Better Impressions

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 border to the north. Where the ground is less trampled, tiny flowers poke their delicate heads out from their shaded hiding places.

The cliff looms imposingly on three sides, stretching upwards all the way up the side of the rock edifice where, high above on Xanadu's Star Stones, the ever-present watchdragon sits on the lonely peak. Directly south is the hatching arena, the large round complex taking up a large portion of the perimeter, a line of trees visible beyond it. 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 Wandering Wherry Tavern. Tucked neatly under the arch, to one side is a tiny wood-frame shop bearing the name 'Petals and Pots Garden Shop'. Southwest lies cliffs where windows for the administrative offices have been cut. Underneath them are the entrances to the crafters complex while north and west along the cliff's base, a broad path leads to the feeding grounds. Due north is the spacious trail that leads to the rest of the Weyr - the meadow, the forest beyond. At the far edge of the clearing, beside the trail leading to the forest sits a clocktower.

"She was a friend then, huh?" remarks ka-el who slips his feet back into his sandals now, moving a few feet away to collect that forgotten bucket of suds, tipping it over to spill the water onto the grass. "That'd be difficult. S'one of .. a few things that's discouraging about Hatchings, isn't it? Losing friends. At least, for a while." With the bucket empty, he lifts it up, returning to the trader. "The one good thing about hatchings that happen on your own weyr is that, if you do impress, you don't have to leave anyone behind. And if your friends impress, they aren't leaving either."'

Garawan nods. "Indeed she was," he notes. "We had been raised together, the two of us. I expect she will find her home there… and forget all about the caravan. Her wandering days are over." He smiles, though, even though it's slightly a sad one. And the mention of hatchings at one's own Weyr? "Quite true," he agrees. "Though being a traveler makes that difficult."

Plop, goes the bucket as Kale releases the handle, letting it rest on the ground. "Never thought of doing something different?" he asks with faintly lifted brows. "Easier said than done, I know. Smithing is in my blood, I think. I'd feel impossible to do anything different now, especially since I've been apprenticing for so many turns already. But, I'd think it'd be difficult to move around so often."

Garawan sighs. "Ah, no. I fear I'm far too delicate to be in normal trades," he replies, shaking his head. "I suppose that is what comes of being a 'problem' birth, though."

"Problem birth?" Kale can only wonder what went wrong that would have any man considering himself delicate, so of course he must ask. "What's wrong with you? You seem pretty normal to me." A bit short, perhaps. Thinner than most smiths, but he isn't a smith so he can't put that against him!

Garawan says "Yes, I'm afraid so. My mother had… difficulties during birth. I was very weak when I was born. I recovered, but I never became any stronger." He shakes his head. "But we cannot all be strong in body. Some of us can be strong in mind only."

"Yeah?" He says the word as if he's never heard of the concept of a difficult birth before. Which, perhaps he hasn't! His eyes search him over again, as if seeking any deformities that he might've missed. Nope. Nothing visible. "I suppose you were lucky, then," says Kale. "You know, not every craft requires … uh, brawn. There are plenty other crafts where smarts are far more important. Like .. techcraft, for one. Star craft. Harper. Computer craft," he says, ticking them off on his fingers. "Not sayin' that what you're doing right now isn't good and fine if that's what you want. I just mean to say there are things you could specify in, even with your .. uh, condition. If you wanted to." Kale stands nears Garawan, both of which are a short distance away from a caravan (or caravans!) that are being set up

Garawan gives a quiet hrm. "I doubt I have the talent. Besides, Nothing I can think of can really equal the thrill of making a sale. And the traveling around… I have seen quite a bit of Pern by now. Each time I move, I discover something new about a place I have been before. New people. And seeing the way things have changed in the time I have been gone."

Nothing like the influx of Trader's to get a Starcrafter out of the Observatory, and today Zahleizjah has headed out towards the clearing at first mention of the caravan's setup. Ya'see, she's learned that the best deals are at the beginning and end of things, when sales are eager to be made and deals are quick to find common ground. She's brought her wolf-hound looking canine Draka, who looks rather similar to the one Kale was schlepping from place to place, though he's quite large and definitely much more well trained. The girl meanders about from tent to tent, display to display, she's looking for something in particular.. likely something that will bring her closer to the night sky she's so obsessed with.

Kale grins a little. "All travelers say that. Seeing Pern. Discovering new things. You know, you're about the fourth traveler I've met, and I do have to agree with you all. I've visited more places this turn alone than I have in my entire life, and it's been grand. But there's somethin' about knowing that I'll go home after it all that's … I dunno. Nice." Nice isn't the right word, but it's the one that his vocabulary supplies for now. His eyes stray a moment, looking momentarily distant, or is that troubled? for a moment. But oh, look. A shaggy beast to distract him. "Oh hey, there's someone who looks ready to spend a mark," he says with a re-emerging grin, waving an arm to Zahleizjah.

Garawan nods. "That is understandable," Garawan says. "Those travelers are right. That is what I live for now, that thrill of discovery. And of the sale, of course." There's a raised of his brow, however, as Kale points out Zah. He turns in that direction, and blinks slightly. "Ah, pardon me for a moment," he offers to Kale. And then approaches Zah. "Hello there. Is there something in particular you are looking for?" he inquires politely and pleasantly.

Zahleizjah hasn't heard much of their conversation up to now, and in fact, until she got closer didn't recognize Kale among the flurry of people milling about the area during setup. The last few parts were caught vaguely though, and she reflects on the very few places she' visited in all of her turns with hopes and optimism that this among many things will change along with her blossoming lifestyle at Xanadu. The young Starcrafter pushes a few of those straw straight locks behind an ear, stopping to speak with one haggard looking man who's promising her the cosmos in glass supplies, an offer that she's all to smart to fall for. "Well.. I doubt you'd get all that from recycled shards and bits Sir, but if you say so.. I'm sorry..excuse me I'll have to tend to him.." She uses Draka's snarling at the man as an excuse to pull away, both of them being pretty good judges of character though Zahl lacks street smarts on most other accounts. Noticing Kale, who has noticed her, she waves "Heya Kale.. Meet Draka.." she releases the large hound who doesn't move a muscle until she says "Draka go.." and, when told, he pads right up to Kale, takes a seat and wags his tail waiting for further instruction or pets. A smile is given to Garawan, who passed Draka so he must be alright "Yes.. hello.. m'names Zahl.." she stops there instead of giving the full thing "M'looking for the finest raw glass and metals you've got.. I need to melt down a good lens and fabricate a new viewer. Hov you any idea who might deal in Starcraft goods?"

Kale doesn't hesitate to follow after Garawan. He does know Zahleizjah, after all, and if he hopes to put an end to their infamous awkward meetings and build something close to a friendship with her, hanging back isn't the way to go! But he does pause when he sees Huge Canine coming his way. He's not afraid of animals, no, but anyone in their right mind would give pause to a leashless dog the size of a man approaching them. "Woah.." He's obviously impressed by the obedience shown by the creature though, and a grin is flashed Zahleizjah's way. "That's awesome. You're sure you're not a beastcrafter?" he says as he extends a hand to ruffle at the dog's head, right between the ears.

Garawan chuckles slightly. "Ah, yes. Do be careful of that one," he notes to Zahl. "That one will promise to get you Rukbat mounted in a silver setting if he can make a sale." Though the tone of his voice is fond. However, the question of glass and metals? "Mmm, metals we are a bit short on, the smithcrafter in Landing was not there. Glass, however, we have. How much do you need?" he inquires. "I can offer you a lower price per unit if you buy in a larger quantity." He sends a smile to Kale and his treatment of the large canine. Garawan himself did not mind to presence of the large canine so long as it didn't try to maim him. But neither did he try to touch the animal.

If that had been said out loud, it would have provoked a chuckle from the notoriously strange Starcrafter and it is no lie that she and Kale.. well she and most really.. have had awkward meetings thus far. Such is life for Zahl… weird is the constant norm in her greater galaxy and comet dusted Pern consciousness. She's glad Draka doesn't approach like the one Kale is used to from his recent adventures, and that tail just keeps on wagging, jaw open in what resembles a dog smile and those big eyes just staring up at the brown haired gent. The command is given "Draka paw.." and when Kale is done with the petting the right paw is raised for a 'shake' "Eh.. I dunno.." she giggles "N'er tried my luck at it.. Draka's just a smart one.." the dog's pant and head wobble seems to agree. "How are you today Kale?" She asks before focusing again on the Trader. "Aye gent.. you're too right! Could see it from a Weyr away.. sorry for those who don't but we all do what we hafta to get by.." her tone is quiet for this part before she smiles and moves on, voice returning to normal "Anyway! I can pick up some metals anywhere m'certain.. it's the glass that is most difficult. I'd need at least two full sheets, the finest granule and most condensed you've got. I'll still have to reduce it over and over again, but a lower price definitely sounds good."

AH! This canine just keep getting more and more amazing! Is he lifting up his paw to shake? Yes he is! They say there's nothing like a boy and his dog, and while Kale certainly has none, he still can appreciate canines for what they are: happy furry geniuses! Well. Some of them. He kneels down, paw in hand, and gives the dog a hearty handshake. "Now you good sir, are a well bred canine. My da always did say to look a man in the eye and give him a firm handshake when you're introducing yourself. Did yours do the same? Or was it Lei who taught you such good manners?" A crooked grin is given to the girl, whose shortened name he can remember, and Draka is given one last hearty headruffle before he lowers his paw down and stands up, swiping at his knee a bit. "I'm doin' well, thanks. Scored myself a good pair've new work boots from Garawan here, who's a rather fair trader I'll have to say."

Draka soaks it all up, the big porcine that he is, rich brown eyes gazing with sweet instant companionship during the shake with Kale. As if the question is well understood, he answers with a look towards Lei before looking back to the man. The dogs head then bows gently at the end of their shake as if his non-existent canine hat is being tipped to the man. Once their greeting is complete, it doesn't even take an order for him to know to return to his master's side. Those honeyed pools of eyes smile with her grin as she shares that glance with Kale. "Well it's good to see you again.. n'congrats on the score! Good work gear is a must…" she gives Draka some love and the hound leans in to her side. "You're a Smithcrafter right? Maybe you'd know where I can pick up some metal sheets? I've heard there's some new materials great for channeling images from viewing lenses?"

"Sheet metal?" echoes Kale, nodding his head soon after. "You're talkin' to the right smith. We've plenty've it. It's made every day. Sort've a fundamental of smithing," he says, gesturing with a hand in the direction of the forges. "Talk to any journeyman there, and they'll take care of you. If y'know what grade you're lookin' for, I can give them a heads up. I'm heading back there in a bit anyhow. My firelizard has gotten away from me, and I've already dumped his bathwater. So, if you see an ashen looking bronze flyin' about, give him the evil eye, will you?" He picks up the bucket that once held the aforementioned bathwater and approaches her. "So, I heard, or I think I heard, you're officially a Xanadu resident. That true?"

Zahleizjah smiles warmly, Xanadu really has been and is going to be the most transformational experience for this sheltered, and misunderstood, once orphan. "Really? Wonderful! I'll come by soon.. have you any idea some of the more refined types available there? I've been starting to experiment with alloys and titaniums, but smithing is beyond me, I'm just good at the physics design and glass architecture.." There's a gentle barking grumble from Draka, seems more encouraging to his master than anything. "Your firelizard? I will keep an eye out for him! An evil one.." ok she's still slightly awkward and will always be nerdy, but she's trying. At the next question though she's blushing slightly and looks away for a moment "I umm.. yes. You've heard right. I was umm, working on my gratitude letter for the transfer posting, but it seems some creature made off with it in the night.." for a brief instance she considers that missing bronze that was just mentioned. "Oh well.. I'm drafting another tonight hopefully.. if I can get the rest of my chores done.."

The grin that emerges on Kale's face now is a prideful one as he speaks on one of those rare topics that he tends to know a lot about: metal! "You're using it for what now? Channeling images? I won't pretend to know what that even means, but if you're looking for a more reflective type, there's plenty to choose from. If it's for decorative .. well, titanium's the prettiest, in my opinion, but it can get a bit pricey too. But it has a good luster as well, so it may work for what you're wanting it for." And at the confirmation that, yes, she is Xanadu's newest resident, he beams. "Well then, let me welcome you formally.." He clears his throat, gives his chest a few hearty throats, then bows lavishly. (And, let it be noted that he needs to work on that lavish bow of his!) "Welcome to Xanadu! Where things tend not to be boring, firelizards run amuck, winter blizzards freeze doors solid, Candidates go to space, and where the beach party originated." He smirk as he rights himself. "And apparently, where notes are eaten. Sorry to hear about your letter. Maybe it'll turn up before you have to write another."

Zahleizjah raises a brow, nodding and glad that her ideas were at least semi-conveyed in the common talk shared between their Crafts "Yes! Reflecting.. it helps to have certain metals that project far off images better via their interaction with the viewing lens. With the right convexity in the glass and particled metals the picture of distant objects becomes crystal clear.. I will definitely come by and test a few out.." As for the pretty and pricey factor she humbly mentions "Aesthetically I at least learned simple welding and soddering so the decorations are usually aftermarket if ya know what I mean.." She beams back and continues to blush, which only changes various shades of beet red as his formal welcoming commences. She giggles heartily at his introduction to the area "Sounds like my kinda place!" Not that she knows much of the cold, space or beach parties, but she wants to learn.. maybe.. even if A'dmar mostly likely will be less excited about those ideas."Well thank you Kale.. it's my pleasure and an honor to be part of such a… diverse and raucous place!" She snickers again at the 'dog ate my homework' like reference and shrugs "Not counting on it.. I'd rather be ahead of the game and start again than pine over something that might not return.." Now if only future dating advice would be so sage like.. wait is that even good advice for dating? Lessons to be learned indeed!
Woah, yes, deep words there, Zahleizjah! At least, Kale comprehends them in such a way that makes her latter statement sink further than what she probably intends for them to. Words to live by? Indeed, why pine and suffer for an unpromised something that may never be yours again when a fresh start will put you on a path in a direction that you yourself decide? "Diverse is a really good word," remarks Kale, who bobs his head once. "Right. Start a new letter. That's actually more, I think, than what most do. Granted, I've never been transferred anywhere or asked for one, but writing a letter of thanks wouldn't've crossed my mind. Maybe it's a woman thing." A pause, to think that over. "And a good thing, at that. Is it to our weyrleaders?" Another pause, and a snicker escapes. "Thea and A'dmar. So really, writing a letter to your father?" He grins and likely would keep talking, as talking is a skill of his, if it weren't for that nearby clocktower, so jauntily ringing out the time, causing him to cringe. "..Shards, is that really the hour?" He grasps the handle of his bucket. "I'm sorry, but I've to go. The day's run away from me! I'll look into sheet metal for you, alright? I'm glad I can help. Also glad you're staying," is said kindly as he waves to her, then turns to head off.

Funny how the simplest thing can mean so much when said at the right time. Zahl hopes whatever she said that it helps for any and all parties involved. There is something to be said for the hard work put in to fruitful endeavors, the long lasting kind that makes it through thick and thin.. again something she knows next to nothing about. She continues to smile petting the leaning dog who eventually leans so far he's sliding to a lay with the quickness. "Eh yeah integrity is important in matters of business, the heart and relaxation I'd say.." seems she's had a temporary bout of Confucius like thought processes overcome her today. "The letter was actually to everyone.. and the Weyrleaders.. also mentioning the upcoming Gather.. the date of the shower is approaching quickly!" She'd not really thought much of the letter, just seemed a nice thing to do.. oh the simple Hold raised girls.. she's just felt so welcomed here giving thanks seems necessary. And yes, that time it flies and she snickers in conjunction with Kale and nods "It is the hour.. no worries and see you soon. Thanks for checking on that metal and have a wonderful day. I truly appreciate your warm welcome and I'll see you soon.." she waves and heads back towards the Weyr.

Draka's lounge-mode changes rather quickly and he's off after his human, bounding up to her side as they depart.

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