Beware of Training Duty

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.

Sitting somewhere among all the people gathered and still gathering for evening meal, is Mathis. He's scored himself a table with relatively few seats taken, stabbing his fork into things and shoving them into his mouth as soon as a certain little brown someone has snuck a huge bite out of it. That is, as long as it was meat, otherwise it's either ignored or hissed at. He's had a long day of rider shadowing, the woman he'd been assigned to having shooed him off after about the thousandth stomach snarl in as many minutes (despite his repeated assurances that he was fine), lending him a sort of contented tiredness to reside about his stooped form.
A very red-faced Rhodelia half-limps out of the hot springs and back into the caverns. It's a beeline for the food. Any type, it doesn't matter. She just grabs a bit of this and a bit of that and tops it off with a few extra meatrolls. With a sigh she sinks into the nearest seat without an actual word to anybody that might be sitting there already, just a head nod towards her fellow candidate as she sips on a big mug (practically a bowl) of klah. And that little firelizard that Leirith decided to bless her with? No sign of him just yet. But somewhere!

Sylvarin wanders into the caverns to sate his own stomach now that Sir Moldenstein has eaten his fill. The baker's left arm is in a sling after the dislocated shoulder had been set. He probably won't need it for very long. But while he has it? It's making a very good place for the flit to take a nap. The cook makes his way to the food tables and awkwardly loads a plate with some well balanced selections before letting his gaze sweep over the caverns. His eyes eventually come to rest on Rhodelia and Mathis and soon the baker is taking long strides in their direction. "Doing alright?" A grin for both of them!

Limping, noted. "What happened to you?" Mathis asks after looking over at the person joining him at his table and a sweep of his gaze over her, "And why are you red?" Tired yes, no longer a child that asks incessant questions, no. The saving grace here is that he sounded as ready for bed as he looked, which could suggest that he was just one empty plate away from excusing himself to be unconscious in his cot. An unconscious Mathis, was a quiet Mathis, and by now half the barracks was thinking up ways to wear him out in case his daily chore hadn't done the job. The appearance of Sylvarin spares Rhodelia of more questions, waving his fork hold hand in a short little wave, attention dropping to the sling. Lips are pressed together in sympathy, a chair is offered nearby for the baker to sit, Bocote taken to nibbling on the empty fork in adorable protest that it had nothing on it. A nod is given for the inquiry after his health, "I'm okay, but are you?"

"Life!" Rhodelia gives the very unhelpful response as she sets her mug down although she doesn't immediately start digging into the food. There'a bit of a staring contest with the fork before she decides yes, it's really worth the effort and picks up the utensil. "And ghoulishly enthusiastic assistant weyrlingmasters who think running around the bowl for hooooooours does a body a world of good." Really it was more like one hour, maybe two tops. There's a bit of a glare as Sylvarin comes over here with that cheerful grin. "Maybe… but you look suspicious."

"Nothing permanent, just a couple of days in this thing and it should be fine." A pause. "Though it's annoying I can't really work for that time." This has his lips pressing into a thin line because what /else/ is he supposed to do. Thankfully Sir Moldenstein is proving to be a wonderful distraction. There's a nod of thanks as Sylvarin takes the chair and slides his plate onto the table. An eyebrow raises at Rhodelia and the baker's face is soon easing into a faint smirk. "Suspicious? That's just how people who haven't been forced into exercising look. Was it just training or did you do something to deserve it?" Because that's always a valid option!

Mathis blinks. Life, was not answer, at least it wasn't one that quenched an insatiable curiosity. Brows lift and his mouth opens as Rhodelia decides whether or not to use her fork, but everything reverts to normal as she goes on and gives him an explanation that was wholly satisfactory. "Hours and hours?" Appalled, a glance is stolen of Sylvarin as he sits himself down, hoping that the man would confirm for him that this was some sort of over-exaggeration rather than stated in fact. "I'm sorry, Sylvarin," is given while he waits for more information on the Rhodelia front. "I don't know what I would do if I couldn't carve. If you need any help with anything let me know okay?" He could probably manage putting things into other things and mixing them with a spoon. After all, how difficult could baking be? A look is given between the two other candidates, choosing instead to eat again rather than prod more about the circumstances surrounding the woman's grueling day, but he was certainly going to listen and learn on how to avoid such things himself. It sounded awful to be forced to run in circles. Bocote gives up waiting for more food to be lifted towards his open mouth and jumps down, snagging a slap of roast wherry for himself and dragging it off the plate entirely.

"Hours and hours and hours," Rhodelia gives a much put upon (and even more melodramatic) sigh at the exageration of her daily toils. But then, its a more calculating glance is given to the baker and more importantly, that sling. "Chores. But is that what it takes to get another rest day?" She may be briefly considering the idea of an injury, but wouldn't really do it just to get off work. Not on purpose anyways. Contemplation of this is interrupted by a little flash of bronze emerging in the air and dropping the tiniest lump of firestone onto the bartender's head with a squeak. "HEY!" Rhody protests all the while also flagging Moltov down onto her arm and slipping him a bit of one of those meatrolls.

"Thanks Mathis, I appreciate it. Maybe tomorrow I'll claim some help in the kitchen from you." The baker shoots a tiny grin over to the woodcrafter before he's spearing his fork into a piece of meet and chewing. "I'm sure we could arrange Mathis to fall on you." There's a teasing wink from the baker before both his and Sir Moldenstein's attention shoots upwards. The blue is quick to emerge from the baker's sling, though now he's latched onto the outside. There's a warble sent up to the arriving bronze, curious about the small lump of firestone and /why/ it's been dropped here.

Wide eyes are turned back to Rhodelia and the boy swallows thickly, all this talk of hours of running making him feel anxious and increasing his desire to learn how to avoid such a fate for himself. "Running for hours and hours was your chore?" Oh dear sweet Faranth, preserve and protect him. How he'd managed to not get assigned to that was beyond him, considering dragon washing and nanny duty hadn't. Where was the gardening and the rest days and other things that sounded so much better than all this physical labor? Bobbling his head towards Sylvarin, "Okay, just let me know before they put up tomorrows chores. They'll probably let me out of whatever it is so I can help you," he says a bit nervously with a thin smile attached. Totally not self-serving at all. No. What would be ironic, is if tomorrow turned out to be a rest day. Straightening his back, Mathis shakes his head in absolute refusal as he is offered up in sacrifice to the goddess of lazy. "Not me, maybe ask Rinian if she wouldn't mind. I look at things and get bruised." A shudder and he spots that sneaky brown snaking his food, gasping softly before he stabs what the greedy gullet hasn't already consumed with his fork and pulls it away from him. "You're going to make yourself sick!" Bocote squawks in protest ignoring Sir Moldenstein and Moltov's arrival as he lunges forward to start tugging and chewing at the same time. "No! Let go…"

Rhodelia turns that appraising gaze over towards Mathis but it doesn't take long for her to give a dismissive wave of the hand. "Nah, he's tiny. They'd never believe it." Gotta make your fake injury at least plausible after all. And for the apprentice, she gives a nod. "Yep, running and running. Be careful if you get 'training' on the schedule. But it could be worse… I guess they didn't make us go swimming today." There's a bit of a shudder for the thought of swimming in the autumn weather. And as for Moltov? He's not going to enlighten his brothers onto the purpose of that little rock, although he makes sure to wrap his tail around it for protection even as he's nomnomnoming away on that meat roll. Once that bit is devoured, he opens his mouth wide and Rhody smoothly inserts another hunk of mostly meat before he can even make a screech. Practice makes perfect.

"Well, given that she /did/ cause this…." Sylvarin smirks lightly before nodding at Mathis. "Will definitely let you know." Speaking of which. The baker pushes up from the chair he's only just sat in and lets out a sigh. "I should probably go talk to them about tomorrow." Sir Moldenstein clings onto the baker for dear life as the baker moves, wings flapping in slight protest because he was /comfortable/ darn it! "I hear that we've already had /three/ people end up in the infirmary from training." No he hasn't, but apparently those are Sylv's last words for now! Poor Mathis, having his head filled with untrue horrors!

Losing that game of tug o' war, Mathis sighs and gives Bocote a long suffering look as he scarfs down what remains of his dinner and then starts sniffing around his empty plate for more. "You ate it all, you ovine." Frowning, the woodcrafter looks back to over at Rhodelia, then to the stone that her firelizard was guarding. "What's he doing?" Not trying to be a pest, but that looked like something interesting happening and he couldn't help but be curious about it. Nothing curious about his own horking down everything in sight, that seemed pretty normal. However, Mathis looks fairly put out when the woman's appraisal comes up with the assessment of 'he's tiny', "I am not! I've grown a whole inch since I was searched and put on five pounds. The healers say I'm very healthy!" Pouting, he drops himself back into his chair and crosses his arms across his chest. That frown grows and grows as 'training' sounds more and more awful, scrunching himself up a bit and watching as Bocote licks his plate clean. What starts as a disheartened nod about the damange Rinian had caused turns into a beacon of hope as Sylvarin rises and departs to make sure he'd assigned to the kitchen tomorrow. "Thank you!" he calls after him instead of goodbye.

"Are ovines notoriously greedy? I thought that was porcines…" Rhodelia ponders this as she continues picking at her own dinner. Clearly she hasn't gotten stable duty yet as a chore. There's a wave of her hand to the departing Sylvarin and an "I believe that!" for his unfounded claims. This, children, is how rumors spread. As for Mathis' protest, she grins. "Like I said, tiny. If you weren't, they'd be worried about you gaining so much weight in what, a couple sevens?" Moltov senses his rock has gained some attention and curls his tail and his precious even closer so he's practically sitting on it. Then he lunges for a mouth full of meat roll without even waiting for Rhody to hand it to him. The woman tilts her head. "Oh, that? I don't think he's actually big enough to use the firestone, but I guess he likes the smell or something?"

Bocote gives up on finding food on this plate and starts to march himself over to the one that Sylvarin left behind, reason enough for Mathis to snag him and place him against the warmth provided by his skin. It was about the only then that kept the little monster from eating himself into a coma he'd found, and sure enough it does the trick as the beastie settles and curls up around his neck, "Porcines are greedy but ovines eat a lot more than they do and they have four stomachs," the boy offers as explanation, giving that smooth brown body a stroke with one hand. He'd been more or less done anyway, no one having seen the massive portions that had been there when he'd started. Mathis was going to pretend he hadn't heard such outlandish lies about training duty, pushing it all far from his thoughts as he sends a dark look Rhodelia's way, "I did a lot more running before I came here, the healers wanted me to put on weight 'cause they said it wasn't good for me to be so thin, but they want me to put on another five to seven pounds before the eggs hatch. They said I'm going to hit a growth spurt soon and then I'll be taller and bigger and no one will pick on me anymore." So hmf! His expression softens as his eyes fall to the possessive firelizard, holding up his hands defensively. "I wasn't going to take it, I promise." Lifting his gaze, a certain amount of perplexity overtakes his features. "He likes the way a stinky rock smells?"

Rhodelia scrunches up her face at the revelation of that particular trait of ovine anatomy. "Four… stomachs? Does that mean they poop four times as much?" What goes in, must go out after all! It's only natural. She's nodding along with the whole retelling of the healer's advice, until the last bit when she almost snorts out her mashed tubers. "I uhh… I bet that was a healer that never got picked on himself… was he a pretty one? Big folks can still get picked on." Moltov doesn't look convinced that Mathis won't take his rock. The food is forgotten as he grabs the rock in his mouth and heads over to cuddle in Rhodelia's jacket and she shrugs. "It's supposed to be instinctual right? Breathing fire, even if there is no more Thread… but I think I need to get some oil for his hide. See ya later." She gives a wave and picks up firelizard and mostly empty plates.

See, now Mathis felt smart because he knew something that an adult didn't, making his chest look just the slightest bit puffier. "Hmmhmm! Four." At the suggestion that this meant they popped more, the boy grins and nods. "Oh yeah, piles and piles of it. So much that they have to put them out to a pasture instead of a stall like runnerbeasts." Admittedly, he hadn't known any of this before he was on stable duty and because he asked a lot of questions, he now knew a lot more stuff. He'd kill it on trivia night. Mathis's sails deplete though as Rhodelia's dinner is nearly expelled out through her nostrils, giving her a questioning and apprehensive look, "She was a she, and what does looks have to do with being picked on?" His foster-mother had always told him that he'd be handsome someday (not that he was ugly now mind you) but that had been something he'd held onto fiercely, that if nothing else at least he was okay to look at. "I guess so?" he remarks for instincts, hands back up and eyes wide for the firelizard she picks up, "O-okay. Bye." Her back might be turned and she might already be several paces away, but he waves anyway, because its polite.

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