Carrots - They do a Body Good

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.

Midnight has passed at Xanadu and yet there are still hours of darkness before dawn. The Weyr sleeps - or at least most of it does. The fires have been banked with the ever-present stew pot on the nighthearth, along with a large klahpot and one drudge (Or is that a drudge?) to watch it and serve those who might come seeking something warm during a cold night shift. Whoever it is (maybe it's some sleepy resident) has fallen asleep at one of the tables, facedown and snoring in the crook of one arm. It is into the dim cavern that the Weyrwoman enters, restless tonight for some reason and by the look of her she's not slept yet. Shedding her jacket as soon as the room's warmth is felt, a leisurely appraisal is given to the cavern as her gaze wanders before coming to rest upon the slumbering figure. It's a slow moment before ice-green eyes take on glimmer mischief and she moves forward with catlike strides, a tiny smile quirking the corners of her lips.

Ers'lan is one of those on night shift; strutting in with his hands tucked underneath his armpits, scarf wrapped around the bottom of his face, nose poking out and looking completely red from the cold. A thin layer of ice coats the metal pieces of his jacket and helmet, melting the further he saunters into the cavern. Hands, gloved, come out from where he tucked them, cupping them before his mouth, he tries to breath a little warmth back into them. While he might have before stopped to salute Thea or watch with intrigue what would happen as she stalks catlike across the room, he makes straight for the lone drudge, practically begging for a hot mug of klah and stew.

Briana is not that sleepy resident but one draped in a chair next to the hearth, the evidence of her late night work on the table in front of her. One scroll held loosely in one hand as it drapes over the side of the chair. There may be some drool. Her green firelizard is perched upon the top of the chair, asleep as well. Well seemingly until activity is noted in the cavern. Lazy lids slowly rise and there is a flick of her tail. On guard perhaps in her own little way.

Thea would salute Ers'lan back, but no, she's intent on her target and the rider is behind her anyway. Her inner child dictates her at the moment as her gaze flickers beyond the drudge and she recognizes… Briana. Even better! Her grin widens and oh, this is going to be good (read it written all over her face and posture as she lifts hands, tiptoes closer). Footfalls behind her go unheard such is her concentration. Nearer… nearer… and at the same moment Ers'lan speaks (if he does use words rather than a puppy-dog kind of beg)… "RAR!!!" She springs forward, claps her hands together in a resounding crack that would wake the dead. The healers will never forgive her if she's given someone a heart attack, but oh well. They can sue her inner child.

Keziah has just come in, she's been technically off shift for a couple hours now, but is only just getting in. Despite the cold her hair is dripping wet, as are her leathers. Straight for the hearth she goes and the warmth there, even as she strips of the jacket.

Ers'lan side step jumps at the 'rar' … even awake the man didn't expect such a thing from Thea and despite it not being aimed at him, the reaction was the same as if she had gone after him. "Blazin Rukbat..!" he curses, giving Thea a look of wonderment.
Blade looks at the approaching woman curiously, through half lidded eyes, still pretending to sleep, though the tip of her tail twitches. Then as the woman yells, the firelizard screeches and leaps off the back of the chair and up tothe rafters still screeching. Between one screem and the next, Briana is most definately awaken and scrolls go tumbling about her as she wakes with a start and wide eyes, "I didn't do it!" She mutters as she rouses.

The drudge goes from somnolent to wide-awake in nothing flat, rears back in his chair eyes wide, flails a the table's edge in a vain attempt to keep from going over, teeters and then over he goes with a crash only to leap up and stand at attention with a "Wuz jus' restin' mah eyes, Ma'am!" The Weyrwoman is snickering despite trying to keep her face straight, manages to get it under control enough to give Ers'lan an innocent 'what?' look over her shoulder even as she reaches past the drudge for that klahpot. "I'm sure you didn't, Briana, if 'not doing it' means ‘went to bed’. You are allowed to sleep, you know," is Thea's dry comment into the calm after the chaos she's just caused, smoothly reaching for the mug the drudge has hastened to grab and offer. Clattering, the stack he's holding gives evidence to his knocking knees as he offers them towards Keziah and Ers'lan.

Keziah eyes Thea a moment", I didn't think you were supposed to try and kill off your weyrwomen." She remarks blandly. She takes a mug as well. "I do hope its hot and strong." She murmurs and gives a little shiver as a chill hits her and moves add close to the fire as possible. "Why are you up this late anyways? Something wrong? "

Ers'lan half steps forward when the drudge teeters and spill onto the floor due to his own startled reaction, stretching up on his tippy toes to check the status of the drudge when the man pops back up. Briana's reaction as well, has the man turning a glance back to Thea and her snickering, waggling a finger at her in jest as his frown turns into a smirk. The klah cup is accepted when offered finally, taking with a look of relief to his features. Almost immediately, despite the sorching heat, he takes a few long sips. His eyes track Keziah, idly wandering in the same direction, since everyone is awake at this point and his clodding boot falls won't disturb anyone.

Briana drops back down into the seat with a sigh and gives a dark look to Thea, "You near scared me to death…" She starts before looking up to the screeching Blade. "Its ok Blade, the scary Werywoman monster will not eat you." She instructs before at least a ghost of a smile tilts her lips before she shakes her head and starts to gather the scrolls around her. "I was sleeping…" She says in amused defence before looking around to the others awake here.

One of Thea's eyes flickers in a barely-there wink at Keziah even as her tone is overly-innocent, "You're… not? Shoot." Fingers move in an 'oh darn' snap. She grins unrepentant at Briana over the rim of her mug just before taking a sip, "That was the idea." Playful fingers flick in the direction of those dropped scrolls. "It's the newest aversion therapy to over-work." One leatherclad leg swings over the bench as she seats herself all in one movement, propping elbows on the table, shrugging negligently in answer to the greenrider, "I…couldn't sleep?" She then tilts a quizzical look at Ers'lan, "It seems your name is entered on the night sweeps reports an awful lot lately."

Keziah arches a brow," over working yourself are you?" She asks. "one should lead by example." She adds as she gives a nod to Lan. "not seen much of you lately. has our estrous wingleader been riding you? " she frowns a little and shakes her head even as she looks over towards Briana as she takes a drink and then sighs, not nearly strong enough it seems.

In between all the women chattering, the brownrider has tried to bathe in the warmth of steam from his klah mug and from the heat coming off the hearth. Drawing the mug up to his lips, he shudders off the last of the chill clinging to his flight jacket and underneath. The helmet is still on his head with chin straps undone, goggles roosting on the top of the helmet brim - ready for action should there be any on the night watch. When Thea directions a remark toward him, Ers'lan lifts his gaze from the steaming klah broth, giving a rather sheepish look for being called out as it were. "Aye," he musters loud enough for her at first, then he clears his throat to provide a comical remark, with a hiccup of a laugh, "Reckon it's special treatment." Keziah receives a casual shrug of his shoulder, "Reckon I be sleeping when y'all be roused." A knowing roll of his eyes for the wingleader riding him, Ers'lan's answer sure enough as he slurps down another gulp of klah to keep from saying anything against the wingleader.

"Not me, her." Thea's fingers flick Briana's way this time. Keziah's comment elicits an eyeroll directed at the non-present Weyrsecond, "D'had won't let me overwork, but I'm not about to cart my Junior cross-weyr over my shoulder to prevent her from doing it." Snort. Though wouldn't /that/ be something to get tongues wagging? The Junior is eyed speculatively while silent merriment brims in her expression. If it comes to that… As for Ers'lan, her ice-green gaze shifts to him and she simply takes a long sip of her klah while considering his answer, "Special…oh I /see/." Which clearly says either she doesn't or she's decided it's best not to probe. Instead, she asks innocently, "Do you eat a lot of carrots then?"

Keziah smirks at the carrot remark. "Well, carrying her out could be fun." She hmms thoughtfully, "though what you do after that, now that would be something to ponder on." She head shakes a little at Lan "some days perhaps, I'm more like as not to be all over the roster, depending on things. Some mornings up, otters not till late,some days all over the region and not fine till certain people are happy"

Ers'lan lifts a skeptical eyebrow at Thea's response, unwilling to explain further why he is on constant night shift. The last remark has both eyebrows lifted, "Pardon Weyrwoman? Carrots?" A blink at her, clearly not following her train of thought, confounded by her choice of subject matter. The baffled look carries further into his conversation with Keziah, "Aye," a beat, the confusion fading as he offers, "Iffin ya be on night shift, reckon we can catch up, or something." His accent has changed, as the Harper lessons he has been keeping is being worked out of him, at least so most people can understand even his thickest words.

Behind her mug, Thea is swift to answer Keziah with no thought at all, "Hand her over to someone who can keep her occupied for the evening, that's what." It's a no-brainer for her. "Carrots," she informs Ers'lan with a wicked twinkle in her eyes, "are said to be wonderful for night vision." One forefinger leaves her mug to point in the direction of the tray on the table beside the hearth. "See there? Carrot muffins. And they are delicious too." Asking more questions? Not her. Just… maybe heckling or no, really she's just making idle chit chat, right?

Idle anything, from Thea? Hah! A glance back at Lan and Kezi nods, "we should." She notes simply. She does eye the muffins herself and hmms. "those do look good" not that she removed her now steaming self from the hearth as her clothes dry. She just turns a little.

Ers'lan decidedly leaves the conversation about his friend alone, Briana has to fend for herself if she fell asleep when Thea is so near by. As for the carrots, he makes a little groan, "Aye, reckon people be saying they are good fer the vision." Blue eyes follow the direction she points, lips curling up to smirk, stepping over toward the said tray at the table and grabbing up a muffin. "Reckon I do be forgetting though and do be owing you thanks fer the reminder." He grabs another, shoving one in his mouth as he returns to the hearth side, holding one out for Keziah.

Keziah knows Thea too well. The Weyrwoman’s got a cat-got-the-cream glint in her eyes as Ers'lan goes for the muffins, her reply to Ers'lan is an airy (don't ever trust that tone from the Weyrwoman), "Oh you're welcome. Those had your name written alllll over them." Indeed, if he looks closely, there's a scrawl of icing on the tops of every one that look suspiciously like the brownrider's name. Though it could possibly be imagination. /Maybe/. Any resultant smirking is hidden in another long draw at her cooling klah afterwhich the mug is set down on the table with a small thunk. She rises as if reluctantly, stretches languidly while smothering a yawn with the back of her hand. "I just might be able to sleep now. Carry on you three." With a casual two-fingered salute she heads on out, shrugging into her jacket as she goes. And if somehow by magic carrot-somethingorother appears every eve by the nighthearth with the letters Ers'lan creatively inscribed? Totally not her doing.

Briana has finally collected her dispursed work and calmed her little green before joining the group. "I don't need being thrown over a shoulder. I like my work." She says defensively as she hunts down a cup of tea instead of Klah and settles at one of the tables. Not going to sleep anytime soon, not with that adrenaline rush.

Keziah blinks a moment in surprise at Lan our maybe the muffin. "thank you." She says quirky and is about to take a bite and then she blinks at Thea and then looks down at the muffin. There's a thoughtful frown as she eyes it suspiciously and then Thea and well she's never known her to be malicious so she takes a nibble and then smiles "is good." A glance at Briana and the paperwork. "and that's why you're a weyrwoman and I'm not." Ew, paperwork.

He didn't really look close at the muffins, not really as the first one was shoved in his mouth. It could be that as he passes one to Keziah he does a double glance at the icing, tilting his head to the side as he considers the icing. Ers'lan nearly chokes on the muffin he had half-wedged in his mouth when the weyrwoman suggests the muffins had his name on them. He yanks his out of his mouth and starts coughing, while plodding back over toward the tray, still sputtering behind an uplifted hand. "Whar in the name of Timor…" He picks up one of the muffins, one that he didn't slobber all over, glaring at the scrawled icing, "WAIT. Who did this?!" It's not enough that he's being snickered at for his potential loss of baby-making powers, nor that everyone knows he did something to earn the ire of B'rdian, but now, muffins with his name iced on them! He frowns after Thea, then pivots toward Briana since the weyrwoman is already makingher exit, "Briana, do ya know whar this be all about?" Fist shaking one of the muffins, with a huff, "Reckon they are good tho…" agreed with Keziah.

As for Thea, she doesn't linger to answer that question beyond a pause mid-shrug into her jacket to twinkle a look over her shoulder at Ers’lan. To Briana's liking of paperwork there's a laughed, "Ah well, no one's perfect." But look closely, Ers'lan at the configuration of walnuts and raisins on the tops of baked goods that have an orangey tinge here on out. And Briana, if there's a brawny guard well able to cart a protesting Junior cross-weyr 'Jus' followin' orders Ma'am' happening through the caverns late at night, beware! Thea wouldn't… would she? One never knows….

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