What Are You In For?

Winter - Month 11 of Turn 2716
Half Moon Bay Weyr - Living Cavern

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.

It was a dark and stormy… afternoon. Lunch time in fact, though the heaviness of the cloud cover may lead some to believe it's much later. Inside it's bright, as per usual, and busy (also as per usual), with weyrfolk and 'riders grabbing a meal and taking some much needed down time. Weyrlingmasters also need downtime. Especially when their green dragons are tending towards the 'glowy' side of the spectrum, as Toith it. So R'sner has tucked himself away at a table that was once isolated but is now becoming less-so as the crowd grows and available seats vanish. He's still got half a plate of food to work through but his attention is on the book in his hand, one elbow propped on the table as he idly peruses a page.

After working all morning in the kitchens for her chores, Ashwini has earned herself some downtime for lunch. Since she helped prepare most of the food laid out for lunch she knows exactly what she wants. Thusly a plate is filled up and a drink poured. Naturally the next step is to find a spot to eat. A harder task than she anticipated since she was unawares of just how quickly the place was starting to fill up. Weaving through a couple crowded tables she winds up at R'sner's slowly filling up table. Pausing at a spot across from him she hesitates momently before sliding into the seat. Still fairly new to the weyr she doesn't see any familiar faces. "Good afternoon." her greeting is aimed for anyone within a few chairs of her.

The sigh emitted from R'sner is probably not meant for Ashwini, though it does coincide rather inconveniently with her arrival. His fingers twitch, lifting to turn the page of his book in a smooth gesture borne from long hours of the same. Habit, clearly. And then the greeting, which earns an over-the-book glance her direction. "Yup," he offers in return, a flat sort of acknowledgement about the time of day. But a moment later the book goes down, page marked, and the candidate across from him has his attention. "Supposed to salute, I think." He thinks.

With an inward wince and no doubt a mental reminder for her to remember this also, Ashwini blushes faintly at the missed salute. "Sorry. Sir!" hastily she sketches a salute that is quite evident she's no pro when it comes to saluting. But she tries. Once the salute is sketched she doesn't hold it ( if she's supposed to) but lets the hand drop to nervously twist the still fairly new white knot adorning her shoulder. She looks unsure if she can start eating yet, her gaze drifting to R'sner where she's not doubt trying to decipher his rank from his knot if he has one on.

Is R'sner wearing his knot? Probably not. Wouldn't be the first time it got left behind "accidentally". And since the corner of his mouth sort of twitches up at the salute delivered, maybe he's not really as much of a stickler for such things? "It's fine," offered a bit more sympathetically, perhaps in response to the somewhat nervous twisting. "You can relax a bit, I won't bite," he decides, reaching for his own glass to take a sip before continuing. "I don't recognize your face, though. Are you newly Searched?" And then, because perhaps it is helpful to offer something in return, he says, "I am the Weyrlingmaster. Which means you are going to see a lot of my face for the next few months," added somewhat sarcastically. "R'sner. And the green stalking around the bowl is my Toith."

Ashwini's hand drops to wrap around her drink. "Newly searched." as she keeps talking she relaxes a bit more. Enough to take several bites of her food. "Ashwini. Searched by Ila'den." here she pauses with a couple blinks. "I think. Or maybe it was Citayla. It's all a bit of a blur to be honest. Tanit and I got searched at the same time. "Nice to meet you sir. And Toith too." despite her not being her in the cavern.

"Ah," in affirmation. "Well, congratulations then," R'sner offers a second later, the side of his mouth doing that twitch-thing again that tries to be a smile. "Nice to meet you, Ashwini," he offers, and though he refrains from commenting on Ila'den or Citayla, there's a bit of a snort at the mention of them. Amusement perhaps. A glance towards the bowl, and he adds, "Toith says hi, too," in a tone that sounds vaguely exasperated. "She'll want to meet you eventually, if she doesn't forget," he warns. Another sip, and he wonders, "Where are you from?"

"Most recently I've from Ista. Traveled around quite a bit when I was a kid." comes her off hand reply. The greeting and promise of being introduced to the green draws a quick look towards the bowl as if she could see the green through the wall. "She doesn't talk a lot does she?" she questions. "One of the other candidates tells me there's this one dragon who talks to like everyone. Loudly. But they didn't know who though."

R'sner's gaze follows Ashwini's, despite the stone that separates them from the weyrbowl (and the green on the other side). "Toith? No. Only to me," which is either a blessing or a curse, depending on who you ask. Res? Definitely has that wry expression that might suggest it's the 'curse' variety for him. "Who was the candidate?" he wonders. As for those talkative dragons? "Xermiltoth is known to speak to whomever he pleases. And Xanadu has a queen that visits now and again, who also speaks to just about everyone. They are harmless, mostly." Mostly.

Ashwini wrinkles her nose in thought. "Don't remember his name. Said he just got searched the other day." one shoulder shrugs absently. "Mostly harmless. Nice." she muses. Several minutes pass as she concentrates on lunch a moment, people watching some of the others passing by. "Whatcha reading?" or rather was reading.

"They are dragons," says R'sner simply. "So 'mostly' harmless is as good as you'll likely get." As Ashwini goes to the focusing of attention on food, so does he; tucking into his plate as if he's just realized it still holds food. He's not messy about it, at least. "Hm?" for the question, and his gaze drifts to the book he set aside. A moment of hesitation, and then he offers, "An old book of poetry," in a voice that tries to be casual. A pause. A frown. "Half Moon has a rather nice library, if reading is something you enjoy."

"Oh?" Ashwini's interest clearly perks up at the mention of the library. "Where's it at?" clearly it is something she enjoys. And clearly she's not done enough exploration. "I've not had much chance yet to really explore."

"A bit further down the inner caverns," and R'sner indicates the tunnel that leads back further into the weyr with a jerk of his thumb toward the dark opening. A bit of a smirk (if it can be called that), and he adds, "Just don't get caught ducking out of chores to read. But yes; they have one of the nicer libraries." He pauses, fork poised over his plate, to consider the candidate briefly before asking, "What genres do you enjoy?"

Ashwini nods a bit, making a mental note of where to go. Next chance she gets. "Nope, chores will be done." mostly. As far as genres.. "History mostly. And weapons making."

While 'history' gets an approving look from R'sner, it's the second topic that demands response. "Weapon's making," he repeats flatly. "What is it you did, before being Searched?" is asked with a bit more caution, and perhaps some suspicion. "Or are weapons a hobby?"

"Hobby." comes the reply, a hint of smile tugging at her lips at the bit of caution in his tone. "Don't worry, I don't go stabbing people for fun." Ashwini assures the Weyrlingmaster. "I've learned a bit of defense from various people while moving around with my parents. Wrestling, hand to hand and some weapons work. Knives mostly. And after a while I got interested in making them. Haven't made any yet but I've been looking for books on how."

Does R'sner believe her? Hm. His frown and half-squinting gaze may say 'no', but he does relent and resume eating with some semblance of normalcy. "Interesting. Just be careful," he begins, "about how you proceed. There really are some who make a habit of stabbing people, for fun or profit." A thoughtful tilt of his head as he continues with, "it is handy skills to have. Self defense especially. Weyrlings are taught that as part of their training. If you Impress, you'll have a leg up there." As for books on weapon making? "Might have more luck asking the guards about that. Library may not keep those types of things on record; could be dangerous." Because of those aforementioned 'fun and profit' stabbing folks. "Are your family part of a trading caravan?" asked curiously. "You mentioned moving a lot?"

Ashwini shakes her head, deciding just then to pop one last bit of roll into her mouth. "Naw, parents were Master Harper and Healer. They always had different postings." roll finished and washed down with the last bit of drink. "They've retired and I'm quite willing to stay put in one place." letting the subject of knives simply drop away casually. "They'll get invited to the hatching. Right?" the thought pops into her head suddenly.

The next 'ah' is much more expression, and a lot less vocal. But nonetheless, there's that moment of understanding that dawns across R'sner's face, and an acknowledgement that comes in a slow nod of his head. "I see," for the parents. "That sounds… difficult." Various postings. Different places. "Or… was," as they are apparently no longer so transient? Dropping the subject of sharp objects seems to be a good idea, and one that R'sner is happy to let lie. "Of course. You can invite whomever you wish. Parents of candidates are typically afforded a dragonrider escort, if they do not live within the Weyr itself. I have also known a few to come and spend a few sevendays here, as a bit of a holiday, when it becomes clear the hatching is imminent."

"They settled at Ista Weyr actually so I would assume they could get a ride from someone there?" Ashwini sounds unsure on this. "Is there warning time? Before the eggs hatch?"

"I am sure they could," agrees R'sner. As for warning? He purses his lips, thoughtful. "Well… yes and no. It is much like a human birth. The Healer may know around-about when the baby will come, but the actual day and time of delivery remains a mystery until it is happening." He sets his fork down and threads his fingers together. "We will likely discuss this again, as the time gets closer," and with that, his 'teacher' voice seems to come into play. "The eggs right now are very soft. The heat of the sands will harden them. As they become harder, the time of Hatching will becoming imminent. We typically know within a few sevendays or so, as to when they will crack. But it will come suddenly, when it does. When the dragons hum, the eggs are rocking, and will crack within minutes." A beat and a frown. "Have you ever witnessed a Hatching?"

Ashwini's interested is once more peaked as she listens to the 'teacher' voice coming out. "I was 5. Or maybe 6 when I went with my parents to a hatching. They were posted at Igen at the time. I think. Don't remember much." being so young and all.

A nod of his head as the explanation comes, R'sner accepting it easily enough. "Well, it is very fast, and chaotic. However, by the time the dragons hum, you will be familiar with the sands and the eggs. Nothing to worry about," even if she hasn't expressed concern over the event itself. "But in answer to your earlier question, it doesn't seem like there will be any trouble getting your parents here for the Hatching." Head-tilt. "Have you any other questions about it? Or, well… candidacy in general, as I take it this is your first time Standing?"

The worry of the actually event will surely come along in time. As the eggs harden on the glittery sands of Half Moon. "First time standing." she assures with a faint smile tugging on her expression. At the chance for questions she doesn't blurt any out. Yet. A few moments is taken. "I would guess the barracks living is to get to know all the other candidates. Are their chances to do any learning with the riders?" get to know the job kinda thing. "I've been around plenty of dragons being in different weyrs but I never really paid too much attention to what they did."

She can take all the time she likes, R'sner will simply pick at what is left on his plate, singling out the choice bits to spear with his fork. "It is," for barracks living. "It is also an opportunity to get accustomed to sharing space and learning to get along with varied personalities. These are the individuals who will become Weyrlings and, if you are among them, you will be living with them in the Weyrling barracks for over a Turn. Best settle differences now, before you've a baby dragon in your head," he offers with a wry sort of smile and a glance toward the bowl. "And absolutely. Some of your chores will involve assisting riders with various tasks, such as bathing their dragon, or perhaps shadowing them for a day. As well, we will discuss the role dragonriders play in the Weyr. Best to know what it is you've signed up for, before you walk out on the Sands."

Ashwini bobs her head a couple times at the barracks living. "Makes sense." she murmurs. "The snoring won't end though." is said more to herself than R'sner. "Bathing? Well chores in the lake doesn't sound too bad." a grin. "Right though. Makes sense to know what all is involved."

It is a heavily overcast autumn day, and the living caverns are bustling with riders and weyrfolk enjoying lunch. So much so, that seating is limited and has resulted in Ashwini settling across from R'sner at one of the only tables not completely occupied. Eating as turned to discussion about; about white knots and dragonets.

"Ah, but dragons snore too," notes R'sner with… not really a smirk, but there's definitely a touch of amusement to those blue eyes. A hint, at least. There and gone. "A dragon is a bond for life. If you are not adequately prepared for that, you will fail before you begin. And there are aspects of being a dragonrider that are… unavoidable. I would prefer all candidates to be prepared before the day of Hatching." Dun dun dun?

Speaking of those aiming to be unprepared and unattached? Tanit meanders her way over to the table with a tray piled absurdly high, settling down next to Ashwini without so much as a how do you do. "How many months are we stuck as candidates again?" She asks the fellow candidate biting into a bit of meat before looking up and offering R'sner a sheepish smile and a half hearted chipmunk cheeked salute.

Ashwini seems more than fine with being all prepared. Her eyes widen thought at the idea of snoring dragons. "There's what? 7 eggs? Hopefully not all 7 dragons will snore then." it would make for many sleepless nights. "Stuck as…" she starts to ask before turning her head to spy Tanit being the one behind the question. "Heya Tanit." she greets the other candidate.

"You will be so exhausted, even a barracks full of snoring dragons will not keep you awake," assures R'sner. Although, what reassurance that really is may be up for debate. Tanit's entrance is met with a bit of a frown and a single raised eyebrow. Not for the chipmunk-cheeked salute, but for the question posed. Which is evident soon enough when he responds with, "not everyone is afforded the honor of Standing and while I encourage you not to take your position lightly… it is entirely voluntary." Meaning. "If you don't want to be 'stuck' as a candidate, you can withdraw."

"Hey Ashwini." The dolphineer manages between bites. As for R'sner's helpful advice she offers a smile. "Tried that. I'd rather not be lugged back to the barracks over a shoulder again. I'm here until those eggs on the sands hatch, and then it's back to real life." Or at least this is the thinking she is consoling herself with. "Snoring, lack of privacy, lack of anything resembling a life until they are old enough to do all the things that dragons do, and then you are tied to them and the weyr for the rest of your days. You get an extended life span out of it sure, but? aren't you supposed to be convincing people of the merits of standing rather than trying to frighten them off?" The dolphineer wonders eyeing the greenrider thoughtfully.

Ashwini darts her gaze between Tani and R'sner, amusement flashing in her brown eyes. At the mention of withdraw she opens her mouth, presumably to mention the whole over the shoulder thing but Tanit beats her too it. Closing her mouth with a snap she merely listens to Tanit's description of candidacy from her point of view. "Snoring won't frighten me off." she says dryly as she stands. "It would be hard to do it though I'm sure there are still aspects of all this I've yet to learn." but she knows she'll learn it all in time. "If you'll excuse me, I should get back to kitchen duty before they send someone looking for me." unsure if she's supposed to salute when departing a rider's company she sketches another salute just in case before picking up her dirty dishes.

There is a very flat, very borderline annoyed look on the weyrlingmaster's face as he contemplates all that Tanit says. "No." That would be for the 'convincing people to stand'. "There will be far more candidates than eggs, and most of them," heavy emphasis on the most, "are delighted and honored to be given the opportunity to do so. I'd rather make sure that the candidates on the sands want to be there, and fully understand what being a dragonrider means. If you really don't like it," and he's pretty serious about this, but not in a threatening sort of way, "I'll kick you out. I have the authority to do so. I'm the weyrlingmaster." (Maybe he doesn't know who it was that hauled her in there?). But whatever. A nod to Ashwini. "There will be plenty more to discuss. Enjoy… your day," which sort of tapers off when he considers that the rest of her day involves kitchen chores. So. Um. Hm.

Tanit watches Ashwini leave with a faint frown and as R'sner continues the dolphineer almost looks hopeful, "You mean you could go counter to the Weyrwoman's and her weyrmates wishes?" Oh does she look so hopeful with that, like she might just leap across the table and kiss the poor greenrider.

"You want to Stand or not?" Point blank, there it is. "Because the way I see it, I don't have time to deal with a candidate that doesn't want to be here. SO yeah. I'll yank that knot off your shoulder and drop you in High Reaches if that's what you want." R'sner shrugs. "They don't scare me. Best they can do is yank my own knot and then they are without a Weyrlingmaster with a clutch on the sands."

"Honestly, I don't know the answer to that question, and if I did I wouldn't have tried so hard to return the damn thing." The dolphineer notes her attention drawn down to the plate where she pushes bits of carrot back and forth. "I find the whole idea utterly terrifying and I don't honestly know if I have any of what it takes to be a rider. It's a lot of work, a lot of sacrifice - and a lot of things I've never been very good at if you want to know the truth." Her voice somewhat quieter.

R'sner has said his piece, and now he is quiet. Contemplative, focused blue eyes watch her across the table, fork set down so that fingers can be threaded and he can rest his elbows on the table. "Hm," is offered in acknowledgement of that uncertainty, but otherwise he is silent as she speaks. "Ah. Well. If that's all," and he shrugs, as if to dismiss it. "I think," he hesitates, nodding slowly in her direction, "you are over thinking things. Such as the traits it takes to be a dragonrider. It's hard work, and dedication to your beast. But it is a job like any other. Yes, it is a lot of work. And you will get a taste of it as a candidate. That is what this period of time is for. So if you want my advice," which, she hasn't asked for but will get ANYWAYS, "There are still months more until the eggs are hard enough to crack. So why not be a Candidate. See what is involved. If you find that you utterly detest the very idea of being a dragonrider, then I am sure your… friends," smirk. "Will allow you to step out because you will have a reasonable and solid argument. However, if you realize it isn't as daunting as you anticipated…" shrug. "There are seven eggs, and likely to be almost thirty of you," meaning candidates. "The odds are not exactly in your favor." Translation: Don't stress it.

Tanit's expression goes from hopeful to resigned, and she sighs. "Well it was worth a shot." Stab, stab, stab, chew. "Damned glitter." She mutters darkly.

R'sner just frowns. "If you don't know what you want, how would I? All I know is it doesn't take a super human to be a dragonrider, but it also doesn't take a genius to get out of candidacy. You really don't want to stand? Do something blatantly against the rules. Hell, jump in bed with a couple people and get yourself caught doing it, and that'll kick you right out. Unless your Weyrleader wants to re-write the rules."

Something in the words, or perhaps it's the particular choice of rules that the greenrider suggests earns a squint from the dolphineer and a settling of her tray against the table. Without another word the dolphineer is -gone-.

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