Tabula Rasa

Xanadu Weyr - Deep Forest

The wooded areas closer to Xanadu Weyr represent a compromise between man and mother nature, but to the west, no such arrangements have been made. The deep woods between the Weyr and the mountains are less traveled, the wider paths fit for man and beast less present. The noises of mankind are barely audible here, brief ghosts on the wind, and the quiet thrum of forest life presses in on all sides. The snapping of a twig, a bird's cry, the low cadence of insects; all of these things seem louder. Closer. The deeper you move into the trees, the more it becomes obvious that you are passing through nature only at her allowance.

The cover of trees is more severe in this area of the wood and only occasional shafts of sunlight lance down through the canopy, the sky visible in brief patches. A rough path has been blazed to the east, back towards the Weyr, and west, towards the mountains. It does not appear to be a heavily frequented path, but the few who have chosen to pass through this area appear to use it more than other avenues available. Only the very foolish or the very experienced would ever wander far from the path.

It's been a little more than 24 hours since Phylicia last ran into Tenebrous on accident, and the terms for her possible mentor stated. The sun is just starting to show signs of setting, and the day is a little chillier. The healer senior apprentice has also had a small change of clothing, since she knew where she was going. A long sleeved shirt is tucked securely into a pair of straight-legged pants, which in turn tuck into mid-calf boots. It's probably the most uni-sex anyone will /ever/ see her. She's perched upon a large rock that's devoid of growth, as close to the adonis patch as she dare get. Her eyes are closed, but she's not drowsing as her back is straight and her two 'lizards are peeking around and alert for her, the red-capped brown perched atop her head, while the blue sits regally on her knee. Also attached to her belt today, besides the hip-pouch (which looks fuller) is a medium sized dagger. Looks like someone freaked her out a little bit.

Tenebrous can be heard coming from a mile away. Well, not quite, but close. He's not even trying to mask his steps or his approach. What he IS doing is moving as quickly as possible, a fluid form amongst the trees. And perhaps most disturbing of all…he tromps right through the Adonis on his way over to that rock. "I was beginning to think you wouldn't come, young ma'am," he calls without any preamble.

Phylicia thankfully opens her eyes after he slips through the adonis patch, so she doesn't have a heart attack, just thinking about it. Since he as making no pretense at being silent, there's no shriek of shock and instead she rather calmly opens her brown eyes, to look at where the voice came from. "Why?" Comes her tart, if slightly amused tone. "Because I nearly died of embarassment yesterday?" The girl sighs, her spine slouching a little. "I wouldn't be here today if I stopped because of something like /that/." Apparently she's had her fair share of mortification?

Tenebrous shakes his head, his face mostly hidden in that hood of his. "Hardly. You're just late. And you hardly have a thing to be embarassed about. You make a mistake that many do if they wander too deeply, and the only price you paid was a bit of toned flesh in the breeze. You have nice calves by human standards. And," he says, stopping by that rock, "you'll never get caught, if you'll excuse the expression, with your pants down again."

Phylicia's cheeks turn slightly rosy already. It seems she's starting early on her blushing for this encounter. "Late? I thought -" She pauses, trying to remember the words from yesterday. "Ah well. I probably mixed it up." She grumbles to herself. She picks Ciaran - the blue - up off of her knee, placing him on her shoulder instead, and repeats the process with Estevan - the brown - before he can fall off her head, trying to get a closer look at Tenebrous. "I'm hoping to keep the literal times of that to a minimum." She says as she stretches out her legs. "And what're you comparing me to? A 'lizard?" She makes that last as light as she can as she teases, though a deeper part of her is very minimally offended at the thought.

Tenebrous blinks and then waves a hand. "Forget about it." He watches the fire lizard shuffle that goes on for a moment before, "I trust you spoke with people, as I asked? That you spoke with those close to you?" He looks at your face as he speaks, those eyes of his gleaming from their hooded shadow.

Phylicia nods, looking quite serious as she had during the later part of the day yesterday. "Mama was upset that her 'little girl' was taking to something so dangerous, but Daddy was in full support, and made /her/ see the sense of working with something I'm interested and want to learn about." She starts off. "I didn't get to talk to M'nol a /whole/ lot, since I got really tired easily, but we've had that sort of talk before. If I need to put myself at a little bit of risk to learn, I'll just have to work at reducing the risk." One hand is stroking at the caduceus pendant around her neck. "You aren't getting rid of me." She finishes, stubbornly but with a grin.

Tenebrous raises a slow eyebrow. "For some reason, I suspsect that what you'll be doing was not fully…disclosed to them." He shakes his head and murmurs, "I've spoken with the masters, and they do not object with my taking an apprentice of my own. But understand that if I do this, it's for real. Not something you can do in exchange for work at the Hall, young Ma'am. You're taking on a focused study of Herbology and Botany…and I will take you away from Xanadu on occasion."

Phylicia just smiles. "You mean going out into dense forested areas with a strange man, and felines lurking to work with possibly toxic plants?" Phy asks, her tone a little amused before she snorts. "I'm not stupid enough to tell my parents the /full/ truth of that. They know enough that I could get hurt or poisoned, but that I'm with a trained Journeyman." She looks only a little uneasy of the mention of being taken away from Xanadu. "To look at plants that'd only grow in other places?" She asks, making sure. She may have a good chunk of answers for the journeyman, but it doesn't seem she has all of them. "But no. If I'm going to specialize in herbology, I might as well declare it /now/." She says, somewhere between resigned and determined. "If you don't understand it, you can't use it. And if you can't use it, you can't help people."

Tenebrous nods once and again, listening to Phylicia speak before murmuring, "You had your chance to declare." He shrugs through that before offering, "You have seven days, apprentice. Seven days to pull out of this, and after that time, I will declare your intent to the masters." He turns slowly, staring off into the trees at something. "Pack a bag with a full change of clothing and any relevant medical information that I might need to know in an emergency. I'll keep it with me."

"Now?" Phylicia asks, wondering if he's already planning on kidnapping her for another trail. The next seven days are likely going to be akin to torture, she's guessing. "And well.. I've had my chance to declare, yes. But I haven't had a chance to /learn/. It's all book-to-this-page, and not any trips outside to actually /look/ at it." Obviously she's not a big fan of book learning, she likes more hands on.

Tenebrous waves a hand. "You know nothing. This is not an insult. It is a statement of fact. Forget your botany texts, forget how they taught you to prepare numbweed in the labs, and forget how safe you felt with your goggles on. Ask your questions again if you have them, air your doubts frmo the text if you have them." He leans in. "Bathe with non-scented soaps. No oils or scented lotions, no perfumes, and you will tell me when your menstrual cycle starts. There are places in the forest that we won't want to go if either of us is bleeding from any kind of a wound. Do you understand?"

Phylicia nods her head. "I /do/ know nothing." She repeats, affirming it and almost laughing, but holding that part in. Getting a smart mouth now might make him change his mind. "That's not too much of a problem, as far as the scents go. They all make me sneeze." Especially the perfumes. It's amazing what walls of Phy's come tumbling on down, if you only manage to strike the right note, which Tenebrous apparently has. He needs to know so they both don't get hurt. So he can teach her. Brown eyes blink calmly even as he leans in, though there's a faint flush to her cheeks. "Prepare for a complete re-education." She says, thinking of the last few months she just spent at the hall, getting just that. Though thankfully just most of the basics for botony and and herbology. "I think I've that one down already." And her lips have quirked at this point. Alright, she couldn't help that one, if he's heard of where she was taken.

Tenebrous nods ocnce again. "Well enough. I'll pick you up in the afternoon tomorrow, by the Infirmary at Xanadu. Have that bag packed, along with suitable supplies for two days away from your home. You'll be coming to stay at my place, such that it is. And bring something you don't mind getting wet." then he smiles a little. "I sincerely hope you benefit from what you've asked of me, young ma'am. I don't know how much fun it will be, but it's a life for me."

Phylicia almost sighs, thinking of the marks she's going to have to spend from her parents to get enough clothing that actually fits so she's not tromping around the forest in her nicer clothing which he caught her in yesterday which was more suited for a stroll along trails and paths than hiking in the woods. "Food too?" She asks. She's never been out for extended hikes, so her mind is already racing at what she should and shouldn't pack. She returns his smile, looking much happier than she did yesterday. "I'm sure there'll be some moments where I'll want nothing more than to smack you, and then moments where it might actually be enjoyable." Fun is left out of it. Any fun had might be accidental. "And /please/, call me Phy? Or Phylicia? This whole 'young ma'am' thing is a little weird.." Now she knows why some people dislike being 'ma'am'd.

Tenebrous shakes his head. "Food you will not require. I have sufficient nourishment at my place of residence, though it may be rougher fare than you're used to. As we work, your body will begin requiring more of you, and in different ways. Your dietary intake must adapt these requirements." Then he falls silent as she mentions her name. "Tenebrous," he murmurs. "WHile I certainly have no problem with you calling me Fetch, you should know who you're working with."

Phylicia smiles, only looking a little worried. "Well, I hope I'm not as soft as you're implying." She says lightly, though he can probably see that she's almost expecting to be that soft, if not softer. Though there's not much fat on her frame to work with, she better keep herself fed. "Tenebrous?" She repeats for nodding, though who knows which name she'll take to. Or she might just start calling him sir. See how /he/ likes it. "What time in the afternoon would you like me at the infirmary?" She asks, not remembering a specific set time.

Tenebrous murmurs, "Whenever you find it convinient to be there. I'll arrive shortly after you do, have little doubt." With that, he pushes off of the rock itself and starts back into the woods. "And bring a satchel, apprentice. A larger one, like mine. Your belt pouch will quickly grow full before our day is even half over, and you may find yourself wishing for additional space." He's raising a hand in farewell without looking back, and making very little noise on his trip away.

Phylicia watches as his back fades into the forest, and she's left shaking her head, looking amused. "It's not like I was expecting to go on a prolonged trip today." She murmurs to the unresponsive forest. She stands from her rock, and takes a quick look around her before deciding on her direction, and heading back towards the Weyr complex, probaby off to start packing. Or at least seeing what she has, and seeing what she has to beg from people for the time being.

Blue eyes watch her go, hidden by the treeline. Within their depths, concern and apprehension. "You don't even have your own life sorted out, and you're trying to shape another," Tenebrous whispers to himself. "Balls and branches, please don't let me screw this up…"

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