An Unhappy Weyrwoman

Xanadu Weyr - Garden


An arch woven from the tendrils of a willow tree stretches overhead lightly creeping with ivy as one steps in from the meadow into this sanctuary of green. Cool gray flagstone carefully spaced enables a soft velvety moss to thrive within the cracks, and creates a single wide pathway that fluidly breaks off into two paths of stone once free of the natural arbor. It is a wonder this place, and meticulously tended from the way it seems not a single leaf is out of place. On either side of the main path expansive grassy patches are trimmed short and edged behind with natural tan colored stone selectively chosen to stack just right. Beyond these are a line of fine puffed shrubberies in vibrant green intermingled with flowering bushes of brilliant pinks varying in hue from the very light to the very dark, which causes the occasional snowy white blossoms of other scattered here and there without worry to simply pop out of the scenery.

Directly in the center of the garden is another wall of intricately stacked stone, this of muted grays, creating what from the air would prove to be a perfect circle. It's been set high for safety, but not so much as one would not be able to lean over it to admire what lies beyond, either standing or sitting at the smattering of benches whose backs are set every four feet along it. Flush to the ground inside it's protective stone outcropping, is an enormous twenty foot wide fish pond. Within one can glean the metallic glint of playful goldfish, the unhurried cruise of fat koi, and even a frog or three among pale yellow and white flowering water lilies and their thick green pads.

The trees surrounding the entire garden were planted to give the impression that they had always been here, not only lending to a rustic look, but also eluding to the beauty that can be found among the wilds if only one might just look for it. Species vary from the ordinary Birch and Pine, but the flaming red capsules of the Indian Shot to the robust orange spokes of the Firewheel tree suggest the spice of the exotic. The two paths leading away from the entrance have come full circle, wrapping around to meet each other on the other side, yet still continue on to the far left and right. One path leads off deeper into the surrounding woods, while the other wider; cheerily decorated with brightly colored slabs of painted stones.

It's late afternoon with Rukbat's rays casting long shadows across the ground. Thea walks through the garden slowly, not really with any purpose. From the way she's walking an appraising eye might realize Thea's… well, not -drunk-, really but she has had something stiff. Behind he Ruin glides chirruping with joy at his 'slave's' misery. He's keeping an arm's length away and for good reason. Occasionally Thea waves an arm in the air behind her trying to bat the mean firelizard away.

Cenlia is at her usual spot beside the greenhouse, working on sorting seeds and cuttings. Her four flits, two blues, midnight-dark Rogue and bright Mizzle, Brown Trouble, and bronze Charmer are all playing nearby. Cenlia spies Thea and waves a hello, and then peers a little closer. Is the weyrwoman tipsy? Charmer spies Thea and scurries closer, waggling his rear cheekily and crooning as friendly greeting, trying to get her attention.

Stretching shadows and the dappled play of fading light nearly hide the lounging shape of Chaise. She's stretched out in the long grasses beneath the trees at the garden's edge with chin propped in one hand and writing stick in the other. She writes in a book bound in red leather, quick neat strokes that are interrupted by the sound of footsteps and firelizard noises. The sounds lift her head a bit and she eyes Thea with a vague smirk playing around her wide mouth. Not drunk, indeed.

Thea isn't really watching where she's going and nearly steps on Chaise's outstretched legs. "Oh-oops! Sorry there." She wavers just a bit, arms windmilling to catch her balance before bending to peer more closely at the girl. "Have we met? Oh, wait. We have." She wrinkles her nose, trying to remem- "It's Chaise. Yes." She stands upright, swaying just a bit. Forget it, she'll just sit down. Yeah. She plops down right there. "Whatcha up to?" There's a movement out of the corner of her eye, so she turns her head and catches Cenlia, giving her friend a little wave. Ruin settles in a tree branch.

Cenlia giggles a bit at Thea and wanders over, saying with a grin, "You alright?" Cenlia spots Chaise, and smiles a greeting, "Hi, I'm Cenlia." Charmer, seeing the weyrwoman sitting down, and spotting Chaise right there, makes a beeline for the women, crooning sweetly and waggling that shiney tail. The little goldeny-bronze flit spreads his wings and strikes a pose, with his neck arched and his head tilted to the side. Cenlia's other flits eye the bronze, the blues trilling a greeting to Thea, while the brown just snorts in disgust and goes back to tearing up bits of dead leaves under the shrubbery.

Chaise tucks her legs out of Thea's way and flicks her book closed in one efficient motion. More languidly she pushes herself up into a more upright seated posture, folding her legs in front of her and settling long-fingered hands in her lap. "Chaise," she confirms with that grin barely lingering. "Did you find a better pairing for your firewater, or did you end with just that one glass?" It's casual but her eyes are merry. As Cenlia arrives she gets a brief wave, and once again she repeats, "Chaise. Journeyman Computer Crafter." The flit just gets a glance and a little finger-wiggle of a wave.

X'hil enters the garden with Griselda and the twins. Great, a pair of toddlers, that's going to end well. "No, no, let /go/ of mummy's hair…" Izzy is telling to the twin dressed in green. "Let /go/." But she's trying to keep a calm voice. X'hil is having a much better time with the twin dressed in brown, little Grahil eagerly squeezing the life out of the man's brown firelizard, who is squeaking in protest. This just makes the boy giggle. "Skeeky skeeky!" he coos.

Thea's relaxed, she's very relaxed. This is good, because it's been a very trying day. She tries to focus on her friend, "Hi Cen, I'm - I've been better." The weyrwoman mutters an answer to Chaise, "Shards, no. I think the 'tender put too much of it in my wine, tho. M'not used to drinkin'." This is true, even tho she's been hanging with Ysa and Cenlia, which is a small miracle. "She's new here," Thea offers, unnecessarily to Cenlia. The sounds X'hil's family is making draws her attention and she smiles at the tots, but a small uncertain frown forms when she sees the bronzer.

"Firewater?" Cenlia raises her eyebrows, glancing from Chaise to Thea, "Weyrwoman Ysa been giving away more booze?" The girl grins at Chaise, "Computercrafter, huh? M' brother was one, before he got kicked outta Landing," the girl looks around in case said brother might be around, then adds, "He ain't tellin' me what he did, but he been cranky as a sick hen since he left." Of course, the man's current stay in the infirmary and recent run-ins with mad ovines probably haven't helped his disposition. The gardener girl seems about to say more, but she hears X'hil and company, and turns to glance over at them, giving the family a wave in greeting.

All of this is a lot to take in for Chaise. She doesn't know about everything that followed Cenlia's brother's arrival at Xanadu, so she just slowly nods. "I came here from Landing. What's his name?" She offers a hand, adding a "Well met," for good measure. She nods to X'hil and his family as well - she's been doing a lot of that lately. The arrival of yet more firelizards and now toddlers has her drawing her legs closer yet, scooting back until she can lean back against the nearest tree.

X'hil grins at little Grahil's antics, though he does gently pry the firelizard out of the boys hands… Well, until the boy starts to look like he might cry. The man /quickly/ gives the firelizard back at that, despite the brown's disappointed rumbling. He spots Thea and Cenlia, and gives a wave to the two, blinking a little at Chaise. He doesn't know her yet, does he? Thea's frown isn't really noticed yet. Grahilda finally lets go of her mother's hair, to Izzy's great relief. The woman nods at Cenlia, arms full of toddler at the moment. The young parents come and sit down, letting the toddlers crawl around nearby. Meredith wriggles free and flies to a tree, but the boy has found a trundlebug to play with now, so he doesn't mind. The brown keeps a /very/ watchful eye on the toddlers.

At the mention of Ysa's name, Thea stares at Cenlia for a long moment, blinking. "Noooo. She's not giving away any booze. It was a toast to 'er. She's gone." She pauses glowering, collecting her thoughts. She half-growls the next words, "For good. Niva gave her the boot." Charmer is finally noticed, or deliberately so. Whichever, it gives Thea the excuse to turn her head away from the approaching X'hil to scritch the little bronze's chin, and dangit, she's wiping her eyes. "I try that with Ruin and he'll bite me," she says roughly as she turns back.

Cenlia's flits keep their distance from the toddlers, having seen the squeezing of poor Meredith over there. The little bronze does waggle his rump at X'hil and Izzy, but then Thea's giving him scritches! He crooons happily at Thea, attempting to tilt his chin up for scritches while trying to nuzzle her fingers at the same time. Cenlia is still grinning at Chaise, "M' brother's name is Eledri. Been a pain since he got here," the girl grumbles a little. When Izzy and X'hil come over, Cenlia grins and offers a, "Hey," and tells the bronzer, "Sorry I ran off the other day, had to keep Charmer from pestering one of the candidates. There's this boy who was workin' in the garden, and kept feedin' him." Cenlia eyes her bronze flit, and then eyes Thea, frowning just a little, "Gone?" The gardener girl furrows her brow, not having heard about this. When Ruin is mentioned, the girl glances around warily, but doesn't say anything more.

First things first. X'hil's giving Chaise that 'do I know you' look, which is quickly becoming familiar to the newly arrived woman. She offers him her polite smile and calls an easy, "Chaise, newly posted from Computers," in answer to his unasked question. Then Thea's words actually soak in and she quiets, blinking. She obviously doesn't know this Ysa but the name is familiar and it brings her up short. Her lips purse as if to offer a surprised whistle but she thinks better of it. Makes all the happenings in the tavern make a lot more sense at any rate. Instead she looks over at Cenlia. "Oh, is this where he ended up then? I'll have to swing by and say hello sometime."

X'hil blinks at Thea. "Er… Are you okay?" he asks, with a frown. "Ysa's gone?" Wait, that means R'miel's gone too, right? /Someone/ won't be touching another drop of ale until the weyrsecond knot is reassigned. Cough. He shakes his head at Cenlia, and is about to say something, but Izzy interrupts, "Hey, did you try the meatrolls?" she asks, and X'hil looks a little guilty. He didn't tell her that the firelizard got it, obviously. Grahil is enjoying playing with his little trundlebug friend, and Grahilda is crawling determinedly towards Chaise. X'hil smirks at the determined toddler, and introduces himself and his 'family', with appropriate pointing hand gestures. "X'hil, rider to bronze Kinseth. Griselda, or Izzy, from the kitchens. Our boy in brown, Grahil, with the trundlebug, and our girl in green, Grahilda, coming over to say hello." He grins. Grahilda burbles happily, "eh-oh!" she coos, probably trying to say hello. It's a tricky word.

Thea silently jerks a thumb over her shoulder at the tree branch where Ruin lurks, making throaty noises of pleasure at both Thea's tears and all that squeezing Meredith is enduring. Chaise's introduction of herself has the Junior clearing her throat, "Oh, I'm sorry! Chaise, this is X'hil, bronze Kinseth's rider. Uh, Seryth is one of the queens carrying his eggs. We can't find the other one." Okay this weyrwoman has had too much to drink for sure because, yeah. Usually, not something she'd tell someone she just met. "Yes, they both are gone and no I'm not okay!" Thea snaps at X'hil, but her ire fades as quickly as it flares and she deflates visibly. "Ysa… was my friend." It slowly sinks in why X'hil is concerned and she has a sudden fit of laughter. "Y-you better avoid Niva if you don't want that Weyrsecond knot back." The thought has cheered her considerably.

Cenlia nods at Chaise, and then shakes her head at Izzy, "Didn't get to." The gardener girl sounds more than a little disappointed, but then brightens and asks, "You plannin' to make any more? I could help. Used to work in the kitchens with my ma back in South Boll." Cenlia in a kitchen? The horror. Cenlia glances at Thea, looking a bit concerned and giving X'hil a sideways look, as if the bronzer were somehow to blame. But as the weyrwoman is mentioning that weyrsecond's knot, Cenlia muffles her own snerk. Charmer is still attempting to charm Thea's hand.

It's awkward, being the newcomer in the midst of all the drama. Chaise lifts a hand as if to pat Thea's arm but it falters halfway there and just sort of flops back to her knee instead. She murmurs some vague sort of well-meant apology instead, and then her attention is snagged by the approach of one small human who seems keen on making friends. "Oh." It's an almost strangled little sound, and she offers a weak wave. "Hi there. Um, Grahilda did you say? They're, ah, cute." Something like that. "Well met X'hil, Izzy." That at least seems sincere.

X'hil looks highly confused by Thea's reactions. He understands missing friends, kind of, but he settles on a grimace at her laughter. "Bah. I just need to remind her about that /other/ clutch." he mutters, then scowls. He was trying not to think about that /other/ clutch. He falls quiet then, frowning. Izzy ignores the man, grinning at Cenlia. "Ah, yes, definitely! You /have/ to come by some time!" she says, enthusiastically. Culinary experiments are her forte. "Working on getting a new specialty recognised by the craft: Putting booze in stuff." she adds, with a snicker. Little Grahilda giggles as Chaise says her name, and bobs her little toddler head, crawling closer, and then reaching up at Chaise. Does she want to be picked up? "Er, do you need a hand there?" X'hil asks of Chaise finally, offering rescue-from-toddler.

Thea enjoys Cenlia's levity, explaining to Chaise with dancing eyes, "Weyrwoman Niva gave X'hil a promotion to second-Weyrsecond when ours took a vacation. Now he's our ex-second weyrsecond." Her eyes slide teasingly towards X'hil, "Although that could change anytime to ex-ex second weyrsecond." She leaves it up to Cenlia and X'hil to explain that tuber ale was involved in Niva's first decision. Mainly because she's confused herself with all the ex's and seconds. And some Igen Firewater in Ysa's memory has helped her along. Thea isn't observant enough to catch X'hil's confusion or the marauding tots. In fact, it's finally seeped into her brain that tomorrow, she's going to regret that trip to the pub. "I think… I think I should go to bed. G'night all." And she wobbles to her feet and meanders off towards the meadow. Ruin utters a disgruntled huff and leaps skyward to disappear :between:. Not enough misery here to suit him.

Turning back to Izzy, Cenlia grins and says jokingly, "It ain't too late fer me to change crafts, is it?" And the girl giggles, "Been spending almost as much time looking for a spot to set up a still as I been workin' in the garden." And then her grin gets even wider, mischief evident in her eyes, as she asks, "Dun suppose you got any idea for a place? I know how to make some interesting stuff." At Thea's mention of X'hil and all the ex weyrseconding stuff, Cenlia bursts out laughing, though she manages to wave a goodbye to the departing weyrwoman. Charmer, it seems, is in full flirt-mode, and seeing Thea leaving, he gives a little dismayed trill, and then focuses on Chaise. But there's a toddler there, hmm. Oh hey, look! He doesn't know Izzy! Charmer scuttles over to croon as Izzy and X'hil.

Chaise flashes X'hil a wan, grateful smile and dips a little nod. "She might need a hand anyway. I'm afraid I have an early morning of getting things settled and I should probably head to bed. No time for playing, sorry." That last is to the little girl in question who gets a smile all her own, though it's not the most confident one. So saying Chaise gathers up her book and satchel and stretches as she stands. She sort of follows the Weyrsecond talk as she prepares to leave, but what about this day has been clear? Not much. So she just nods a bit blankly. "It was nice to meet you all," she offers before heading out after Thea.

X'hil scowls. "I'm not the… No, /Kinseth/. Sharding bronze… I've said it before, and I'll say it again, /he/ should be weyrsecond, he wants it bad enough." As Chaise gets up, X'hil moves over to pick up his daughter, and wrinkles up his nose. "/Shards/. We'd best get you /changed/." he grimaces, holding the girl at arm's length. Izzy grins at Cenlia. "I'll show you where I've got mine set up, it's a good spot." she says, with a wink, as she picks up the boy. Best get them back home. Meredith /sighs/ up in the tree, and relaxes. They're gone, he's free, huzzah!

Cenlia waves a goodbye to Chaise, saying, "Was nice to meet you!" Poor Eledri, he doesn't yet know somebody from Landing is around. Cenlia nods to Izzy, laughing again at X'hil and his kids and waving to them as they go. The gardener gets back to her garden, and poor Charmer is left to flirt with the trundlebugs.

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