Xanadu Weyr - Caverns
A massive cavern in its own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as have walls hung with numerous tapestries that provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckled through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt. The stone is carefully leveled but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.
The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area is the one near the Kitchens, where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. It's plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr, instead feeding people in shifts as they come off duty. On occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are borrowed from all the other areas.
There's also a big fireplace set into the western wall, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.
Exits lead off in all directions, the largest an archway to the northeast that leads outside. Near it there's an alcove with hooks for coats and shelves for muddy boots. A tunnel to the east goes to the infirmary, and a set of stairs just a little south of that lead up to the offices and administration area. To the south, a long and sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs. The kitchen is off to the southwest, while the residents' quarters are reached by tunnels going west, deeper into the cliff.
The smells that waft out of the caverns could lure out the hungriest of beasts! Luckily for those here, Jnelle is not a beast. Not is she quite hungry, but the Galaxy rider does need a bit of sustenance if she plans on finishing the day's tasks without a grumble of a tummy distracting her candlemarks later. And thus, a slim, blond-haired rider traipses indoors, golden locks pulled up and away from her face, riding leathers in place. But instead of making her way to the food, she pauses a few steps past the door, amber eyes scanning table to table with brows lightly furrowed, as if in search of a friend.
Eltanin is not very far from the door either. The only mere difference is that he's leaning against a table, breathing rather heavily. Ok, it's a big difference. After what seems to be a /moment/, the young starcrafter straightens to a more standing position, a bottle of water glued to his mouth. In a blink all the precious liquid disappears and he breathes heavily again, eyes slowly scanning his surrounding to finally lock on the blonde rider. He's maybe pushed himself too hard for this workout. Politely he raises his now empty bottle and offers a smile.
Nope. Nope. Nope. A small, yet exasperated-sounding sigh escapes Jnelle's lips as each table that she glances to fails to hold who she's looking for. If she is, in fact, looking for a particular person. "Ah well," she exhales to herself, lifting both hands to begin to process of letting her hair down, "I can't wi-…oh." Her eyes have come across a heavily-breathing young man, and she watches as the water goes from full to empty in a handful of seconds! An edge of her painted lips faintly quirks upwards, and she lowers her arms before heading towards him. "If I'd have to guess," she says upon nearing a conversational range, "I'd have to say that was the first glass of water you've had all day. Dehydrated much?"
Eltanin finds himself idly fidgeting the bottle as he watches Jnelle comes closer. He's still kinda recovering, the support of the table still needed to keep himself balanced. "Dehydrated, yes. But for just a couple of candlemarks only. I spent too much time indoors and when I'm outside, I don't move much so I decided to…be fit again?" Putting the bottle back on the table, he grins somewhat toothily, extending one hand. "Eltanin. Newest Staracraft's addition to the Weyr." Well, not that new considering it has been a Turn or two but he hasn't met everyone…yet.
"Fitness …. is important," says she, allowing eyes to roam down and up, as if assessing his fitness level. Or lack thereof, depending. "Mm, don't overdo it now, hun," she suggests helpfully. "Number one rule of fitness: Start slow. Slow and steady, you know? It's a general rule for most new things." A smile curves her lips, and soon after do her eyes widen at his introduction. "A starcrafter? Pleasure to meet you, Eltanin," says Jnelle, offering her hand to his outstretched one to clasp. "Jnelle, Galaxy Rider to Kanyeth, who…" she trails, glancing to the door, "is rather keen on meeting you. She and I adore the skies and celestial bodies within them, and if I hadn't already had a general map of life laid out for me," a faint snicker at that, "star crafting might have been an option.
"A pleasure to meet you Jnelle and be sure I will follow your wise advice." replies Eltanin with a large smile. "I think I just got carried away…" he adds, trailing off right after, a small ripple appearing on his forehead as he lifts a brow. Obviously interested. "Stars can provide for all of us. But then, yes, a rider's life is a busy one. Tho, you have something I really envy…." Here he goes again, letting his sentence unachieved to looks at her expression. "You can go to the Yoko in a blink and stargaze from there. Must be quite something to watch." he finally declares, his passion edging the sound of his voice.
A giggle lifts from Jnelle's throat at the mentioning of Yokohama. "Stargaze? I'd refer to it as stardreaming instead. They're so close, oh so close! It's as if you could reach right out from the glass and touch them. It's as if you've lost yourself in a dream up there," she says with a wistful look in her eyes. "Granted, my duties rarely take me so high as that, but Candidacy brought me there turns ago. I've never forgotten." Her smile grows soft, but eventually she snaps herself out of her reverie and reaches a hand for him, grasping lightly at his arm. "Oh you must meet my Kanyeth now. Would you?" she asks with gently elevated brows. "She isn't far. Just out to the clearing, and she'll keep pestering me until she gets what she asks for." She laughs. "She's a little like me in that way, I'm afraid."
Eltanin is suspended to each of her every words, his hands extended as he mimics the reaching for the stars. He's almost as breathless as a couple of minutes ago but for a totally different reasons. To go up there has been one his of dream since he got here. His blue eyes are eagerly mirroring Jnelle's expression and it takes a rather firm shake of his arm to make him lower his mind from these wonderful heights. "Err…you mean…right now? I would love toooo…." the sound turning into a high pitched sound as he's grabbed away.
Jnelle is definitely not against pulling someone against their will! And thus, with a bright grin, she guides him off and out of the Caverns with barely an 'excuse me' to those that they pass! Outside, the spring air is caught somewhere between cool and warm. It's comfortable, and the grasses of the clearing are fresh green. Upon them, a dragon waits. She's a green herself, though where the grasses are the pale color of spring, she is a rich emerald hue with highlights of spring green here and there. She's small, as greens tend to be, but carries herself in a way as elegant as any gold. She waits expectantly for her rider, crooning a greeting upon seeing her depart. "There she is, my Kanyeth," she says in an affectionate way as she guides him towards her lifemate. "Oh, she's full of questions for you, are you ready?"
Eltanin happily trots after the greenrider, a goofy smile on his face. It's the second time today that he's kinda running but this time he doesn't force himself at all. How could he complain? Talking about stars, his favorite subject. As the green beauty is at range, he straightens, bowing slightly. "Kanyeth…" he says, adding a dip of his head. "As ready as I can be. I just hope I will have all the answers she expects…" he mutters for Jnelle as he reaches her side.
"No worries! Luckily, you have me as a filter," laughs Jnelle. "It'll only be my head that's swamped with more questions than can be asked at one time." She grins then waves her hands, as if shushing an invisible crowd. "Ok ok, here we go. Kanyeth says…" She pauses, eyes going momentarily unfocused as she listens to the voice of her lifemate. Kanyeth's eyes swirl with curiosity as she lowers her head far enough to examine Eltanin meanwhile. "Hmmmm…" Jnelle blinks. "Well. A few things. She says you smell awful," she reports with an apologetic look softening her gaze, "and she wants to know why you wish to be fit. She also wonders how often you bathe. But the best question she has is why the sky fascinates you so much."
Eltanin was bracing himself as if he could actually hear all of the laying green Dragon's interrogations. A smile is sent towards Jnelle and as the first question hits him, he coughs. "Err…I'm sorry…I did not have time to…oh…and I try to bathe everyday. I mean showers at the very least." Not that a successful attempt to answer more than one question at a time. But then he's so eager not to disappoint. Jnelle mental support is very much appreciated and he looks at her and her lifemate alternatively. "I try to stay fit to live…longer so I can continue to study and admire stars." Then, as if someone just took control of him, he calms his voice, allowing his eyes to glitter as he answer the best part. "Stars are so like us. They born, live and die, just like us. And for someone who can understands them, they can reveal almost all the mysteries in the universe…"
"Hygiene is important," remarks Jnelle, though it isn't entirely clear if her words are her own or Kanyeth's. "She excuses the funk, as do I if I might add," says she, her grin jestful. Kanyeth remains outwardly quiet. Her attention is on the young man and remains that way throughout as he answers. Her head faintly cants one way, then the next, and eventually a gentle, near-feminine rumble resonates from her chest. "She's intrigued," Jnelle interprets before looking to her lifemate again, sculpted brows gently arching up. "Oh." To Eltanin, "Do you mourn the death of stars as you would the death of human life? Is it your hope to find the answers to the mysteries of our world?"
Eltanin remains silent, his eyes locked on the twirling ones of the emerald crouched lady, as if bewitched completely. He does hear Jnelle's words tho and nods at her first comment. Then, his smile fades a bit, his face darkening somewhat when hearing the last questions. "I do mourn them, yes. But then, we're only admiring dead stars. By the time their bright lights come to us, they've been dead for a long time. But then I believe dead persons, especially beloved ones, continue to live in our hearts just like stars continue to shine across the black coat of the night's sky. So…" and here reappears his smile again. "by learning to understand those sparkling marvels, I hope to discover some more secrets."
Jnelle moves closer to her lifemate, curling her arms around the slender green neck affectionately. "You know much about the stars in the sky," she speaks, arms still around Kanyeth, but eyes now upon Eltanin. "And she can tell that your heart yearns for them with the sort of ache that … few feel. We both can tell that you think deeply, beyond what is presented in front of you. Kanyeth believes that you're destined to be with the stars you feel so deeply for, but you will need help to reach them." Her eyes turn skyward now, assessing the expanse of blue above them and the stars, kept invisible now by the light of the sun. Her lips curve and her arms slide away from the green's neck as she turns to fully face the young man. "The eggs on the sands will need people like you to bond with. People who dream and live largely. People who don't believe that the sky is the limit. Maybe there will be a hatchling who'll fly you to the moons and beyond…if you will accept Kanyeth's offer to stand for this newest Xanadu clutch."
Podom podom podom podom podom is now the sound of Eltanin's racing heart within his chest. At this exact moment he lost track of reality and dream. He's been dreaming this moment and even when his mind was too absorbed by his studies, his heart kept longing to such a day. It's only when he has to swallow that his mind stopped wandering in his fantasies. It is true. Now. "I-I…would be more than honored…." the sound of his voice barely audible in his sore throat as he's so overwhelmed by strong emotions. "I will try to hold the faith you seems to have in me….Kanyeth." A very bright smile is sent Jnelle's way, almost as bright as the stars in his eyes. "I don't know how to thank you…"
Jnelle beams a smile at the acceptance, and she traipses closer to him while presenting a white Candidate's knot, retrieved from a pocket. "Congratulations, Candidate Eltanin!" she says jovially, leaning in to attempt to press a congratulatory kiss to each kiss. Smooch! Smooch! "We're honored to have searched one of Xanadu's own to stand. Now, you know where the Candidate's barracks are, right hun? Pick out a cot for yourself. Hopefully all of the good ones aren't taken already! And the rules, before I forget. Be respectful to everyone. You never know who's watching, besides! No fighting or leaving the Weyr without a rider escort. Drunkenness is frowned upon. Do be careful and don't make the mistake of causing a candidate to be with child." She wrinkles her nose a little. "And on that train of thought, no bedding another candidate in the barracks. Please be discreet about any .. eh, private affairs? The expectations of your apprenticeship still apply." She smiles again now. "Do you have any questions?"
Nod, nod nod nod and nod. Eltanin is now a smiling nodding machine, his hands softly retrieving the new knot as if the most precious thing on Pern. "I shall flawlessly follow the rules, Ma'am." he replies energetically. "For now, no questions come to my mind." oh yes, his rather empty mind in that context. "Be sure I will search for you if I have doubts or concerns. Thanks again for placing your faith in me." he adds a polite and grateful nod at Kanyeth. It's not everyday a Dragon can find possibilities in such a smelly candidate.
"If any do, look for me, hun. Or your Coordinator, whoever that may be this time around," answers Jnelle, stepping back a little. Kanyeth now rises to her feet, giving her wings a stretch and flap before folding them against her sides again. "Good luck!" the greenrider offers, waving to him. "And a bit of advice? Don't let anyone every try to change who you are. There are a lot of Candidates who'll have a lot of opinions of what a Candidate should be. Just remember, you're not trying to impress any one of them. Candidacy is not a popularity contest by any means." She flashes another smile before she and Kanyeth begin to move off. Perhaps an on-the-go snack will suffice what was meant to be a meal for now.