Green Space

Yokohama - Hydroponics Bay
The first thing that one might notice upon stepping into the hydroponics bay is that it was in fact, not always used for this purpose. In truth this area was once home to a much larger portion of the ship responsible for the cryogenic storage of seeds, plants, and animals from Terra. Some of these did not survive the trip, others were found to be unadaptable to Pern's harsher environment. As if to give this sad testimonial a measure of hope, most of the old cryogenic equipment here has been removed, whether it was simply dismantled for research, or melted down for its precious steel and in its place has taken root a truly amazing sight.
Everywhere there is warm life giving green. Nothing is planted here that can't be pruned without killing the main body, insuring that nothing biological manages to work its way into the ship's electrical and causes unnecessary extra work for the crew. Whole sections have been dedicated to various plants by species, including trees, vast beds of flowers, herbs, and even patches for fruits and vegetables. A watering system installed over these sections allowing a light mist or spray as programmed for each plants individual needs. What moisture is not used or is created by the plants leeches away into specially designed receptacles that repurifies them through a filter either for redistribution here or elsewhere as needed.
Not only do these green growing thing provide supplements to the crew's diet, but also precious oxygen. The air in this space is crisp, clean and absolutely clear of any impurities, which is a great source of delight for those living aboard ship. Regardless of the cold steel that peeks through the foliage and present at the feet, this place is a favorite among the crew and many members can be found here for an off duty stroll.

Warning: Mild Sexual Content. Probably still PG-13.

The Yokohama is filled with the banging of young footsteps, the shouts of Candidates. There's no place on board that's really empty of it - not even this verdant shipboard sanctuary. A pair of youngsters are debating loudly, while a farmcrafter studying hydroponics glares at them. Before she can move on to actively shushing them, one shoves the other and runs off, darting into the lift as the doors open. The other gives chase. Left behind is the hydroponics tech, and someone else; another candidate, but this one is peacefully tucked in an archway made by the mounting points for one of the old cryostorage units. Soriana's staring up into the greenery, Toral draped over her lap with Haruhi curled under one outstretched wing.

Those opening doors? Behind them stands Kale, who is suddenly bombarded by the sight of someone racing towards him. He steps out quickly, a bewildered look on his face, but questions aren't asked as the first zooms by and another follows beats after. Hopefully they're not running /from/ some catastrophe here, for if that's the case Kale's final thoughts are going to be rather animated. He turns and heads further away from the lift, gawking as the scenery spreads before him. Such … green! With everything else about the ship being so technical, wired, and mechanical, the sudden onslaught green life is a bit hard to swallow. Plants, in space? Even the air seems less…artificial. "If ever a photograph should be taken.." he murmurs, Alloy's chirrup following his words.

The lift zooms away. Sori continues watching the greenery, but Haruhi sticks her head out from under Toral's wing at the sound of a firelizardy chirp, and gives one of her own in reply. Hurm? Soriana blinks, and looks down to see Kale framed through the plants. "Heya," she calls over, and waves. The hydroponics tech wanders further away, checking on the readouts - for up here, even the most natural things require technology to keep going.

Hmnow? Alloy perks up upon hearing the sound of the young gold, and he alights from Kale's shoulder to find her. Kale himself looks rather surprised by his firelizard's sudden departure, though he is a bit glad for it. A hand is lifted to rub at his shoulder while he watches the spiraling descent of the bronze. Toral, Haruhi, and Sori! A grin curves his mouth as he waves in return to her, picking his way towards the group, careful not to tread on any of the congregated blooms in the process. "Hey," he greets when near, noting the tech crafter, but as since the person is moving off, no greeting is offered. "What was that all about?" he asks with a general wave of his hand towards the lift.

Haruhi steps out from under Toral's wing, chirping again as she flutters her wings and watches up to Alloy with bright green eyes. The brown gives a brief chirp, and settles back, drawing himself together again as Sori reaches down to pet along the curve of his spine, then pushes herself to the side of the little bench she's on so as to make some room. "Heh. Whether or not he could lift a dragonweight in the low G area. And then the other said as how only if it was a green, and, well…" She trails off, smirking.

Kale glances off in the direction of the lifts. Either the two are going to argue some more…or someone is going to prove himself right. Good luck finding a compliant dragon, though a part of Kale is almost tempted to see if he can find them to watch any efforts they may make towards that. Hmm. Dragon argument, or sit with Soriana? He eyes that space that was made for him and makes his choice by claiming it. "Even liftin' a green would be cool to see," he says with a snicker, eyeing Alloy and Haruhi a moment. His bronze swirls to a land on the grass, wings folding neatly as a proper greeting is given to the (not so) little gold. "Y'know, this is the first time he's gotten off me since we got out've the cargo bay.." he notes aloud, head shaking. "S'because she's a gold, eh? How she like…effects all've'm?" He sits back on the bench, slightly slouching in relaxation. "What were you doin' here?"

"It would," acknowledges Soriana. "He was insisting nothing but bronze would do, though. Because… obviously, whatever he lifted had to match what he would impress." Boys! Not only that, ones younger than her. They're just, well… yeah. Haruhi trills in answer to Alloy's greeting, the queen to her courtier. She steps forward, then flutters her way down to meet him as Toral remains behind on Sori's lap and is petted. "Yeah. The golds… in the wild, it's always one gold who has a territory, and all the other colors just circle around her. It's the same with dragons. A queen can force another dragon to do something, did you know? Just… make him, with her mind, and… he'll do it. No questions." She watches the firelizards interact, then glances back to Kale and sighs. "Thinking. Well, looking around, but after that… thinking."

Alloy appears much calmer than in comparison of when he is with his greener clutchmate. Though it's perhaps Kale's calm mood that is causing him to be so relaxed. Or vice versa, or a little bit of both. Either way, his usual antics seem to have been put on hold since their arrival, as see with the way he interacts with the younger gold. Behaving, perhaps, more like a bronze should. As Kale listens to Soriana, he watches as Alloy's wing spread as Haruhi joins him, then fold again while his head gently lowers. Does she need anything? Want anything? Much like Toral, he is here to cater and keep her happy! " … that sucks," remarks Kale at a point, blue eyes shifting back to his human companion. "Sucks for the male dragons. Bet the queen thinks it's pretty nice though, eh? Gettin' all the guys to do whatever she wants. Lucky humans aren't the same way." Though in a way, they kind of are! A mind control of a different sort. Her sigh though gives him pause to his usual joking, and he faintly angles his head. "..About..?" he prompts.

Haruhi chirrups softly, radiating bright happiness to Alloy. All is well with the world. She's good, and he's good, and isn't it a lovely day? There are all sorts of things here, aren't there? A rapid little flicker of images, all the things the baby gold's seen. So much interesting to this world! Sori hehs as she keeps petting Toral. "I don't think they see it like that," she says consideringly. "It's just… that's how they think. Like how runners follow in a herd." A shrug, and then she leans back against the wall behind. "About… down there. The eggs." Even a whole ship isn't enough to distract her forever… though it is a good distraction.

Down there. The eggs. Kale … forgot. Not entirely, but things on Pern have been pushed to the back of his mind, making more room for thee now. For floating and star gazing in an entirely different way. For exploring and finding secrets and making new secrets to be kept. It's a guilty feeling that he feels now, having forgotten such a huge thing that's plagued his closest friend and continues to plague her now. "It's been a couple days. When we go back, they'll probably know more than what they did when we left. M'sure if anything … worth reportin' had happened, word would've been sent for you. Your mother wouldn't keep ya in dark or keep ya up here if things weren't well down here," he says in gentle encouragement. Alloy chirrups in what seems to be a happy sound, indeed registering those happy images correctly. He, in turn, shares what he's been up to and see, which is a lot of the same of what she's been up to and seen. But he adds a few other Pernish pics in there too. Bugs and hunting and flying and snow rolling. Good things! Plus some bleaker ones. Alone and lost and frightened and cold and hungry.

"Aww, it's not like I could do anything if I was there," says Soriana, and shakes her head. "Might's well stay here. I mean, I wouldn't want to miss this. It's been really neat. Just… I wonder, you know?" She sighs. "Back there, they've got some of the old cryostorage capsules." She points vaguely. "Ones that didn't work right. Even the ancestors couldn't get technology right, and they went across the stars with it." She trails off to silence and thoughts of things gone wrong through the ages. Haruhi tilts her head to Alloy and his more recent things gone wrong. Alone? She sends back a quick series of thoughts. A queen, not her, dancing in the air. A bevy of males, following after. Then, with a more speculative edge: Her, dancing in the air, and Alloy after. A flicker of warmth. Don't be alone! Be with her. Toral turns his head, looking away, while Soriana glances down at Haruhi for a moment as she catches the edge of those firelizard thoughts. "…did something happen to Alloy?"

Kale turns toward her point, gazing off as she continues to speak. "I guess, a lot've it is jus' having to have faith," he says as he resettles in his seat. "Nothin's perfect. Things go wrong. Malfunction, I think they say. Even when the best an' smartest people work on it, things can still go wrong. But I guess like the people before us who came on this thing even though not everything worked perfect, an' probably didn' before they left, we've gotta have faith that things'll work the way they should … /most/ of the time. An' the few times they don't?" He gives his head a little shake. "It'll be bad. Maybe sad. But it's not gonna be somethin' that happens often. We can' let it shake our faith in ourselves an' like…what we can do." A light smile is offered as he leans her way, pressing his shoulder to hers as Alloy's spirits lift further now. He was alone, and boy was it dreadful, but now he is not, nor will he ever be! He has his Kale and he has his Toral and his Willow and now, best of all, his Haruhi! Soriana's question has Kale stiffening somewhat, and he glances to the bronze, whose wings spread and flap as he chirrups happily. "Er…yes, but he's alright now. I didn't want to worry ya more."

"I don't like things going wrong," says Soriana, though she leans back to Kale's touch, pressing her side to his for a moment… but then she laughs, because that sounds like a petulant child of four turns. Only more grammatical. "I know. We don't have a choice… but you're right. Even if things go wrong… no, when they go wrong… we've just got to keep going." Happy firelizards! Happy humans, too… more or less, anyway. "Oh," Soriana says at Kale's explanation of Alloy, then is quiet for a bit as she watches the bronze and gold. Haruhi curves her long tail in a twirl and chirp-chirrs back to Alloy. That's right, together - all of them! Whenever trouble rears its head, just send a SOS and Haruhi will lead her brigade to save the day! Never give up! Chirr!

"Here," says Kale who lifts the arm closest to her to curl it around her shoulder. He leans forward a bit, eyes searching for that techcrafter who was around before. "If she comes back, y'can just push me off this bench an' call me a name. Feel free to add a slap if y'want. It'll be all the more believable. But…not so hard, eh? Spare my face. It's fragile." Seeing no one too close, for now, he sits back and instead leans toward her. "I lost Alloy.. for a couple days. The night..well, that night? He went between like most the other firelizards did, but he didn't come back. Couldn't find'm. Didn't really know…how to find'm," he admits with a small shrug. "An' he couldn't get back to me for a while. An' now that he is, it's hard to get him to let go." A smirk then, as Alloy proves him wrong by playing about with Haruhi as if he's not here at all. "But she helps…Oh, hey see? Things went wrong, but now they're alright."

Soriana chuckles softly as she curls herself in against Kale. "Oh, sure. I'll make it convincing. …be better without gravity, though. Imagine, swinging around in here…" Yeah, the candidates have been introduced to a new game. If only they could bring it home afterwards! Ah, well. They're not firelizards, to hop up whenever they get the urge - or to play around on the grass as if being here was no more exciting than going out for a walk down on Pern. For them, young as they are, perhaps it isn't. The world is full of surprises. Sori listens as he starts to explain, and nods. "That must've been pretty awful…" she says, then tilts her head to look up at him. "Why didn't you tell me? I mean, I saw you that night, and then… was I really gone to the annex that much? I'm sorry…"

"Ha, yeah. Wish there was a button or lever or somethin' in each level that can shut off the gravity whenever y'd like," Kale says, looking wistfully up at the trees, already imagining himself launching from one branch to another, floating weightlessly high above like some … animal. "If the gravity was off, I'd /ask/ you to push me over. 'd be fun." He smirks then waves his free hand dismissively. "Don' worry Sori. I knew you'd be the best to ask, but how would that've looked of me? You were so worried about Yumeth an' your mother, an' it had just happened. Bringin' it up then would've jus' given you somethin' else to worry over. Plus…it all worked out in the end. Don't be sorry."

Soriana still frowns for a bit. See, now she gets to retroactively worry about the fact that she didn't even notice it! How horrible does that make her? "Well… I'm glad it did. But… y'can tell me. Even if it would make me worry." A pause, as she untangles the thoughts and considers them. "I'd rather know, even if there's nothing I can do. Like… back when there was the stuff with Laris," way back in the mists of time. "It was better knowing. That's what so… so sucky about it now with the eggs. I don't know hardly anything."

"Mkay, how about this. From now on, everything that ever bothers or worries me, I'll tell ya about, even if it may worry you. Might as well get started." Kale inhales a steadying breath, then begins. "It's always bothered me that they only make stew on cold days in the kitchens. Sometimes, I'm in the mood for it when it isn't cold, y'know? I've worried about dragon droppings /dropping/ on me more'n once. Especially on the beach an' clearing, where they land. I mean…m'sure most dragons have good manners, but…I figure sometimes when you've gotta go, you've gotta go. That's somethin' we all should worry about." Ah, this is Kale being Kale! But aren't these valid points? His tone is kept light even as the discussion turns to heavy topics, and he leans in to press his lips to her cheek. Just because. "But you do know a lot of things about other things. With the eggs…I guess the only ones that know everything about what's going on with those eggs /are/ those eggs. We just have to wait a little more."

As Kale lists out his complaints, Soriana… pokes him in the side. Once, twice, thrice, and a smirk to go with. "You," she just says, though she smiles at the kiss, and her poking-hand ends up draped lightly across his chest with no particular inclination to move. "There's more I could know," she says, but she also nods. "Yeah. We'll find out for sure when hatching-day comes. Or… doesn't." That last is softer, but it is spoken. She can't pretend it's not a possibility, and she's not going to hide from it, either. Her fingers give a little pet, and after a moment, she adds, "I'm going to study there. Dragonhealing."

It'll come. That's what he wants to say, but … Kale's not so sure if the words would even sound believable. There are questions still left unasked. What happens when eggs don't hatch? Are the eggs disposed of? Destroyed? Buried? Will Yumeth and her rider fall into some deep pit of depression? Is there some sort of mourning ritual? These are good questions to ask perhaps Keziah or another assistant. Not Soriana. Not now. He remains quiet for a time, focusing on the small weight of her hand on his chest as she continues to speak. The slight carress. Her latter words has his brows lifting in surprise, and the same expresion is seen on his face as he looks at her. "You've decided? Ah, that's great Soriana! That seems like it'd…suit you. Have y'told anyone? D'you know how to get started?"

"I've got to talk to one of the dragonhealers," answers Soriana. "One of the senior ones, grade four or five. But I talked to the headwoman, and got my chores changed to be in there for now." Well, at least, once they get back to the Weyr and doing chores instead of being on a field trip. "So I can watch, at least." Not that she wasn't before, but now she can do it without skipping out on things she's supposed to be doing! Much better. "When we get back, I'll find one to talk to. Maybe D'ren, he's grade five. If I can catch him in between things…"

"Sounds like y'got it all handled," says Kale, sounding just as pleased as before. "So what, now you're Apprentice Soriana? Or uh…Dragonhealer, grade zero? Possibly, grade negative one?" His arm hooks arond her a little more, and after a cursory glance around, knowing that techie's bound to pop up before long, he shifts to the side to kiss at her cheek again, lingering close enough that the grin that forms can be felt doing so. "That means now, you'll be doin' your thing, I'll be doin' my thing, an' we'll only see each other when we're both dead tired suckin' down soup at dinner, huh?" Another graze of lips is felt, this time lower, on her jawline. "When you get your knot, can I knot you like you did me? I'll make a /much/ better speech."

"Dragonhealers don't call 'em apprentices," says Soriana. "I'll be grade one, once I get started. That's basically an apprentice, you don't get certified until grade three. So… sure, you can call me grade zero now." She laughs, and tilts her head up, nuzzling her cheek to his as he kisses. "Only on cold days. On the warm days? No soup. I know how much that concerns you. It's okay." She turns her head, grinning, and softly brushes her lips right to his. After all, best to take full advantage of this moment, complete with her fingers coming up to his shoulder as she drapes herself in like one of those viney things hanging around here. "You, a fancy speech? That, I want to hear."

"Nuh-uh. You only get to hear it durin' your knotting ceremony. It'll be very…elo.. er, elegant. Well versed. It'll bring tears to the eyes of anyone who's around to hear it, so make sure you have somethin' with you to wipe your eyes, eh? Slime hangin' from your nose wil jus' ruin the effect." With her arm draped over his as it is, Kale finds it easy to keep himself near, and the arm that's not around her shoulder slips to curl around her waist. Prime makeout position. "How much longer til y'think we hear the lift open again? Cuz I'm gonna kiss you, soonish." Ah eventually. At some point. Maybe. "And if it's gonna be my last real good one in a while, I wanna make it /real good/." Because he's such an expert at this and all.

"Well, then. I'll be waiting." Because of course the speech is the most important part of this whole affair. Her fingers toy with a stray bit of his hair as she leans in to the Makeout Zone (tm) - lucky for them that hydroponics tech is busy elsewhere. What could be keeping her? Soriana may wonder that, but she's not about to leave in order to investigate. "Might work the other way around. We'll be so tired, we'll just stumble into each others' beds instead of our own." Easy mistake to make, after all. They're rigfht next to each other! "And we'll… sleep. So hard." Aww yeah. When will the lift open? Well… "It's been a while, hasn't it? I'd say… mm. Five minutes." That's her bet, and she's sticking to it!

Kale bobs his head solemnly. "Harder than we ever have before, huh? Crazy hard." The word alone is causing him to grin and react oh so childishly. "Hmm, I've been on your bed. I think you have a better mattress than mine, an' softer blankets. If it's still like that when we get back, I'm gonna /accidentally/ stumble into yours more often," he says in devious warning, already counting the number of pillows he'll be bringing over. Mwuaha! "Five minutes?" He checks his naked wrist, eyeing the imaginary time. "Think that's plenty, but I'm thinkin, more like three." Either way, the alleged time is short! The arm around her middle gently tightens and he leans for her to kiss her neck, a slightly suckling touch that he pulls away from only to zero in on the lips. Lips touch and few seconds are wasted before the kiss is deepened by the arrival of tongue.

"Oh, I'll be ready," replies Soriana with a grin. They are so mature! Such paragons of maturity, which is why they're… grinning madly over the barest hint of innuendo. Sori presses closer as he draws her in, pressing her body to Kale's. "Tick. Tock." Time is rushing on! Quickly, before it runs out - so she kisses at his forehead as he does the same for her neck, then tilts her head as lips come together to make it be a good kiss - followed by it becoming a better kiss, as those lips part and tongues enter the game.

For all the things he doesn't know, Kale does know his way around a mouth, for whatever reason, and the feel of his tongue delving into her mouth and exploring hers is done with little hesitance behind it. A dang good kiss, if he ever was asked. The hand around her is pressed to her back, and his palm can be felt moving, slowly grazing up and then back down, fingers curving along the dip of her spine. He pulls back with a faint nip to her lip, bt the parting is only a second's worth before he's there again, invading her space, kissing deeply even as that telltale *ding* is heard, announcing an arriving lift.

If Soriana were to be asked, she'd also have positive things to say about that particular kiss. As final makeouts go, it has potential. There's her tongue, taking turns to tease and wrestle with his. There's the way she lets out a little gasp as his lips draw away, how her fingers cling to his shoulder, squeezing there as they press back together - her tongue the quicker one, this time. Again the kiss, and - "Ewwwwww!" comes a voice from near the newly arrived lift. A boy of twelve turns, barely old enough to be a candidate and still firmly of the position that girls are icky. He rubs his back of his hand against his snotty nose, staring with a fascination usually reserved for insects or dead things being poked with sticks.

He doesn't hear that lift. Or rather, Kale makes no indication of hearing anything other than whatever's going on in his own mind. Kissing is an amazingly enjoyable task that he's definitely not doing enough of, in his opinion, and he's very willing to clutch back at her, fingers fisting around the fabric of her shirt as his arm draws her impossibly closer. The other is beginning to snake into her hair when….ewww! Thank goodness that wasn't /her/, but… eh. Kale pulls back just enough so that lips are no longer touching and eyes open to glance left. A boy. Not a ranked person, that's good! But still, a person, a person who is loud enough to possibly cause that other older person to come back and see what's up. "You see nothin'," hissed his way before eyes turn to Sori, a bit cross eyed at first due to closeness. "..Think that was about two an' a half."

Any closer, and their bodies are going to start melding into each other! Sori seems perfectly willing to give that a try, judging from how she presses in against Kale, lips and body both. A pleased sigh is cut off in the middle as… what? She halfway turns, but she can't get more than a glimpse of the boy without moving away far more than she's inclined to. After all, they're not technically - okay, actually, whether they're technically doing something wrong depends on exactly who catches them doing it and how hidebound and contrarian they're feeling. After that incident in the bridge (which totally wasn't their fault), the odds are somewhat against them. The boy makes a face at Kale. "That's gross." There's maybe the faintest hint of jealousy underneath his tone, and then he turns and leaves… doubtless to tell all the rest of his friends about what he just saw. They'll be the talk of the spaceship! Sori looks back to Kale with a wry expression. "…not long enough, is what it was," she says, and leans in again to brush her lips once more, briefly, to his.

Gross? That kid obviously has the wrong definition of gross, but Kale isn't going to correct him. Not now. Right now he's very attuned to Soriana. Right now, he's caught in that mood and state of mind where she could ask him to do anything at all, and he'd do it for her. It's a dangerous and vulnerable time for a boy, when girls have the advantage. Does she even realize her power? He's vaguely aware that the boy is leaving now, and there's a flicker of a thought that this may be a bad thing. Young kids talk too much, but whatever reservations might have been forming in his head dissolve with that kiss, and he leans into it, turning 'brief' to 'just a tad longer'. "Uh huh," he agrees so poetically, beginning to lean forward to seek those lips again. But, drat it all, that boy's voice /did/ alert that techie, and Kale can see her beginning to drift their way. Reluctantly does he untangle his arms from her, allowing hands to graze upon her a little longer than is necessary as they're pulled away. He stands with a lingering smirk. "I'll go .. seein' how you can't keep your hands off me an' all.." he says, his smirk widening to a grin. "I'll see ya above," said as he steps away, Alloy soon following with a departing chirrup to Toral and Haruhi. Yup! Separation is what he needs. A little bit of time that'll bring raging hormonal levels back down to normal and keep him from wanting to jump her when he sees her next. Ding! Into the lift he goes.

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