It's a potato.

Ista Weyr - Main Beach

The famous black sands of Ista spread out about the great cove upon which the weyr has been built, gleaming under the rays of both sun and moon, like diamonds in their own pristine beauty. Caught between the brilliance of the deep, verdant greens of the forest, and the crystalline blues of the shallows, gradually deepening their colour deeper into the great ocean, the beach is no less striking, truly beautiful in its own way.

The hot, heavy rays of the sun reach deep into these sands, forever blazing underfoot, although the water remains cool and refreshing even upon the hottest of days, never quite reaching the point of being tepid. Off to one side, coming from the plateau, a small, thin waterfall, empties into a catching pool that runs off into the water through dark sand and pebbles.

X'hil is out washing Kinseth on this fine summer's day, though he's doing it one-handed, his other arm shading his eyes from the bright sun. It's not /that/ bad, but when you spend much of your time inside behind a desk, well, the summer sun can be a little harsh. Still, he seems to be in not too bad of a mood, he has a moment to spare for Kinseth, after all. The bronze is just looking smug, very smug, as he has ever since Ista's leadership flight. It's probably worth noting that X'hil still bears the Weyrleader knot.

There's no fanfare as a green dragon pops out of *between* far above Ista Weyr. She simply hovers a moment, before gliding down toward the beach. Those who've been in Xanadu for any length of time have likely seen Verzth, though they're more likely to have heard of her rider - B'miel. But even the flaky, partygoing greenie isn't one to be arriving in Ista unannounced. Especially with all the rumors that've been going around. Though Verzth is polite enough to send a greeting to the weyrleader's dragon. Landing some distance away, the small dragon settles and one passenger slides down, waving to the green and her rider before turning and walking purposefully towards Kinseth. It's probably unlikely that the passenger has seen X'hil, but it's not like Cenlia doesn't know what Kinseth looks like. B'miel and Verzth and are up and away almost as soon as they've delivered their passenger, popping *between* and disappearing. How is Cenlia going to get back to Xanadu? Faranth only knows. But she's got all five of her firelizards with her, at least, and is dressed in her usual gardener garb. There's a large bag slung over one shoulder, and as she approaches the bronze, she calls over a polite, "Hi, Sir Kinseth!"

Kinseth bugles an officious response to Verzth, his way of saying 'request to land noted, and approved'. He takes the position of Weyrleader, or Weyrleader's dragon, seriously, evidently. It's a /kind/ of welcome? As the single passenger dismounts, Kinseth turns his head to his rider, and X'hil blinks, looking up sharply, then quietly cursing at the brightness. It takes his eyes a moment to readjust, and he squints over at Cenlia a moment, then smiles, and waves. "Hi, hi, hi! Welcome to Ista!" The disappearance of Verzth moments earlier is noted, and the bag, and he tilts his head. How long a stay, now? Kinseth warbles a much more pleasant greeting to Cenlia, much more 'welcome' than business.

When Cenlia spots X'hil, she grins a bit and calls over a, "Hey!" as she jogs the rest of the way toward the bronzer and dragon. The girl is looking considerably more cheerful than the last time she was in Ista. "Got something for ya," the girl says, grin widening, as she hoists the bag off her shoulder an down onto the sand. Her firelizards swoop off to play not far away, while Cenlia begins undoing the ties around the top of the bag. "Y'ain't too busy are ya?" she ask, flopping down in the sand and not looking in much of a hurry either way.

X'hil blinks a little, eyes following the bag as it plops down onto the sand, but Cenlia's cheer seems to be contagious, as he's actually smiling as he wades back to shore. Kinseth remains where he is for the time being. About halfway to shore, X'hil snorts, and glances back at the bronze, and shakes his head. When he continues, he's actually grinning. "Not /too/ busy, no. Mandatory rest day." After his predecessor as acting Weyrleader, old U'nar, had that heart attack, well, he's been a little more cautious. "Something? Er… For me?" Speaking of cautious… Now he's eyeing the bag a little warily.

"Rest day, huh?" Cenlia grins, "Shards, 'm glad I didn't have to sneak up to no offices or nothin'." And then the grin falters a little, but the gardener girl is already peering at the bag as she gets the ties open and starts pulling out paper-wrapped packages. "I ain't gotta start calling you 'sir' now, do I?" she asks after a moment, looking up with a slightly raised brow. Hey, she already calls his /dragon/ sir. She catches the wary glance and makes a face. "It ain't booze," Cenlia says quickly, perhaps a little too quickly, though her gaze is on the dragon when she says it. More irregularly-shaped packages are pulled out of the bag, maybe half a dozen in all, though the bag is large enough to hold many more. They're fairly small, though certainly large enough to contain maybe a small ale bottle. "'Least nothin' ya can get drunk on," is muttered under her breath as Cen fishes out a seventh larger package, this one wrapped carefully with shiny orange and black ribbons in dark yellowish paper. That gets set aside apart from the other things.

X'hil nods, glancing /very/ briefly upwards. "Rest day." he repeats, with a shrug. "Just find Kinseth, he'll send for me if I'm in some office somewhere?" he suggests. Any excuse to get out, huh? "And, no, no, you don't have to call me sir. /Please/ don't. X'hil is fine." he adds, with a slight grimace. With a new job comes very respectful new 'friends', even if it's not actually a change in position, more an affirming of his pre-existing position. Acting Weyrleader was quieter than this. He actually looks disappointed that it isn't booze, but just for a moment. He glances back to Kinseth, and rolls his eyes, before plopping himself down in the sand to watch Cenlia pull the gifts out. The large one is where his attention is drawn, naturally, his eyes widening slightly. Looks nice!

Cenlia snickers a little, "Yeah, figured that's what I'd do," and she glances at the dragon a moment, grinning. After all, big dragons aren't exactly hard to miss! She snickers some more at his answer about being called 'sir', the girl shaking her head and saying, "Guess everybody 'round here's gotta call ya some title or other now," and she glaces back to X'hil, "Congrats, by the way." Though she;s not looking at him anymore as she closes up the bag. Were there still items in there? Possibly. The girl smirks, "Bet a whole load of marks on ya," and then in explanation of the packages, as she indicates the fancy one, "Happy turnday." And Cenlia does smile a bit, "'S for Sir Kinseth." What, X'hil doesn't get a turnday present? Well, maybe there are other packages, but all the rest look fairly plain in comparison.

X'hil sighs, and shakes his head. "Shards. I'm properly respectful, I call folk sir, but… But who do I call sir /now/?" Kinseth, of course. Always Kinseth. But he'd rather not dwell on it, so he focuses on the presents. Bet a lot of marks on Kinseth winning? "I can see that… Lucky Kinseth." He tilts his head at the big package, and the littler ones near it. "Are… Are /all/ of them for Kinseth?" Well, the bronze did have the more recent turnday, X'hil's was a full day earlier. He glances to Kinseth, then laughs. "Uh. Shall I open it? For Kinseth. He'd squish it or shred it if he tried…" With those ginormous claws of his.

Cenlia snorts, "Just so long as y'ain't gone all stuffy, dun think it matters," and she eyes X'hil the way she might eye the shrubbery back in the Xanadu garden. Critically. But then the girl just shrugs, and says with a lopsided grin, "'Course he won. Best getaway dragon on Pern." At the question about the rest of the packages, Cenla laughs, "No, ya wherry. Rest of 'em are for you. Figured I missed yer turnday, but-" the frown that passes over her face is brief, but it it's there and gone, "I owe ya one." She doesn't explain for what, though, picking up the fancy package and holding it out X'hil. Cenlia rolls her eyes, "Yeah, you better open it. Cost me half the marks I won." And considering what's inside… the girl must have won a /lot/ of marks.

X'hil chuckles softly, and shakes his head. "Stuffy? Me? /Never/. Kinseth on the other hand… He /hatched/ stuffy." he notes, with a grin. Kinseth's always 'known' he was destined for greatness. 'I told you so.' is one of his favourite phrases of late. "Owe..? Uh. Don't mention it." Whatever 'it' was. He tries not to look as clueless as he is, and instead focuses on that one big present, taking it as Cenlia holds it out, and starting to tear the wrapping off. He slows considerably at the mention of it costing half her marks, going a little more cautiously, but he's still eager to get it open, to see what's inside, even if it's not for him.

Cenlia smirks just a little, "Can't be all that stuffy. M' little brother still ain't forgot the fright he got the first time.." she still remembers the first booze heist, though the girl is then making a face and grabing one of the larger packages to undo the twine. "Got B'miel to help me with these," indicating the package she's holding, "Even if he's all mopey now, still knows how to make brandycakes." And as she says it, she sets down the package of brandycakes and nabs one for herself. See, can't get drunk on those! The girl is grinning at X'hil, though, watching him unwrap the gift for Kinseth. Inside the fancily-wrapped package are carefully coiled lengths of strong, supple black leather, studded with what might be actual bronze. From the shape and size, it looks to be an attachment for a dragon's straps, meant to clip onto the straps and hold some item or other securely. From the way the clips are made, it might be able to fit nearly any dragon's straps. The craftsmanship is extremely high quality, though how and where /Cenlia/ got ahold of something like it… In any case, what it currently holds are two bottles. Of still-cold peach juice. Cenlia grins, "The drinks're for you. From my da. Told me to tell ya, he ever catches you in his chicken coop, he's gonna stuff eggs so far up yet butt, you'll be thinkin' yer a hen." And yet, the man sends peach juice? Cenlia's got some family, that's for sure.

X'hil tilts his head at the package in Cenlia's hands, momentarily pausing in his. Brandycakes? With brandy? Alcohol type brandy? There's a furtive glance in Kinseth's direction, and then a shrug. He won't say no. Just a piece of cake, right? Right. He blinks a little at Cenlia. "Mopey?" He doesn't really know B'miel, or care to, he's just curious. And then he goes back to carefully pulling the last of the wrapping away. The bronzerider gasps then, blinking at the strap attachment, though that title barely does it justice. He runs his fingers over the leather, and then glances to Kinseth. "Aren't /you/ a spoilt bronze, then? Suppose I'm going to have to get you new straps to match." he notes, though he seems rather cheerful, at least. The drinks give him pause. "Juice?" he asks, glancing again at Kinseth. At Cenlia's father's threat, well, he whips around again to stare at Cenlia. "I, er. And, er, the drinks are from …him?" What's in them? He looks a little wary, now.

Cenlia doesn't miss all those glances back at the dragon, the gardener girl telling Kinseth, "Dun worry, ain't enough booze in anything I brought to get anybody tipsy, let alone drunk." About B'miel, Cenlia does frown a little, "Yeah, his weyrmate up and left or somethin', I dunno," and she shrugs, "Had to bribe him with a bottle of Sunny Orchard just to get him out of his weyr." A bottle she left back in Xanadu. The girl grabs the smallest of the plain packages and tosses it toward X'hil next - this gift is fist-sized and sloppily wrapped. "'S from my cousin Evi, told me t' give it to ya," the girl smirks. And then she nots to the bottles, "Yeah. My da dun't drunk too much booze. He's a beastcrafter." And then she grins at X'hil, "He ain't mad at ya; thought it was funny when I went back home an' told him why we yer jacket was in the chicken coop. My da's alright. 'S my Uncle Cern that's all stuffy." And then she grins at X'hil crookedly, "Y'know, 'cause ya left ya jacket, half the shardin' orchard thinks I tumbled the Istan weyrleader," and she actually laughs, "Seems like half of Xanadu thinks it too," and at that last bit, she wrinkles her nose a little and makes a face.

X'hil carefully sets aside Kinseth's wonderful present, with the bottles still inside, at least for the moment. But he's less suspicious of them now. Partly because of Cenlia's reassurance, okay, mainly because of that, but partly because he has a new gift to be wary of. "Cousin Evi… She's the one that brews that tuber ale?" That they've pinched, twice… The second time with obvious evidence left behind. As the comment about half the orchard — and Xanadu — X'hil blinks, and a blush starts to creep up on his cheeks. "I… They… What?" Now, is that preferable to the orchard labelling him as an ale thief, or not? He can't seem to decide. "But… We… And… Shards." He takes a moment to gather his wits about him. "Don't have to worry about any older brothers, or uncles, coming after me, do I?" A pause.

"/Eledri/ doesn't think that, does he?"

"He," Cenlia smirks, "And yeah, sent that along to ya, 'cause of all the tuber ale we snatched." Another smirk. Well the package is awfully small. It can't contain anything too awful, can it? At the bronzer's blushing, Cenlia starts to laugh, "Yeah, 's what I said." And then the girl seems to consider that last part, muttering, "Nah, ain't like I dun tumbled enough guys back home." But at the mention of Eledri, Cenlia pauses, making a face and muttering, "Shards, dunno.." and if she looks a little worried, perhaps she has reason to be. X'hil, at least, doesn't have to deal with the grumpy computercrafter - there's no way Eledri's coming back to Ista. Hopefully. And anyway, he doesn't own a crossbow. Yet.

X'hil winces. It's the name, it really is. Evi? His brain says 'female'. He can't really explain it. A look flashes across X'hil's face, for just a moment, when Cenlia dismisses his worrying about folk at the orchard coming after him. Tumbled enough..? That's just the protective big brother thing though, right? Right. Has to be. He winces at 'dunno', and turns his attention on the small gift from Evi, Mr. Evi. In the back of his mind, he's making plans, can he /outlaw/ computers from Ista? Does he have that power? It helps that Ista /is/ more traditional in that respect… No, no, bad Weyrleader. Focus on the gift. He's a little hesitant, but he tears the wrapping off anyway.

It's a potato.

X'hil goes very pale. Well, there's /one/ person, besides themselves, who knows what they were really doing in that chicken coop. Funnily enough, that's not much comfort at all. "I… Uh… /Thank/ Evi for me." he mutters, putting the potato aside.

Cenlia can't help but snicker, "Shoulda seen what he gave /me/." But no, she doesn't actually tell him what she got from Evi. Instead, the girl asks, "I ever tell ya why he's gotta hide the tuber ale?" After all, what's some vodka compared to all the brandy that must be lying around Sunny Orchard? They grow /brandy peaches/ after all. Cenlia just grins, handing over another package while helping unwrap one herself. The one she unwraps contains food, by the way. Actual food, not a raw tuber. There were brandycakes and now there are cupcakes. With frosting. Orange frosting. They smell… faintly citrusy actually. Though they seem to have gotten a little smooshed from being in the bag. Still edible though. As for the package held out to X'hil, it looks fairly plain and unassuming. She does wrinkle her nose though and tell X'hil, "Prolly a good idea ya dun go 'round the orchards near South Boll anytime soon," though her voice is almost teasing, "Leastways, not with a weyrleader knot. Otherwise, might find more've those headin' your way," and she indicates the potato with a slight grin. She's probably joking.

X'hil shakes his head slightly. "Why /does/ he have to hide the tuber ale?" Although, perhaps the fact that they grow /brandy peaches/ is a clue. X'hil was a little wary about the brandycakes, but the cupcakes look harmless enough… But not riiight now, as Cenlia is already holding out another package. "Right. South Boll, out." Luckily for him, it's not in Ista's coverage, so he really doesn't have any official call to go there. The offered package is taken, and he pauses, just briefly, before unwrapping it. He glances over at the various cakes again at one point though, just briefly.

Cenlia grins, "Evi used to brew it for everybody after harvest time. But he can't hold his tuber ale soe well. Got drunk once, fell outta one of the old apple trees, an' got caught by his pants." And girl starts snickering, "My Uncle Cern found him hanging there givin' the whole orchard a view! After that, m' uncle said he couldn't ever brew tuber ale again. So Evi's gotta hide his stashes now." And she dissolves into snickering, the incident apparently one of her favorites, as she adds with a smirk, "Even I ain't that bad. When /I/ woke up inna tree with no clothes on, 'least I had the sense not to get /stuck/." Smirk. Cenlia pops the rest of the brandycake she'd been nibbling into her mouth and reaches for the last two packages. It's probably a safe bet that all the cakes have booze in them, somehow. The cupcakes, though, do look fairly harmless (although one taste would probably be enough to notice the rum in the frosting, hah). As for the package Cen handed to the bronzer… it contains actual food-like stuff, not just desert. Is that… jerky? The dried meat has a distinctly ale-like scent, though. Does /everying/ Cenlia brought contain alcohol? Probably. "'S chicken," the gardener girl grins, while unwrapping the last two packages - more pastry! Sweetrolls and another little package of slightly-smooshed cupcakes, these without frosting, though they have a clear, sticky glaze on them. Cenlia beams at all the food, saying, "Took half the shardin' morning to get all this stuff together. Figured was bettern' a bottle of Sunny Orchard."

X'hil laughs. He just… laughs. Kinseth shoots him a look, that's /quite/ unbecoming of him, he should know. Is that /any/ way for a Weyrleader to act? It does seem to help though, as the rider stops laughing, and just shakes his head. "Poor man. Doing him a favour by pinching his ale then, really." Well, sort of. This way Evi won't get caught with it, or get caught drunk on it? That's his logic, anyway. X'hil sniffs the chicken warily, and shoots a /look/ to Kinseth. Oh, the man can /smell/ the ale, definitely. Doesn't stop him taking a bite though, not in the slightest. "Mmm, worth it though, definitely." Yep. Hey, he only gave up /drinking/. Food, on the other hand… He can never say no to good food. And it takes a lot more boozed food to get drunk than it does straight booze, or so he assumes, anyway. Even his dragon-sized appetite has its limits. "Better than a bottle. Much."

"Yup!" Cenlia agrees happily, about doing Evi a favor by snatching his tuber all. She grins broadly, snickering some more, and adding, "Shoulda seen some of the stuff Eled got up to, makes Evrid look /boring/." And she smirks, but then makes a face, grumbling, "'Cept he went off to Landing and turned all stuffy." Grumble grumble. Stuffy, apparently, being her complaint of the day. She gives X'hil a look momentarily, probably worried he might end up the same way, though she's quickly reaching for a sweetroll. Cenlia does grin about the food, nodding to the chicken jerky and saying, "Wanted to bring back some eggs for ya, but they wouldn't've kept. Anyways, happy turnday." And she munches on the sweetroll.

X'hil chuckles softly, and glances to the jerky in his hand. "Ah, that's alright. Got plenty of eggs, anyway." He glances over to a basket half-buried in sand, with Meredith and Elizabeth standing guard. Firelizard eggs? "A wingleader gave 'em to me after… the flight. Still not sure if it was a 'welcome' gift, or a 'take these off my hands, /please/' gift." He doesn't seem at all concerned though, they must not be close to hatching yet. Certainly not a turnday gift, though. He doesn't even think anyone at Ista knows when his turnday /is/. "Mmm, thanks. For all of this, and for dropping by. I… I should be free to visit again, for a while…" Kinseth didn't want to leave before the flight, and all. Of course, he'll be a little stuck once the eggs are laid, again. And, well, the job is a little more long term than he previously thought. He's actually /taking/ his rest days now, whereas he wasn't before. Entire days with not much to do. Perfect time to go visiting.

It's probably a good thing Cenlia hadn't noticed the firelizard eggs till now. The girl lets out an odd little squawking noise and scoots back, eyeing the eggs warily. She has /food/. On a /beach/. With firelizard eggs nearby. "They ain't-" but she peers at the eggs, looking extremely wary. No firelizards are humming. No eggs are /moving/. One could almost see the relief. Her newest firelizard, little gold Bliss, croons from over by the waves where the others are playing. But then Charmer starts a game of tag and all Cen's flits are distracted again. All five of them. Cenlia makes a face, telling X'hil, "Shards, was bad enough in Xanadu." But she does inch toward the food again. After all, X'hil's the one with the meat. Just in case, she stays far away from the jerky. There might be /other/ clutches. Who knows. The girl glances around, as if to check. She mutters a distracted, "Yer welcome," at him, and then glances at X'hil and snorts, "Yeah, sure." Does she believe him about visiting? Absolutely not. Still, Cenlia does smirk a bit, "Just so long as ya don't get drunk." And then she makes a face, "Last bronzerider I went drinkin' with ended up runnin' naked through the weyr." Snicker. Of course, that's not even including the whole mob of streakers the sevenday later. Xanadu may never survive Cenlia, honestly. Maybe Thea really does have something to worry about.

X'hil does mean it, about visiting, really. He promises a lot of things, and other things always get in the way. One of these days, he's going to follow through, and then everyone will be so surprised. "They're still soft. Ages yet before they hatch." he says, jerking a head at the basket. There certainly don't /appear/ to be any more eggs around, but still. "…running… naked…" Blink. Blink blink. He /lowers/ the jerky-holding hand, suddenly not quite so hungry. "I… won't. I promise." And that's a promise he /can/ stick to. And /will/! …More because he's not the sort to go running around naked, drunk or otherwise. He has no problem with nudity itself, but it has its place. And that place is not 'running through the weyr'.

He also promised to teach her how to swim! It's debatable which might be more surprising, that or a flying porcine. Cenlia's still looking wary about the firelizard clutch, though the girl does sigh and nab another cupcake. She nods and waves a hand vaguely, "Was bettern' the first time K'ael got drunk with me. Ended up in 'm bed." She rolls her eyes. But then Cenlia is suddenly frowning and getting to her feet, grabbing that bag she brought with her, which still seems to contain something. Something that clinks very softly and sloshes as she hoists the bag over her shoulder. "I gotta go find somebody," the girl mutters, apparently intending to leave the pastry picnic on the beach entirely for X'hil. "I'll see ya later," she mumbles, not looking at X'hil as she turns and jogs off. What's with her? It's anybody's guess, really. Her five flits swoop off behind the girl as she goes.

X'hil blinks. "In… Bed… K'ael…" he splutters, and then shakes his head. Apparently unable to form proper sentences. « What he /means/ to say is, it was nice seeing you. And we /will/ visit. It'll be good for him. » comes the storm of the bronze's voice, leaving just as quickly as it entered. And then Cenlia is jogging off. X'hil just sort of stares, and absently nibbles on the chicken jerky.

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