All This For A Cookie
kitchen.jpg


Xanadu Weyr - Kitchens
As you enter this room from outside, good smells assail you from everywhere. State of the art equipment has been brought in from the various crafts to be used - stoves and large ovens replacing the 2 hearths that used to be in here. Three baking ovens are usually going full bore 12 hours of the day, while the nighttime hours bring the smaller stove beside the door to the main hall into use. This is where you find late night meals of stew and soup simmering in pots, and pitchers of klah and tea in their electric units to be kept warm. Large windows take up the entire of the western wall, generally open wide to the mountainous landscape beyond allowing the cool breezes in to keep the kitchen's temperature to a desirable level. Tables, cabinets, and counters take up the remaining spaces and walls. It is here the majority of the work is done, and spices, herbs, and other foodstuffs found.
Beside the night hearth in the southern wall is the door that leads out into the living cavern.


Ka'el is hungry. Usually not a problem, especially for a Weyrleader. But when it's late and the kitchens have closed for the night and all one had to fill one's belly was a rather unfilling chunk of bread snagged on the way from caverns to office. See, this is why he needs an assistant. Someone to remind him to do things like eat instead of allowing time to run away from him. Sooo now it's dark outside and he'd usually be home lounging or playing with Alloy or hanging out with Kanekith or making out with someone (Sori) but instead he's pretending to know how to cook. Granted, "cook" is a stretch. He's reheating. Leg of lamb slathered in some sort of gravy he didn't want cold and tubers are in the oven, set high ish because .. pft, who wants to wait? But he has to wait because such things don't get heated immediately, and he's had the grand idea of making something sweet! He's made cookies once. Like … almost a turn ago. But he remembers the basics. He needs flour. And he has some. All over the counter because the bag tipped over and made a mess that he's trying to clean up but in the process is making a bigger mess. Sh. Ards.

Who put the Weyrleader on bread and water? And what did he do to deserve it? These are important questions, and ones to which Soriana… doesn't know the answers. In fact, she doesn't even know Ka'el is here when she arrives. Nope, she's just coming by because it's the end of the day and she finally (FINALLY!) managed to escape from the Annex. If that blue's rider keeps aggravating his dragon like that… sigh. Something sweet? That sounds like a fabulous idea. It's kind of why she agreed to bring the klahpot back. Because… maybe she could trade it for leftovers. And it's not like it's not on her way, ish. Besides, she could use a soak, because she had to do a lot of weird stretching for that brown with the awkward rash. So… empty klahpot in hand, she enters the kitchen, heading back toward the… cloud of flour puffing up out of nowhere. "Uh." Is it a ghost?

The ghost of the kitchens! Ka'el isn't even sure how he got into this mess. The flour attacked him. The flour continues to attack him as it gets on his everything. His shirt. His pants. It salts his hair. And all he's trying to do is use his hand to sweep it up into a pile on the counter. Cook is going to kill him! -.-;; But if he gets it cleaned up enough, no one will ever kno- uh? oh! Uh-oh! Caught! He freezes at the humanesque sound, holding himself still because obviously that renders him invisible. >.> <.< Okay, maybe not. "I can explain.." he says without bothering to look and see just who he's about to explain to. "I was goin' to make a cookie.." Yes. One. "And then suddenly…the wind.." The inexplicable wind from nowhere! "It ravaged through, and it was all I could do to save the pots. The flour was sacrificed.."

Old man Ka'el with his hair gone white! Also his shirt. And his face. And… most of the rest of him. Invisible? Yeah not so much. Maybe if he was in a blizzard? Only, then it'd be the blizzard making him invisible. But if he was covered in either more flour, and in front of a white sheet, then maybe he'd be close enough to invisible. Maybe. But oh! He can explain. This should be good, and Soriana drifts closer. Like a leaf on the wind, except the wind isn't here… anymore. "Was it one of those windstorms with… flying… shards that would eat the pots? Like, anti-thread?" That'd leave organic material untouched but eat metal and stone. Because that's completely a thing, right? Her tone's mostly amused. Mostly. A little bit with the seriously? thing, but more with the amused, and she keeps crossing the kitchen until she can set the empty pot down where it belongs with the dishes.

Oh wait. That voice sounds awfully familiar. And thankfully, it's not the annoyed tone of the kitchen staff! Phew. Ka'el can breathe a little easier (maybe), and he turns to grin at Soriana. A lopsided, flour-streaked grin. "I'm glad you know what I mean. It was the anti-thread. I've read about it in books, and ith asn't been seen in turns and turns. Was afraid it's been .. forgotten with time or somethin'." The anti-thread did it! He gives his hands a wipe on his trousers, realizing a millisecond too late that that probably wasn't the best of ideas. He makes a face at the smudges left behind. This was an utter fail! But the food in the oven may not be, if he ever remembers that its there. Distractions, distractions. "Sooo … I'm makin' a cookie… This is just a minor setback." He eyes the floury counter. Finger streaks looking like trails left in snow. "..A medium setback. What are you doing here?"

Hopefully Ka'el won't breathe in too much flour, because that doesn't much seem like it'd make things easy. More like… coughing. Soriana grins back, just as lopsided but significantly less floured. "We'll have to warn everyone." About the anti-thread. "Send out the alarms. Rouse the Weyrs." None of which she actually does, but hey, at least now they know what's to blame for this minor disaster. Which will hopefully remain a minor one. Or at least no worse than medium, and Soriana snorts a brief chuckle for that change of scale. "Only one cookie?" she asks, and puts on the disappointed face. Just for a moment, then she grins again. "Better make it a big one." She eyes the counter again. "They should make more of those. So there's some left." So Weyrleaders don't have to go about making their own. "I could go for one." Which is apparently why she's here?

"It was going to be a large one," assures Ka'el, who wrinkles his nose at his own use of a past tense verb. Was? Darn it, he still wants a cookie! "It will be a large one," he amends, sounding far more sure now than he did before. There shall be cookies! Or…er, one extra large cookie. There's probably a much easier way to get what he wants. Like…for instance, finding some late night drudge to scour the taverns for any leftovers? Demanding someone make a batch especially for him? But then he wouldn't have the opportunity to impress Soriana with his baking prowess! Because baking cookies surely is what gets girls going, right? Right! And so he gets an egg. And some sugar. And does he need butter? … Can't remember. He gets some of that too just in case and sets it all down on the counter. And he gets to measuring (sort of) and dumping things into bowls. "Find a spice you like. Cinnamon? We'll make the ultimate cookie. I like raisin bits in mine." Operation cookie is a go! Meanwhile, operation food warming has been going. And probably should be stopping. But that meaty aroma in the air? Probably residual foodstuff from dinner, yes?

Never mind that the extra size will make it bake differently. Soriana is no chef! But she has seen large cookies, at gathers and parties and such. They look… mmm, cookie-like, and she likes that! So she grins. "Okay. I get half." Of this large cookie. Maybe she should have waited to see if it was edible first? But, eh. She goes to grab a bowl and brush the extra flour into it. Because cleaning! Only, it's pretty well clean flour, so she's not going to just toss it out, so instead… she sets the bowl of extra flour aside. There'll be a baker who knows what to do with it! She hopes so, anyway. "Raisin bits are good," she agrees, and goes to look through the spices for something else good. Oh, there's some raisins. And… huh, here's some other berry-type bits. Those'll go well with raisins, right? So she'll get those too. The meaty aroma? Yeah, must be from dinner. There's been a faint scent like that ever since she got here. But, spices, hmmm. "Cinnamon's good. So's ginger." Now she just has to find where they're kept. This bottle of red stuff is… "…red pepper." Good thing she didn't just grab it and go!

Oooh yeah. This is going to be one good cookie! Dried grapes and other fruits in there are going to make it sweet (because I forgot there's no such thing as sugar here, whatevs!) and the cinnamon will make it cinnamony and the ginger will bring with it the memories of gathers in wintertime, and the red pepper will… Wait. He makes a face, then laughs. "Sabotagin' me, are you?" Ka'el says, giving her a mock glare even though it's obvious that the pepper isn't being added to their random concoction of yummyness. He uses a wooden spoon to stirr and eventually adds a little more flour from that bowl because it's looking a bit too liquidy. What was that about measuring? "Wasn't the cinnamon and stuff up in a cabinent somewhere?" he says oh so helpfully, not sure at all if that's where the spices lie. Sounds legit though, doesn't it? Another legitimate sound is the sound of ovine grease dripping onto the heating unit of the electric oven, sizzling behind a closed oven door. Tss!…Tss! Fizzle. He probably should've set that leg of lamb on something to catch all those drippings. But…well, he wasn't exactly planning on leaving it in there as long, either.

There's sugar! Just no honey. But there's plants that make for sweetness. Because, well, plants do that, and the farmers and bakers have various processes to get it out, ones that Soriana doesn't know because… uh… why should she care? She just eats it! Sabotage, what? "Noooo. Besides, aren't you a master cooker-er?" Not a baker. Nope. He can't pretend to that rank without having it. Cookering, though? Ka'el can totally be one of those. Soriana hmmms, dropping off the fruit and going to look for those spices. "Yeah, like… near the…" Uh. The bakers got it out for them last time. This time? "Somewhere." Maybe over in this end of the kitchen, the one that's kinda away from the ovens and where she's opening and closing cabinets and moving bottles around and totally making thumping and clinking noises that - combined with the thud of the spoon as it stirs - muffle those sizzling noises from the oven as the ovine roasts and… over-roasts.

Totally somewhere. Ka'el has confidence that Soriana will find their spices, because without cinnamon and ginger…well. It'll probably still be a tasty cookie, but without that cinnamon flavor to it! A minute of stirring gets boring, and thus Ka'el abandons his bowl to follow after Soriana to help with the searching. (Not really) He's actually only following her so that he can mess with her as she searches. Poking at her side and then recoiling. Poking at her back, then recoiling. That playful 'I'm going to bother and annoy and get in your way' flirty move that boys never quite grow out of because…well, they're boys and boys can be silly and immature yet still pull off "endearing" in their childishness. Even as food overcooks and grease falls and sizzles and burns and smoke gathers inside the oven and begins to leak out from the cracks. And that aroma of meat is soon overpowered by the aroma of burning that tingles the nose and grows stronger rather quickly because that grease? It can be flammable, especially when coupled with electricity. And another drip causes a spark, and a spark, a flame. .. Um. Who wanted their ovine super well done?

But it'll be a taste without ginger! It's like a day without rain, which is really not so bad a thing as it'd seem from how some people talk about it. It'd just be… a cookie. Or not getting wet on the way to work and back. Not so terrible. Soriana pokes through another cabinet - nope, not unless they want little measuring bowls and Ka'el already 'measured' the ingredients - then… is poked. And poked again. And… she elbows back at him. Not actually trying to drive it into him, but… poking. Because he's poking. And - "Eeha!" Because that spot was ticklish, and she squirms, and maybe flails a bit more than she meant to as she turns around and mock-glares at him. The oven? Oh, yeah, it's smoking pretty good. Ovine grease is practically the stuff they make candles out of. It just needs something to encourage it to sputter and burn. Guess what? The heating coil of an oven is really good at that. It's like it's designed for the purpose or something! But usually the fat would be purified before turning into a candle, so it wouldn't be quite so… black and sooty and bad-smelling.

Ka'el mwuaha, he found one of her spots. A ticklish spot! The grin on his face is devious now, and although his thoughts of cookie-making don't go forgotten, they are momentarily put on a back burner in favor of a little finger torture. "What was that?" he teases, his grin broad. "I thought I heard you say somethin'…" Like a squeak or a laugh! He's willing to find off more elbows in order to attack her again, and he's just loooooking for a good opening to get to her ribs. Mwuaha! He reaches again, aiming to wiggle fingers against her side for optimum giggle. But .. huh. Sniff sniff. Something's not quite smelling right. Actually, scratch that. Something downright stinks. Like burning something or another. Burning anything is already a yuck sort of smell, and Ka'el's grin fades as his nose gets a big wiff of that. Hmm…Sori? No, of course it's not Sori! It's that oven that he totally forgot about, that he's totally not paying attention to. That's totally getting dripped on places that aren't meant to be dripped with things inside that are starting to be devoured in heat! That oven better start saying its prayers..

The back burner? It's more like the bottom burner. Or, well, heating coil, that curls in on itself - hey, Soriana does that too, what with the squirming she does as a result of Ka'el tickling her - buuuut… he stops, and as she straightens up and takes a big breath, she gets a big whiff of stinky nose-wrinkling smoke. "…ugh." It's not a comment on Ka'el. It's also not a squeak. Or a laugh. More an… unhappy noise of unhappiness. "What did you… even…" do? Cook? Anti-cook? Is this the flour? … it'd better not be, because if that flame reaches the flour still in the air, it might explode. So far, it's just the smoke, the oven's heating coils getting coated in grease and burning it off into that unpleasant flame as the ovine leg chars on the rack above, but… Soriana casts eyes about the room. There! It's that one. The one with smoke pouring out. "Uhhh-" she starts that way! To do… something.

"Huh?" He didn't…. "oh shit!" Yes he did! He did do somsething like a long time ago which was put some meat in there to warm up because he was hungry but then he wanted a cookie and he forgot and now there's smoke and the Weyr's on fire!! .. Ok. So the entire Weyr's not on fire, but it sure is getting smokey in here, and that's with the oven door closed! And the oven door is looking a lot like a dragon's mouth, ready to flame. There already are flames behind it, hence the smoke that's a little more dramatic than your usual 'oh yeah so I burned something' type smoke. He leaps into action a second after Soriana, eyes wide and staring at that oven that's not quite exploded, yet doesn't look very inviting either. "Shit shit!" What does he do? Was there a class on that? Safety lesson, 101! What did they learn about fires other than 'don't panic' when one happens? Grab a towel! Yes, that'll be productive. A handtowel will do the trick to save the kitchens from burning to a crisp, and he holds one in his hand as they get to that smoking oven. >.> Think brain, think! Water? Uuuuh. Open the oven door? Leave it closed? "Crap, I can't remember!" See? This is why he doesn't cook.

See, usually, there'd be people here with a clue! Actual cooks! Bakers who do this everyday - okay, not this, but that's because they're competent and wouldn't have let things get this bad! Soriana eyes the stove through the plumes of black smoke. Open it? Uhhhh that doesn't seem like a good idea. It's on FIRE in there. If she opens it, she'll let the flames out to the rest of the kitchen - nay, the Weyr! - and that would be BAD. So! "Uh." Coherency. Action. Quick thinking and… "Oh!" Turn it off. She should turn the oven off. Because if it's turned off it won't make more fire, right? (she hopes.) So she reaches for the knob and manages to jerk it partway - "Ow!" Because it's hot, what with the way this oven is… not exactly doing what it should. It's burning too well. What was that about a towel? Soriana's hand is going straight for her mouth, because that hurt. "Tuh ih ohh," she says around trying to make her fingers not fall off from burns.

Okay, let's open it! Becaaause…well opening the oven door is the only way he'll get to the fire to put it out, right? Right! Ka'el reaches… wait, no! Opening is BAD! Yes, his brain is on the same wavelength as Soriana's…just a smokier, slower wavelength. Holy shards it stinks in here, and the smoke is seeping out into the empty Caverns, and boy is he going to get in trouble for ruining this oven! Soriana's exclamation has him jumping his attention her way, busy using that towel to try to fan the smoke away so that he can breathe without getting a lungful of ashen air. "Are you alright??" Nope, not with the way her hand's in her mouth. Hot knob! … Towel to the rescue! 'Tuh ih ohh' obviously translates to 'turn it off' in hand-in-mouth speak, and Ka'el swiftly wraps that cloth around his hand and goes in for the knob. Turn and click! That heating coil is still hot and will be for a time, but at least now, as time passes, it will cool down. And the flames inside? Still burning, but without the influx of oxygen, they'll burn out too. Eventually. And the yummy ovine leg? .. looks like charcoal. Coughing and eyes watering with smoke, he waves his hands while making his way back to the Weyrwoman junior. "Lemme see," not that he can see too clearly with watery eyes but, still.

Yeah, but Soriana has no buckets of water or sand or… other fire-putting-outting supplies. Okay, so there's water in the sink, and dirty pots next to it, but… they're probably full of grease and would just make it worse. Or make a cloud of steam that would envelop them and… yeah, so long as that fire doesn't get hot enough to melt the metal and glass of the oven, Soriana likes the version where they DON'T let it out. In any form. Her eyes are watering - is that from the smoke, or what happened to her fingers? - but she watches with some urgency as Ka'el turns the knob and the oven… okay, there's no visible change, but it's presumably off. She hopes. So much for Ka'el's dinner. She takes a step back from it (in case it explodes or something), but keeps her eyes on that oven until they flick up to Ka'el. Her hand comes out of her mouth, and… she coughs, because smoke comes in to replace it. Awful, burnt-ovine and electrical-fire smoke. But all her fingers are still there! Intact and everything, though there's some bright red skin that promises unpleasantness to come.

Who knows, it might explode! And shards of glass and metal bits will be impaled in their skin, mortally wounding them. And they'll die a tragic death here in the kitchens and haunt the place now and forever more! So Soriana is smart to take that step back. Ka'el is more worried about her hand than any possibility that he may end up being a human shield of melted skin. He holds her wrist as she shows her hand, frowning. It doesn't look bad, but sometimes burns don't until they've had the time to manifest into blisters and aching skin and other ouch-worthy things like that. And so he's frowning at the redness. And he's frowning at the smoke that's surely going to catch the attention of .. people who are up late and working, if it hasn't already. And he's frowning because that oven still has a fire in it and it's probably ruining some important things on the inside that may take some doing to get fixed. At least there's more than one oven, but still the staff probably isn't going to appreciate being down one during the dinner rush tomorrow. "Shardit…" he hisses, then coughs. This place needs windows! "That needs to get looked at. And I need to find somebody for this!" 'This' being…uh, everything that's wrong here. "Come on.." He eyes that oven. Fire is going down by now, right? "I'll fix this." >.> <.< He's the Weyrleader. That's his job! .. Even if it was his fault to begin with. -.-;;

Fixing the things that were his own fault is double-extra the Weyrleader's job! Dying in a cloud of molten glass is… not his job, but fortunately, it doesn't happen, and so he doesn't have to go above and beyond the call of duty. "It's okay." That's of her hand. Because it hasn't fallen off yet, you know. So it must be okay! And… she eyes the oven again, with another little cough for the smoke that's getting into everything. Never mind being down an oven, what is the kitchen staff going to do when breakfast tomorrow smells like scorched ovine and blackened grease? (Besides complain.) "But I'll go to the infirmary." So yeah, her hand's not as… not-painful… as she might claim. Despite not falling off yet. "After we get someone for… this." The oven. And the smoke - is there some kind of fan or something? And what if something else starts to catch on fire? (Like they'd even have a clue what to do about it if it did, but it's important to keep an eye on things!) But they can go find… someone with a clue. Hopefully. And those flames will burn out and… there can be a technician or something to fix it. On Ka'el's behalf. Hopefully it's not too bad?

This hardly can be the worst thing a Weyrleader has done, right? Well, the people of Xanadu may have a hard time remembering that come tomorrow when breakfast tastes like charcoal and ash and the eventual repairs to the burned oven causes things to become that much slower in the kitchens. Poor Ka'el and poor Soriana, with her burned hand. He still holds onto her wrist, but the lingering smoke is getting hard to ignore. It itches the eyes and the throat, and although it isn't getting any worse, it isn't exactly getting any better, either. What was that about a fan? "C'mon, someone will be in the admin wing," he says, tugging on her arm. "We'll tell them and they'll take care of it." He doesn't bother arguing with her, knowing a losing battle when he sees one. And they'll find someone who indeed was lured out by the smell of something burning, and that someone would get another someone and together would take care of the kitchens (indeed by rousing a sleepy kitchen head from her bed). And Soriana would find her way into the infirmary with Ka'el while the oven is unplugged and eventually opened when the fire is totally out, spilling pent up smoke out from its jaws. And there'd be much mumbling and grumbling and demands of 'who did this!' all through the cleanup. And the one who did do this would stick with Sori til she's taken care of, then…go face the music. Oh the price of being honest. -.- He'll definitely practice his cute face in hopes that Thea will go light on him. All this for lamb… and a cookie.


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