Late One Night

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.

It is well past midnight, and all is quiet in the Xanadu living caverns. The light of the glows seems dim, with nary a soul stirring at this late hour. But someone is awake, and looking grumpy besides! Cenlia comes in from the clearing, having just been dropped off by B'mil. The girl is carrying two sleeping, newly-hatched firelizards, a bronze and a brown. Her two blues are quiet on her shoulders, Rogue not makeing a peep - for once. Bidding farewell to the B'mil, and wishing him luck on tracking down his friend who is apparently… flying drunk somwhere over Pern. Wait what? Anyone hearing the girl and the greenrider talking might wonder just /what/ they've been up to, but the greenie quickly departs, off to catch up to his friend. Cenlia, shaking her head, stands at the entrance and watches him go, grumbling, "Good waste of bad booze…"

Thea is seated at one of the tables, a stack of papers to one side and a smaller pile under her head testament to her dedication to her new job - Ysa's abandoned paperwork. The Junior has apparently fallen asleep while working late into the evening near the fire's warmth. Hushed voices of sleepy folk coming and going have long since faded into a soft burble, so a couple of new ones don't stir her. Soft breathing can be heard under the curtain of hair spilling over the table's edge.

As Cenlia turns to head inside, Rogue spies someone familiar, and lets out a trill in greeting. Of course, being Rogue, the noise he lets out is enough to make Cenlia jump, and wake the other three firelizards, who immediately begin creeling for food. At least little blue Mizzle has the decency to give the farmer girl a zleepy nuzzle before complaining for food.

A creeling firelizard might not register upon the consciousness of a dreamer, but -four- certainly will. And they do. Thea's head lifts and a hand brushes at the curtain of hair across her face. Bleary eyes blink out at the… group. "Cenlia. And flock. Um, hi. What hour is it?" A huge yawn follows, "I need klah." Then she blinks a few more times, "Have you seen Niva? I couldn't find her."

Cenlia rushes for a bowl of meat, and spies Thea, and groans, "Dunno, too late for this sort of thing," and she disappears into the kitchen for a few minutes and comes back with a large bowl of cooked wherry slices under one arm, and a couple mugs of hot klah held in each hand. She sets the klah down carefully and takes a seat near Thea, letting her… flock of hatchlings devour the meat in the bowl. The little bronze gives Thea a cheeky warble and waggles his rear at her, though what /that/ is supposed to mean only he knows. The brown hisses, and then practically dives into the bowl. "Haven't seen her," Cenlia says as she settls near the fire, pushing a mug towards Thea. "Been trying to avoid her." The girl spies all the paperwork nearby and winkles her nose, saying, "They got you working overtime, huh?"

Thea watches Cenlia come… and she watches Cenlia go. In her befuddled state she doesn't register the need that drives the girl. As she returns with the bowl and mugs, Thea rises to help, but not quickly enough, so back down she goes. "I didn't mean for you to serve me, silly." She grins, still sleepy. "Thanks though." And she cradles one of the mugs inhaling the steam for a moment before sipping gratefully and nodding. "Paperwork needs doing. You're avoiding Niva, huh? Why is that?" She asks wryly. The bronze gets a chuckle, "And what is your name you little flirt?"

Cenlia grins at Thea, "Was heading to the kitchens anyways," and she sips her own mug of klah, and half-snorts, "The way she knocked back that tuber ale, wouldn't wanna come within a dragonslength of her when she's mad. Them two riders still missing? Saw Kinseth, so I know she ain't kicked X'hil outta the weyr yet for trying to give back the knot," and the girl grins, "Serves him right though, getting the senior weyrwoman drunk." As if she'd had nothing to do with it. At Thea's question, Cenlia eyes her four little 'lizards warily, "Haven't thought of names for them yet. Ugh, Myra was telling me she had as many, but at least they weren't all babies all at once." And the girl groans again. The little bronze, having stuffed himself, and seeing he'd got Thea's attention, practically swaggers across the table towards here, neck extended, and makes a soft, cheeky 'rwowrr' at the goldrider.

"They are." Thea answers resignedly. "Smart of 'em not to say where they were going, or I'd be poping in at the most inopportune times to ask Ysa how to do this or that. Likely she knew that." She tickles at the tiny bronze with one finger, then sips her own klah before adding, "Heard about X'hil. Wonder if R'miel will be surprised or pleased? Hisolda was also ranting about some mess in the kitchens, but she didn't make a lot of sense. You know anything about that?" She raises one eyebrow at Cenlia questioningly.

Cenlia snickers and agrees, "Smart of 'em, yea." The little bronze lets out a happy croon, and seems about to scuttle over closer to Thea, but his brown brother suddenly pounces on his tail. With an 'awk!' the two tiny firelizards face off, but Cenlia grabs the bronze before they can get into hissing, and deposits the surprised flit in her lap. The brown huffs, and goes back to eating, giving poor Mizzle a growl. The two blues wisely stay out of his way. Cenlia mutters, "Almost preferred the trundlebugs," but then Thea is asking about a certain mess and the gardener girl coughs, grinning sheepishly, "We-eell…" and than she quickly and shamelessly changes the subject, "So what was the emergency you had to run off and leave me in the weaverhall for?"

Thea just looks steadily at Cenlia for a moment, ignoring the firelizard spat going on across the table. She lifts her mug, draining the last of the klah. "I asked you first," She says calmly. She is quiet for a few moments, gathering the paperwork and stacking it neatly back in the sheaf and closing it. "Cenlia, I'm trusted to help the Weyr run smoothly. Which is nearly impossible at times with drunk Weyrwomen, an absent Weyrwoman and…" she smiles faintly, "a nearly hysterical headwoman ranting about messes in her kitchen." She stands, taking the sheaf in the crook of her arm, "Please enjoy youself here," she pauses with a sigh and a half-smile, "but don't burn down the weyr, hmmm?" She yawns hugely and mutters about getting some sleep and heads out.

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