Tunnelsnakes, Part of a Balanced Breakfast

Half Moon Bay Weyr - Rooftop Garden
Soft grasses form a lawn central to this open air garden, producing a pleasant picnic space. Surrounding this greenery is a sanded and bordered path that wends around it and continues toward the front of the roof, where the pleasant aromas of cultivated herbs waft on the breeze. Rock gardens and low-hanging tropical trees form shelter from the elements, combined with an overhanging jut of the caldera wall, underneath which benches and sun chairs have been arrayed, rather like a natural gazebo.


Winter? What winter? It's sunny, and just barely warm, the air a little heavy without much of a breeze. Breakfast is only just getting under-way down in the caverns, and the rooftop is dotted with the occasional morning patron with their klah. Citayzleat has klah, but she's not eating the breakfast pie that's sitting beside it — she is. Digging. Or maybe weeding, it's kind of hard to tell. The plants she has arrayed next to her *look* like weeds, but so do plenty of herbs. Either way, she's the only one in the area to bear witness to her grumbling about dirt, perched on the raised bed of the garden and eyeing a frilly grey plant with a glare before setting it in one pile.

Well, perhaps she isn't the only one there to bear witness, for here comes Heryn and he is… decidedly not awake. Eyebrows ride low and sleepily over still-baggy eyes, his hair is rumpled on one side where he hasn't bothered to style it yet, and both hands are fastened very securely around an alarmingly large mug of klah. "Whrtryrdon," is muttered as he comes to a stop, brows crinkling down at Citayzleat for her digging. The frown deepens when he seems to realize that didn't actually form words, and so he tries again. "What're you doin'?" Some~body's not a morning person!

Cita glances over her shoulder, brows rising as she catches sight of the giant mug. That's the spirit! "Morning." The healer actually *smiles*, like some sort of heathen, wiggling a sprig of something green. Heryn might not actually have words, at first, but Cita seems to understand them well enough — at least, she opens her mouth to reply, before he clarifies. Then she snorts, gesturing to the herbs ruefully. "Gathering herbs to dry. I'm youngest on duty today." Eye. Roll. Clearly, she doesn't think a whole lot of this duty. "Do you have enough klah there?" That's considerably more amused; his predicament, funny. Dirt everywhere, not so much.

Heryn's scowls continue in the face of her good humor, clutching his mug protectively against his chest in the face of that brow-raise. "As if it is one." Well, she hadn't said the 'good' in 'good morning,' but in Heryn-land it was implied, the man swaying in place a moment before moving to perch on a clean bit of garden wall nearby. There's a low grunt for her explanation at first, and a hearty slug of his drink before he manages to find enough words to string together again. "I see. Sucks for you." And yet, some part of him is interested, enough to point at that frilly plant she'd just been handling. "Whassat?" Blue-grey eyes squint down at his mug, then, assessing before, "Probably not." Hoo boy.

"Yeah." Cita cedes, because she's digging in the dirt like some sort of…dirt-person. So really, the implied 'good' doesn't apply at all. "Why're you awake?" One shoulder lifts, hand lifted in a 'what gives' kind of way, as the healer un-bends and goes to lift her own mug up with her wrists. Dirt. Ugh. "It *does*. I'd rather dance naked with a cloud of sting-bugs." Vivid. Clearly, she's had enough klah to be more functional mind-wise. The frilly plant gets an amused glance. "Tansy, actually. S'good for worms." Cita looks entirely too amused at that disgusting fact. As for the klah, she inclines her head in acceptance, glancing around shiftily. "Infirmary has the strongest."

As if it were possible, Heryn grows surlier for her question, grunting out a low, "Neighbors." He has to take another long swig before continuing. "They 'parently consider banging on walls to be encouragement and got louder." He need not explain further, or so he seems to think, instead watching Citayzleat lift her mug with her wrists in order to drink from it. He's almost impressed. There's a snort for that vivid description of what she'd rather be doing, the very corners of his mouth twitching in what might actually be a hint of a smile. "Colorful. Sounds like a good chore to skive off on," the bartender mumbles in the tone of voice that indicates he might have a better idea. As for the tansy, "The plant, or the flit?" There's a 'hmm' for the infirmary having the strongest klah, but if he can joke, clearly what he has is strong enough, and he downs a whole lot more of it just in case.

It is not a decent hour; breakfast is barely underway in the caverns, but it's just-warm and still up in the gardens. The night's chill has worn off, and Citayzleat and Heryn are loitering near the gardens. Cita has a mug of klah clasped between her wrists, since her hands are dirty, and Heryn has Pern's Largest Mug cuddled protectively against his chest. Of the pair, Cita looks considerably more awake, setting her mug down to resume the pulling of the herbs she needs. "Oh, you didn't know? That's code for 'please be louder'." Sarcasm is easy, first thing in the morning. And as for the tansy, she laughs, bundling her gathered pile up with twine. "Both? The flit's better for causing headaches though." Grumble grumble. The healer sighs, moving on to another plant, flicking dirt off of her hands fastidiously. "What I wouldn't give to skive off. You think 'dirt allergy' is a good excuse?"

"Damn. Totally my fault then," Heryn grumbles, equally sarcastic as he finally unclutches one hand from around his mug and attempts to put his hair in some semblance of order. It doesn't work, of course - the shorter bits spring right back up in a magnificent cowlick in the back - but he tries. "Mmm, that does seem true. What's good for treating headaches?" After taking a (very) long chug from his mug, the bartender finally sets it aside, pointing between her twine and her piles to indicate she could pass them to him to tie while she dug up more, if she'd like. "Probably not, and easily proven wrong." Squint. "Could get suddenly injured. I do owe you one." He's… probably joking, even if there is still a hint of bandage peeking out from under the sleeve of his shirt.

"Sounds like scorched klah, to me." A tall and lanky assistant weyrlingmaster who looks particularly overserious and grubby forces his way through some thick nearby bushes. D'nyl is… hardly what one is used to seeing around the weyr. His clothes are the epitome of untilitarian except, perhaps, for the black wherhide vest, though who knows what he may have stashed in there considering the crossbow slung across his back and the line of tunnel snakes depending from one hip, "A bit early for picking herbs, isn't it?" Though his accent has faded since his initial arrival at the Weyr, it's still there, somewhat, speaking of a backwoods upbringing. This early in the morning, if it weren't for the knot on his shoulder, one might assume that he were an interloper to thise hollowed ground.

Cita inclines her head in a very 'well, obviously' kind of way, lips just barely quirking up in a grin. "I think mine failed Harper training. They couldn't carry a tune if you paid them good marks." She commiserates, grumbling and shifting a little on the stone bed-wall. "Willow, to start." The 'or not being stupid enough to impress a firelizard' is muttered, barely audible, as she carefully stacks the newest addition to her supplies. After a moment's consideration, Cita does stand, handing off the two piles remaining with a grateful smile. "The shovel's right there. Right over the head. Good and hard. Concussion works. I *do* owe you." She says, serious and amused, lips pressed together to *not* smile. The advent of a rider forcing his way through the prickly bushes gets a wide-eyed stare from the healer. "What." She blurts, then coughs loudly, looking mortified at her bad manners. "I — good morning, sir." Better. "We need these as soon as we can, stores are low."

Heryn shoots Cita look filled with empathy, flat and unamused before his eyes roll skywards. "Neighbors," he says in the same way some people say 'spiderclaws.' He listens as he works, taking the piles and trying to make them as neat as hers, lips quirking up ever so slightly again for her barely-audible mumbling. "Maybe she'll grow up useful," is said of her firelizard, "once she gets past all… that." A hand waves as though to encompass all of the green's ridiculousness. The sleepy bartender issues a soft snort for her description of just how to best injure her, but before he can formulate a proper response, a voice precedes D'nyl out of the bushes and Heryn near about jumps out of his skin. Well, if he wasn't awake before, he sure is now! Heryn does recognize the man from recent days, but it doesn't stop his brows from snapping down sullenly, taking in the assistant weyrlingmaster's appearance in before retorting with, "Not too early for tunnelsnake wrangling, though?" Cheeky! Well, Cita can be pleasant enough for the both of them. He'll just be over here chugging more klah while he triest to calm his poor heart.

"Pretty much never too early to catch the beasts. Besides, sometimes I like to cook fer the weyrmate." Yes, D'nyl just did imply that the tunnel snakes on his hip will become food later today. The assistant weyrlingmaster is hardly standard rider fare, but considering the ungodly hour, that's hardly a shock. "Good morning, Heryn." He glances at Cita again, then frowns slightly, "It must be quite dire, then. What are you after, I can probably help get enough." He's more friendly than he used to be, if the apprentice healer can believe that. Of course, depending on how long she's been here, she may have seen him go in and out of the healers with scrapes and injuries a time or two, herself.

It's a still morning, warm and quiet up in the gardens. Whereas breakfast is happening below, there isn't so much here, if you're not into klah. Citayzleat is picking herbs for the infirmary's coffers, Heryn clutching a huge mug of klah, and D'nyl has just scared the living daylights out of both of them. Cita looks like she's calming down a little, at least, hand falling from where she's gotten dirt on her tunic. "Tunnelsnake…wrangling? What." The healer stares at the rider, blankly. She shoots Heryn an amused look for his klah-chugging prowess, but honestly, how can she *not* comment? Even though he hasn't bludgeoned her with her shovel yet. Rude. "Cook." Blank, still. Something is not computing. Bless her. "The…tunnelsnakes. Is that. Sanitary?" She looks concerned, eyeing the dead 'snakes with extreme wariness. "This should help until they come up, come spring, sir. This is almost enough."

Nolan yawned as he moved through the gardens. A mug of klah in his one hand, a fussy little green firelizard in the other. The young smith appeared almost zombified this morning. Nearly bumping into D'nyl as he walked passed him, with a shake of his head he smiled to him. "Sorry D'nyl, guess I kinda zoned out." He noticed the others around as well and gave a friendly nod of his head as he sipped his klah. "What are you all doing up so early?"

Heryn's gaze likewise swivels back to D'nyl, mouth opening and shutting with a squint, as though assessing whether or not the rider is serious about the tunnelsnakes. Apparently, he decides it's true, the bartender issuing a low 'huh' before drinking that klah again. He's going to run out that this rate, but the way this conversation is going, he needs it. "'Morning," is returned, because it's not a good one - he's ruffled and baggy-eyed and clearly not a morning person. "How does one even cook them?," he asks, tacking it onto the end of Cita's questions, because they might as well get it all out of the way at once. Nolan is eyed with a nod before his hands busy themselves with bundling herbs again. "Escaping noisy neighbors. You?"

D'nyl pats the bundle of tunnelsnakes, amusement playing across his features, "Yes, it is sanitary if they're properly prepared." He shifts his crossbow down off his shoulder so he can flop onto a clear patch of earth, and starts untying the knot keeping them on his hip, "Well, there are some ya shouldn't eat, but they've got the little yellow and green dots on 'em. Those ones're poisonous." He waves his hand dismissively at Nolan, "Not a problem." He pulls a patch of rawhide from the inside pocket of that vest and lays it out, spreading the snakes out on top of it, "Once they're skinned and gutted, they can be fried, stewed… pretty much anything you can do with any other meat."

"Morning," Cita raises a dirt-smudged hand to wave to Nolan, finally turning around from her task and brushing her hands off on her trousers. "Picking herbs before the sun's up too long." The healer smiles, scooting down to her klah and pie to take a drink. Heryn's a bad influence. "Yellow and green." Cita repeats, faintly, looking a little like she thinks this rider who emerged from the bushes is probably insane. Still, she listens, nodding cautiously. "That…makes sense. Since they're. Still just meat." Stinky, toothy meat. Hm.

Nolan takes a long swig of his klah, "I'm always up this early on days I work. I mean unless you would like to stand in front of a hot forge during the mid day sun." He smiles at the snake lesson. "I've never be one for snakes, give me a delightful fish any day." His mouth starts to water slightly, "However the firelizards eat snakes pretty frequently."

Heryn, by contrast, seems to have finally abandoned his klah. Tying off his last bunch of herbs, the man leans his elbows onto his knees instead of clutching his mug tight, listening to D'nyl's impromptu lesson on tunnelsnakes with slightly less wariness than Cita seems to be showing. "Fascinating," the bartender mumbles, eyeing the ones the rider is laying out. "Any that are particularly better than others?" Inquiring minds want to know! Heryn makes a face at Nolan for his talk of the forges, nose wrinkling up with a shake of his head. "Definitely not. Shells, not even on a day like today. How d'you stand it in the summer?" He's hot just thinking about it.

"The best are the water constrictors, but for traditional tunnel snakes, I've always preferred the brown stripey ones." SCHUNK! D'nyl chops the head off the first with a smooth stroke and flicks it towards Cita with nothing but a swish of the knife blade, then flips the body over to begin the careful process of gutting the vermin, "Live in the wilds for a bit, you'll learn what a blessing these little beasts can be." Nolan gets a quick, appraising look, then nods, "Morsel and Emmet can be a good help on the hunt… when they want to be." Today… was not such a day. "Personally, I don't understand the attraction of a smith's life, but I appreciate the tools they turn out."

Nolan's declaration gets something like a nostalgic grin from Cita. "The forges are better in the 'reaches, where it's cold." She points out. "They're less fun in the summer." General agreement for Heryn; D'nyl's chopping of the smelly snake-beasts is met with mild curiosity. She eyes the head for a moment. "I'm not sure their heads are good for the plants." The healer points out primly, then shrugs, head tilting down in agreement. "Yes sir, I'd say that would make the meat more palatable. If you'll excuse me, though." She gathers the bundles of herbs up and grins Heryn-wards. "Thanks for the help. Remember the klah, now." Whether or not his giant-sized mug was big enough or not, apparently. Always more klah. Cita bustles off with her bundles of herbs, klah, and pie, looking only slightly ridiculous.

Nolan laughs before nodded his head, "I barely can do it in the summer even with all my training, though standing on the sands it hard work as well. Not as much labor but plenty of heat." He smiles at Cita, "Yes, it would be cooler at the reaches but the Weyr is my home." Giving a wave to the girl as she leaves. The little green firelizard shuffled over to the snakes head on the ground and started to tear at it with her teeth. Nolan looked at D'nyl, "Well as much as I envy the rider's life, not all of us get a chance to ride. Though the smith craft does make me happy and I'm glad you enjoy our tools. That's part of the pride of the craft. Making something of use and having people be thankful for it."

"Well, now I'm curious," Heryn says, though there's a definite wrinkle of his nose for the swift decapitation of the tunnelsnake. Eugh. Well, based on that, he isn't likely to be heading out to hunt one on his own any time soon. Cita's comment on the head as fertilizer earns a sharp snort. "Probably not," he agrees before focusing D'nyl with an appraising look. "Spent much time in the wild?" One might be able to guess, based on the rider's accent, but Heryn isn't jumping to conclusions. Instead, he waves farewell to Cita, chin dipping in a nod. "'Course. I'll be there. Gotta get bandages changed before work anyways," he says before making a face at Nolan. Klah remembered, he halves what is left in a single go before saying, "Yeah, that seemed as though it was plenty warm as well. Gimme another mug of klah and I'm sure I could wax poetic about how forging lives and forging tools go hand in hand," the man drawls, grumpiness lightening somewhat with a crooked smile. "D'you make other stuff aside from jewelry?," he asks, likely remembering the sandcastle prizes.

D'nyl arches a brow as Cita escapes, then chuckles softly, "You migh' say that." The first tunnelsnake is laid out to dry and he pulls out the next, beheading it with just as much detached negligence, "What could ya envy about rider life?" He does notice the bandages, once they're noticed, and he arches a brow, indicating them with the tip of his knife and an arch of his brow.

Nolan gives a shrug of his shoulders, "Pretty much anything if it's metal. I've got a lot of talent just not a lot of imagination. Well that's what my teachers back at the crafthall told me." Taking a sip of klah, "I'm quite imaginitive, if I can draw it up I can craft it." Hearing D'nyl's question with a smile, "While you have your duties to the Weyr and to your lifemate, you have someone to share all your experiences with, plus the thrill of riding must be fantastic without the fear of threadfall."

Heryn catches that look and knife-gesture from D'nyl, and boy, does he smirk in response, tired or no tired. "Cita tried to throw a dart at a dart board." A pause, for effect. "She missed." Clearly. Shifting into a more comfortable position on the garden wall (and totally incidentally hiding those flit-eaten snake heads behind him), Heryn 'hmm's for Nolan's answer. "Interesting. Wasn't sure if you were one of the sorts that preferred to specialize or what." He brow-quirks a bit for the Smith's take on dragonrider life, as though to say 'speaking of waxing poetic,' but doesn't have any ability to input, there. Instead, he flicks his gaze back to D'nyl. "You been to see the eggs yet?"

"Clearly." D'nyl gives his head a shake, slicing the snake longwise and starting to pull out its innards with practiced care. His head bobs a few times as Nolan speaks, then arches a brow, "There are still plenty of dangers for riders even without Thread." He leans back, pulling up one side of his shirt to reveal a set of jagged claw marks, "Felines, for instance." He lets it fall, returning his attention back to his snake, "But there are some definite bonuses to not having to be alone all the time. And I've seen the eggs, yeah. Another great clutch for Half Moon." The bushes rustle slightly, as if something is stuck in them.

Nolan watches closely as D'nyl guts the snake. "True, felines are still a threat, though you have to admit not having to fight thread is a huge bonus for a modern rider." At the mention of the eggs Nolan gives a small shake of his head. "Why did I have to be helping Janja at the time, took me right onto the sands with her till C'vryn arrived. It was really interesting to see a clutching from that close but I was so worried that Feyruth was going to get aggressive with me."

Heryn chuckles for that 'clearly,' but then the 'snake is being gutted and while he's not exactly squicked, it's just too much for this time of the morning. "Which, speaking of, I'd better go and get it re-wrapped so I can get food and get ready." Totally not escaping the vision of gross guts, nope. "Enjoy your tunnelsnakes, hope both of your days go well." And then he's out of there, steps perhaps hurried on by those rustling bushes. Nope, he's out before tunnelsnakes seek revenge on D'nyl for their lost comrades, or whatever else might be lurking therein!


More happened after I left - if you have the rest of the log, please feel free to edit it in! <3


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