Focus Balls

Xanadu Weyr - Meadow
A large, slightly rolling meadow is set high enough above the riverbank on both sides to avoid suffering from flooding, healthy ground cover and grass spreading out from either side of the dividing river. Scattered amongst the meadow are a variety of weyrs, each with a narrow path leading up to it from a main, winding road. Some are set under a few trees, while others sit by themselves. The meadow continues with gentle rolls and dips, grass tall and short waving in the slightest of breezes, and eventually those hills grow higher and steeper, ending in a large rige that provides a fine view of that meadow and the rest of the Weyr, gazing out over the multicolored roofs of the houses and the cliff that holds the caverns.
Runner stables with the paddock beyond are to the south beyond the meadow weyrs, and a smithy and a woodcraft shop are settled closer in towards the path to the clearing. Trees border the northern side of the meadow, and more of those low, rolling hills can be seen to the northwest. A road passes through the meadow, coming from the east and used by traders and crafters alike. Wagons laden with felled trees from the forests or ore from the mountains are hauled by burden beast up the road through the meadow, over the bridge spanning the river to be processed in the appropriate workshops.

Early spring. It's both warm and cool at the same time, depending on if you're standing in sunlight or shade. The meadow grasses are new and green, budded here and there with flowers. The meadows tend to be a busy place due to the amount of weyrs and businesses that are scattered throughout it. Today is no exception. A few runners are being led out from the stables, harnessed and ready for work. A newly arrived apprentice heads out of the craft complex, lugging behind him a bag that looks twice his size. Children play. Citizens go about their everyday business. And Ka'el is walking with his eyes set forward, but it's questionable whether or not the Weyrleader is really seeing what's in front of him. He looks a little dazed. Deep in thought. In the palm of a hand he holds two small metallic spheres which he rotates 'round and 'round along his fingers.

Spring is here! And with it brings warmer weather, well, warmer compared to the blustery winds of winter anyway. Kaitro is out and dressed lightly even for the still coolness of the darker shaded areas, but he doesn't seem to mind too much. There's work to be done, and it's certainly not going to do it by itself. Instead of being in the kitchens, the candidate is busying himself with helping out in the medow prepairing for the warmer seasons. He pauses briefly to run a hand over his forehead, wiping off the sweat that has gathered there, his eyes flickering breifly upon Ka'el. "Good morning, Ka'ael!" Kaito calls out cheerfully, lifting an arm enthusiastically in order to greet the bronzerider. And then curiosity flickers within the candidate's face as he eyes the metallic spheres, deciding it needs a closer look, Kai abandons whatever it was that he was doing to get a closer look. "What're those?" A finger lifts to point at the spheres.

Ka'el is snapped out of his thoughts by the sound of his name. Good thing too, for the Weyrleader was on a crash-course towards the arse of a runner! … And what a tale that would've been, yikes. "Woah," he says, taking a step back, barely avoiding the swish of a black tail. Smirking, he sidesteps the animal and its handler, eyes turning to the familiar young face of one of the kitchen assistants. "Afternoon, Kaitro," he says, the orbs in his hand still being twirled round, seemingly without thought. "How are…?" He pauses at the question, raising his brows as he glances to his hand. "Oh, these? Heh," he stops rotating them, offering them to him. "I don't know what they're called, but they're useful for thinking. For me, anyway. My hands have a difficult time being still, and they help focus them…and that helps focus me. But," he smirks, "somehow, the thought of calling them Focus Balls seems … unwise. Heh. How are you?"

There's a little wince as Kaitro almost witnesses the demise of the weyrleader, or at least a swift kick from a pair of some nasty hooves. He's about to pull the weyrleader out of the path of the runner, a hand lifting out to grab the bronzer, but thankfully Ka'el stops just in the nick of time! Kaitro lets out a little relieved sigh, his hand dropping to fall by his side. "You sure you're alright there, sir? You seem…distracted." For the lack of a better word, anyway. The balls twirling in the weyrleader's hand earn another thoughtful glance, tilting his head to the side as he steps forward to lean over the outstretched hand, peer. "Focus balls? Why not…thinking orbs? Or…meditation orbs? Those sound a bit better than focus balls. Maybe they help you too well to focus on what you're thinking of, 'cause you nearly had a run-in there."

"That would be the best word to describe my current state, yeah," says Ka'el with a nod. "Distracted. Very much distracted." He smirks a bit, watching as Kaitro inspects the objects in his hands. "Thinking orbs?" he echoes, intrigued. And meditation orbs sound even better! His brows raise fractionally, and after a second, he laughs, nodding. "Both of those do sound rather fitting, don't they? Far less questionable than focus balls." He chuckles, curling his fingers around the smooth curves again. "Meditation orbs…yes. Thank you, Kaitro. But…now that I think of it, you're to blame for my distraction in the first place!" he laughs. Then, as an explanation, "Congratulations on your candidacy, Candidate."

"Well, why are you so distracted? Is there something on your mind?" Kaitro blinks as he steps back, allowing the bronzer a bit more room now that he's done investigating the orbs, fingers drumming thoughtfully against his arms. "I thought they sounded better than focus balls anyway. I might be convinced to even let you use them!" There's quiet laughter as a silly smile flits over the youth's lips, moving to stuff his hands into his pockets with a confused blink. "What do you mean I'm the cause for your distraction? What did I do? I haven't done anything special…but thank you all the same sir. It kind of came out of left field…I wasn't expecting to be searched. I mean, shards knows how long I've been here at the weyr. I'm excited though! It'll be nice to actually /watch/ a hatching for a change instead of spending my whole sharding time cooking up the hatching feast, that's at least something I can take away from this if nothing else!"

Ka'el chuckles. "Candidates always are cause for a distracted Weyrleader's mind. There's much to prepare for, even before the hatching. Wing placement considerations. Who needs to be shuffled, if anyone, to accommodate a new rider? Who would make a good mentor. What new dragon tack needs to be secured in the next months. Straps. Leathers. An increased supply of dragon oils for the hatchlings… Ah, and the scheduling of inspection for the Weyrling barracks to be done sooner rather than later," he says, snapping his fingers. He knew he was forgetting something! He smirks gently at him. "Search always seems to come at the most unexpected moment. Searchdragons are unpredictable, to say the least. Have you moved in already?" he asks, pocketing his metallic orbs as the question is asked.

Kaitro tilts his head slightly to the side as the weyrleader lists all the possible things that needs to be done before the end of the hatching and winces, "I'm sorry you have to do all of this work, sir, but surely you can't do all of it until you know just what colors there'll be? I mean, it's hard to know just how big to make the straps, and who to move before we know the colors." A hand rubs at the back of his head, frowning thoughtfully. "And same goes for mentors, I mean, you could get someone who doesn't know a whole lot about dragons and they'd need someone more patient, or someone who knows a lot but is a bit lacking in some areas?" There's a little nod of his head, "Ididn't think I would be, but I'm thankful all the same. It'll be nice to actually watch the hatching this turn rather than spend all my time in the kitchens cooking, and for that I'm gratefu. I've finished moving in, should be set to go now, I think."

"Not necessarily," answers the Weyrleader, thoughtfully. "Straps generally are made with a 'big, medium, small' range in mind. True, it's impossible to know the final size of your lifemate," he agrees with a nod, "But generally, one knows greens will be small, golds large, and the others inbetween that. Straps are adjustable." He smiles. "And the color of one's lifemate doesn't impact where one may be tapped…heh, unless one ends up on a gold. That's a given, of course." Another grin, and he nods his head, gesturing down the foot-beaten path. "Walk with me?" he invites as he begins to move along again, rolling those newly dubbed meditation orbs. "I know my riders pretty well. There are some that I already know will make good mentors to a Weyrling. I try to match personalities, not necessarily dragon color. Though at times, that's considered too." He smirks at him. "Have you met many of the other Candidates? From my records, you were one of the first searched."

Kaitro tilts his head to the side, hands stuffed idly in his pockets. "I suppose that's true enough," He murmurs, his attention slowly turning towards the meadow in thought for a moment before nodding his head in agreement. "I know most straps are adjustable, but with the way the weyrlings grow after they first hatch, it's a wonder you guys still have straps after they're fully grown!" Quiet laughter erupts from the youth, an amused smile flickering at his lips as he moves to join Ka'el on the path, keeping up with the weyrleader easily and falling into step. "You'd have to know them pretty well, I mean, you're the weyrleader and all. Times may not be as rough as they were way back when when thread fell, but it's still important to make sure everything runs well." There's a little nod to his head, thought flickering across his face. "Well, they aren't a stuck-up lot from what I've seen, most of 'em seem pretty nice, and others I'm not sure I'll get along with. But, time will tell, won't it? I mean, I'm here more for the experience, and I figure, I'd be doing the same stuff anyway even if I wasn't a candidate. At least this time I actually get to stand!"

Ka'el nods his head understandably as the young man speaks of Candidacy thus far. "Sounds about right," he says with a smirk. "And I don't think those searchdragons are quite done yet. Seems like every day, there's a new Candidate report on my desk. Which is good," he adds, grinning. "There are a lot of eggs on the sands, besides. This is your first Candidacy?" he assumes, looking at him with raised brows. "My advice to you is to enjoy it. You'll make friends that'll last a lifetime. And even if you come across those few that you'd rather not associate with after this, you'll have experiences you'll never forget." He smirks a little now. "Tell me, how did it happen? Your searching?"

Kaitro smiles happily, a contented look settling over the young man's face as he walks besides the weyrleader. He turns his head to give Ka'el his full attention, a brow slowly rising upon his forehead. "Oh yeah! Seems like every day there's some new person in a cot or getting dragged in by the search riders. I remember all too well last turn how hectic it was those first few sevendays with everyone arriving all chaotically, but I suppose that happens every cycle! I don't know how you all manage it." Kaitro shakes his head slowly, grinning. "Ah, they can all be grumpybutts as far as I care, I'm gonna have a good time and enjoy myself, as much as I can anyway." As for the question about his search, he wrinkles his nose slightly. "S'ai searched me, can't say I'm sure about how I feel about that, with how much C'rus thinks about him. Not sure I trust the guy, and he's the clutchsire to boot. Anyway, we were talking about stuff and about chores and about what I do. Next thing I know they're doing that wierd rider thing you lot all do and I'm getting a knot thrust at me."

"That's a good outlook to have going in," commends Ka'el. "Positive. The more positive one is, the better the time will be. Even chores can be bearable if you've the right mindset. … Heh, sometimes, they can even be fun." And that's not just crazy talk! … Even though it may sound like nothing but that. He nods at the news that S'ai was the one who sought him, brows lifting a bit at the seemingly random mentioning of C'rus. "I've yet to speak more than a few passing words to him," he notes. "Though…luckily, the focus is the eggs and not the clutchfather or his rider. Your interactions with him may be slight going forward." Or not, depending! The mentioning of 'that weird rider thing' does get him laughing, and he nods his head knowingly. "The glazed-over look? Yes. May I ask what made you accept the knot? Have you thought of riding before?"

"I try to stay positive in all things. I don't see what the point is on having a negative outlook or being serious all the time, it just spoils everyone's fun, including my own. Hell, I simply enjoy life, and life is a wonderful thing to have. You gotta make the most of it, right?" Right, Kaitro gives a little nod to himself. "I may be biased, but C'rus and I are buddies. He's been visiting here a lot since he's sweet on Kera. I even made them dinner the other night since I'm such a wonderful guy!" Kai laughs loudly at that, amusement flickering in his eyes. "They're quite a pair. I'm not counting my eggs before they hatch, but I'll hold my opinions till I get to know the guy better. But again, I'm biased. I like C'rus, and C'rus doesn't like S'ai." A little roll of his shoulders and amusement flickers into his face. "Oh, yeah, but it was more like a…one-sided conversation and I only got bits and pieces of what the shards they were talking about. As for why I accepted, well, why not? What else am I gonna do during candidacy except all the things the candidates normally do. And besides, it's something new, something exciting, something I hadn't done before. I want to experience all things, and candidacy is not something I've experienced before. So of course I'm gonna say yes."

Ka'el chuckles and nods at the commentary regarding C'rus and S'ai, his own opinions withheld. That is, if he had an opinion to begin with! "So, you'd make dinner for C'rus and Kera yet have never offered to make dinner for your own Weyrleader and Weyrwoman?" he says, giving him a sidelong look that's supposed to be a frown, but he can't hold it for long and a grin soon ruins his act. "Ah, I see how it is. I'll remember that when it's time to start divvying chores!" He laughs teasingly, tossing the young man a wink. "And heh, asking why a Candidate has accepted a knot seems like a simple question, but it's a bit more involved than it seems. Candidacy is a bit more involved that it appears. Some candidates fail to think of the larger picture. Some will accept because it's something different and new, but they don't think past Candidacy. What if they impress? Life changes .. in ways you'd never dream. Suddenly, it isn't just about your wants anymore. Your dreams may have to be put on hold for your lifemate. You may find yourself on a path you've never imagined for yourself It's … a lot, but it's worth it."

"Hey, you didn't want one! And it was Kera's turnday that day, so I thought I'd make them dinner. If you and Soriana want a special dinner next time you two are out on a date, you just let me know and I'll cook you up something special!" Because Kaitro is a nice guy like that. He sticks out his tongue, laughing cheerfully at the weyrleader. "Well, I figure, if I do end up impressing then it was meant to be, right? I mean, dragons don't just choose anyone all willy-nilly like. If I'm chosen, it's because it's something I can handle. And that'd be new and exciting as well. And if I don't? Well, I reckon I'll go into the bakercraft like I should've done turns ago. It's about time I get my heads out of the clouds and do something productive for a change."

Her turnday? Well that makes sense! And Ka'el, briefly, looks guilty at the news of the day's coming and passing. His meditation orbs are pocketed, and his now-free hand is rubbed against his face. "I've to remember to send her something," he says, making a mental note, which will likely become a written note since mental things tend to be easily forgotten! "There are many theories of how dragons choose their lifemates, and although no one will ever know for sure…I agree with you. It don't think it's accidental or happenchance. " He grins. "And who knows? If you do impress, you may impress a dragon who is fond of food, and the two of you could pursue bakercraft together." Imagine! A dragon with an extra-large chef's hat. He smirks, then nods toward the clearing. "I'm afraid the office is calling me back to the depths of paperwork, but I'm sure we'll run into each other quite often in these next few months."

Kaitro grins, "Well, I could remind you if you forget, but it was a while back ago, before candidacy started. Might make you look bad giving her one now, but I'm sure she'd appreciate the sentiment all the same." Kaitro beams happily giving a little roll of his shoulders as the talk returns to dragons again. "Faranth knows I'm not an expert about dragons, but I don't think they'd choose someone stupid that can't take care of 'em. They wouldn't be worth it later when push comes to shove. I'm sure you'll have more than one capable weyrling when all's said and done." And then the image of a dragon with a chef's hat has him laughing. "Hey, c'mon I have other interests, I just happen to enjoy cooking. But it was nice chatting with you, Ka'el. See you later."

"And cooking is a grand interest to have!" agrees Ka'el. "Especially when it's done for me. I like cakes and pies," he says with a grin while making another mental note to possibly…not mention Kera's turnday after all, as it was apparently sevens ago! Yikes. "Good luck during your Candidacy, Kaitro. Keep your positive attitude up and I'm sure you'll go far, whether or not you Impress." He smiles to him and dips his head in gesture of departure. "Have a good rest of your day. Enjoy the peace while you can!" Faranth knows once those barracks get full, a 'quiet night' will be things of the past! He waves before continuing on towards the Caverns and offices beyond them.

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