Tech 'n Talk
caverns.jpg


Xanady 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.


Outside, Rukbat's rays are dimming, long shadows cast from every figure and form in the clearing and environs. Inside, all is light and cheer: a small crowd of diners are at the tables near the kitchen, with a healthy smattering of Weyr residents scattered at the tables and chairs further away from the food. And then, in the midst of this camaraderie and cheer, there's the piece that clearly doesn't fit. Thessily is lingering by the entrance, a slight wisp of a girl with an awkward-bordering-on-mortified expression on her tan face. From the way she's craning her neck, the Techcrafter (freshly Xanadu-posted, judging from the bright new strands in her knot) is looking for somebody. The worried lines of her posture suggest she's not much sure she's going to /find/ them.

Cesran comes into the living Cavern and he's shaking sand out of his boots. He frowns a bit as he puts his book back on and he too has a techcrafter knot, but a fort badge. He spots Thessily, "Hey there."

It's time to feed the beast known as ka-el's gut. A lofty challenge which he accepts nightly, for if the hungry monster is not tamed…well then, that'd make for a very sleepless, and stomach growly, night! The young apprentice appears in the entrance, bringing with him the distinct scent of flames and smoke. Much like another youth, which he takes no note of as of yet, he pauses to scan the tables and chairs, taking note of who is here and, more importantly, who's not. A faint frown tugs at his mouth, but it's a short lived expression that disappears as he changes his scanning goal from finding his friends to finding a seat. It's now that he notes he's not the only one who seems to be in search of something, and the unfamiliar and nearby Thessily is eyed before a grin is offered. "Have your friends stood y'up too?" he asks just before hearing, and seeing, Cesran and his greeting. "Oh! Or not. You've more luck than me then. I've been cold-heartedly abandoned!"

"/Finally/." The moment Thessily spots Cesran's knot, she's pivoting urgently towards him, a hand lifting and flapping excitedly. "/Listen/, I'm two days early, but I be Thessily, t'new -" Annnnd then she spots his /badge/, and her hand (and face) promptly falls. "Wait, /you're/ not one of the local lads, then? Only I'm -" Whirling on people is the name of the game, because Kale gets the same treatment Cesran just did: the sharp pivot, the flapping hand, the falling face. "Argh." /So/ friendly. "No, I'm not knowin' him," a hand flicks vaguely at Cesran, seriously, /so/ friendly. "/Listen/, I'm tryin' to find me one of the local Techcrafters, can you be pointing me in the right direction of one of 'em? Only I'm two days earlier here than I ought to be, and they're not expectin' me, and -" And she's run out of words. A hand lifts, again. Flaps. Falls, despondent.

Cesran smiles politely, "I'm Cesran from Fort Weyr it's nice to meet you too." He says and hmms, "You'll want to talk to Jethanial, he's the journeyman here and in charge of the hatching sands project. I'm here to help with that. The hatching sands have gone gold and we are trying to repair them as fast as we can before a Queen clutches."

Ooor, not her friend! Kale assesses the situation quickly, coming to the conclusion that these two likely don't know each other, considering the context of the whirlwind conversation. And then, the whirlwind turns to him, and he raises his brows a little in an expression of surprise and interest. "Uh.." Such an intelligent and articulate answer! "Techcrafter?" His eyes flit to her knot, and his head slightly cants to one side before straightening again, glancing to Cesran as he speaks. "Oooh, so that's why the lot of you techies are here, eh? Figured he'd need help with all that, even though I figure /he/ figures he can carry it all on his own shoulders." He smirks a little, nodding in confirmation of what Cesran says. "Journeyman Jethaniel, aye. He's usually found…eh, all over the place, really. I don' see'm in here. He's been workin' below the sands lately, but he'll stop to eat every now'n then. If y'send word to'm with a runner that you're here, m'sure he'll pull himself out've his work long enough to find you."

"Journeyman Jethanial." Thessily rolls the name on her tongue ('Jettttthaniaaal'), brow furrowing. "Right, I recognize the name, s' only that I don't know what he looks like or where to find him, and my bags are all in the clearing still, where I'm sure they'll be lost or stolen or /worse/." There's a certain relish to how she says that, like she's taking just a little bit of pleasure in imagining the horrible fate in store for her abandoned possessions. The apprentice takes a moment to breathe, a hand going up to burrow into her thick hair and rub the back of her head. When she speaks again, her voice is lower, and a little calmer. "Project?" Cesran's comment, and Kale's response, make her head her head. "No, that's not why I be comin' here. But could one of you point me there, so's I can find this journeyman?"

Cesran smiles at Kale and he waves to him, "Hello there. Trouble finding your friends? I hope they are all right." He nods, "Yep trying our best to serve our purpose, to keep all the technology on Pern running." He hmms, "I'm not sure where he is. I saw him last working on the hatching sands, but he left when everyone else did." He hmms, "You might as well get something to eat until he shows up."

"What could be worse than havin' them stolen?" questions Kale who glances over his shoulder and past the exit. "Eaten? Trampled on by a runnerbeast? Rummaged through by someone with messy hands?" A pause. "I still think stolen would be the worst one, though eaten is pretty bad too. But y'needn't worry. I don't think they'll be hassled." His attention returns to the two of them, glancing to Cesran now. "Ah, yeah I'm sure they're fine. Probably doin' something wicked fun without me just to spite me," said in a tone of jest. "But that's alright, for I've foiled their masterful plan by findin' /new/ folk to possibly eat with." He nods to Thessily. "He's right, y'know. Might as well get a bite to eat while you're here. If Jethaniel is workin' below, I can't get you to 'm now anyway, an' you can't get down there yourself. And if he's not there, I don' know where he is anyhow."

Thessily's mouth juts out, displeasure writ large on her face. But the girl seems to have accepted her fate, because - after a hopeful stare across the thinning caverns crowds, in case a dude with the Techcraft journeyman knot has sneakily teleported in while she was busy - she shrugs at the two. "Fine." It's not a /gracious/ response, but it's a response. "I could use some tucker." It doesn't look like poor Kale's question about what's worse than theft is going to be answered: she's just going to look expectantly at the younger boy, obviously expecting him to lead the way towards the buffet.

Cesran winces, "I hope none of that happened to them." He nods, "Let's hope so." He looks over to the serving table, "Well how about I get us all something to eat and you two can find us a table?" He asks as he starts towards the serving table.

Kale bobs his head. "Great! I'm wastin' away here," he says, pressing a hand to his famished stomach. "Another minute an' my stomach might eat itself. C'mon. We can tell ya about the project as we eat, cuz… if you're here, I don't see how you're gonna get out've it." Likely, he would've led the way without that look from her, guided by a growling tummy. He moves past tables and around a few people who linger with their food, offering friendly hellos and nods here and here to familiar local faces. "Do you like meatrolls?" he asks over his shoulder, the question directed to Thessily. "Name's Kale Crestwood, by the way. An'…you're new here. Are you here just to visit a while or..?" He pauses near a small square table, laying a hand on it to claim. "Make sure you pile some meatrolls!" is called to Cesran. "They're really good."

Thessily gives Cesran a shrug, indicating his plan is acceptable with her; she's inching over towards Kale without further comment (or any guidance re: what to get her at the food tables), narrow eyes flicking left and right at various new sights (of which there are plenty). "Well met, Kale," she says, finally, in slightly dubious tones, like she's not sure they're meeting well or not. "I eat what's given me. And I be staying, for a while. So's I can do field work for walking the tables." When they arrive at the table, she pauses once more to scan the room in mournful hope, but finally takes a seat, hands folding carefully in her lap. She shoots a look over towards where Cesran is heading, before asking, voice neutral: "I heard 'bout the sands project at Landing, a lil'. How far along is it?"

Cesran moves over to get the plate full of meatrolls and he brings it over to the table that they are sitting at. He puts the plate down and he grabs a nearby pot of klah and pours drinks for everyone. He nods, "It's a big project, it's slow going, trying to not only fix what went wrong but figure out how to prevent it in the future."

"Walking the tables.." echoes Kale, sounding thoughtful. He claims a chair for himself, plopping into it unceremoniously to await the food from Cesran, which doesn't take long to come. Spying the meatrolls, he grins appreciatively. "Hey, thanks for bringin' this," he offers to the other lad as drinks are poured, claiming a mug that's filled. "M'not sure how far along Jethaniel is," he says after Cesran, plucking one of the rolls from the pile for himself. "I only helped at the beginnin', and that was … mm, a few sevendays ago. Mostly just supply work an' drainin' the pipes. All that was /before/ the gold rose an' it all started lookin' like trouble because've cold sands. But, from what I've gathered, I think he has a plan. Don' ask me what the plan is, but he has one. You'll probably understand it more'n I will. Jethaniel speaks in another language. Tech talk," said with a grin, meatroll poised and ready to be devoured. But, before that initial bite is taken.. "What're your names?"

"Thanks." Thessily isn't quite as cheerfully appreciative as Kale is, but her small nod and comment to Cesran isn't totally begrudging. She takes a mug, and a sip of the klah in it, while listening to the two explain. "Ah." For a moment her reserved, dour expression flickers into worry, teeth gnawing uncertainly at her lip, before the older girl collects herself and resumes the aura of 'I-will-grudgingly-tolerate-your-companionship'. "Senior Apprentice Thessily," she says, a very slight emphasis on the 'senior'. The apprentice lifts up her mug between both hands, gazing at the two boys over the rim. "I'm in the Photography subcraft." Eyes falling half closed, she lifts the mug a little further and takes a longer draw of klah.

Cesran smiles, "Well good luck on walking the tables, I hope do do this in a couple of turns." He nods, "You're welcome. I'm Cesran." He reaches into his jacket and he takes out a small bronze firelizard who has Fort Weyr and tech craft markings, "This is Apollo."

A very slight lifting of the brows is seen from Kale as Thessily introduces herself as a senior apprentice. "Photography? You're the first I've met in that craft. Er, subcraft. So, is what y'do more like takin' photographs or learnin' to create the things that make photographs?" he asks, seemingly genuinely interested, which isn't at all unusual for this particularly outgoing teen. Life is filled with interesting people! How can he ever dream of meeting them all if he's a wallflower? Finally, he begins to tuck into his meal, chewing and swallowing, peppered with a drink here and there. Cesran's greeting is answered with a nod, and the revealation of his firelizard inspires a grin. "You should meet my friend Soriana. She has one too, though hers is a brown. Hello Apollo."

"I… like to be developing prints best," Thessily says, after a moment's careful consideration. She sets her mug down with a muffled clink, fingers lingering on its warm surface. "But I like the other things, too. Cameras are well interesting, and so's taking pictures. S' fussy work, but real satisfying." The firelizard is given a slightly wary look, as one might eye an unpredictable dog, and her hand when reaching for a meatroll is just a liiiiittle cautious. "You'll be walking the tables in time, for sure," she tells Cesran. "How long you been in the craft? And you - you're Smith, then, how you be likin' it?" Two whole politely worded questions! Thessily solemnly stares at the two as she bites into a meatroll.

Cesran breaks off a bit of meatroll and he feeds it to the bronze. "Yah thankfully he's small enough that he can be at work with me." He hmms, "I'd be happy to meet anyone that is your friend." He hmms, "I haven't picked what my subcraft will be, maybe it will be something like this, doing big projects." He smiles, "Since I was old enough to be accepted as an apprentice."

"You'll like Xanadu then. There're great places to take pictures of. Like…" Kale pauses, fingers gently drumming on the surface of his mug in thought. "Ah! The sunset or rise from the ridge. Gives ya the perfect view of the lake an' beach one way an' the forest in the other. I haven't an artist's eye, but s'pretty nice to look at," he comments, smirking vaguely at her hesitance with her food, though he says nothing. "Aye, I'm smith craft," he confirms. "Apprentice, but maybe I'll be a senior in another turn .. turn and a half, maybe. Just general work for /now/, but I already know what I'd like to specialize. Weaponry." He sits up a litle straighter at that. "I like smithing better than farming, that's for sure," he snickers. "Better at it than I ever was at growin' anything."

"We'll see," is all Thessily can say to Kale's assertion of Xanadu's likeability. She chews carefully on small bites of the meatroll, listening to the two boys speak. "Don't go bringing him into the dark room," she tells Cesran, with another wary glance at poor little Apollo. Not a firelizard fan, it seems. "They can't well be trusted." She's quiet for a moment, obviously thinking, before she shrugs and tells the other Techcrafter, "There're big projects and lil' ones in every subcraft, s' no specialized thing, I don't think." Her nose wrinkles at Kale's dreams of a weaponry specialty, but she moves smoothly past addressing it. "You'll be Holdbred, then, I guess?" Another bite, and the meatroll is polished off, though she makes no move for another.

Cesran smiles, "True, I'll probably specialize than in just fixing the technology that breaks down. I love to take it all apart to figure out how something works until I can fix the problem.' He looks down at Apollo, "He's too young to send messages although I hope to train him to do that."

"Ah, firelizards aren't so bad, are they?" remarks Kale, who is on his second meatroll now. "Apollo, you're not a bad guy, eh? M'sure you do many a noble tasks for Cesran here and are very trustworthy indeed," is said to the firelizard despite the fact … well, that he's a firelizard. "Holdbred, yes. A rare breed 'round these parts. M'always the odd one out on things, but I've gotten used to it. Hadn't realized how different hold life was from weyr life til I apprenticed here. But luckily, my friends don't hold it against me. … eh, not often anyway." A bit of the mirthful look on his face dims, but it’s like the sputtering of a slight wind to a flame. Brief and passing. Meatroll number two? Devoured. "Ah, speaking of crafts, I should be goin'," said as he wipes his hands on a cloth napkin, rising afterward. "Don' forget to send word to Jethaniel that you're here or you may never see'm til he's hungry," he advises Thessily. "T'was good meetin' you both."

"No lack of work in that." It's hard to tell if Thessily approves of Cesran's choice or not: she's got quite the poker face building. Until it creases with a frown at Kale's pursuit of the matter of firelizards, their usefulness, etc. But she says nothing of the matter, choosing instead to lift her eyebrows at the 'holdbred' comment. "S' odd to be holdbred 'round here?" Her tone turns distinctly wary, before (probably without quite noticing she's doing it) she lifts her nose in the air, shallow chin taking a firm set. "I don't s'pose as I care if it is." So /there/. The departing Smith's advice gets him a nod, and a murmured, "Fare well. I'd best be heading on my way, myself, soon's my klah's done."

Cesran smiles, "Thanks, I forget where I heard it from but the name always stuck with me." He nods to Kale, "It was nice meeting you Kale, I'm sure we'll see each other around the Weyr." He looks back to Thessily, "Sure enjoy your night."

Kale pauses a moment, contemplating Thessily's question. "Not odd to be it holdbred, though… I think.. nah, I've learned mannerisms on a hold, or … at least in mine, are sometimes a lot different here when it comes to certain things. An' if you don't want others to think you're lame, you've gotta make sure you know what weyrfolk figure is 'normal'." Because when one is almost fifteen years old, image is everything! He quickly finishes off the rest of his klah in a few large swallows, then swipes a meatroll for the road. "Good evenin' to the both've you," he offers, nodding. "And aye, I'm sure we'll be seein' each other soon." With one last smile that's lasted all through Thessily's less than jolly, though not at all undesirable, demeanor, he turns to head off.

"Good eve." Thessily watches Kale depart with a thoughtful expression, obviously mulling over his comments re: holdbred mannerisms vs. weyrbred norms. Judging from the slight tightening at the edges of her mouth, it can't be a particularly cheerful line of thought. For a few moments she's obviously forgotten there's someone else at the table, but when her eyes drift in Cesran's direction, the expression that crosses her discontented face is vaguely apologetic. "I'd best be finding myself the Headwoman or somewhat," the apprentice says, briskly rising from her seat. "To get settled, since I don't doubt I'll not be finding Journeyman Jethaniel tonight. Fare well, Cesran. I imagine we'll be seein' more of each other." A crisp nod, and she's taking her mug to deposit with the dirty dishes.


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