Chili and Eggs

Xanadu Weyr - DragonHealer's Annex
An entrance way which would allow admittance to even the greatest of Queen Dragons leads into a chamber which would house half-a-dozen of the same size. To one side is a shallow pool which constantly clears itself of grime and is used is washing wounds. Nearby is a shelf with a generous supply of clean bandages and clean sheets upon stone shelves. The other side of the chamber is taken up by an alcove with multiple banks of computers to house medical records and help to diagnose illness and injury in the Dragons who come for aid. Within this alcove is a small medical laboratory where medicines and herbs can be prepared and experiments can take place. The far wall houses two dozen Dragon couches, each separated above by a rail which supports a thick curtain allowing the patients an option of privacy as they rest and recover.

The note of strain and tension still rides high and noticeable in the air at Xanadu, especially so /here/, where dragonhealers have been pulling longer shifts than normal to hover like a small clan of worrisome mother-hens over the cluster of ten eggs safely tucked away in incubation. Among these faces is one attending to the normal business-as-usual: Circelyn, her long tail of dark hair braided back efficiently, seeing out an aging brownrider. "Apply this to the scratch twice daily, after washing it. Twice daily," she repeats herself sternly; "I don't want to hear about infection."

Harmony, normally a spoiled and selfish creature, slinks into the Dragonhealer's Annex, green eyes darting furtively around. Perhaps to find her sister, who happens to be the one instructing the brownrider. Her own blond hair falls loosely about her shoulders, tucked behind her ears. The only mar in her appearance is in the dusting of flour that clings still to her nose. Her attire is a sweet confection of sugar'd pink winter garments: hat, gloves, jacket, pants, boots. The hat and gloves are the first to come off. "Circe?" Creeeeep. Creeeeeep. Her expression is both serious and pained - though who knows if it's in response to the current crisis.

And never mind the broody queens themselves, making the dragonhealers' jobs more difficult. Following in Harmony - though it's purely incidental, really - is a face that's been around a lot lately. Soriana's one of the candidates, from the knot on her shoulder. She's also the daughter of one of the goldriders here, which explains how she's managed to keep from getting kicked out with all the lurking. She pauses just inside the door, glancing around to see if her mother can be located… but it seems Sorrin's actually managed to get away for a moment. Yumeth's asleep,
that explains it.

The brownrider eventually promises to apply the ointment as necessary, leaving Circelyn momentarily a worn-out scrub, standing limp in the doorway, staring out with the glassy-eyed non-recognition that is familiar in healers the world over: someone going without sleep for a few candlemarks too long. Her name rouses her, however, and green eyes dart over to see her half-sister. "Harmony," she states, relieved: and it's a measure of how tired she is that she takes the requisite steps over to gather the other girl up in a hug - whether or not she wants one. Soriana isn't noticed yet, but that's likely more due to Circelyn's weariness than anything else.

Harmony might squirm a little in her sister's embrace, but she'll settle into it. For about four beats. Then: "I just /barely/ passed," she practically wails. Because Circelyn doesn't have enough riding her shoulders, right?! As she's pulling away from her sister to give the healer a rather fetching look of pink cheeks and shiny, tear-filled eyes - this girl does the alligator tears very well! - she catches sight of Soriana. The change is near-immediate as Harmony sniffs and dashes away any lingering tears from her eyes (she can apparently cry on demand), and offers an embarrassed half-smile huff that comes before saying in a less whiny, more sedate tone. "They said my chili was too salty." Oh the indignities!

Admittedly, Soriana's also been practicing her inconspicuous. She's successfully avoided an argument about whether she's allowed to be here so far, and is in no rush to have it now. Her gaze is just going over to the incubators - all those lights are still green, right? It's all still good? - when she comes to the attention of Harmony instead. Sori gives the other an awkward semi-smile and nod followed by a quick glance away and a shuffle-step further into the infirmary. Don't mind her, she's not intruding, honest!

Momentary lapse of sanity aside, Circelyn straightens to her full - if not necessarily significant - height when she realizes There Are People Around. Her gaze swipes to Soriana, and a puzzled frown crosses her face; "You are—?" she half-inquires, leaving Harmony's complaints of salty chili on the backburner. (This way, it can be burnt too!)

Content for her sister to ignore her for the moment, Harmony slumps rather than stands straighter. Dejection at its finest! Her attention has been captured by Soriana, green eyes curious as she waits for the other girl to explain herself before launching into, "To *salty*, Circe. They said it was too salty! And I know it was seasoned just right! I did it myself!" The backburner certainly is burning. Harmony's cheeks pinking even more in agitation, as distraction is sought in the form of shedding her puffy pink winter attire. Blond haired and green eyed, the girl does do pink justice!

Who, her? Is she People? Soriana looks just like a weyrbrat caught where she shouldn't be for a moment, with the widening of eyes and the little hunch down. It's a momentary wince, and then she straightens herself up again and gives Circelyn a passable salute. "Soriana, ma'am." After which, she hesitates instead of saying more, with a look that seems somewhat conflicted.

For the wine and the salute, something about Circelyn's expression seems to soften. "Here to check on the eggs, then?" she questions the girl; "Come and take a look, then." She gestures for both the weyrbrat and her sister to follow her, gesturing at all the safe little eggs, tucked away as they are. "Have you thought that maybe it /was/ too salty?" she abruptly questions Harmony, though the question is not unkind. "You *did* pass, did you not?"

"It wasn't," Harmony insists, eyes wide and bright. "I promise. I've made that chili a thousand times before," a slight exaggeration, that, "and no one's ever complained it was too salty." Though the way her words slow show that some salty grain of doubt has implanted itself in her mind. "Yes, I passed," she says with a sigh, "Just not with high marks. /Barely/ passed is more like it." Finally, Soriana is more than noticed and is fully looked at. "Eggs?" This is asked blankly of Soriana, then back to her sister. "What eggs?" Maaaaaybe someone's got her head too deep into her own affairs.

Soriana nods to Circelyn. "Yes'm." Her eyes brighten as she's invited to come take a look, and the dragonhealer is no longer the focus of attention as Sori looks over those eggs. They do look okay… at least, to her. Not that she'd know, would she? Oh, sure, she knows enough that her friends ask her about firelizards, but… She frowns, staring at them a moment longer, then looks back to Circelyn - or would, but her attention detours to Harmony. Blink. "Yeah, the eggs. From Yumeth and Auspiraeth." Her tone is matter of fact edging onto incredulous. "That were on the sands, but the sands went too hot in the middle of the night…" Y'know. Those eggs!

"I'm sure you've made it /a thousand times/," Circelyn stresses that bit of hyperbole with amusement. "Perhaps you should take this as an opportunity to better yourself," beat, "— /and/ your chili." Her laughter is barely hidden in check behind the tired facade of not-really-genuine concern. The question of /what eggs/ has wiped all amusement from her face, however, disgust showing without check to Harmony's ignorance. She gestures after Soriana's statement, though— with a brief look of approval. "You're Standing for them, then?" she questions gently.

"Oh, of course. /Those/ eggs." Harmony's voice rings with false knowledge as she very clearly tries to cover up her ignorance. That she's as unaware of current events as she is, speaks a lot to her own self-absorbed world of food and Harmony. "Right." Eyes narrow a bit at Circelyn's look of disgust, but she takes it behind a sniff and raise of her chin. "I am always bettering myself." Again, her eyes glance around her as if seeing the accoutrements of dragonhealing for the first time. Interest sparks in green eyes, but not enough, it would seem, to overcome her own self-interest! Eyes travel up to the ceiling when Circelyn asks Soriana the million-dollar-question, taking a quick look out of the corner of her eye to see what the younger girl says.

Right, those eggs. Soriana doesn't seem entirely convinced by Harmony's claims, but she limits her dubiousness to a facial expression. Circelyn's question brings Sori's attention back to her, and she nods. "Yes'm." The dubious is gone, and it's replaced by uncertainty. Probably not about the Standing thing, not with the white knot clear on her shoulder. After a moment of hesitation, Soriana comes out with it. "Is there anything I can do? For the eggs, I mean, or… well, just to help out. Even if it's just to carry stuff around, I can do that."

"Oh, always," and Circelyn's sarcasm snaps crisp against the statement of Harmony's self-betterment. Isn't it so obvious that they are dear, darling daughters of the same doting dad? Soriana is enough to bring Circe's blood-pressure down, thank Faranth. "Oh, I think we've enough hands around here. Taking care of /yourself/ is quite enough for us— after all, if you and your fellow candidates don't take care of yourselves, whoever will these babies Impress to?" Circelyn's alto has an unusual pitch to it, worry coming out regardless of her natural ability to control her expressiveness: the worry of a dragonhealer about eggs that may not hatch.

In contrast to Circelyn's alto comes Harmony's higher pitched voice can be light and fun or laden with whining, spoiled petulance. "Hmph." She eyes Soriana and seems to be about to open her mouth and ask the question of the hour, but snaps her teeth shut. "Aren't the eggs safe now?" The question barely manages to inject patently false worry that contrasts so starkly against her sister's *real* concern. Someone's parents may have done a touch too much spoiling

Soriana listens to what Circelyn says, but the frown on her face says she doesn't quite accept it. Or quite believe the reassurance. "But," she goes in the tones of a teenager who's being stubborn, but has at least enough logic to convince herself that what she says makes sense. "We're supposed to work. Afternoons are craftwork or chores, for all the candidates. So I'd be doing something anyhow, only I'm not an apprentice, so it's just chores. I could be more useful here." Well, at least, she'd like it better. Same thing, right? She looks to Harmony again, and the frown takes on a shade less stubborn, a shade more unhappy. "Yeah, but what if they're already hurt? I saw a dragon once that got burnt in the shell…" She trails off, and shakes her head, then turns her attention back to Circelyn.

Well-matched they are, Circelyn and Harmony, in their own /special/ way. Ahem. "We won't know until they hatch," Circelyn responds to Harmony's fake concern with great simplicity. Soriana's argument causes the young woman to furrow a brow. "Perhaps if I were greater in rank than I am," she eventually states, "I could arrange for you to help - but unfortunately I'm just a wee level three." Not for long, should she pass her examination next turn, but — that's neither here nor there. "Perhaps you should speak with the headwoman about being assigned here? It isn't really our domain, to assign chores. I'm sure we could use an extra pair of hands, if you were serious about learning."

A little green, Harmony looks discomfited by the thought of a dragon /burnt/ in its /shell/. A delicate shudder is given, before she steps away from Circelyn and Soriana. "I'm yeah. I'm sure they're fine." See? Fake assurances here people! "I'm going to get back to my," slight stress there, despite the fact that the kitchens aren't *really* hers, "kitchens. So yeah." And without further adieu, the baker beats feet quickly out of the annex, tugging on her confection of sugar-y pink winter garments as she goes. Just can't quite get out of there fast enough!

And all at once, Circelyn is left to herself, as Soriana is found by an assistant headwoman who has been /looking/ for the girl - or so she loudly proclaims in relief once said candidate is found. With a weary shake of her head for the situation as a whole, Circelyn turns back to her dragonhealing rounds. Another day, another dragon: life continues as normal.

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