Introducing Straws

Western Weyr - Living Caverns

Here is the center of Weyr life, the living caverns. These two main rooms were man-shaped from smaller caves, and are joined by a carved arch with depictions of dragons in flight and dolphins leaping in swirling waves. One room has many round stone and wooden tables and a stone fire-pit instead of a hearth. Over the round-walled, gas fired pit is a large conical hood made of polished bronze, with reliefs of dragons with their riders flying over ships guided by dolphins. This hood and chimney keeps the room smoke-free. Through the archway is an enormous hall, with long tables and benches, some carved from the rock floor, many crafted of wood. This room is a combination dining and meeting hall, and can seat over 300 comfortably. Above both rooms, angled shafts lined with polished metal bring in sunlight during the day. Electric lights also burn, day and night.

There are some things about a new place that take a while to get used to, and other things that don't. Getting his meal with tons of other people around, standing in line and holding slop trays is one of the things that Straws is very much used to. It's dinner time at Western, and since Straws is down with his menial tasks for the day it's time for something to eat! He takes a little bit of everything, the meat rolls, the roasted vegetables and tubers, the fruit salad, rolls, he'll try it all! He gets a mug of klah to finish up, and then heads to an empty table to start eating. One would think Straws could make at least one friend at the weyr, but he hasn't exactly been social since his arrival.

S'rorn drags his feet into the caverns as he rolls cream hued sleeves up to elbows, eyeing the current spread of food. Sure, it's the same old stuff but if you get to know the kitchen staff well enough, it's not hard to distinguish which days which bits of what are delicious or inedible. The trader-rider picks up a tray and settles for some roast, veggies, a roll, and a heaping pile of mashed tubers. Before moving over to the tables, the man manages to add a frosty mug to his meal before moving over to seat himself. With each step, the braided belt about his waist chimes in a steady rhythm as the little bells sway and bounce against the material. They come to a halt when Rorn finally places down his tray and sits not far from the stranger. As he takes a sip from his mug, he happens to glance over but doesn't say a word. There's food that is needing his attention, after all.

Qiana is trying her best not to limp along to dinner. And for once she's actually coming to dinner on time. The bonus of hurting yourself on the job is you tend to get let go on time, if not earlier, so you can actually make it to the meals while there's still good food to be had. Try as she might, however, Qi still limps a little bit, favoring her right side. After she has her own array of food from a salad with some fruits and some of the wherry to go along with it and a mug of water, she's scanning the crowd to see who else has made it to dinner already. A certain braided belt gets her attention and she's slowly working her way over to join S'rorn and the stranger, placing her tray down on the table so she can free herself to place a peck on S'rorn's cheek before sitting down. "Hey." Is her simple, but obviously fond, greeting.

Straws is mostly focused on his meal, but every once in a while he peers around like he's looking for someone. Or waiting for someone to jump him and take his food or something. There's a strange look given to the blonde rider for those bells. And Straws' eyes linger on Rorn's lady friend as well, though it's a different sort of look. Satisfied that no one is out to get him, he goes back to his meal. He's eating at a fairly lax pace, so he can't be in that much of a hurry to escape the caverns.

S'rorn quickly leans over and pulls the chair out beside him so Qiana can sit down with a little less difficulty. He's worried, but he quickly wipes the expression from his face. She's going to be fine and she's /here/. He can't ask for much more. The peck on the cheek does earn a warm smile and the rider grins back, before turning to his meal and beginning in on those veggies. "In a sevenday, I have to go to Tillek to take care of a business deal. I guess they've been having a lot of tradeships going through so if I can acquire some materials, I can go back to making stock when time allows." The brownrider stretches his legs out under the table, knees crackling as he does, before lowering them back down. The jingly belt chimes a little before brushing to a stop against the floor. He does glance over to the unfamiliar face and he pauses, taking a sip from his mug. "So, what work do you do around here? I don't think I've seen you before." Not suspicious at all, just a friendly tone. For now. He didn't miss those wandering eyes to his lady friend.

Qiana doesn't dig into her food right away, instead taking a few moments to mix up the wherry and the greens. Mmm. Tossed salad. And she starts in on her salad after that. "You have to go?" There's an obvious pout to her voice, but it seems to be a good natured pout. There's an uncomfortable shift on the hard chair, as she settles herself into a better position. At least for the moment. Qi seems to be a little more oblivious - though not completely so - to the look she's getting from Straws. "How long do you think your trip will last?" There's a flicker of her eyes towards Straws and a small smile, slightly uncomfortable, slightly shy.

Straws either doesn't hear Rorn, or he ignores him, because he keeps eating his dinner for a time. Though he must be at least sort of listening to their conversation, because since they's stopped talking he looks up to find them both looking at him. He coughs a bit. "Oh, were you talkin' to me? Sorry. I uh… jus' been doin' odd jobs I guess. Fer the headwoman and all. Yesterday I was muckin' today I was clearin' out some of the old foodstuffs in the kitchens and cleanin' out the shelvin'." Straws sops up some of the gravy on his plate with a roll, taking a bite of it before continuing with his mouth half-full. "Ya'll are 'riders?"

"Fraid so since Western is my route as far as my family is concerned. It'd only be for an afternoon and then I'd be back. Without Nyzieroth, it'd take a long time to hop ship and make the trip across." Rorn reaches over, brushing aside a few stray strands from her face before pressing a kiss to her cheek. "I promise I won't be gone too long." He turns back to his plate and begins to cut up his roast into smaller pieces, occasionally popping a tender bite into his mouth. He glances up to Straws, covering his mouth with his hand as he quickly finishes chewing. "Those kitchens could have some of the most oddest things one would ever imagine being in there. I bet you've seen quite a bit. I spotted a jar of pickled fish heads, once. Why anyone would want one is beyond me. I'm a rider, myself."

"Oh." Qiana manages after a few moments. "An afternoon isn't so horrible." She'll conceed to that, since her schedule can be pretty full on a normal day, keeping her out of their weyr for nearly the whole day. Straw's question gets a shake of the head from Qiana. "I'm not. I'm just a beastcrafter." She supplies, her voice just a trifle softer than what it was when talking to S'rorn.

Straws seems to study Rorn's face for a moment, before going back to eating and talking. he hardly spares a glance at the rider and his weyrmate. "Most of the time we used the left over bits for bait. Or the really nasty bits as bait in the spiderclaw traps. Not sure why anyone would want a jar of fishheads though either. The eyeballs might be worth something, but there ain't much else to eat there. Guess if you get it right you can maybe soften up the bone so that you can eat the whole thing, though. I didn't see anything like that, though. Mostly baking supplies and spices, pots and pans. The like of all that." There's a nod about Rorn being a rider, then he looks up as Qiana says she's not. "Fall off a runner?"

Rorn takes his roll, breaking off a small piece and uses it to soak up some of the gravy from his plate before popping it into his mouth. He slowly nods his head at the things the stranger lists off, there's always an abundance of that. "I can see keeping them for stock but I don't see what, much else, either." The brownrider leans back in his seat for a moment, taking a break from his own eager eating to take a slow drink from his mug. He glances over to Qiana when she's asked the question, curious as to what she'd say about the matter. How he guessed kind of caught him off guard, but when it comes to runners, it was likely the obvious answer.

Qiana's face flushes a medium shade of red at Straws' question. "Sort of. Is it that obvious?" Yes, she's shifting in her seat, and walking with a slight limp, but at least the bruising is more or less concealed underneath her clothing. She'd also like to think she was covering it up better than she had been. As to how one 'sort of' falls off a runner, that's up to interpretation. And she's applying herself back to her salad. Busy chewing, cannot answer questions, really!

Straws pauses for a moment to scratch his head and take a sip of his klah. "Stock? After they've been pickled? I dunno, maybe so. You'd think most of the taste would be out of them by then, but maybe that's the point. Not really ever been one for fish-soup. But I guess if you gotta make a little go a long way." Like around the weyr maybe, where you need to feed hundreds of people every day. "Sort of? Meh. Not that big on runners really. Gimme a boat any day. Heard dragons ain't so bad though."

Pickling could be better than heavy salting perhaps, but the heavy salting is all the brownrider knows. Sadly. "Naw, they aren't so bad. They're like people, got their own personalities. Some personalities are bigger than others. Can be a curse or a blessing, depending on what they're faced with." Rorn picks up his fork and returns to his veggies, shoveling a healthy serving into his mouth while he listens to the ongoing dialogue of Nyzieroth and, well… His opinion.

"People never give runners enough credit." Qiana mumbles, only partially under her breath. And she's actually stopping for a moment. "Runners are just as beautiful as dragons are. Or ships. You have a variety of breeds for your different purposes." It just so happens Qi was trying to train a rather obnoxious colt. There's a small shake of her head as she looks first to Straws, then to S'rorn, where her lips quirk into an amused smile. "Though at least runners can't talk directly into your mind." Blessing or curse, it depends on the moment.

Straws shrugs a bit. "Ain't never been good at dealin' with people, neither. A ship's got'her own personality usually too. Little different, though. Ya can always bend her to yer will, unless the sea says otherwise. Guess that's just me, though." He shovels a bit of food into his mouth. "Ain't really got a purpose for a runner, personally. 'm sure they're great for people that need 'em." He doesn't go into whether or not they're beautiful. Straws wouldn't know what was beautiful most likely. Or his idea would be a little strange.

A /little/ strange? Well, Rorn has seen some level of strange but chances are it was just his family. Or that creeper that wanders around the beaches at night, looking 'fer pretties'. He isn't sure what he makes of runners himself, but since he's been spending time with Qiana, he has learned enough to make them not so bad. "Runners can be beautiful, and once in a while, you'll get one with a good sense of humor, too. I guess with all things, we just gotta know when to look when the opportunity presents itself."

Stalk stalk stalk. A stiff-legged little walk is Kasi's entrance into the living caverns, the short little bluerider shedding her flight gear as she goes, leaving things strewn along the tables and chairs in her path as she makes unerringly for the serving table, elicting protests along the way from various chair sitters at the table. "Ah, stuff it," the blonde mutters, scowling before the table is reached and she's pouring herself a drink to return the other way, collecting her things as she goes until she's reached an empty table and chair, and plunks herself down, tossing off a jaunty little salute towards S'rorn. "Win'leadah, sir,"

Qiana gives S'rorn an amused look. "Awakening doesn't have a sense of humor. He's an ornery old stallion in a colt's body with a colt's energy." Awakening apparently being the runner that she 'fell' from. S'rorn's probably gotten the story from her already. But even with talking about grouchy runners, there's a grin on Qiana's face. "When you can watch something in motion…" And she just lets herself trail off there. She's been known to occasionally just watch a runner gallop along, or maybe watching a dragon or firelizard overhead.

Well, okay. It might be more than a bit strange. Though from the way Straws was eyeing Qiana before clearly he has an eye for beautiful girls? Kasi's entrance is noted, and Straws goes back to finishing up his meal. He doesn't really have much more to say about runners. He looks at Qiana at her comment about motion, giving her a half grin for a moment. Hopefully while Rorn is distracted with the other blonde. His eating as slowed considerably while they've been talking, but now it looks like he's in a rush to escape.

S'rorn pauses from his own shoveling of food and peers over at Kasira, covering his mouth with his hand once more as he quickly chews. Not quick enough for his liking, with this mouth full, he returns the salute anyway. As soon as the opportunity presents itself, the brownrider takes his mug and clears his throat before drinking a good amount of it. "Things going well within the wing as far as you can see?" Sometimes it's the casual moments like these that people are more willing to just say it like it is. No time for rehearsals or sugar coating. To Qiana's comment about Awakening, he has to agree and he does with a grin and silent nod.

"Oh aye," That's easy enough conversation for Kasira as she pushes the pile of flight gear towards table's edge, dropping it neatly into the chair opposite hers and takes a shallow sip of her drink. Hey, she's off duty now, she can get as soused as she wants. "Things havnae been bettah although thought 'e moight be daft, see, tha Weyrlead'r. Appointin' a boyo like yerself an' all, but then Bri an' me, we're jus' deliv'ry crew, ye get all tha 'ard work." Shells, the woman's pushing near forty, after all. "Better ye than me." Qiana gets a bit of a smile then, the bluerider hunkering down further into her chair in a lazy slouch. "Ye think everything's gonna be good with tha wing?"

There's a glance spared for Kasira as the other rider … stalks… into the living caverns, while Qiana is finishing up her salad, only to move onto one of the rolls she also picked up, breaking off pieces and popping them into her mouth. The beastcrafter shifts in her chair again, plainly trying to find that comfortable spot for her tailbone. "What's the hurry?" She asks of Straws, before the bluerider's words get her attention again, and she's looking between the two riders, if only for a moment.

Straws was hoping to finish up and duck out before anyone noticed. Like a ninja! Or something. But there's too much food left, also he's eyeing the tables for dessert. When Qiana addresses him, he blinks at her. "Huh? Oh, I dunno. Just thought I'd get to dessert a little quicker and leave my chair for someone else…" He washes down a bit a food with his drink then. "Looks like you could use a massage on some choice bits. If he doesn't mind, I could help you out, maybe." He nods to Rorn, indicating the rider as 'he' since he doesn't know his name.

Kasira's chair scrapes back, the bluerider hopping to her feet and making again for the buffet table, this time for some real food now that she's had a bit to take the edge off. "Looks loike ye git yer mits into places ye nae oughta be gittin' 'em." she observes to Straws, tilting her head to regard the man with a scrutinizing air. "Who says tha lady wants yer help?" Fingers pluck at the viands avaliable on the table, piling them onto a plate, a spoon used where necessary because contrary to belief, the bluerider does not eat with her hands. All the time anyway. Returning to her chair, she points her fork at the sailor-fellow. "Who're ye anyroads?"

Qiana rolls her shoulders in something of a shrug, though her face is turning red again. Seems that the beastcrafter girl likes to blush. "Maybe I do need a massage, but I'll wait until he's available for it." There's just a little bit of a curt bite to her tone, even as Kasira's standing up to both speak up for her and to get herself some food. There's a bit of relief written on her face as she nods to the blue rider, even as she not-so-discreetly nudges her chair closer to S'rorn's. "Anyways, it's not like I haven't lived through this before." Not that she makes a habit of jumping off galloping runners.

Straws blinks a bit at Kasira. "Eh? It ain't nothin' like that. Plus I was just askin' her. Maybe he don't want to give her massages. I dunno." There's a shrug for Qiana's response and a nod. Then he goes back to trying to finish up his dinner. Only to have a fork pointed at his face. He looks off to the side a bit, as if he doesn't want to say. "Call me Straws. Everyone else does. On account of my hair I guess. Color of straw. Maybe it was closer when I was a kid. I dunno. Ain't no one special. Used to work on a boat out there, but the captain found me heading off in it to fish someplace he didn't like so he canned me. Woulda been singin' a different tune if I'd showed up with a boat full of fish, though."

Kasira gives Straws a dubious look, one brow quirked upwards. "Well," she drawls out, "was yer wordin, see. Choice bits and all tha'. Mighta made me a tad suspicious," that fork drops though, prodding at her food, which gets shoved into the bluerider's mouth. Well, maybe not in quite so vulgar and rude a fashion as the word seems to imply. "An' ye 'eard 'er. She'll wait fer 'im." a nod over at her wingleader. "Straws, eh?" the name is considered, a shrug from the bluerider then. "Grew up in tha' back 'o beyond in Telgar. Wouldnae know what yer talkin 'bout when it comes to the ocean, so I'll take yer word fer it 'bout the boat an' the fish."

Qiana could easily find herself liking this older blueriding woman. The rider gets a bit of a grin from the girl, while Straws gets a brief cant of her head. "Straws?" It's Qi's turn to pipe up again, and the girl had been around the Weyr in her younger years, before going off to the Beastcraft Hall. But the fact she doesn't recognize him at all doesn't alarm her. Weyrs are big places. But she's not going to touch on the situation of making off with another person's boat, either. "So are you trying to get back on a ship's service, or just going to do odd jobs around the Weyr?"

No man, and he means no man will /ever/ touch his precious Qiana. Now some instances where she might need saving, he can't fault healers or her mentor in her craft. Everyone else can keep their hands off! Rorn sits there, raising a brow at this Straws fellow and merely… listens. Sure, he doesn't say anything just yet but the firm squeeze he gives his weyrmate's hand when she scoots closer is a good indication that he isn't pleased with the suggestion. Luckily, the bluerider already jumped to the point. If he had to, he'd likely be banned from the caverns for a while. The brownrider sits back, taking a moment to brush the blond strands out of his face while he listens to the conversation continue. Under the table, his heavy leather boots lightly tap on the floor, quiet in his well composed agitation.

"I just meant the bits that hurt, is all," Straws tries to defend himself. It's hard for a man though. Especially one who was ogling Qiana before. "I ain't forcing myself on 'er, am I? Sheesh. Are all the weyr women this touchy?" He furrows his brow at both the women then. "Ain't either of you got names? It's usually polite to give yours. You know mine now. If you c'n even call it a name I guess." There's a shrug for Qiana's question. "Maybe sometime. Ain't none gonna have me back fer a while, though." He picks up a napkin and rubs his face with it.

Kasira is a likable little bluerider, honest. At least as long as nobody's on the wrong end of a shipment, or she hasn't gotten drafted to help with the weyrlings. Then she's grumpy and grouchy and unlikeable. Let that be a lesson, people. "Nae ye aint," she remarks to the sailor-man. "But ye mighta made it sound like ye was, the way ye was talking." she scowls a bit at him. "Nae touchy folks 'ere." she comments, "but jus' lookin' out fer our own." a pause, Kasi finishing off her meal with one last bite of food. Chewing slowly, she washes it down with a swig of her drink before answering. "Ye can call me Kasira. Bluerider."

"The bits that really hurt, are the bits I'd prefer only Healers touch, as far as strangers go." Qiana says, reaffirming her point though her tone is a bit less sharp than it was a moment ago. Because he isn't forcing himself on her at all. Probably partially because of the simmering brownrider right next to her. And now it seems like introductions are in order. "Qiana. Senior apprentice and jockey." Qi spares a glance out the corner of her eye at S'rorn and almost chuckles, nudging him slightly with her good shoulder. "Breathe." Is said quietly.

Breathe? Breathe. Right. S'rorn takes a deep breath and relaxes himself a bit. He has Qiana by his side and within arms reach. Perhaps it was a misunderstanding, and he's over reacting but he can't help to question certain things. "S'rorn. Brown Nyzieroth's rider. Suppose that was something we should've started our conversation off with, in all honesty. Well met, then. Straws." At the very least, the man manages a civil tone and a crooked smile, if nothing more to settle the nerves of those around him. No harm done, right? Yet?

Or when she's yelling at you for making a pass at some random girl you just met in the caverns. Straws doesn't look too happy right now with how things are going. He'll have to get dessert to go. "Well, it's good to meet you all. Kasira, Qiana, S'rorn. I should get going, though. I got some things to take care of, then I need to turn in early. The headwoman has me moving things around in the stores or some such for the morning delivery." There's a nod to everyone, and then the blonde man is sliding over to the food tables to pick up a pie before he heads out.

"Soak it off," Kasira suggests to Qiana. "Good 'ot soak in tha 'ot springs, does a body wonders." her plate emptied, she rises to her feet, jerking her chin in a curt nod to the sailor guy. "Suppose we oughta see ye 'round anyroad," she remarks. "Watch out fer the 'eadwoman, 'hear she's nasty with 'her broom." Nasty doesn't quite define it really. That last is said rather cheerfully, as if Kasi is hoping that someone, namely someone named -Straws- is going to get whacked around by a tyrannical broom wielder. She still hasn't gotten over the yelling at sailor guys for making passes at random girls, see. "Gotta git," she remarks, making a grab for a pie herself. "Early delivery tomorrow. Two big crates o' stuff. Bri's gonna hate me."

"Maybe a soak will do me some good before bed." Qiana remarks, lifting a hand in a wave to both Straws and Kasira as she stands up herself, taking care with her strides, but none the less heading towards those hot springs. "Enjoy your evenings."

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