A Criminal Among Us?

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.

It's after midday at Xanadu and the main rush on the food tables has passed. That doesn't mean the place is empty though. There are still a good number of people lingering over mostly eaten meals and the kitchen workers are even bringing out fresh platters for the buffet tables. Kera makes her way from the infirmary, yawning and rubbing her eyes. Her steps take her past some of the food and head right towards the klah, grabbing a mug and filling. She takes a sip before her attention drifts around. Lucky, since most of the midday croawd has already come and gone, tthere are plenty of places to choose from, which she does by plopping down in the first available one.

Let's say, for the sake of convenience, that the first available one is at the same table where Grayden is currently biding his time. And, yes, that's the best term for it. He sits in such a way that he can watch the comings and goings from the adjacent hallways, crisp blue eyes moving occasionally to follow someone's busy-looking trajectory. The remnants of a light meal remain on a plate nearby, a mug at hand, a bag relaxed into a lump at the foot of his chair. His attention is naturally diverted from whatever he's kinda-looking-at by the arrival of someone at his table, and he looks her up and down with the passive interest the not-young often reserve for the very-young. A nod passes for hello.

Kera resettles more comfortably on the seat and takes a few sips of her mug. Finally, she begins to take notice of the couple people already at the table, a friendly enough smile and wiggle of her figners is offered. "G'day, I guess I should have asked to join your table first.." She breaks off, quickly hiding a yawn that snuck up on her behind a hand. "Oh.. sorry." Giving her head a little shake and a deeper drink from her mug before she continues "I can find another spot if I'm interupting."

Shaking his head, Grayden assures, "It's all right, it's not my table." Not that anyone else sitting there seems to have staked any better claim to it than he has, but that's not the point he's making evidently. The yawn - or, rather, the apology for it - is similarly dismissed by a shake of his head, and he adds, "You're not." Interrupting, he means. His glance hops around the others at the table, none of whom voice any immediate objections, and then returns to Kera with a light shrug; welcome to stay, it would appear.

Kera glances briefly around the table, a quick nod passed around before she leans a little on the table and rest on her elbows. Looking the man a man over, no visible injuries, so doubtful he'll be a patient anytime soon. He seems a bit out of place to her, must be those fancy clothes. Definately stand out around the dragonfolk with fancy clothes like that. Rubbing an eye casually, she leans to peer under that table briefly, checking his footwear and seeing a satchel before sitting up again. "M'name's Kera." She would say she didn't recognize him, but it's not like she knows everyone in the Weyr.

Grayden leans a little to one side in turn, following the girl's line-of-sight to ascertain just what she's checking out under the table. His shoes? His bag? The question is written in his expression by the time Kera's back to looking at his face and not his under-the-table, brows lifted and head turned a little aside. "Did you find what you were hoping to find? Kera?" The name is added on after a beat or two, just to make sure it's obvious that he did, indeed, hear her offer it up.

It's after midday, lunch has already been devoured by alot of people who have gone on about their business. A good number of people still linger at tables though. In the very near vacinity of the klah pots. Kera is seated at Grayden's table, a couple other weyrfolk linger as well. Kera taps her mug with fingers in an absendminded way and shrugs with a little chuckle "Not sure yet sir. You look like your waiting for someone or something, sorta. If so, maybe I can point ya in the right direction?"

Grayden was probably eating something at some point in the relatively recent past, evidenced by the plate nearby (with a few edibles still upon it) and the mug right next to that, but he's now sitting back in his chair, fingers loosely threaded, hands resting across his middle. There's a little conversation, clearly of the 'light' variety, between him and Kera, whom he addresses with a mild, "Does looking at my shoes help you determine what the right direction might be, then?" Yeah, he sounds a little doubtful about that one.

Miah is not here for lunch. She's not here to socialize, either. The woman enters seeking someone, more than one someone even. She appears to have been working in one of the offices from the way she's dressed as she makes her way quietly to a few individuals speaks and then sits to have brief words with them. Her manner is grave, businesslike and then she's on her way. Her passage through the caverns isn't likely to draw any attention, really as she slips through the traffic deftly avoiding laden trays and running children. She's just passing behind the spot where Kera and Grayden are seated when that last bit of exchange is made. The question is intriguing enough that she pauses, her head tilts to have a quick look under the table - or wherever his shoes are. Preferably they're on his feet? Thoughtful grey eyes then lift and she comments. "They give clues to where you've been, but not likely where you are going." Her smile is gently rueful, aimed at both of them now. "I'm Miah. I don't get out much. Pardon the evesdropping?"

Kera doesn't miss how the man deftly avoids her inquiry but considers how to best answer his. The passerby glancing under the table draws her attention, but it's the woman's response that pulls a little grin to her features. Nodding agreeably "G'day ma'am. M'name's Kera." Chuckling and gesturing to one of the seats. "They don't let me out much either." Her attention slips over to Grayden, her brow lifting curiously and shakes her head "We weren't discussing anything private. I was just introducing myself since I so rudely plopped down at his table."

Grayden's shoes are, for the record, on his feet and under the table, where his ankles are loosely crossed. The shoes themselves, boots actually, are clean with only a little staining from water. "Not at all, Miah," is his answer for the pardon she's requested, the shake of his head happy to pleasantly dismiss any idea that he might take offense at being overheard. They are, after all, very much out in the open. As though he's just taking his cue from those around him, he glances inquisitively at her feet before back up with a mild smile to answer her own. "I'm Grayden." For Kera's benefit as well.

Clear grey eyes twinkle subtly as they meet Grayden's. "You've been outside," Miah announces with certainty, her smile growing in wry self-deprecation. She's good, isn't she? Should she make this her living? Kera gains a tsk, but she's still smiling, "Rudeness in an apprentice. That could be problematic. Do I need to speak to your parents too?" And since she's apparently she's here to do that, she might just include Kera's. She's clearly teasing.

Kera nods and offers a polite dip of her head to Grayden "Nice to meet ya sir." A wiggle of her fingers accomplies the greeting before a little grin appears from Miah's comments. A little headshake "You can try, but I doubt it would do much good ma'am. They know I've been a little problematic since my posting, and have had plenty to say on the subject when their letters come." The little apprentice healer takes another drink from her mug and finds it mostly empty, talk about problematic. She gets to her feet and takes the few steps towards the buffet pots for a refill then goes back to her seat while listening to the others.

Full of praise, Grayden's voice, when he says, "Clever woman," and shifts his feet beneath the table to acknowledge just how Miah must have made that deduction. "I have, at times in my life, had occasion to go outside, yes." It could come across as terribly condescending, but there's just enough humor in his voice and in the answering brightness of cold blue eyes to blunt the sharp edge right off his comments. Although he follows her progress with a glance, he's conversationally quiet while Kera discusses her posting and the problems it/she has encountered.

Lightly, "My, my. And they've had no effect on you, have they Kera?" It's a dry-voiced, gentle tease, the sort meant as from harper to young child. Obviously Miah can see that Kera is not a child and her manner is gentle enough not to seem authoritative in the least. She doesn't push it though, merely coughs and adds, "Subtlety is a skill well worth learning if you're going to survive." Her head tilts to consider Grayden, eyes merry even while her expression edges toward something a touch more towards the serious. "I would hope so. Being jailed is not pleasant."

Kera sips from the energy supplying mug while her gaze flickers between Grayden and Miah. She tries to look all serious, but the mask cracks with a slight grin "Oh, I wouldn't say that ma'am. I do pay attention to their letters." Her shoulders lift and fall a bit "Things just sometimes get off kilter and sideways." she makes a little wiggling motion with her free hand then falling silent with a little smile. Jail? Wait, who was in jail? The apprentice scrutinizes the man but he doesn't look like a criminal to her. Then again, how would she know?

Authentically curious, Grayden prompts, "So says the voice of experience?" About being jailed. Although he seems to have intended to follow that train-of-thought to its last stop, his posture changes rather suddenly by the appearance of a non-descript, seemingly uninteresting, middle-aged woman standing in the doorway of the administrative hall - the one he's been able to see from where he's elected to sit - and he leans down to scoop his bag up with one hand. His, "Excuse me, ladies," comes while he stands, drawing the satchel across his shoulder and crossing the cavern to catch up to the woman, greeting her with a mutually subdued hello.

Suuuuure you do, Kera. The brightly-skeptical look Miah tosses her way begs to differ, but that would be pushing the teasing a wee bit too far for one simple comment about rudeness. Her eyes flash appreciation for Grayden's quick wit and she quips back without missing a beat, "From what I've read, yes indeed." His sudden departure doesn't ruffle her, she just sidesteps smoothly to get out of his way. And then she catches sight of someone, so says with an unhurried smile, "Ah, there's my last appointment. Nice meeting you both." And she moves off in the other direction.

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