Deals and Distractions

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.

Early morning, just after breakfast, finds the cavern mostly empty. Those on kitchen duty are already working on the midday meal. A few people linger over their breakfasts or a second (or fifth) mug of klah.

Samuven is one of those people. The sailor-candidate is sitting at a table alone with a half-ful mug of klah near his elbow and a plate of dried fruit and nuts sitting beside it. He's leaning over a pile of freshly bleached fabric, his elbows resting on the table as he works on darning a hole in the fabric. He seems completely absorbed in his work, only pausing every once in a while to reach over and pop a piece of fruit or nut into his mouth or take a sip of his klah.

Katailea is one of those lingering in the caverns, for a few minutes she's in conversation with another of the female candidates. When the brunette walks off the blonde heads to find herself a mug of klah and go in search of a seat which is easy enough to find with it not being so crowded at present. Spotting Samuven the young woman makes her way towards the other candidate, "Hey," her greeting comes with a smile as she invites herself to the use of the chair next to the sailor. "Making progress?"

Samuven looks over at his sudden tablemate and gives her a welcoming smile, "Oh, hey!" He puts the robe down on the table, making sure that there's nothing there to stain it, and makes a face, "Just fixing a hole I found after it was washed. Again." At least this time the yellowed stains are gone! Unfortunately for him, the bleaching required to do so also made the lightweight wool SUPER WHITE! The poor boy is going to practically glow when he steps out onto the sands. He takes a sip of his klah and makes a face, "Ugh…" Apparently, it's gone cold. "You finish yours already?" As though they all haven't been working on their robes practically non-stop for ages now!

Katailea ahs, her nod paired with a sympathetic expression for having to fix that robe (again). "Here," she offers over that fresh mug she just poured. The drink might be warm, but its never been a favorite of hers. "Not a good as Evangeline or Jerica's but.." the trader shrugs at the thought of her own robe. It will do what it's required to and fits well enough, from the stores and mended like many others. Evi made hers weaver that she is, and the girl about their age that she was talking to earlier having had one made for her.

Samuven gives her an eternally grateful look and pushes the cold mug out of the way so he can take the offered on, "Thank you!" He immediately tilts it up for a long gulp, "I didn't get a whole lot of sleep last night." The old problem with it being too still and that one person three cots down that really needs to get their snoring checked out. It can't be healthy! He sets the mug down and offers the plate of healthy treats, "Want one?" Whether she takes one or not, he picks the robe back up and gets back to work, "I just don't understand why there were so many holes in this thing…" At least he's almost finished with this last one!

"Don't mention it," is Katailea's you're welcome, going on "I don't know that anyone is," she replies. Getting much sleep lately that is. For a multitude of reasons, one of which the waiting. Plucking one of those pieces of fruit from the plate its, for the moment, something to focus on and fidget as needed rather than eat but there's a "Thanks," all the same. Of his particular choice in robe, "I have no idea. But looks like you've got them almost fixed," she comments taking note of the progress.

"If I'd r'lized how bad this 'n was, I'd 'a seen if I could'a found another." Samuven scowls at the fabric and ties off the thread, holding it up to make sure it doesn't look too bad, "Kinda proud 'a th' work I done on this 'un though." At least he's repaired it and it can be used by someone else without all the fuss he's put into it! "Ain't like I'm ever gonna have t' wear it again, no ways." Either he'll Impress or he'll move on, "Don't think I'll e'er get Searched again, anyhow."

"I've seen worse," Katailea's words are paired with a smile that says she's just giving him a hard time. Its decent work she's just not saying it, but they've both certainly seen worse. "You never know," its the optimistic thing to say anyway even if they've already had the discussion on what comes after.

Samuven chuckles and nods, "True 'nough." He shrugs and runs over the fabric one last time to make sure there aren't anymore holes that need to be darned, "Yeah, but I'm still ne'er gonna wear this 'n again." Whether he finds himself on the sands at Xanadu again or not, he'll make sure he's got a better robe next time, if there is a next time! He frowns at a thin spot and scratches at it, seeing if it gets any thinner. "So, what're ye hopin' for? Got yer heart set on a specific egg?"

Katailea reaches a hand out to cover his when he starts scratching at that spot. "Just leave, it'll be fine," she offers before his question finds her shaking her head. That in itself could well be her answer to what she's hoping for, but she does add "If I'm not hoping for anything then I can't be disappointed when nothing happens." Or at least that's what she's saying anyway.

Samuven nods and drops the robe to the table, "Yeah, it ain't like this's gotta stand up t' a day fishin' 'r nothin'." Just a few hours sweating and dodging hatchlings that are looking for someone else! He looks over at her his expression sympathetic, "Yeah, I know what ye mean. There was a couple eggs I liked, but I ain't countin' on nothin'." One corner of his mouth comes up in a faint smirk, "Means I just gotta figure out how t' get a ship a' me own after." He looks out at the nearly empty cavern, "I think I migh' miss it here, though. Been nice havin' somewhere t' call 'home' tha' I don' have t' worry 'bout sinkin' if th' weather gets bad."

Katailea can't help but laugh as she pulls her hand back whether its for the earlier or later comment or some combination of both. "I know what ya mean about sinkin' but I'm not goin' to miss it." That's what she's saying anyway even if that glance spared to the cavern at large might hint that she might miss some part of it. "They're sayin' it could be any day now."

Samuven nods, "I dunno if I hope if it's sooner 'r later…" He shrugs one shoulder, "I think I might stick 'round a few days after, though." There are guest quarters, right? Anyway, there's another clutch that'll be hatching soon, "Maybe see if I c'n stay f'r Leirith's clutch." They'd probably allow that, right? It would be an excuse to stay for a little longer, anyway…

A shrug is Katailea's response to the idea of staying any longer, mirroring Samuven's. "Probably could if you want. I know some of the others have talked about it too." Several have made the comment about Leirith's clutch, though from the way she says it, while it was considered it wasn't an option that lasted long on the table.

Jerica comes from a well off family. She's a little princess who will find a way to get whatever she wants and thinks she's better than everyone else. Jerica is a young brunette woman of about twenty who is a spoiled brat. She's also the candidate who's interrupting. "Fine," she's looking at Katailea with a smug look settled on her too thin lips. "Ten marks for the necklace AND you cover my stables rotation tomorrow."

Samuven nods, his expression thoughtful. He opens his mouth to respond when suddenly Jerica is there, haggling. His teeth click together and he scowls slightly at the older girl and sighs, "So ye like her locket, eh?" He glances over at his friend, but just leans back to watch the negotiations. Katailea is the trader, after all, not him. Jerica gets a disdainful look for the imperious brunette. He gives the younger woman a little nod to indicate that she can use his services if needed in the negotiation, if she actually wants to sell.

Katailea shoots Samuven a sharp look, one that says 'stay out of it' if not 'don't try to talk me out of it' too. It wouldn't be so hard to do, not being something she'd so easily give up. "Deal," Katailea's answer for the negotiation, already fishing the locket from her pocket and holding it out to the older girl in exchange for the marks that are tucked back into said pocket.

Jerica sends a look that's just as smug to the boy for his question. "My locket." Then back to the blonde, "Don't forget to do a good job in the stables," she smirks, the look going only to say that trouble might be expected before she's off to find her friends and show off her new tricket.

Samuven watches Jerica, his eyes narrowed, and shakes his head, "I didn' think ye'd ever give tha' thing up…" He shrugs after a moment. It's her locket, after all… "Dunno why ye'd agree t' do her chores, though." Especially if it's working in the stables! "I c'n help, if'n ye want?" Many hands make light work, and all that.

Katailea watches as Jerica saunters off and its only once the brunette is out of earshot that she sighs. "Its the only thing I have that's worth anything and you know it," she snaps back only to flinch when they come out sharper than she meant them too. He'd think that, because she wouldn't. It means more than what she got to her. But why the chores? It's not worth what she got for it on it's own. "My Da thinks I'm working. I go back after this long with nothing to show for it?" The shake of her head says that's not a option. "Thanks, but I can't ask you to do that."

Samuven pulls away just a little, stunned at the tone of voice Katailea uses, "Ye know I coulda covered f'r ye…" The offer is soft and could easily be overlooked. He slumps in his chair again and shrugs one shoulder, "Ye ain't askin'. I'm offerin'. He'd probably just do it for her, anyway, "I know ye don' like runners." And stable duty is the absolute worst!

Katailea shakes her head when he pulls back. "I'm sorry," she offers quietly, letting out a breath as she turns an apologetic look his way. "I didn't mean.." To snap, to say what she did. Maybe he could have helped cover for her, but she's stubborn about somethings and did he really expect her to ask anyone to help get her out of her own mess? A hand is reached back across towards him, palm up. "Thanks, I wouldn't mind the help." Stable duty is the worst, which is probably why Jerica made it part of the deal to begin with.

Samuven smiles and covers her hand with his, giving it a comforting squeeze, "Hey, s'ok. I think e'ry one is a li'l stressed right now." He chuckles and nods, "Hey, anytime! Ye know I'm here f'r ye." He extracts his hand from hers and tries to sling one arm over her shoulders for a side-hug, "We sea-folk gotta stick t'gether, right?" Their history just makes it that much more important to him to do so!

Katailea laughs, its a sad laugh truly as she curls into the hug that's offered. "Yeah," its a simple agreement to all of those things he's said. "She'll be tired of it in a seven and then I can find someone to buy it back." Because lets face it, Jerica will likely never sell it back to her if for no other reason than spite. A moment passes and she lifts her chin to look up at the seacrafter, "Kiss me." Because they all need distraction and that's just the sort of thing.

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