Boo for Ice!

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.

Still frigid. The area around the fires is crowded, even at mid-afternoon when many are busy with work. Soriana hasn't even tried to get a seat there - instead, she's sitting at one of the more distant tables with an extra sweater. There's a tunnelcat in her lap, leaned up against her to dook at the brown firelizard perched on her shoulder and peering down. Also, she's got klah and a half-empty plate.

Mikal reaches up to caress the pro-offered head of Elsie, the green fire lizard perched upon his left shoulder. "Shush you." he murmurs to her inquisitive croon. He moves to fill his own plate, grabbing extras as he goes. Plate filled, mug filled he now searches for a place. First choice…around the fires. He makes a face at the crowd gathered there so he decides perhaps somewhere else is deemed fit. Ah, there's a Soriana. He'll chum up with her. Two's not a crowd, right? Right! "Hey there Sori." he saunters over with his best smile in place. "Can we join you?" we as in he and the green flying stomach.

Toral chirps to Inkfoot, and then looks up to croon a friendly greeting to Elsie as the two approach. Soriana does the same - well, the looking up part, at least. Instead of crooning, she waves. "Hey. Sure, come on over." She makes an expansive gesture to the rest of the table, then reaches down to ruffle along Inkfoot's back as the ferret turns around to peer inquisitively at the new arrivals.

Mikal would no doubt be a bit concerned if she crooned a greeting to him. Elsie chirrups a greeting to anything animal like around Soriana as Mikal plops down into a seat, the plate and mug going down on the table before he does. "Thanks. Too many people over near the fire." he keeps on his coat. Keeps him warmer though he seems to be hatless. Perhaps he's rebelling against hats today.

Hats are a force of oppression, or something like that. Soriana doesn't comment on the lack, though, just nods. "Yeah. It's like that everywhere it's warm…" she says. "It'd be like that in the Annex, too, only we only let the ones with actual injured dragons stay… mostly." She shakes her head a little, and sighs.

Mikal's fork pauses half way to his mouth. "Are there many injured dragons in there." inquires the gangly youth. "Always with ice here. Always." he grumbles before letting the fork continue it's trek upwards. Several bites are taken before he speaks again. "Seen Kale lately? He's been acting so….well, odd."

Soriana makes a sort of waggle gesture with her hand. "There's more than usual, but nothing major. Just like… scrapes and bruises from slipping on the ice." She sounds mostly unconcerned, and then she laughs. "This one's the worst I've seen," she says of the ice, then nibbles a bit of her own food as her ferret and firelizard hold their own consultations. She looks up again at the mention of Kale, and now she does look concerned. "No. Not since the flight." She's been busy with all those scrapes and bruises. "Why, how's he acting?"

Mikal shrugs a shoulder, not wishing to speak ill of his friend but… "Dunno, he's all upset about the flight and worried about Thea. Even though we told him that the Weyrwomen was probably fine. He's all complaining about the way the two out of weyr bronzers took her out of here and stuff."

"Well, it's not like she had a choice. Seryth was already rising," says Soriana, then sighs. "I mean… it would've been better if it was Romth again, but that's not how it happened." She shakes her head a little. "We've talked some about how flights are, but… I don't think he gets it. Not really."

Mikal gives Soriana an exasperated look. "Well /I/ get that she didn't have a choice in the matter but he and Idrissa…I don't think they fully understood as I explained it to them." could be cause he sucks at explaining things. Understanding them is one thing but he can't make one understand! "Have you seen the new Weyrleader yet? I met him once." he boasts. "At the last hatching in Eastern. Seems nice enough. I just hope he doesn't go making a bunch of changes, ya know? Like I heard once this new guy at Ista…he took over as WL and kicked all the apprentice staff right out. He was going to bring in his own staff. It's what I heard anyway. You think the new guy will do that? I mean…it's not like he's from here." ah, rumors!

"Yeah, I know," agrees Soriana. Welcome, Mikal, to the side of knowledge and trying to enlighten others. Isn't it… uh… fun? Such fun, which is why Sori sighs, then nods. "So did I. I've seen his place at Ierne, too. He runs this big trading business." She frowns a little. "I hope he doesn't try to make Xanadu just some kind of trading post or something. I mean, trade is good, but… this isn't Ierne."

Mikal blinks. "Wait…trading post?" his brows furrows in thought at that. "What about the apprentice? He would't get rid of us, would ge? I mean, I don't wanna go to another posting. I like it here." a pause. "What kind of trading?"

"Like… all sorts, I guess. That's just what his building says. Quoin Trading Post. I dunno what they do, I've never actually been." Soriana shrugs. If she'd known it would be important, maybe she would have paid closer attention! "I hope he doesn't change the apprentices. I mean, that'd be weird anyhow. I know that guy at Ista did it, but it's still weird."

Mikal leans back in his chair, a thoughtful expression keeps him quiet for several minutes. "Shards, I hope not." he finally says after all that thought. "We aint Irene. We're Xanadu…didja see all those stones they were unloading the other day?" of course with his concept of time 'the other day' could have been many days ago. "Yeah, it'd be weird. I hope he doesn't. Think we'll get to meet him soon? I mean, like meet officially as Weyrleader?" since Mikal already technically met him once.

Soriana nods her firm agreement to being Xanadu. "Ierne's okay to visit, but I don't want to live there," she says, then nods again about those rocks. "Yeah. I heard they were taking them to the ruins." She tilts her head, looking consideringly at Mikal. "You ever been there and seen those? S'pretty neat. Derin'd probably be willing to show us around. Once the ice melts, anyhow." She shrugs. "If it's something official, we'll probably just get to listen to his speech from a distance. But… maybe?"

"I've never visited Ierne. Have you?" asks Mikal curiously. "The ruins? What ruins?" which pretty effectively answers the question if he's been there or not. "Well that's ice has got to be long melted and the mud dried before I go out there." he finally says. "Speech? Yea….maybe."

"Yeah, I go to Ierne all the time," says Soriana. "The main dragonhealing school is there, and I take some classes. Usually there's enough riders back and forth that it's pretty easy." Though not these past days being icebound! She's probably missing classes right this very moment, and looks not at all heartbroken over that. As for the ruins, "Out in the woods," she says with a vague gesture. "Stone tunnels and stairs and… stuff." So descriptive she is. "I found Toral's egg there." She gives the brown a scritch, and he chirps. "Anyway, yeah, I wouldn't want to go until summer."

Mikal's interest peeks a bit at that. "I been out exploring in the woods." he tails off, clearly disappointed he never found a lizard egg out there. "Well good then. We can check out the ruins in the summer." he peeks out towards the outside. "Is it summer yet?" he asks with just a hint of whine in his voice. "I am tired of ice." a heavy sigh escapes him. "So then….gonna be eggs soon!" he says cheerfully. "New people to tort…I mean, welcome."

Plans for summertime fun are made! Soriana grins, and nods. Now there's just that winter thing to finish dealing with. "Winter should be almost over," she says. Then again, winter at Xanadu sometimes clings desperately to the Weyr long after it should be gone. "Besides, it got cold early this year." Logically, it should get warm early! But the weather doesn't listen to logic. Siiiigh, new topic! "They might not search much," she says. "There's still a lot of candidates left from last clutch, if they just ask everyone who stood to do it again."

Mikal looks disappointed for a brief flash before his eyes light up again. "Hey, maybe I'll have another chance to stand then." he says hopefully. Clearly he wouldn't mind standing before a full clutch again and at his home weyr. This thought cheers him up considerably as he digs into the last of his food, sharing of course with the hungry green. "Still though, I don't remember who all stood last time around." he says around a mouthful of food. "So even if I don't stand again I can root them on. And see if they'll do my extra chores."

"It's up to Thea," says Soriana, then pauses before she adds, "Well… and A'dmar, I guess." She's quiet a moment, then gives herself a little shake and grins. "Numbweed making! If we're not candidates this time, we so have to convince them that they're supposed to prepare the numbweed." And if they are candidates, then they will never breathe a word of this to the candidate coordinators. "They're testing the heaters on the sands already, to make sure it's good. Everything seems to be okay."

Mikal oys. "Numbweed making!" he blows a breath out at /that/ thought. "A good idea." he agrees. "That's a good candidate chore. Yes indeed." fully he toys with the remainder of the food on his plate, pushing it from side to side. "Heck I think the hatching sands are the warmest place around. I'm thinking of trying to sleep /on/ them tonight!" he's mostly joking.

Mikal may be joking, but Soriana is entirely serious as she says, "There's already people camping out in the stands. They've got blankets and pillows and stuff, and they're lying on the benches. Last I heard, someone had even got a kettle on a string, so they could lower it to the sands and get it boiling, then pull it up."
Mikal blinks. How come /he/ didn't think of this. "Really? Well I….huh. Then I'll camp out there too then." he says with a firm nod. "Better than curled up under the blankets in the residents dorm and still being cold!"

"Really," Soriana confirms. "I haven't even tried sleeping in my room. Don't want to!" She shivers in the artistic way. "I've been able to find a spare cot in the Annex, mostly." Which, being up against the side of the Sands, benefits from the heat there nicely… not that those who aren't either dragonhealers or accompanying injured dragons can really take advantage of it. "How's the infirmary?" There's gotta be someplace warm, just to treat all the people who've gotten themselves half-frozen!

Mikal snorts. "Pretty packed right now." he admits. "Some people think they can walk on ice." Mikal evidently isn't one of those people. "It's full. Warm, but full. No room for an apprentice even!" How slighted he is!

Soriana laughs a little, and nods. "At least you can thaw out during your shifts," she says. "Not like the minecraft or woodcraft… and the harpers are just plain outta luck. Can't play in gloves, can't feel their fingers without!" She grins, then looks toward the outdoors again and sighs. "I hope it warms up soon."

Mikal bobs his head in agreement at that. Yes, he can thaw out during the shifts indeed. No outdoor work for him. At least not in the winter. He objects more to winter. "Shards so do I!" he stands, stretching. "Speaking of shifts though I should go see if I'm need in the infirmary. With the ice we're working extra shifts there."

"Yeah, all right. I'll see you around," says Soriana with a wave, then stretches herself and pokes at her plate. "Maybe I'll go see if I can find Kale. I'm supposed to be taking a break until later." And if they're tired of her face at the Annex, well, she's tired of being around there, so it works out.

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