obviously rather say yes. "Sarmo doesn't love when I start the day off wet." Apparently this has happened in the past. There's a pause where she glances down at the rest of her muffin, then, "Oh! Maybe I should go find him. Maybe his schedule changed and he forgot to tell me. And maybe he'll know about whoever you were supposed to meet!" Izobet puts the rest of the muffin in her mouth and starts getting up off the edge of the dock.

Ava's lips purse in amusement. But dont they work in the water? Ava waves at the girl in general concession. "Aye, might be best." Ava agrees, leaning back onto her palms to watch Izobet depart before her attention turns back to the watch. Ava draws in a deep breath and lets it out through her mouth in a slow,pinched 'o', hands tapping on her thighs. "Yeah, maybe not today-" Ava eventually concedes, feet retreating from the water to tuck under her legs before, restlessly in the next moment she unfolds and stands, hop-footing her sock and boots back on after drying her feet on her trousers. That plunge will have to wait.

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