A Late Night Arrival

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.

The hour is late on this winter night, and the majority of the Weyr has gone to bed, but still Niva lingers awake. Lights are sparse in the Caverns, just enough to drive the darkest of shadows away, and the Weyrwoman is settled at a table, a mug of klah in one hand, even as she's turned, talking in soft tones to a woman who looks to be nearing sixty, the grey haired personage wearing the Headwoman's knot.

Ommatidia ducks into the cavern with a shiver, her short jacket visibly not warm enough for the current weather in this hemisphere. There's a leather satchel slung over one shoulder, stuffed just past full. She stops at the entrance to the cavern for a minute, looking around to orient herself, zeroing in on both Niva and her conversation partner out of the few still left in the cavern awake. Omma heads to their table with purposeful strides, then, diffidently, at a pause in their conversation, asks, "Excuse me?"

At the sound of a third voice, despite the hour, Niva's looking up quite surprised, eyes sliding over the young woman standing there, before she glances back to Hisolda, the headwoman nodding and taking her leave, the look exchanged between the two indicating that the conversation can wait. After a moment, Niva has composed herself and is gently pushing a chair out to Omma, nodding to it. "You look… lost." Or something, though the word is escaping the Weyrwoman for now.

Ommatidia winces, and nods. She hesitates just a second before taking the chair. "I don't think momma realized how late it was going to be, dropping me off. She always gets time changes wrong. I'm sorry for interrupting, though." She gives Niva a hopeful look. "You know where I can find Sellia, right? Green Kandrith's rider?" Not a twitch on Omma's face indicates just how surprised she'll be if the weyrwoman has ever heard of either.

Niva glances over her shoulder at Hisolda as the headwoman disappears to her room, a smile actually appears on Niva's face as she flicks her fingers at the teenager dismissively. "I expect that the Headwoman would thank you for the interruption." Leaning back in her seat, the Weyrwoman shifts a little bit, fingers tapping on the table. "Sellia?" The name is rolled over in her mind a few times, and she tsks a little. "I'd wager she's in her weyr at this hour, but where -that- is.. Hisolda just left." She offers almost apologetically. "Though if its a bed you need.."

Ommatidia visibly perks up at that. "For the night, at least? The arrangements for this one were all a mess, I don't even know Sella knows for sure I'm /coming/" She sighs the kind of emphatic sigh only a teenager can make while talking about their parents. "She's my dad's cousin, or second-cousin, I think? Mom said Dad said she'd take me in for a while, but they had that conversation through their dragons and that never turns out well."

"There's a bed as long as you need it." Niva offers, reassuring the girl as she notices the teen perk up at the offer. "Provided you lend a hand here or there, no one will begrudge you the bed or meals." Her mouth is still curled upwards at the corner, wrinkles gathering there easily, as she shakes her head a little. "We'll make sure you're pointed in the right direction tomorrow, and that you're settled somewhere regardless of what this.. cousin's cousin says." Oh, family.

Well, this is almost too easy. Omma likes the Weyrwoman already. "Thank you," she says, entirely heartfelt. "I can pull my own weight, it's not a problem. Only…probably not in the kitchens," she says, a touch sheepishly. "I can always help in the laundry. It's hard to screw up laundry."

Luckily for Omma, the Weyrwoman's gold is not yet glowing - that's when most have to reevaluate their opinion of the middle-aged woman. "Laundry it is, then.." She nods in agreement, though she does arch an eyebrow, trailing off. "Welcome to Xanadu.." And her tone indications that the Weyrwoman is waiting for the teenager to fill in the blank that is her name.

"Ommatidia," the girl supplies promptly. "Omma, if you like. Late of Telgar Weyr, late of…everywhere else. Thank you, ma'am." She offers a hand across the table. "Thank you very much."

Niva smiles and inclines her head with a soft smile. "Aye, Omma. Anyone with a Assitant's knot can help you, if you need anything. Though, if you'll be staying, I know a trip to the stores will be necessary too. You'll need a coat. And, while it may not be new, it will do more for you than that will." Slowly, Niva gets to her feet, her klah mug empty and she tilts her head to the girl. "The dorms are on the way to my Weyr, if you're ready."

Ommatidia springs to her feet much more quickly, tucking her chair neatly under the table once she's risen. "Yes ma'am. It's summer up on the northern continents now," she adds, a little defensive. "We weren't thinking. I'm sure I won't be a bother, though, to them or whomever." A pause, and then, "Or Sellia, if I find her."

"Don't be afraid to ask, though. Wouldn't be good to give the idea that the Weyr is stingy." Niva says with a little huff, straightening her shoulders and sticking her nose up in the air proudly. And then, she's motioning the girl to follow her as she pulls a shawl over her shoulders and heads outside into the cold night.

Ommatidia resettles her pack on her shoulders, tugs her coat a little tighter, and follows

Xanadu Weyr - Clearing


A wide clearing stretches from east to west, the ground packed hard although grass grows across most of it. Trees are strictly forbidden in this space, their danger to the constant draconic traffic reason enough to banish them to the forest that creates a this and sharp border to the north. Where the ground is less trampled, tiny flowers poke their delicate heads out from their shaded hiding places with upturned petals to wave to whoever may be looking.

The cliff looms imposingly on three sides, stretching upwards all the way up the side of the mountain where, high above, Xanadu's Star Stones and the ever present watchdragon sit on a lonely peak. Directly south is a massive tunnel, fully wide enough for even the largest dragon to fly down. Southeast are wide steps leading up to the Caverns and eastwards is the large entrance to the Infirmary. Somewhat north of the Infirmary is a human sized archway that has a frequent quantity of traffic — it leads to the Tavern. Southwest lies the low ledges currently belonging to Xanadu's queens while north and west a broad path cut by the side of the cliff leads to the Feeding Grounds and due north is the spacious trail that leads to the rest of the Weyr.

The night really is chilly, and as Niva steps from the warmth of the caverns to the outdoors, the Weyrwoman pulls her shawl a little bit closer to herself to fight back the shivers, before she's stepping along a well-worn path across the clearing, towards a long, low building with faint lights in some of the windows, pausing near the door to gently push it open, waiting for the teenager to join her. "The ones nearest the door tend to be left empty, for late arrivals." She offers in explanation.

Ommatidia hurries across the courtyard, only just slowly enough so as not to outstep Niva. She pauses outside the door with the goldrider, though, with a grateful nod and smile. "I can just claim an empty one for tonight?" she verifies. "Thanks again for all your help, Weyrwoman. Sorry I interrupted your conversation there."

"Anyone that doesn't have a person in it.. Though I'm not sure everyone would complain." Niva offers lightly, nodding her head. "Someone will ensure you get properly settled tomorrow." A smile, and she nods once more. "As I said, I'm sure Hisolda is grateful. Have a good night, Ommatidia." Niva offers, waiting for the girl to head inside before she's moving on her own way to her ledge.

With a final nod and a bit of a wave, Omma ducks into the resident dorms for the night.

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