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's on the further end of dinnertime, and most of the people who'd come here for their evening meal have filled their bellies and either shuffled off to digest, or are still unable to move from their chairs and conversation. A lone boy, tucked off in the coolest corner possible, still working on what still is a sizable pile of roast wherry and roast tubers drowned in gravy. If his dark clothing, half-sleeve shoulder tattoo, and facial piercing didn't say stay away, the fading bruises from what must of been one shell of a fight he got himself into might just do the trick. He stabs his fork into the pile and comes up with a thick slab that's instantly put to his lips, the chewing methodical, and his expression lacking a single determining inclination to suggest mood. All this might explain, why those that still linger, have given a wide berth.

Serena makes her way into the living cavern. After a long day of hauling stuff around Pern its always good to come home and plunk yourself down in the cavern to get some dinner and perhaps socialize a little. She strides over to the food line and grabs a clean plate and then proceeds through the line adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that to the plate. After filling the plate to her liking she heads over to the drink table and grabs something there and then turns her attention toward the tables to see who is out and about this fine evening. Seeing the usual crowd she makes her way over toward the table wher the candidate is sitting and without asking sits down and places her plate upon the table, "Hi." she says.

It takes a little bit for the change in scenery to register, Jaelyn's odd colored golden eyes lifting from the table where they were fixed and dropping them onto Serena. He straghtens some, quickly looking around as he was trying to figure out if he'd been there so long that all the other seats had filled up again. Back to her his attention falls, looking her over the way men tend to do with woman, before he offers a quiet and flat, "Hey." Attention is given to her knot, before he goes back to eating, a simple glass of water that probably once contained ice still sitting nearby his food laden plate, condensation still gathered along its surface.

The young man is clearly a great conversationalist, "So you are one of the new candidates for Janja's clutch." she says stating what is clearly obvious given the young mans knot, "Are you enjoying that or is it a bit much?" Serena asks before going on, "I remember it being a bit overwhelming. I'd like to tell you it gets better with time, but it really doesn't. Especially if you end up impressing a dragon. Your life takes a drastic change." When she concludes her observation she just takes a drink from her glass and stuffs some food in her face.

Jaelyn glances back up at Serena as she continues to speak, at least not ignoring her, despite not seeming much like talking. He opens his mouth to say something when she asks of his position in the weyr, looking down to see if his white candidate's knot was in fact still attached to the front of his black tanktop. It was, and he closes his mouth again likely thinking better of whatever had come to mind first. Instead, he nods once and leaves it at that. "I dun think enjoyin' is the right way to put it, but I dun think I feel overwhelmed either." he replies at last, showing he had more than a single word in his vocabulary, but his voice didn't change from its even monotone. Considering the bruises on his face and his overall demeanor, he probably means it when he says he's not having the time of his life. Someone worked him over real good. When she comments about impressing, he shoves the remaining hunk of meat past his lips and chews it up like it was the most bland and tasteless thing he'd ever put in there. Perhaps he didn't enjoy anything, ever. "So I've heard." The flatness of his tone wasn't changing either, so that's probably just the way he talks.

Serena gives her head a nod as he explains his feelings on the subject, such as they are, "You seem to be having quite the experience then." she says. Not really her business what the candidates have going on in their lives anyway. Sundari would probably not be all that happy if she interfered in their training, "You'll probably continue having an experience of some kind one way or the other." Since he can't very well not have some kind of experience, unless he were dead or something, "You won't have to wait too much longer to find out. I hear that the eggs are getting closer to hatching. Should be something else." After she finishes speaking she goes back to working on her plate.

"I…guess?" Jaelyn says with pause between, brows actually moving a little bit upwards. He doesn't so much as look at her strangely, as there is no look, but he does watch her intently for sometime before another hunk of meat dripping with gravy is speared at the end of his fork and brought to his mouth. There is a brief nod for the experiences she seems to promise, taking a bite and chewing it up enough to swallow, following this with a quick sip of his water and a flicker of strain across his battered features. Went down hard, that one. Coughing some, he waits a little bit before trying that whole eating thing again around the time that Serena mentions the eggs, "Oh ya? I ain't heard that." Not that he sounds at all interested, his deadpan expression and lack of any interest in his voice hardly heralding his relief or suggesting his anticipation. It was if he was merely existing, and that regardless of the outcome nothing really mattered. Meanwhile, he'll eyeball his food a bit, as if warning it not to try and assassinate him again before he tries another bite.

Serena pauses, having tried all the topics that usually interest candidates, it seems this particular candidate is just a bit different than some of the others. That's alright, it takes all kinds! "I think I'm going to call you Mr. Enthusiasm from here on in. Your just bursting to the gills with the stuff." she says with a smile crossing her face. Yep. Mr. Enthusiasm! She continues to work on her plate but watches the candidate, "If you get anymore excited than you are we'll have to haul you over to the infirmary for enthusiasm overload. Give the healers something fun to do for the rest of the evening."

Nolan wanders in from outside, a smell of smoke clinging to him. "Did someone say infirmary? I just finished my shift over there for chores but I can drag someone over there if needed." He grins as he brings a plate of food over and takes a seat near his fellow candidate. "Shells Jaelyn, you look like you got in a scrap with a feline. What happened?" Even though Nolan didn't know this particular candidate well he treated most of the others like younger siblings even the ones older then himself.

With the hour being what it is, the fact that Venryk is only just now joining the dinner crowd might be a little out of place. But he doesn't seem to mind being a little late to the party, hurriedly nabbing himself a plate and a few items of interest. Granted, a roll gets stuffed in his mouth to carry that way, but he's in just a bit of a hurry. There's a grin and a grunted noise for a few other people standing around, alas, not much else can come out of a roll-gagged mouth, but he does spot Jaelyn sitting over yonder and heads in that direction. It's there that the candidate plops, right next to Jaelyn in fact, and takes a bite out of the roll finally to put the rest of it down. Once swallowed though there's a grin, lightly bumping shoulders against the other candidate. "Do you even have any room for all of that?" There's a vague gesture for the pile of food the other boy has, laughter coming up next with a shrug. "Well if you don't, /I/ do. I don't think I've been so hungry in /months/. My rider uh..shadow person didn't ditch me this time. I've been running around all over the place and only just got done with—oh." The teen pauses, peering right across at Serena with slightly wide eyes, before glancing at Jaelyn again. ..And back. And forth. Talk about Mr. Enthusiasm, and lo, he shall /appear/…and his name is Venryk. "Um, hi there, miss! Sorry about that, totally interrupting aren't I? Well don't mind me, I've got plenty to eat here and../why/ do you stink, Nolan?" Oh yes, he's apparently rather easily distracted as yet another candidate appears, staring at Nolan for a moment or two.

Golden eyes remain on Serena until she pauses and then he refocuses on his food, finishing what he had on the fork this time without incident, and so goes for some of the tubers. When she comes up with a nickname, he glances back her way, seconds before the newly acquired morsels are pushed past his lips. He chews, slowly, merely watching her with all the passion one might give to a wall with drying paint before he finally swallows. "That's what they tell meh." he replies, tone persistently dry. This calls for another sip from his water, setting it back down after a healthy swallow, shrugging his tattooed shoulder for her suggestion of taking him to the healers. "Apparently I already got an appointment." Was that a joke? It certainly wasn't delivered as one, and he doesn't explain but rather lets it sit out there in the still muggy ambience of the living cavern. As Nolan comes over and helps himself to a seat at the rapidly crowding corner table, his gaze flicks that direction. "Sailors dun like their mother's bein' insulted." Considering his tenor doesn't waver from its flatness, it wasn't only poor Serena that got the Mr. Enthusiasm treatment. And then there is Venryk, who drops down beside him as if they were the bestest of friends, and still is met with not a single iota of interest from the computer crafter, "Ya." he responds, simple and direct. He got room for all that meat, and the tubers, and the gravy. He even helps himself to a roll off the healer candidate's plate, so maybe they did have some sort of acquaintance at least. At mention of Nolan stinking, he leans over and gives a little sniff, and then shrugs his tattooed shoulder.

From the knots on the new arrivals it seems that a new chunk of the candidate class has arrived. Obviously they all know each other and seem to be getting along well enough, which is more than she can say for her interactions with the sullen young man. She perks up when she hears him say what got him the bruises, "No they really don't. And you probably shouldn't be fighting. I think there was some rule about that or something." Not that /she/ ever had a problem with the rules. No way! Nolan and Venryk get a nod of her head in greeting, "I don't think you are interrupting anything. It's a free cavern. Folks can sit where they like." she says with a grin crossing her face, "You must be some of the other candidates. Dragon bait." she adds, "Just don't get ripped to shreds down on the sands ok. I don't want to haul whats left of you back home." Trying to scare them? Sure. Why not? It's fun.

Nolan grins at Jaelyn, "Well don't go insulting sailor's mothers or starting anything with someone that you aren't willing to take the hit for." He laughs before patting Venryk on the shoulder, "That would be the smell of the forge on me. After a hard day at the infirmary I decided to relax with a bit of smithing." He finally took notice of Serena, "Evening ma'am." He gives a nod of his head, and laughs at her comment, "Well first of all don't worry boys cause hatchings aren't nearly as dangerous as they once were. As for being dragged home it's hard to drag me home if I'm already here not ain't it?" He flashes a sly grin at Serena. "Well I didn't see nothing about fighting in the rules but I'd say do your best to avoid getting to beat up if you want to have enough strength to actually stand on the sands when the time comes."

Venryk has a precious roll /stolen/. He gives Jaelyn an open-mouthed stare for the theft, then just points his fork at the other boy. He's /watching/ now. His lips twitch back into a grin though, before he shakes his head. At least he doesn't go after any of Jae's food. There's a bit of chewing that goes on though, settling an elbow onto the table to lean on, and simply sighs for the reminder of Jaelyn's recent..encounter. "I'm not real sure I'd call it /fighting/, what happened. But punches got thrown about…guess it doesn't matter much whose fists they were, in the end." There's a glance tossed to the other teen though, brows furrowing together just a bit. At the mention of bait however the young candidate's attention rounds back onto Serena, shoulders both lifting again. "Well /that/ only happens if you're not fast enough. Though to be fair, I've got a jar next to my bed with my name on it. If you could put whatever's left of me in it, that'd be great. Won't be a messy delivery for my mom at least, so that's nice for her." Fear? No, there's none of that, only that same broad grin and a poke of his fork into food for eating. There's a quick look for Nolan when that hand comes down on his shoulder though, grinning just a bit. "If I'd had time I would've spent a bit extra in the infirmary, so I get that. Granted, you still smell like you rolled around in the unlit hearth, but I think that's how all smiths kinda smell. Not that it's /bad/ or..well it's not /appealing/, I guess. But..good for you and smithing!" There's little that Venryk can do about the way his feet tend to end up lodged somewhere in his mouth. He just smiles brightly to offset it before shoveling food into his mouth again.

Whether or not Jaelyn knew either of the other two candidates is difficult to say, but he wasn't getting up and leaving just yet so that was something. Though, there was something about the way his shoulders were tightening that might suggest he wasn't exactly comfortable with sudden crowd. It's subtle though, and likely to be missed if one wasn't strictly paying attention or knew him well enough to notice. "So I've heard." he says flatly in response to Serena's suggestion that he should not fight and it was against the rules, lashes lowering some before he dips his pilfered roll into the pool of gravy at one side of his plate and tears off a chunk, wiping his mouth on the back of his left arm. Classy. Propping his elbows up on the table, he falls back into silence as he watches the conversations going on around him taking it all in before his eyes slide towards Nolan, "Dun recall complainin' about takin' a hit." This is said with an oddly flatter tone as if that were possible, letting his gaze rest long on the smithcrafter candidate, which hardens to a degree before he takes a very long, very deep breath and then exhales it very slowly as his eyes close. He just, takes a moment there, and then goes back to eating in silence. When his eyes open again, they slide Venryk's way in silence. He'll just focus on him for a while.

Alas the candidates did not take the bait. Oh well! Now that her plate has been picked clean of it's food and the glass drained the greenrider gets up to her feet and pushes away from the table of candidates, "Now that the food is eaten it's time for me to be off. It was nice to meet all of you." Even though she didn't get any of their names. That will probably change soon enough though, "Good luck with the rest of your candidacy. I look forward to seeing you all stand on the sands and see what happens." With those words she waves a hand in departure and sets off toward the entrance of the cavern.

Nolan shakes his head at Jaelyn hard stare, "what you glaring at me fore like that? It isn't like I was the one who punched you." He gives a small chuckle to Venryk, "don't worry about it lad, I'm not going to take offense at saying I smell like a hearth. After turns of working around forges you sorta like the scent." He gives a wave to Serena as she left, facing back to the other two candidates while he started on some of his roast wherry. "Kitchen made a good meal tonight, Going to sleep good."

Venryk lifts a hand once Serena announces her departure, offering a wave to the woman. "Nice to meet you too!" There's a pause then once she does head off, quickly looking at Jaelyn. "So, who was that?" Well it's not like he asked! He does reach over though, stealing some of the other candidate's gravy with his own roll. He might as well, after all, if Jae is going to steal from him too. There's a thoughtful look though as he chews on his food, and a somewhat relieved look for Nolan. "Oh good. I guess some people just like different smells. Like I know the infirmary bothers a lot of people, but I'm fine with the way it smells in there. I don't know that I'd want it like..all over me when I left or anything.." Thankfully, Venryk isn't one to roll around too much in the medical supplies. He shifts in his seat a little bit though, shoulders shrugging upward. "Oh don't mind it, he looks at everyone that way."

As Serena stands, the motion out of the corner of his eye draws his attention back that way, watching as she bids farewell and heads out. This serves to lessen some of the tension that had been building up, but it rapidly returns for Nolan's next comment, "If I glared at ya, ya'd know it." He might as well be reciting from a zoning log from a cothold south of High Reaches for all the force behind his words, dropping his chin into his hand and lazily letting his eyes partially lid. "Though I dun much care for assumptions, unless ya were there and ya saw what went down, dun think ya have much room to comment 'bout how it was handled." he says, calm. There was no animosity there, it all sounded rather matter of fact. To Venryk, a shrug. "No idea. She just plunked herself down and started talkin'. Never got to introductions." He finishes up the contents of his plate and the roll he'd taken from the healer candidate and settles back in his chair with his glass of water.

Nolan shrugs his shoulders, "Alright then." At Venryks mention that Jaelyn is often like that, "I'm guessing you two knew each other pre-search? Or just getting real close here during our wait for the eggs to hatch?" He gives a soft chuckle before nodding his head at Jaelyn's mention that he would have known if he was glaring, "Well at least now I know how that fight started.." He mumbled softly more to himself then anyone around him. "I guess I would have needed to see it to really get a feel for the situation." He takes a few more hearty chunks from the roast on his plate.

Venryk simply offers another grin, swallowing down his food with a nod. "We were both brought in from Fort Weyr, so yeah. Knew each other for a while before being brought over. It helps, you know? Already knowing someone in a new place." Not that it's stopped Venryk one /bit/ from talking to perfect strangers. All the time. He glances back and forth between the other two candidates though, shrugging a bit helplessly at their own words about the fight that had taken place.

"No man, ya really don't." Jaelyn says to Nolan, mild and deadpan as ever, no hint of humor or irritation. It just was what it was. There is a long suffering sigh though exhaled behind the rim of his glass, perhaps recalling the events, and that sigh was all he had left for the memory of it. Apparently there was more than the computer crafter was sharing with someone he didn't know at all until he sat down at their table, looking at Venryk then as he explains how the two Fortian nabbed candidates knew one another. He has no comment on that, not even a nod of acknowledgement or agreement.

Nolan nods his head in understanding, taking a slice of meat and eating it in silence. Not really having much to contribute towards the two boys at the moment. finally he finished chewing and swallowed, looking at Venryk with a smile. "Well you at least seem to have a bright and chipper attitude even with being so far from home."

Venryk tilts his head just a little bit, laughing lowly. "Well that may be, but /this/ might be home pretty soon, right? No point in dwelling on that fact. Sure, I miss the rest of my family and everything, but they're a hop between away, so it's not so far." His shoulders lift in a shrug, but he works at finishing off the rest of the food on his plate in the meantime. "Besides, plenty of people around here to talk to, and things to do. Not like I'm wanting for much, so I can't complain." He reaches over then, gently prodding Jaelyn in the shoulder with a grin, just before he stands up. "/I'm/ gonna go get cleaned up. I've got a book to try and finish before Pritkin comes demanding it back." There's another flash of a smile for Nolan then before he heads off again, trotting his way deeper into the caverns.

Was Jaelyn staring off into space just then? Maybe. It's the nudge to his shoulder that Venryk gives him before standing that snaps him back to the reality of the table, and distractedly he looks up at him, idly. Takes a few seconds for him to realize what the prodding was suggesting, lashes lowering a bit. "Oh. We're leaving?" he asks, like he was eating a piece of dry toast was asked how it tastes. He draws himself up out of his chair and collects his dirty dish, and looks down at the still seated Nolan, "So uh…yeah. Later, whatever yer name is." At least he tried to be somewhat polite, that counts for something, right? He dumps the dishes into a bin and unhurriedly follows after Venryk.

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