Caverns Conversation

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.


It's early evening and the first wave of people to come through the caverns have already come and gone. S'rorn is settled down comfortably in a corner, away from the heavy traffic that might spring up at any moment. He rubs the back of his neck, rolling his head from side to side before cracking his knuckles and taking up a spoon. Carefully. The last time he tried to pick up a spoon, he inadvertently launched it across to the next set of tables. The wingleader takes a small sip of his soup before breaking his bread roll and dipping it into the broth. The day hasn't been so heavy on the brownrider, the dark circles under his eyes from fatigue have faded considerably. Now he resembles a man stampeded by people instead of drays and other herdbeasts.

There's some advantage to eating a bit behind schedule — less of a jostle for the plates and food at the serving table and shorter lines — for good things come to those who wait. And well, Enka … waits. The cause of said waiting, most likely work, because she comes into the living caverns trailing a handful of papers from a manila folder in her hand, oops! Tucking the folder under her arm, she makes her way over to the serving table, and proceeds to go through a very amusing ritual indeed, juggling folder, plate and serving spoons until she can manage to plunk the whole thing down onto a tray, and head for a vacant table. Which she'll never quite get to, catching sight of S'rorn, and she veers towards his table. "You're lookin' better," she puts in. "Less like a herdbeast used you for a walkin' mat." She'll pause, manage a wry smile, and nod towards a chair. "Got space for me?"

Rorn pushes himself out of his chair and moves towards the next, carefully pulling it back for the weyrwoman to settle herself down on. "I wish I could say I feel better," he replies as he motions for her to sit. "I'm hanging in there, though. It's supposed to get better from what I've been told." He sits himself back down in his chair, staring at his soup for a moment before he breaks off another small piece of bread and continues eating quietly. He glances around the room for signs of other familiar faces, but it seems like everyone has their own duties to attend to. "The paperwork never truly ends, now does it? All three walls of my office are filing cabinets. It's depressing but I don't quite trust those computers yet." Evil machines with their blinky beepy bits and odds and ends.

Enka dimples a cheeky smile in the brownrider's direction as he ever so gallantly pulls out a chair for her, and she sets her tray down before plopping down onto the seat. "Thank you, S'rorn," see, Enka can be gracious and nice too. "What's supposed to get better?" She's going to ask, because there's a lot of things that can 'get better' — like colds and world hunger. But she'll never know unless she asks. "It's a never endin' vicious cycle," the goldrider puts in rather drolly, reaching over to tug the folder off her tray and plunking it off to the side before she picks up her spoon to stir her own bowl of soup. "Seems like you finish one folder of work, another opens poppin' up in it's place. Almost as if they're /breedin'/." Is that why they call scraps of paper … litter, harhar. "I like my computer," Enka remarks, "it keeps me from makin' mistakes on the finances, but some Holders don't have them, and they want hard copies."

"Qiana and I parted ways," he replies for the first question. As for the rest, well The brownrider eyerolls at the Holders. "Some days I wish we had the means of making them supply their own ink and paper if they want so many copies. Shards, they can print their own stuff out if they want it. That just generates more things to get all messed up on our end and if they lose a sheet of paper, 'oh, the rider's must have it!' so they always bring up or mention something over and over again. If I had a full mark for every time someone-" S'rorn cuts himself short and sticks a piece of bread in his mouth to help shut himself up. Having extra free time on his hands gives the rider too much time to notice things that bother him more and more.

"Oh." Enka does sound surprised, that's news she wasn't expecting. "So sorry to hear that, I've … been there a few times." Story of her life, apparently. "And it does get better. Over time." over lots and lots and lots of time, as long as someone doesn't dwell on it. She offers a sympathetic smile before scooping up a spoonful of soup and taking a careful sip. It's probably best to avoid subjects like that, and well, if the brownrider wants to talk about the holders and their lack thereof of technology, it's a safe enough evasive topic indeed. "I'd imagine they'd have to go around hirin' people to do their copyin' by hand," she quips. "Like the old days before progress … caught us all up." Watching the brownrider stuff the bread into his mouth, she reaches for her own roll. "Good bread? Been wonderin' if I can wheedle the recipe out of the cook. He still won't share." That's the irony, Enka does the work that gets the cook his supplies in terms of finances, and he hides the recipes. Oh joy.

"I'm sure they've got plenty of kids enough there to learn how to copy like a decent harper or shards, a harper even, to do it. They just don't want to compensate for fund the venture. Let the work be someone elses problem! Bah." Rorn dips another small piece into his soup before taking in another spoonful. It's mostly broth but it actually has a little more flavor and not packed with salt this time. Score. The brownrider nods to Enka, tapping his next small piece on the table to loosen up crumbs. "It is pretty good, has a nice sweet taste and a little buttery coating. I'll see who I can bribe to get the recipe. It's been a while since I've baked bread, myself." Time on the road with the caravan comes with lots of interesting learning experiences. Necessity is the mother of invention and all that jazz. "For every copy they request, I'm going to start instituting a fee."

Enka chuckles softly. "Holders can be awfully tight-fisted about money can't they?" Not that Enka would ever say that if she'd been say, sitting with a Hold-bred rider or something like that, being diplomatic after all, but traders aren't holders, so between the two of them, they can rag on the peoples who are different than them. "Seems like between the lot of them, they could even set things up so kids could be copyin' things down as a way of learnin' letters or somethin' like that." She takes another sip of soup, lucky for her, she got a good ladleful of the stuff and it's quite tasty and enjoyable. Setting the spoon back down on the tray, she deftly snatches up her roll, fingers cleaving into the bread to break it. "It smelled nice" she puts in, dipping it into the soup and then popping it into her mouth, chewing politely before speaking again. "If you do manage to get the recipe, maybe I'll have to bribe you into sharin'. I didn't know you baked." Well, learn something new every day. "A fee?" The goldrider chuckles, and grins. "Well, might be a way to get a little pocket change on the side, and there's always bound to be someone desperate for a copy that they'd just pay."

"Maybe encouraging the children would assist them in owing the weyrs any additional funds. We won't charge for an inconvenience fee if they suddenly find themselves a little more self-sufficient in matters like these." Holders can be some of the most pretentious entitlement mongers the world has ever seen. "I haven't baked in a few months. Though, when I do it's usually something small. I have a small outdoor oven on my ledge but it's only big enough to do a small loaf. Sometimes I get bored and fire it up for such occasions. I can live in the wilds if my duty ever called for it." S'rorn shrugs, dipping the last of his bread in his bowl lightly.

Enka's deft fingers tear off another hunk of bread, sopping it into the soup with careful dabs before she noms it right down. "That might be an angle I could try to approach the next time I have a meetin' with a Holder or two." the goldrider comments thoughtfully. "Played out right, they might even thank us and pay /us/ for the innovation of the idea." Which might be wishful thinking, but one never knows. "You're a man of many talents, S'rorn," she observes. "Never even knew you had an oven on your ledge," but then, she didn't bother asking, did she? "I tend to be more in favor of makin' treats, like bubbly pies and cookies than bread, but sometimes I venture out into other areas of the pastry world."

"I haven't really ventured too much on baking anything beyond bread on my ledge," he murmurs thoughtfully before taking a sip from his spoon. The broth has cooled down enough that waiting to enjoy it is no longer necessary. "Kind of pointless to do too much now that it's just me and Nyzieroth. Who knows, maybe cookies might be a likely experiment in the future. It'll give me something to do whenever I can manage a few hours of downtime. Things in the wing are finally organized on all rotations to a point where we can manage four six-hour shifts instead of the old twelve on, twelve off. Morale has picked up and there's less mistakes." Now if he can manage instituting mandatory nap time in the middle of the six, then he might be a world hero. Casual sevenday's end would be too great of an undertaking.

"Well, if you ever get brave enough," the goldrider remarks, "to try makin' cookies or the like, I've got a few recipes that might get you started." The last of the bread is dipped into the soup, consumed and enjoyed with considerable relish before Enka retrieves her spoon to finish dishing up the remainder of her soup bowl. "Speakin' from experience, if you make people cookies, they just might do nearly just about anythin' you might ask of them if you've got a good batch." Who knew, cookies make great bribes. "Sounds like you're makin' great changes to our shippin' wing, I'm sure that everyone appreciates the change in the hours." she grins. "I just try my best to keep Atoll runnin' because that's what keeps the Weyr goin'." Although if Enka implements casual sevenday's end, certain people might take casual too literally and who knows, show up naked to work. Ahem, right.

You mean they don't already show up naked? That's what Atoll does anyway on the regular, isn't it? Instead of casual sevenday's ends, it's formal sevenday's end. Atoll wears conservative and professional clothing instead. Special occasions and all that jazz. "I'd love to attempt the recipes sometime. It would make for an interesting evening, that's for sure." The thought of cookies being used for bribery isn't lost on the brownrider, his aunties can still get him to do the chores no one else wants to do at any given day for a tin of their thin spiced cookies. "The weather seems more reasonable, it's not too warm and there's a cool breeze. Who knows, I might chance it this sevenday. I… have a friend I might bring a batch to, sometime. Speaking of bringing things, I have a whole crate of orders that need to go out tomorrow. Hobbies are dangerous things. Might as well enjoy it before I have a family some day and it all comes to a halt for a little while." S'rorn puts down his spoon, picks up his own bowl and sips directly from it. Spoons are so ten minutes ago.

Maybe they do! Since Atoll Wing has well, offices, there's always the chance that someone's probably just going to be lounging around in the buff, showing some skin and … stuff. But not Enka, right? Right?! "I've got a whole box of them, I've been collectin' recipes for ages and ages, ever since we moved here from Ista." which is like forever and a day ago. "You could always stop by, and I'll look through them for somethin' to get you started." Like something easy at first, like oatmeal cookies rather than say, macarons. "I like the weather," Enka comments, having finished her soup, and setting her spoon back down onto the tray. "Good bakin' weather, because sometimes when it's really hot, standin' by an open oven is just brutal." There's a pause. "Well, you knowm, the thing about havin' cookin' and stuff as a hobby is you can use it for your family. Maybe they can even help you." Just you know, as an FYI and all. "When you have a family, that is." See, Enka's of the optimistic type. Families for everyone!

S'rorn nods his head as he begins to stack the empty dishes on his tray. "I'm going to have to get back into carpentry, too, I think. Before I even consider children with the right person, I'm going to want a sturdy short wall all the way around my ledge. That is, if I can keep Nyz from destroying it every chance he gets." The brownrider shakes his head as he feels his dragon perk up at the idea. DESTRUCTION IS FUN. "I've still got turns for that. Cookies are a safer place to start." Rorn leans back in his chair, the cavern's aren't exactly filling up so there's no rush to free his seat and move on during his evening. No work for eighteen hours yet.

Enka chuckles. I suppose that's an advantage to livin' on the ground floor, practically. Short flight of stairs, and less of a tumble for a kiddie." There are perks to living the life, really. Pushing her tray away, Enka leans her elbows on the table, pressing her closed palms against her cheeks. "Bakin' and woodworkin'," she observes, "handy dandy hobbies that'll keep you plenty busy." she grins a bit. "At least with cookies, you can eat 'em if you mess up with nobody bein' the wiser. Short walls…" eh, maybe not so much. "I probably ought to get this paperwork back to the office before I lose it." comes her comment before the goldrider pushes her chair back. "Thanks for lettin' me sit with you, and talk." Because that's what makes dinner fun, having company.

"It was a pleasure," Rorn replies, gathering up all the dishes now. It's only going to take him a moment to drop both neatly stacked trays off. One last thing for the weyrwoman to juggle while carrying off the paperwork. "I'll keep you posted on the hold fee if it ever comes into play." The wingleader rises from his own chair, belongings gathered, and he bows his head in departure before making his own way back to his weyr. That lonely bed is calling, at least now he won't get hit with a pillow or elbowed in the ribs if he drifts past the centerline.


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