Of Chores and Runners

Xanadu Weyr - Hatching Arena

Large outer doors can be thrown open to allow massive amounts of people into the foyer with ease, the well-lit space both having many thick-paned windows as well as spaced lights along the walls. Smooth tile has carefully been laid on the floor, a variety of orange hues reflecting the pale tan of the walls. Wide areas have been left unadorned - perhaps for future artistic endeavors - on either side of a pair of low, bronze doors which remained closed the majority of the time, as they lead to the sands themselves. Off to the sides are doors to the candidates barracks and the Dragonhealer's annex, and a pair of wide staircases on either side lead upwards to the observation level.

One of the things, if not the main thing, about having a dragon stuck on the sands is the amount of time spent keeping the lifemate company in such heat. Unlike dragons, it gets to a person after awhile. Thankfully it's winter and the air outside is cold. This evening finds Thea standing by the door of the hatching arena, with a block of wood propping it open a few inches to allow a draught of crisp air in. She's leaning against the wall, arms crossed and head resting on the door jam with her eyes closed, the top few buttons of her light shirt undone. Cooling off while being near enough to keep in sight of Seryth over there on the sands with her almost-mature clutch and still be company for her.

With a scheduled day off of chores, Tecoah is a little later than usual leaving the candidate barracks. The Runner turned candidate has a bright green firelizard draped around her neck while a faded blue flutters around her head and chitters in agitation as she shoos him off from landing on her other shoulder, "No, Nuisance. Not right now." She shivers lightly and pulls the light jacket she's wearing a little more closely around her slender shoulders and tosses her curls back again, her hair getting caught up on one of the green's wings. and earning a little squawk from her in protest, "Oh, hush." She winces faintly at the loud noise just below her left ear and reaches up to give an apologetic caress to the lizard's chin. The young woman blinks a couple of times when she sees Thea standing outside of the grounds and offers a faint smile and a little nod of her head as she walks in the direction of the observaion level to get another peek at all the eggs, "Good day." She's polite, but seems a little intimidated by the fact that this woman is the rider of one of the golds who have clutches on the sands at the moment.

Whereas one candidate might be leaving the candidate barracks, another is returning, disheveled, looking dusty, and perhaps a little grumpy. Natali trudges along, her two firelizards swirling in abandoned glee above her. She's headed for the direction of the candidate barracks, but spotting the other girl, and the junior goldrider, the former trader lass-turned-candidate comes to a stop, managing a slight smile as she lifts a hand to wave. "Hello," she says, nodding in greeting. "Did I see you had chores off for the day?" Tecoah is addressed with a slight look of envy before the younger girl glances at Thea. "Is it really hot out there?" she jerks her chin towards the sands.

If anything, the junior looks asleep on her feet as she stands there with heavy lashes lowered, casting shadows under her eyes. It's the sound of the firelizard that has her aware she is not alone, nothing but her eyes move as they open, ice green eyes seeking the source of the sound only to find Tecoah. The young woman is given a warm, if tired and brief smile and a casual, "Hello, ah…" she searches her mind and comes up with a hesitant, "…Tecoah, yes? You were a Candidate a few Turns ago, weren't you?" Footsteps approaching the door has Thea lifting her head from the door jam and taking a half-step back to give whoever is coming room to enter. When she sees it's Natali, her smile returns, "How are you Natali? And yes it really is. Enough to make a person sweat out there." A thoughtful look over her shoulder towards the sands, "You'll be spending some time out there fairly soon, so you'll experience it yourself."

Tecoah gives Natali a little smile and a nod, "Yeah. I guess I got lucky today." She rolls her eyes as her blue finally gets annoying enough that she sighs and reaches out to let him land in her arms, muttering softly to him, "Annoying thing.." That doesn't stop her from cuddling him close and giving him a loving cress. She turns a slightly sheepish expression on the goldrider and nods, "Yes, ma'am, I was. Back when these two were just a few months old." She makes a face and nods in agreement at the comment about how hot the sands are, "It was really bad last time…"

"Lucky you," Natali comments, brushing at some dust and horsehair clinging to her jacket sleeve. "I am looking forward to the day I get a day off. I had to groom runners today. Probably should have switched with Amelia. Bet she would have liked it, and running errands couldn't have been half as .." the trader girl stops, grins and shrugs. "I think runners are ok," she says then, "my father has a really nice mare, and there's a couple of runners in our caravan too. But I'm just not crazy over them, that's all." Thea gets another smile. "I'm good," she says, "aside from having to dodge around some runners when I was brushing them." She regards the sands a moment. "I was a candidate up at Fort Weyr," she comments then, "was wondering if all the sands in all the Weyrs are as hot as that was. Or hotter."

There's a somewhat wistful smile that pulls at Thea's mouth as she watches Tecoah cuddling her firelizard, but it's likely some other thought that tweaks at her since her own brown is crouched in his customary spot behind her neck under the heavy fall of dark hair that nearly cloaks him. "Nearly two Turns ago then. What have you been doing since?" Big Weyr, busy lives, apparently they haven't crossed paths. She uses the fingers of one hand to push the damp hair from her temple, lips twitch with amusement at Natali, "That's an… interesting thought. I have no idea, but I suppose one could gather temperatures to compare them." As for Candidate chores, her take on it is, "Doing different tasks will help prepare you for weyrlinghood, if you Impress. Flexibility and all that." Even so, it's said with a sympathetic grimace.

Tecoah nods, "Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm just glad I haven't actually had to do anything with runners yet." She makes a face at that thought, "They don't really like me all that much…" She shrugs, "Don't really have much contact with them most of the time." Fortunately for her. There's another little shrug, "I've never been a candidate anywhere but here, myself." She looks back over at Thea and shrugs in responce to the question, "Went back to what I was doing before: Running. I've been coming around pretty regular, but I don't usually stay more than a night or two."

Natali grins slightly. "Oh, I get the need for flexibility," she's quick to say to Thea then. "I wasn't too thrilled with how things went back at Fort Weyr with some of the chores I had to do. But I understand that they're supposed to uh .. build character," She lifts her hands, two fingers making the quotations gesture when she says the last two words, and then chuckles ruefully. "That's what one of the other candidates told me anyway. I like runners. I'm just not thrilled about brushing them all the time." The girl pauses, nodding over at Tecoah. "That's gotta be uncomfortable, if you get stuck with a chore you have trouble with. Hopefully you can trade with someone then, if it's something you can't do." She rocks back on her heels a bit, dropping her hands against the small of her back. "Maybe that's something to ask about, if the temperature on the sands at each Weyr is the same."

Mind not that slight coughing from Thea at the mention of runners not liking Tecoah. "They don't like me either," the junior says in a wry, under-her-breath classical example of projection. Her fingers end up tucking her hair behind her ear, offer Shep an absent scritch before she lowers it to tuck in the pocket of her tunic. "Ah, running the trails then, Tecoah? I see. That's likely why I haven't seen you around then." Pale green eyes shift to Natali and once again there is a pleased approval for the girl in them. Sincerely, "Then you're way ahead of the game, aren't you?" A more serious look flickers between the two girls at the mention of trading chores, and she suggests gently, "Or find someone who can help you through it. I know both R'owan and Amelia can help with the runner issues. They've, ah," she coughs, "both worked with me." A quick, small grin curves her lips, a sly afterthought to Natali, "Or visiting all and doing it yourself might make an interesting research project someday."

"It's not that I really have trouble with them, I just don't care for them all that much…" Tecoah shrugs, "I'll deal with it when it comes up, I guess." She quirks a little smile at the quotations on chores 'building character'. She shoots the goldrider an almost surprised look at the low admission, a slow grin pulling at the corners of her mouth, "Glad to know I'm not the only one…" She nods, "Yeah. Not as alone as I used to be, but it's nice to have the time to think." She grows thoughtful at the mention of R'owan and Amelia helping with runner issues and nods, "I might just have to look them up. I don't think I'd really want to have to try to deal with runners on my own." She wrinkles her nose a little, "They're kind of a little bigger than me, you know…" She really is a pretty small person, after all.

Natali gives a wry chuckle, trading a glance between the older candidate and the goldrider for a moment. "It's not really the chores I mind that much," she remarks, "it's just that some of them are really icky, and I fail to see why it really builds character in any way to have to scrub off the stains from someone who couldn't hold their bladder long enough to find .." she pauses, shrugging. "I get why mucking out a runner's stall matters, it's like mucking up after a baby dragon." Same concept almost — they both eat and poop. "But some chores just don't make sense. Maybe…" she looks hopeful, "it's different here." She looks over at the junior weyrwoman then, rather thoughtful. "I might consider that someday."

Thea's response to Tecoah's grin is a dry, "The Weyrsecond doesn't like them, either." Her half smile returns, "But if you're in the stables, look for Rider. He's R'owan's grey. He's very gentle and sweet." And yet, she's never seen in there. Go figure. "Though, dragons are a lot bigger, but I get that… communication with runners can be is a… challenge to learn." She pulls her hand out of her pocket, stoops to pull that block of wood out of the door and allows it to swing shut. As she's rising, she flickers an unreadable glance at Natali and her take on the matter is, "Sometimes doing what is required even when we may not see the point is a discipline that may be applied elsewhere." But this is a discussion for another time, perhaps. The look she gives to both girls is again sympathetic. "It's not easy to jump without question when someone says jump, but someday it may save your life." And with that, she heads off to the sands with an encouraging smile and a soft, "Hang in there."

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