Vora is Searched for Western Weyr

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.

A fire dances cheerily in the fireplace here in the Caverns, even as night sluggishly approaches outside in the Weyr. Shadows are thrown about, particularly the elongated silhouette of a young, gangly woman. The Caverns, for the most part, are empty - most of the weyrfolk that are present are making their way toward the tables near the kitchens for dinner or still about their duties. Vora's own long shadow is noticeable amongst the crowd for only one thing; she scurries back and forth from the serving tables to the kitchens to set out food for the hungry folk, her hair slowly building into a frazzled mess and sweat beading at her temples. When she finally finds herself at the end of her shift, her appetite is dead - one can only look at so much food for so long. Instead, she grabs herself a pitcher of juice and seats herself in the comfortable couch area with it, bringing out her personal cup. A small green firelizard pokes its head out of Vora's sling to experimentally dip its tounge in the liquid, only to recoil back into the pouch, fairly hissing.

Thea has been over near the fire for awhile now, avoiding the crush of folks at the tables. Odd for a Sands-bound weyrwoman to even sit by the fire, but Thea is doing it nonetheless while working on a ledger of some sort. Catching movement out of the corner of her eye, she glances up, ice-green eyes warm in sympathy offering a quiet, "Busy day, huh?" She waves a hand towards the diners, "Smells great, but I'm waiting a bit I think."

M'nol enters the caverns, whistling jauntily while Bloodstone sits on his shoulder, watching the others. He, too, decides that the crowds are a bit much at the moment and makes his way over to Thea and Vora, waving, "Evening, ladies." He smiles as his other four appear from /between/ and settle on the mantle, staring at the people with vague interest.

A'ven arrives, slipping in the door quietly. He smiles, "Western's greetings.", he says clearly enough. He's immediately recognizable, not many people walk around in Healer garb unless there're here for someone. People start to mutter, wondering if someone is hurt. A'ven smiles and puts up a hand, "No, it's all right.", he says, answering a girl near him, "Nobody's dying this is just a follow up…." "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt the meal…"

Slip perches his mighty brown self on a particularly comfortable cushion, seeming to claim himself King of the Caverns. He chitters happily at the friendly Thea and peers at Bloodstone with what could be intense jealousy or flaming corneas before hauling his possessive self off of the oh-so-comfy cushion nearer to the little beauty of a green nestled in Vora's sling. Vora tsks down at her little oily-looking brown and beams at both Thea and M'nol. "Hello, friends. Thea, are you sure you wouldn't like something? It wouldn't be much of a problem to go fetch you something! Besides, you'd be one of my most gracious patrons of the day." Then comes A'ven, and Vora's beaming show of teeth grows even wider, her eyes flaring with recognition. "A'ven!" She waves him over vigorously, much to the disgruntlement of the little green.

Thea nods at M'nol, "Evening!" Her eyes are already moving towards the mantle, but the firelzards seem to be behaving - at least for now. She gives them no more than a cursory glance before her head turns at the sound of A'ven's greetings, "And Xanadu's to Western and her queens." The traditional response comes easily to her lips. There's bit of a puzzled response to Vora as she laughingly asks, "You most gracious wha…?" Her half-smile widens, "That sweet, but I keep juice and ice and some edibles on a table where I'm camping at the Sands. Ate not long ago." Brown Shep, for his part just remains curled about the back of her neck, but he's awake and watchful, curious and ever alert.

Bloodstone cocks his head to one side, cheeping at Shep, ever-hopeful that the brown might play with him. M'nol nods to A'ven and echoes Thea's "Xanadu's duties to Western's queens." creating an odd echo. He blinks, then turns to Vora, "How's she doing? Other than mad at you for being mobile?"
A'ven smiles Vora's way. "I'm sorry, I heard you got hurt and I wanted to come sooner. How did your burn heal up?" He seems a little disappointed at himself for not keeping track of Vora, but then again, the local healer is certainly capable. "What a nice welcome…thank you!", he says brightly. "I should visit more often." "It's important for Weyr relations…" He sits down, waiting to hear how the others respond.

Vora chuckles Thea's way as she understands her wry humour, then inclines her head. Hearing the traditional greeting, she has a thought that she'd forgotten something but… oh, there it goes, right over the threshold. Instead, she pokes a finger into her sling and prods at the tiny green. "Hey, brat. The big man wants to know how you're doing." Divine sears her way out of the sling, all fiery eyes and hissing, spitting jaws. A comical sight for one so itsy-bitsy. Vora only laughs at her, and the green softens some, but continues to glare her way. "Oh, hush now love, I only tease because you let me." Chuckling at herself, she lets the green unrile herself, and nods an affirmation to A'ven's statement. "You certainly should! All that's left is a bit of scabbing and some scarring, by the bye."

Thea's eyes have lowered to her ledger, her pen once again ticking things off here, notating things there. She's listening at the same time, eyes flicking briefly to each of them now and then. "You're always welcome at Xanadu, Sir." This to A'ven, "If Niva's too busy, I know D'son would welcome you." Vora's response has her nodding; apparently she knew the burns had healed. "The infirmary summary had you pretty much checked off their 'To Watch List'. It's always a good thing." Ruefully said as one likely having been on said list a time or two. Shep croon-growls from his spot at bloodstone, but doesn't move. Her attention turns towards the weyrling, "M'nol, you guys will be ready for passengers soon. Which of your many sweethearts will you be taking for a ride?" Silent laughter dances in her pale eyes.

M'nol blushes. How could he not? "Phylicia, probably." He eyes Divine for a moment, before saying, "She has beautiful form, Vora. I'm glad you got her." He nods to A'ven, "Relations are always important… or so I've been told…"

A'ven smiles, greatly releaved to hear that Vora recovered well. "Excellent.", he smiles winningly for Thea as well, a gently radiant affair that is completely unforced, "Thank you, I will take you up on your offer, most likely…. it would be silly not to." The Weyrling gets a special smile too.. and a bit of advice, "Don't let them put you behind a desk… stay in the sky as long as you can.", he quips, taking off his gloves. His eyes sparkle with humor, "I still fly now and then… but it's more tricky to get away." He finally sits down, now that introductions have been made and smiles exchanged.

Vora stands up with a start, her eyes wide and her spine rigid. She spins around, the little green saving herself from a very /un/-graceful fall to the couch. What was /that?/ Then, as per the usual, the dawning of understanding as whatever's going on inside that head is positively soothing. She seats herself on the couch again, careful to pick up Divine before smooshing her, and smoothing out her tunic. She glances sidelong over at A'ven, running a hand back through her hair. Noticing the beeline of eyes to her face from the gathering area near the kitchens, she mumbles to the too-calm Slip, "I'm okay. Don't you have any worry for your beloved Vora?" She sighs, then looks over at Thea with a new respect. She deals with this sort of thing on the daily? M'nol and A'ven, too? Did they feel this way /their/ first times, this edgy, uplifting feeling? The girl feels so out of place, surrounded by riders - of respectable repute, no less. She shrugs off this inferiority complex as through it were a cloak, then turns back to the conversation, making a mental note to meet the source of that sweet, comforting voice. Jumping back to reality just in time, it seems; She looks down at Divine with a fond smile, for all that the little one still glares her way every time she notices the girl looking. "Yes. She was born beautiful, lucky thing, but she reminds me of that Vivian girl." A snort.

Thea chuckles lightly at M'nol's blushing, her lips part as though she's about to tease him, but she instead growls in agreement with Western's Weyrleader, "Absolutely be wary of the shiny knots - sometimes the perks aren't worth it!" Her gaze slides to A'ven then and her return smile is easy as she pleasantly offers, "I can send Shep with a note and let them know you are here?" Vora's spin-around and facial expression just garners a -very- confused look from the weyrwoman with a blink added as she hastily sits. Not being privy to the girl's thoughts she asks, "Everything all right over there?"

M'nol grins to A'ven, seeming about to say something when Vora performs her acrobatics. He blinks at her… twice… "Vora? You okay?" He passes a nod to A'ven and Thea, "Not many shiny knots for a brown-rider… though Faraeth is nearly as big as Nynath…"

A'ven blinks lightly, "Hmmm.. that's interersting. Glyith is asking me what you look like, Vora… didn't you get a chance to meet him when I was here last? Maybe he's forgotten or…" He shakes his head, "Or I have…", he chuckles. "I guess I should get going… but yes, do tell D'son he's welcome to visit us … and I'll do my best to do the same."

Vora smiles reassuringly at both Thea and M'nol. "Oh, I'm fine! Fine, fine…" And there it is again. She smiles to herself, then turns to A'ven. "No, I didn't, but I do believe he'd like to see me now. And I can't say I don't return the feeling."

Thea is still watching Vora, but her assurance to M'nol is true, "Many opportunities for brownriders to wear the shiny knots." Her eyes flicker briefly over towards A'ven and she's nodding, "Absolutely I will convey that message to him." Then it's back to Vora and with the girl's words, the confusion on Thea's face clears. There's a knowing smile on the weyrwoman's face as she rises smoothly, ledger in hand, "Might want to satisfy the Glyith's curiosity, then, hmm? Can't do to keep a dragon on his toes." There's definitely laugher in the words. "You two have a good evening, I need to get this back to the office." So saying, she heads off with a little wave to the group.

A'ven nods, "Come along then..", he offers, "If you'd like to say hello. We used to meet many more passengers and such when I was flying a wing… but my current office doesn't allow nearly as much flying. I try as much as I can you see…', he says carrying on the conversation as he walks.

Xanadu Weyr - Clearing


A wide clearing stretches from east to west, the ground packed hard although grass grows across most of it. Trees are strictly forbidden in this space, their danger to the constant draconic traffic reason enough to banish them to the forest that creates a this and sharp border to the north. Where the ground is less trampled, tiny flowers poke their delicate heads out from their shaded hiding places with upturned petals to wave to whoever may be looking.

The cliff looms imposingly on three sides, stretching upwards all the way up the side of the mountain where, high above, Xanadu's Star Stones and the ever present watchdragon sit on a lonely peak. Directly south is a massive tunnel, fully wide enough for even the largest dragon to fly down. Southeast are wide steps leading up to the Caverns and eastwards is the large entrance to the Infirmary. Somewhat north of the Infirmary is a human sized archway that has a frequent quantity of traffic — it leads to the Tavern. Southwest lies the low ledges currently belonging to Xanadu's queens while north and west a broad path cut by the side of the cliff leads to the Feeding Grounds and due north is the spacious trail that leads to the rest of the Weyr.

Glyith is close by, watching the door. When he sees his rider and Vora emerge, he approaches shyly, extending his neck tentatively and giving Vora a deep wuffling. "Vora, Glyith…" "My best friend.", he says with far away delighted eyes. "Seems like yesterday…"

Vora nods with understanding as she stands and follows, gathering both Slip and little Divine into the sling together. A brown-sounding croon comes from the sling as a very happy Slip cuddles with the reluctant green. "Yes, I can understand where you're responsibilities would take you anywhere but /out/ of the Weyr. Then, there is light. Not much, mind you, as the day wanes to almost nothing. Still, Vora can see the massive metallic-looking Bronze fairly /glittering/ in the little light. "Oh, Glyith, you're beautiful!" She clears her throat. "Ahem, I mean, /handsome./ So you're the culprit that startled me so. She tsks and waggles her finger playfully at the big one. On the offhand, she notes that her social graces are much less awkward when addressing this mountain of a being than when she consorts with her own kind. She giggles with the wuffling, then looks over at A'ven. "Oh, you're so very lucky!"

Vora feels her heart and her mind open, and her eyes take on a slightly liquid appearance. Her lips part in astonishment, in love, in longing, in every feeling of goodness and want that has ever passed over the essence of a self. A cry of astonishment muffles itself halfway up her throat, passing her lips in only a strangled sound like someone asphyxiated… not fixated, as she very much is. Her hand reaches up toward Glyith, but her eyes are not focused on the dragon himself. Oh no, her hand and her eyes reach for that thing in her grasp, to keep it there for now and forever. Captivated, spellbound, oh, she is much too easily caught in this web of light and love and sense of self. In this moment, she knows that she will view the world differently, that her life will feel less empty no matter what path her choices and those of others take her on from this point forward. The simple Apprentice Baker girl finds herself wrapped in intangible Bronze and every color in the rainbow.

A'ven was holding his breath. Now he lets out out in a pleased little sigh, "He says you'll wear the strain well…" He pauses a moment before continuing softly, "We do have some eggs, waiting for riders. I think, you might be one of them — if you care to try. If… you dare to try." He says, with a sigh. "But, nothing worth doing is easy. Take your time and really think about it."

M'nol had been watching from the edge of the clearing, recognizing the trap that had been laid as it was similar to his own. When A'ven actually offers the baker-girl the chance, he can't help but clap and there's a distant bugle, distant enough to perhaps be Faraeth, "Congratulations Vora… Assuming you take it."

Vora looks over at A'ven, rubbing at her cheeks vigorously with her hands. How odd to be dropped from one perspective of light an being to this grittier /other./ Her cheeks are red when she finally brings away her hands, her eyes looking less fluid and more solid. She turns A'ven's words, and those of M'nol over in her head. "Hmm? Wait… you can't mean…! Does this mean…?" She takes a swift breath, as though her heart is clenching - which it very much is. Her gaze turns back to Glyith, trusting. "He says so, hmm?" She closes her eyes and drops her chin for a moment, her hair obscuring her long, pale features. She looks for all the world asleep. But her eyes open again with the slight movement in the sling, and she realizes her flits have been peeking out at the large bronze, rumbling quietly. "I suppose I should think about it. I can't say I'm not loathe to leave this place, but this just /seems/ like the right path." She looks back up at Glyith. "You're sure?"

A'ven chuckles, "I think this decision is yours to make…." he says gently, though his friend gets a warm hand on his hide, "Thank you for finding her, Glyith."

Vora looks from M'nol's reassuring face to A'ven's humourous one, to the cryptic maw of Glyith. Then, a decisive nod. "I want to do this. No matter the outcome, you're right Glyith. I will be what I can." She leaves her musings on this odd note, then looks at A'ven, the squarest and most direct look she's given another human since… birth? She tugs a strand of hair habitiually, but does not break her gaze. "Yes. Yes, I think this is the beginning of a path I've been waiting for. I will not spend my life sweltering over the oven in the kitchens here. I will miss my friends here, and I will not say that I'm not afraid I won't make it but…" She pauses, wavering in her determination for only a moment before laughing at herself, "Well, the worst that can happen is me, left standing on the Sands, huh? New friends and a new perspective… it doesn't sound so bad even then. Glyith," she raises a hand to the bronze's head, "I want to come to your Weyr and take a chance at this endeavor."

M'nol claps again, "Good for you, Vora. Go out there and claim your life." He walks forward, still smiling, "Good luck."

A'ven nods, "Take a moment to pack a few things… but please, please know that we're not taking you away from anyone really — we're just borrowing you for a time…" "Dragons and their riders belong to everyone." "You might find your way back here, someday… and better for it." "Certainly, we couldn't tie you down in any case."

Vora bursts out of her glazed-over spell, laughing and clapping her hands with zeal. She jogs over to M'nol and hugs him happily. "M'nol, maybe! Me!" She grins and twirls in front of him, then says ruefully, "Ah, and Jess didn't even have time to make me my new clothes…" She scratches her head, "I don't want their first impression of me to be -" She laughs, "Haha, Impression!" She is fairly gidding, and she pours it over M'nol. "Oh, but I have to pack!" She gently drops her sling to the ground, allowing the already alert firelizards to escape for a bit, and they both instantly pounce for the same insect, flirting with each other and warbling. Vora laughs again. "I'll be back!"

Divine looks about, confused as Vora leaves, then chitters up at M'nol. Where'd she go?

M'nol chuckles, "I'm sure she can send them along." He waves to Vora, grinning at her joy. Bloodstone cheeps at Divine and sends the image of bundles of clothing.

A'ven nods, sharing a smile with M'nol. "I wonder if I was ever that excited." He muses… "Probably."

M'nol nods, "I know I was… poor Vwayath was so surprised when I hugged him that he nearly threw me." That silly smile continues, "Faraeth says she'll do well."

Divine poses coyly at Bloodstone as Slip's attention focuses on a particular insect. She warbles at him quietly, a seductive whisper of DOOM.

A'ven smiles widely now, "You ready?", he asks.

Bloodstone trills interest back at Divine, even if she is young. M'nol smiles at Vora, "Need a hand up?"

Vora rushes up to A'ven, pausing to look back at M'nol. "Say good-bye to everyone for me. I'll try to come back… if I ever get a moment's rest." She heaves her bundle onto one shoulder and picks up the empty sling with the other. The girl looks at her two flits, saying, "Oh, stop that, you're much to young for such cavorting." She signals to them, and they both climb up into the sling. She beams at M'nol, "Yeh, that would help," she says as she looks up at the daunting mass that is Glyith.

Kire comes headed up from the meadow and he is carrying his lunchbox with him as he spent the day up on the ridge working. In his other hand is a hard hat. He spots the going on and he moves up towards them, "Hello all." He looks to Vora, "Heading out somewhere?"

M'nol twines his fingers together and kneels, offering them to Vora as a step, "I'll tell everyone. They'll all be hapy for you."

Vora mounts with what dignity a first-timer can muster. She smiles thankfully at M'nol and Glyith for their assistance, and gives A'ven a nervous, excited grin.

M'nol steps back from Glyith so he's not in the path of the crucial down stroke and waves before turning to Kire, "Vora got searched for Western."

Kire ahs a little bit, "Better her then me, I'm still now allowed to do anything but work on the observatory. Well I hope she has good luck there."

A'ven smiles, quite used to carrying passengers of all skill levels. He's very patient as he settles in with the ease of long experience. "Just relax… you're going to be just fine.", he says. "Don't forget to hold your breath for the trip between is all."

Glyith knows his business. He rumbles happily, thanking the nearby dragons and humans for their tremendous hospitality in his own way.

M'nol gives Kire a sidelong look, "You can't work *anywhere* but the observatory? I knew you'd been banned from the kitchens, but…"

Astride Glyith> Vora sighs, looking around Xanadu, glad she didn't have to make so many good-byes herself. She waves to M'nol and Kire, grinning, then turns to A'ven and says, "I think I'm ready."

Astride Glyith> A'ven knows his business too. This part, he never takes for granted. Young, he may be but his preparations are through and complete. He nods once, and that's all it takes.

Glyith spreads his mighty wings and leaps into the air, surging upwards.

Kire waves to Vora, "Have fun Vora." He looks to M'nol, "Yep, I'm a senior apprentice starcrafter, so no other work for me besides the observatory."

M'nol chuckles, "I'd never really thought of that… what would happen if you were searched? Are you the primary here?"

Kire shrugs, "I won't be search, it's part of the rules of being searched that if you are an apprentice your Master has to give permission I don't have my Master's permission."

M'nol aaaaaahs, "I'd never really thought about that. Guess it means that at least you know where you stand." He smiles, "You must really like staring at the stars, huh?"

Kire smiles, "Indeed I do, I never thought about being searched. I've got stars on the brain." He teases, "I heard that part of your mind has to be somewhat empty for a dragon to take up residence." He snickers.

Kire shrugs, "Who know, but fortunately for you it didn't happen. I'm sure that one the observatory is done sometime next year and if by some off chance I am searched I'll be allowed to stand if I want to."

M'nol smiles, "If you love the stars enough, you'll have no need of a dragon… though I've been told they're good at looking at stars themselves. After all, riders have often been held responsible for the safety of the skies."

Kire shrugs, "I don't know, although by dragon is the only way to reach the ship." He chuckles, "Indeed and you riders have been doing a glorious job of it."

M'nol shrugs in response, "There's nothing quite like the view from the Yoko, I'll admit."

Kire nods a little bit, "I've heard it's amazing I haven't gotten a chance to go up there yet."

M'nol nods, "Thea took Cen, Sig, and I up back when I was still a candidate. She'd probably be willing to take you up if you asked. the view's amazing, like seeing everything all at once."

Kire nods, "I'm sure she's much too busy now she has her Weyrwoman duties to attend to and I'm tired most days from my duties."

M'nol shrugs, "Just a thought. She found time to get us up there."

Kire nods, "Indeed, but you were candidates then I'm just an apprentice. I'm not too worried about it, when I become a journeymen I'll get a chance to spend time up there. All the starcrafter journeymen do."

M'nol's eyes widen slightly, "Really? We didn't see anyone up there when we were there."

Kire nods, "Yep the station is always manned, they were probably doing some maintenance work."

M'nol nods, acquiescing, "Probably. I hope you get up there some day. The view's amazing."

Kire nods, "I'm not too worried about it. Either it will happen or it won't."

M'nol shrugs, "Ya love what you do. You're bound to make journeyman eventually."

Kire nods a little bit, "No doubt if I continue to apply myself that I will one day become a journeyman, but it doesn't help to harp on it. It's just a rank, getting to look at the stars is it's own reward."

M'nol chuckles and nods, "Nothing quite like watching your personal treasure winking at you. I like sapphires."

Kire smiles, "Except for my personal treasure is for all to see, but no one can ever steal this treasure from me."

M'nol smiles back, "And mine sits on the shoulders of harpers and holders."

Kire ohs a little bit, "What's your's?" He ask as his brain is a little too tired to think at the moment.

M'nol chuckles, "Gems, especially sapphires." Bloodstone gives an insulted cheep, forcing M'nol to take a few moments to soothe his wounded ego before continuing, "Harpers wear them as rank badges and lots of people buy them becuase they're pretty."

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