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Xanadu Weyr - Caverns

A massive cavern in it's own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as are the walls where numerous tapestries hang to 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, leveled carefully 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, however, 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. Its plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr and equally plain that on such occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are appropriated from all the other areas.

A big fireplace is set into the wall near the Kitchens as well, 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, a big archway the largest and that leading outside. Shallow stairs to the west lead to the offices and administration area while tunnels to the east lead to the infirmary, kitchen and resident's quarters. Southwards, a sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs and southwest is a wide tunnel, carefully roped off to avoid accidents.

Lunchtime on a cool winter day brings D'son in from his last appointment, sweeping hair badly in need of a cut out of his eyes, to join the as-yet small lunch crowd in the caverns. A brief perusal of the buffet leads to a very full plate and the Weyrleader grabbing a mug of ale to go along with it, settles at a corner table with his meal and his portable computing device to flip through his notes from this morning's meetings.

The problem with weyrlings is that they're stll in that whole learning phase. Including the learning how to fly and how to avoid each other thing. Unfortunately, however, it does take some getting used to, and this morning Niva and Kilaueth have had the luck of keeping a watchful eye on their progress, warning dragons young and old of near collisions brought on by young wings. Thankful to escape the chill, Niva's retreated inside for an early lunch - though for now she settles for a steaming mug of klah - and apparently some Weyrleader torture, as its in D'son's direction that the older woman heads.

D'son pushes a button on his handheld and puts a forkful of tubes in his mouth just as Niva looms at his table and he looks up, swallows quickly. "Morning, Niva," he says cheerily enough. "Join me for lunch?" Because it's still morning for just a little while longer and Dels is usually polite if they're not fighting.

"I'm good." Niva comments as she lifts her mug in response to the lunch inquiry, however she does seem to take him up on the whole joining thing, for she's settling down in the chair next to him, fingers still curled around the mug, thankful for its warmth. Content to sit for a few moments, she watches the gathering group in the caverns before finally asking, "Good meetings?"

"Good, glad to hear it," D'son says with a warm smile for the Weyrwoman now and puts the handheld down, digs up a piece of wherry and swishes it through his tuber mash. "Mostly - there's some uneasiness," the Weyrleader says slowly, "out in some of the smaller, further out holds. You know, the ones we don't get out to as often."

"And that's a perfect example of why goldriders need to be spending their time at the holds, being visible that way and not playing at being search and rescue riders." Niva comments quickly, clearly her patience already worn short by the morning directing draconic traffic. A sip of her klah, and the woman seems to be gathering her thoughts. "And what is the source of this uneasiness?"

"It's not playing, Niva, it's diversifying skills and there's riders of all colors in the diplomatic wing," D'son has to say around that bite of food, reaches for his mug of all to wash it down. "Some of them are feeling unsure about all the volcanic activity. And what it might mean," the Weyrleader says slowly, hazel eyes lifting to find Niva's.

"When Inimeth glows and rises to fly, and not chase… then you can decide what the goldriders can do." Perhaps her tone is a little too sweet, but she's settling into her chair to sip her klah again, smiling smartly. However, at the mention of uneasiness, she merely shakes her head. "I'd be lying if I said they were the only ones."

"Niva —" D'son starts then stops and drops it for now, apparently not wanting to start a public argument over the issue and instead he stuff his face, chews. "Mm. There were a few who ah — wanted to know what we're planning to do about it."

Niva will take victories any way she can get them, including temporary surrenders. Her mug of klah is drained, the empty vessel set upon the table top, eyes once again roaming. That is, until his words have her almost choking, staring at him in shock. "They.. expect us to tell the volcanos to stop erupting?" Eyes look quite as if they're going to pop right out of her head as she just stammers.

More wherry and tubers are munched while Niva's gaze roams and he grins just a little at her reaction. "Some of them are worried about getting buried in burning hot lava, even though none of the mountains around here are going off," D'son explains. "Though one very adamant fellow thought we should get dragons to go collect space rocks and plug up every volcano on Pern." Pause. "I thought about explaining the science behind why that'd be a bad idea, but uh — in the end I just asked him what happens when you plug up a kettle that's steaming. I think I he got the picture." Wry smile. "And um — well, one of them, one of them bought into the warnings. You know. From our … 'friend' and his um, associates. Wanted to know if we're ready for Thread."

"Its not as if the stuff moves exactly fast. A wing of dragons could likely evacuate any of those holds with time to spare, should one of ours start smoking." Niva shakes her head, reaching absently for the mug, sighing and settling it back down as she's reminded of its empty state. "I.. assume you mentioned that our riders will be trained in firestone use?"

"Yeah well you know, people are afraid about what they don't understand a lot of the time," D'son says with a little lift of his shoulders and looks down at his plate. "I mentioned it. In relation to firefighting."

"Send the miners down to explain what they can. Maybe make a big show out of inspecting the area for seismic activity with those whers of theirs - as if to show they can relax." Niva suggests, taking her leave for a moment to refill her klah mug and snag a meatroll before returning. "I.. do hope that its solely for firefighting." Trust the machine, or trust the songs?

"Yeah, that could work - hate to waste people's time though making too big of a deal, though maybe we could do something in groups," D'son says slowly, thoughtfully. While Niva's gone to refill and get a little food, D'son takes advantage of the break in talk to finish off the contents of his plate. "So do I," he says straightforwardly. "I just don't want to give people ideas needlessly."

Janelle makes her way in, one of her rare day-time appearances to the caverns. She's wiping her eyes, and it looks like her hair was hastily pulled back. She heads to collect herself a mug of tea, before blearily glancing around the hall fo ra place to sit.

"I'm sure that the Miners would agree that it would be a valuable training exercise for the whers and wherhandlers alike." Niva offers as she returns, sipping her klah just in time to spot one of said wherhandlers appearing. "A little reassurance can hardly be seen as an idea.." She comments, nodding herhead to D'son, leaving the invitation up to the Weyrleader.

"Good point," D'son concedes and curls his hands around his mug of ale but he shakes his head. "Don't want them to think that we really believe any of that craziness. But … it's a fine line," Dels says slowly and quiets down as Janelle appears, his shoulders lift. Sure. Why not. It's a small table though over there a little out of the way.

Janelle , hearing mention of the wherhandlers and their bonds, quietly gravitates towards the weyr leadership, appearing to simply watch those going on about their business. She closes her eyes, while taking a sip of her tea, slow breath filters through parted lips.

"Do you really not believe any of it. /Really/?" Niva asks, a little skeptical, it seems, as she glances back at Janelle. "How is the training of the whers going, Wherhandler?" She asks in greeting, tone pleasant enough even as she nods the girl to the empty seat at the small table. "Are you confident in their abilities?"

Clearing his throat, D'son looks around the cavern quickly and shoots Niva a meaningful look, then sits up a little straighter as Janelle nears. "Hey there," he greets her a little informally and takes a sip or two from his mug while Niva asks the questions.

Janelle draws her attention to the small table directly as she is addressed, trying hard to look surprised, but passing more as simply tired. She grins a little, though, noddin just a touch. "They have come quite some distance in their training, Weyrwoman," comes her voice, quiet and reserved. The answer is, of course, meant for both of them, and she adds, "Greetings, Weyrleader." just as quietly. "There has been a testing course that we have been building out in the forest for training purposes." Well, Hyrlon built it, she's just helped with some ideas.

"And in the mines? They've been learning to identify strong points and weak points?" Niva's gaze darts briefly to D'son, before returning to Janelle. "And, have they been.. integrated enough to work calmly amidst strangers?" Its certainly an odd chain of questions, though slow enough coming to allow Janelle to sip at her tea, even as Niva sips at her klah.

Listening to the thread of questions, D'son's mouth pulls to the side for a moment. "Training course, nice. Hands on, good idea," the Weyrleader remarks lightly. He looks over at Janelle though with interest for the answer to that last.
Janelle nods some, "Weak points, bad air, search and rescue.. I know Jansk and Hysk work well around strangers.. it's most often the strangers that are less comfortable." For now, at least. "That is something I hope to change in the near future, as well, however."

"Provided Journeyman Satoris and the others are in agreement, then, I believe D'son and I will be arranging a hands on exercise for you and the other wherhandlers. In the meanwhile, I'd get them used to their transport carriers, and if you have a rider to spare the time, lifting them and resettling them." Niva punctuates her statement with a nod, before glancing sidelong at D'son as she stands, inclining her head. "I need to get back to keeping an eye on the skies." Darn Weyrlings. "Keep training hard, Wherhandler." She offers, a nod to both in fairwell before she's headed back outside to the chilly air.

"Mm, out in the holds, to help educate some people," D'son tells Janelle further. "So it'll be a good exercise in um, you know getting people used to them too," deep breath, eyes up to the Weyrwoman. "Thanks for the suggestions, Niva. Inimeth will join Kilaueth in a moment to help."

Janelle bows her head low, as the Weyrwoman rises. "Well met, Ma'am. We continue to work as we can, to best prepare ourselves and our whers for whatever the populace may need." she nods a little towards D'son, as well, "I have bee naranging a class or few for the children of the weyr, and their parents, as well. It's not just the cotholds, that have folks scared of our bonds." This topic, apparantly, warms her some, and just a touch of the shyness seems to fade a bit.

If anything actually, D'son looks a little disconcerted by Janelle's formality and the fancier way of speaking. He nods at her though, one hand lifting to the back of his neck. "Sounds like a good plan then."

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