Without Saying Goodbye

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.

It's late afternoon at Xanadu Weyr, and the only people in the caverns seem to be the ones who either don't have a job to do, or missed the official lunch time. Phylicia is among this crowd on this overcast day, looking just about as gloomy as the weather outside threatens to be. She's seated near the fireplace in one of the more comfortable chairs, staring off into space.

Thea enters the caverns from the administration hallway, under her arm is a ledger and several files. She's dressed in skirt and blouse today, hair neatly twisted up; seems she's spent the greater part of her day in the office. On her way out she has snagged a large cool glass of juice, wends her way through the crowds, stopping to greet several people as she does. Finally she manages to find an open chair near the fire and lowers herself into it with a long sigh. Her mug is almost to her lips when she spies Phylicia's blank stare. "Pern to Phylicia… come in Phylicia. You are out amongst the stars or something."

Phylicia's usual skirts and bodice are actually replaced by - of all things - riding leathers this day. The jacket is sprawled on a few bags down by her feet, but she's looking a bit uncomfortable in the leather pants, and an off-white blouse. It takes her a few moments, even with Thea talking /at/ her, for her to realize this, and she blinks rapidly for a few moments, seeming to gather herself back to reality. "Sorry. Were you saying something, ma'am?"
That goes to show that the teen is a bit out of it, where she's slipping on calling Thea by her name again.

Thea smiles kindly at Phylicia, "Only hello." In a silly sort of way, but she doesn't say it. Her mug is lowered. "You doing alright?" Those bags are eyed, "Looks like you're taking a trip?" It is a question, asked as the weyrwoman is kicking off her shoes and tucking her legs up underneath her.

Phylicia starts to plaster a fake smile onto her face, but stops mid-action, which leaves her face in a rather comical expression for a few seconds. "I could be doing better." She says sullenly, shifting in her chair and looking at the note in her hand. "I.. I'm being recalled to the Hall." The girl turns dark brown eyes to Thea. "I don't /want/ to go back to the Hall!"

Thea is in the process of raising her mug once again when Phylicia speaks. She lowers it without drinking. "You are?" Dismay for the girl colors the question. "Oh, Phylicia… Does M'nol know?" She bites her lower lip, "I know it's hard, but they'll be learning *Betweening* really soon. He can visit easily."

Phylicia flushes as Thea asks about M'nol. Does the entire Weyr know already? Oh well. What could they expect with both of them disappearing for a night and holding hands and such in public? "I've been /trying/ to find him." Thea's dismay isn't making her own any easier to deal with. "But I can't even find a whiff of him /or/ Faraeth." Not to mention she got the note from the healer on duty during her shift at the infirmary, and she's been off duty for a whole hour. Only the last few minutes had been spent staring off into space after she went tearing around the Weyr in search. She manages a weak smile. "That's the bonus. He /will/ be able to visit soon. If V'dim lets him." She's heard stories of the Weyrlingmaster, not many of them too good.

Thea lifts her mug and hides a smile behind it as she regards the Phylicia, "Saw you two holding hands, remember?" A reminder to help ease that blush as she has no idea what the girl is worrying about. "Oh, they're using the Weyrlings for search and rescue since that storm made a mess of everything. They've needed the extra riders." She sips her juice. "Well, after they've *Betweened*, their time off is their own," she points out. "It's better than-" she closes her lips firmly on what she was going to say.
"I've left him a note, at least.." Phylicia half-mumbles as she again looks at the note in her hands, pondering shredding it for a moment. Not like that would delay the person that's supposed to take her to the hall. "I just wanted to be able to say good-bye to him." The rider is actually supposed to be here by now, which is why she's all dressed as she is. Thea's comment drags her out of her misery for a moment, the girl's curiousity mildly intrigued. "It's better than what?" She doesn't start shredding the note yet, but her hands do start folding it into tiny sections.

"A note is more than I got." Thea says softly, pausing to listen to the girl. "Trust me I know how hard it is to be parted from someone you care about." At her question, Thea hesitates, then says, "My Kav disappeared after he left the sands after the last hatching. He was a Candidate." There is deep pain in her eyes as she says, "He didn't say goodbye, left me no note." She sighs, her mouth forms a sad curve, "I don't know where he went or why he left." She eyes that note Phylicia is folding. "Would you like me to give that to him? I will make sure he gets it."

"Oh." Phylicia seems flabergasted out of her own misery for a few moments, as Thea talks. "Oh.. I'm.. sorry?" She offers sort of tentatively, like she's not really sure its what she should be saying. But Thea lets the topic go, so she does too. "No, it's already sitting on his bunk." She hefts the note in her hands. "This is the stupid recall letter." So it's a wonder she's not shredding it.

Thea waves the sympathy away, "Thanks. He was… a deep thinker. I'm betting he had to go get his head sorted out. I think he'll come back." She smiles gently. "And I will be here waiting for him as long as it takes." She nods at the rest of Phylicia's words. "I can tell him how torn up you were to have to go without seeing him? He would want to know, I'm guessing…" She eyes that letter, "So, how long are they recalling you for?"

Phylicia nods to Thea's suggestion, a faint smile quirking one side of her lips. "That'd be nice, thanks." And as Thea asks, she half-skims it again. "They didn't say. It just reads 'until further notice.'" And then she makes a strangled growling noise. "They won't even say why they're pulling me back." Her lips pucker, then press tightly. "It's… /frustrating/, Thea!"

"Consider it done," Thea affirms. She nods to Phylicia's frustration, "Yeah, I know. But think of it like this: it could be worse?" She places her mug on the small table. "Long distance isn't fun, but you'll be able to send notes back and forth and visit. You won't be totally cut off." She sighs as she rises, the feelings that the pair will endure she knows so well, in part. "I need to get back to Seryth, Phylicia." It's apologetic as she says it, but she stops beside the girl to give her a hug of comfort. "Be strong, you can do this." She chucks the healer under the chin gently, "The time will go by and before you know it you'll be with him again."

As Thea stands, a rider obviously looking for someone enters the caverns, his riding gear still completely buckled up. Phylicia leans into Thea's hug and half-grins as her chin is chuck'd. "I hope time flies by that quickly." She says, standing up and hoisting a bag to her shoulder. "My ride is here… soo.." She sighs then, trying to be strong, but her lips only go into a sad frown. "I'll be back as soon as the Hall lets me come." She takes a few steps away and turns, probably catching Thea as she's leaving. "M'nol's not going to be the only person I miss, Thea." She calls out, though he's definitely top on the small list. "You should visit too, with Seryth, if you can." And the strange rider picks up her other few bags easily, walking back out without even really registering anybody.

Thea is right behind Phylicia as she also heads out the door. "Waiting is never easy. But at least you have a sure reunion to look forward to." Hopefully encouragement to the alternative of the aching void of not knowing… She offers a return smile, "I'll miss you too. Especially if they stick me in that Infirmary again." Thea laughs shortly before adding, "Will do it as soon as those eggs hatch and we are free." As they part at the cavern entrance, she waves. "Clear skies." A traditional farewell oft used in her home hold.

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