Giant Teeth

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 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 rock edifice where, high above on Xanadu's Star Stones, the ever-present watchdragon sits on the lonely peak. Directly south is the hatching arena, the large round complex taking up a large portion of the perimeter, a line of trees visible beyond it. 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 Wandering Wherry Tavern. Tucked neatly under the arch, to one side is a tiny wood-frame shop bearing the name 'Petals and Pots Garden Shop'. Southwest lies cliffs where windows for the administrative offices have been cut. Underneath them are the entrances to the crafters complex and the resident's cavern while north and west along the cliff's base, a broad path leads to the feeding grounds. Due north is the spacious trail that leads to the rest of the Weyr - the meadow, the forest beyond.

18:30 on the dot, at the tail end of dusk; only a faint glow lingers on the western horizon from the setting Rukbat, and the evening's shadows have lengthened and expanded into a crisply chilly night. Along the clearing electric lights have flickered to life, lighting pathways for the Weyr residents who are still out and about. Not that there are many: it's cold tonight, with a steady wind that buffets and cuts every passing figure. Thessily, emerging from the Hatching Arena, is bundled into a rather nice leather jacket, a wooly cap pulled low over her ears and her hands stuffed into her pockets. She's got a clipboard under her armpit and a clinking satchel over her shoulder, and between those and the sturdy trousers and tough workboots she's sporting, it would be a safe guess the Techcrafter isn't coming off a social visit. Eyes peeled on the dim ground before her, Thessily cuts a sharp trajectory for the dormitory, shoulders hunching against a particularly harsh gust.

From the direction of the forest and the mines further beyond, Zafirah and Zask make their way to the clearing. This an evening off and the pair are enjoy the cool fresh air judging by the one sided conversation going on. "I swear, sometimes that dust gets so thick in the mine you could carve it with a spoon." There's a quiet pauses and then Zafirah is laughing. "You can go bathe in the lake, it's a little too chilly for me at the moment. I'll take the breeze anyday." Then the wher warbles something and Zafirah pauses a moment and then blinks as she see's the direction the girl came from. "Now what do you wonder is going on there." she murmurs curiously and then hails Thessily "Hey! The sands all right? Nothin' goin' wrong with them generators is it?" she asks as she notes the knot.

Thessily comes to a halt when she's greeted, though it's a pronounced moment before the apprentice says anything. She needs the time to stare warily at Zask, you see. "It'll be doing fine," she says, sounding a trifle distracted (what with all the staring); it's only after this that she looks up from the wher towards Zafirah, and only briefly - and a little dismissively, at that. "Journeyman Jethaniel surely knows his business." The edges of the Techcrafter's voice have a crisp note to them, lacking in friendliness.

Zask blinks her eyes at Thessily and then there's a warble and then a startled snort out of Zafirah as she looks at the wher and then shakes her head some. She looks back over at Thessily and tips her head a little to one side and brushes at some of her hair that had fallen over her shoulders with her fingers. There's a faint smile "So, I take it to mean I should mind my own business about it then. Didn't mean ta offend ya. But I figured, seein' as you're a techie, you'ld know somethin'' of it. Or to they keep you appies in the dark?" There's a snort from the wher and then Zafirah laughs "Yeah, they keep us miners in the dark too, but that's a different kind of dark then what I meant."

"Well," Thessily says, drawing herself up to her full height (unimpressive), "ain't well your business, is it?" Her voice remains crisp and unfriendly, with a faint wary undercurrent spiking every time Zask moves or makes noise. "I be getting well sick of gawkers an' armchair mechanics obsessing over it. The problem'll be /in hand/, thankee." There's another sharp gust of wind; the Techie shivers. "I don't go up to strange miners without botherin' to introduce myself, with strange -" whatever she was about to say /there/, even she appears to feel is a little over the line, and it's duly dropped "- and demand to know if there be likelihood of cave-ins soon, now do I?"

Zafirah continues to brush at her hair with her fingers "They safety of the future of Xanadu /not/ my business? I beg to differ. It's the business of everyone's. I dunno about you, but I have a high amount of respect for dragons and their kin. "And well, it may be I be a bit strange, course that could be genetics considerin' my mama ain't always operatin' under full sail." There's a pause and then a grin "Course, neither's her blue come to think of it. THey be a right good pair together. Still, to even start to say that Zask is strange. Honestly. Ain't ya never seen a wher before? Sure, they're a might be different in looks and all. But ya gotta look past the shape. Just look at her coloring, the tint of her stripes the hue to the splotches. She's a very fine looking wher if I say so myself. And well, I guess I'm just as bad as my mama about introductions. Names Zafi, or well Zafirah if you wanna be uppity and all formal like, and I be Zask's handler and we be miners."

"Techcraft business," Thessily says, tone chilly, "ain't /your/ business. And again, who very well goes up to a stranger to be making demands of information from 'em? On a windy night, when I'll be obviously wishing to get /indoors/?" Though if she's that eager to get away, you'd think she'd just walk on. Maybe she's getting a little warmth from her indignation. "And I don't like whers, thankee." A blunt statement, with a pointed stare (probably more easily seen by Zask than Zafirah, but the effort is there) at the wher's mouth. It might be a tooth-related objection. "They be right mean." Another shiver, and she reaches up to turn her collar up. Her own name is not given.

Zask just sorta crouches down, close to the ground and there's a bit of a sniff and then suddenly she's up and she's turning around, her back to Thessily. "Well now you've gone an done it. Shards, ain't you got no compassion? They've got feelin's too ya know. Course, you obviously don't care none. You don't even care that people be concerned over the eggs on the sands there." she states. "And well, if you're so shardin' fired up to be inside, why be you standin' here being rude, inconsiderate and downright hateful. Sweet Faranth, mother of dragons, what is this Weyr coming too that we're gettin' such unfriendly folk. Zask ain't mean. Mean whers are put down. Course, what would you know about it. You be another one of them people who be quick to judge and condemn without knowin' any facts. Shards. I've a mind to go to the Weyrwoman about the abuse or poor whers get."

The Techcrafter looks, for a moment, uncomfortable and uncertain as Zask starts to react to her words. And then Zafirah speaks, and with every sentence Thessily grows more and more indignant. "/Well/ I don't s'pose I see how you get off being /surprised/ that people don't well trust 'em," this time her scowl is full-blown enough that even in the dim lighting the Miner is sure to see it, "when the ones in holds'll be /s'posed/ to be mean. I apologize if I went and hurt its feelings, but maybe /you/ best ought to be thinking how people'll be feeling, being approached when they're well tired and in no shardin' mood for it, by some well impudent busybody accompanied by /giant teeth/." Another shiver. Seriously, Thessily, just move along.

Zafirah stomps her foot in indignation. "Well, we ain't in a hold are we? Last I checked, we're in a Weyr and whers have more ta do than to just be chained up and forgotten 'cept when it's conveniant. I'll have you know it was a wher that saved our Weyrwoman's life. There be many people about this Weyr that trusts whers, so yes. I am surprised to run into someone so ignorant as to give offense." There's a moment of seething before she goes on. "And Zask is not an it. She's female as anyone who knows anything about dragonkin could tell. As for teeth, shards, you ever get up close and personal with a dragon? They make more poor Zask here look downright tiny." Zafirah shakes her head. "Course, I suppose there's no arguing with bigots." she mutters to herself "I could talk till I'm blue in the face and you'll still be hateful and hurtful won't you. And you're one to talk about how people's feelings. Here I am, worried about those eggs and you go flyin off the handle. Shards. I've seen better tempers from the goldriders, and it's their sands."

There's again a flicker of doubt and discomfort in Thessily's posture, like Zafirah's words aren't entirely missing their marks. Unfortunately, the apprentice appears to be of the school of 'when your big mouth gets you into a hole, keep digging', because she retreats once more into the comfort of her indignation. "I'm well tired," the apprentice bites out, "and you're well a rude lil' busybody. If you're so /concerned/ 'bout meddling with Techcraft business, make your sharding inquiries when it be light out, rather'n accosting a stranger in the sharding dark like this." There's a moment of silence, the apprentice's harsh-edged breath audible, before a little of the anger goes out of her shoulders. Thessily says, a little quieter: "I apologize if I be offending you on the matter of whers. They -" another pause, brief this time, and there's a reluctant and irritable note in her voice as she continues, "- /scare/ me, and I can't well /walk to the dormitory/ when it'll mean turning my back, no matter how harmless i - /she/ may be. So if you two'll be moving so we can get this over with, that'd be /well helpful/."

Zafirah just stares at Thessily for a moment or two "Well, excuse me. I'll make sure to get up in the middle of my sleep schedule to accost you. Wouldn't want to put you out ANd again, the clutch is Weyr business. I'd be a right git to not worry when there've been problems in the past." she then takes a breath as the other starts to apologize, but then her eyes go wide. "Excuse me? Oh, so now yer sayin' I ain't even welcome in this clearing? Well don't that just beat all. Well fine, I guess I can just go starve huh? Not even allowed to go get some food. Just get out of your way." she snorts and turns away. "Come on Zask, I think if I eat anything now I'll get indigestion.." She then stops and looks back at Thessily "Apology not accepted. And don't think I'll be keepin' my mouth shut about this. Intolerable this is." she hmmphs and then turns and stomps away. Zask glances over at Thessily a moment. There's a grunt and then the wher follows with her ungainly walk, but there's a proud tilt to her head.

"Maybe if you just asked someone /else/ this all coulda been avoided!" That's Thessily's holler, at Zafirah's back. The Techcrafter remains rooted in her spot, glaring, until the wher and handler are some dragonlengths away - quite possibly she's calculating it based on 'how much room is required for me to outrun that thing'. And then, scowling into the ever deepening gloom, Thessily stalks towards the dormitories, clutching her clipboard to her thin chest. Every once in a while, a glance is shot over her shoulder towards where the wher went. Just in case it's snuck up behind her, you see.

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