Plans a'brewing in the Kitchens

Western Weyr - Kitchen
Perhaps you followed your nose here.. the cooking aromas are tempting. This is the main kitchen of the Weyr. At any time of the day or night you find cooks and drudges busy making meals and preparing foodstuffs for storage for later use. The cavern has been shaped into a huge room with a domed ceiling. The huge ovens and cooking stoves line the outer wall, their perpetual fires fueled by natural gas from a nearby well. Vent holes pierce the cavern walls, keeping the room amazingly clear of smoke. The inner wall has long counters of smooth stone, carved from the walls. You see a large, heavy looking metal-clad door. This is the large cold storage room, much like a man-made ice cave. The walls are made of volcanic rock, known for it's insulating properties. The heat exchanger is also powered by natural gas.

It's later on at Western and the kitchens are empty. Well, almost empty. Zi'on is peeking into them to make sure no one is around. Then he wheels in a wagon with two giant glass bottles on it, both full of a yellowish liquid. He's also got a big bucket and some coiled metal tubing inside of it. And also a couple of empty smaller glass bottles with him. The bronzer starts setting things up on one of the counters near the stove once he's sure the coast is clear. He grabs a kettle and a thermometer as well and starts assembling things.

And the kitchens would have remained almost empty, if another hadn't stumbled in. Th'ero is up and about, despite the odd hour and equally unusual location. Velokraeth must be sleeping and the weyrling must be hungry. And where else to find food when the leftovers out in the caverns aren't sufficient? Slipping in as quietly as he can, it's not long before he spots Zi'on, though his gaze seems to fixate mostly on the odd glass bottles and other assortments that the bronzerider has with him. Slowly, he approaches, hoping the other rider is too preoccupied with the assembly to notice him creeping up closer. "What /are/ you doing?" Th'ero asks, giving Zi'on a bit of a perplexed frown.

Zi'on has not lost his dreams of being a pirate. No sir. He has not. And what better way to be a pirate than to drink rum? Well, rum is in short supply around Pern right now. So what better way to get rum than to -make your own-. Yes. The bronzer has been to Landing. And at Landing he's found the secret formula for making home-brewed rum. In the kitchens. At the question Zi'on peers at Th'ero. "Getting -rich-." He fails to say how though. The bronzer has put a special cork on the kettle with two holes in it. In one hole he stick the thermometer, and in the other goes a piece of the tubing. The bucket is handed to the other bronzer. "Can you run to the cold stores and fill this mostly with ice?"

The answer he receives for his question is … a bucket? Th'ero simply stares at it for a moment in confusion, hesitantly reaching out to grasp it. The weyrling can only give a wary look to Zi'on now. Last time he "helped" Zi'on, it ended with the theft of the girl candidates under clothes. "I'm only going to get the ice if you tell me what it's /for/." Th'ero stubbornly asks again, frowning at the other bronzerider. It would seem Th'ero knows little to nothing of home-brewed alcohols, so for now he's simply in the dark.

A bucket with tubing in it! "We're going to make some booze. I got enough here for a couple of bottles maybe." He hoists up one of the large glass bottles onto the shelf.. "In here I've got special yeast and sugar water. Well, it was sugar water. Now it's mostly an alcohol mixture. But we have to distill it to get the booze out of it." He shoos Th'ero, then goes about setting up the rest of the apparatus. "If this works out I figure I can make a couple of bottles a day or so, and sell them to the lounge at a marked up price right now."

Th'ero can only stare at Zi'on as the bronzerider rambles off his master plan, jaw working slightly as he tries to form some sort of reply and fails miserably. So it's back to staring at the bucket with tubes sprouting out of it in his hands and then back to Zi'on. Why, why in Faranth's name has he been getting into these awkward situations lately? Unable to work up a reply, Zi'on's shooing gesture works and Th'ero disappears for a moment before returning with the ice as requested. The weyrling frowns at the setup, clearly not at all convinced. "Regardless if it works or not … I think you're crazy, Zi'on." Th'ero admits, though he doesn't seem to be leaving despite his negativity towards the idea. "Why are you bothering going through all this trouble?"

Because he's friends with Zi'on, that's why. Though Zi'on hasn't gotten him into any awkward situations lately, has he? Maybe in terms of Th'ero's whole life it was lately. The bronzer adds some water to the bucket that Th'ero's so graciously collected for him. "Thanks! Oh, it'll work. Don't worry." The bronzer seems confident! Perhaps this isn't the first round of booze-making? He grins to Th'ero at the crazy comment. "Because. With the vinters on strike there's not being any alcohol made all over Pern. Or at least not a whole lot. Which means they have to pay more for what's out there, because it's in short supply. So making booze for a week could net me a big time profit. I could make more in a week than I make riding in the wing in several months!" And what does he do with all this money? Who knows. He's probably got a wad of marks stuffed under his bed. The bronzer fills up the kettle and then turns the heat on after everything is all assembled.

It's his life lately that has been awkward, but then half the time it's Th'ero's fault. He's a magnet for awkward, it seems. The weyrling only snorts in continued disbelief to Zi'on's confidence in the setup. Again, Th'ero eyes it all warily and mostly because he understands nothing in how it could or should work. "How do you know it'll work?" At the mention of the strike, the weyrling only sighs slightly, a hand coming up so he can pinch the bridge of his nose between his forefinger and thumb. Apparently, Zi'on logic does not match Th'ero's. Yet still the weyrling doesn't flee or storm off and one would think this would outrage him - being a former guard and all. "And you honestly think you'll make enough in profit? What if the strike continues and the demand becomes too much?" Th'ero asks, smirking from where he stands and "innocently" observes. He's letting Zi'on do all the work too, of course.

Poor Th'ero and his awkward life. And the bronzer probably thought his days of awkwardness were left behind him when he stopped being a teenager. Nope! Now he's got more awkwardness because he hangs around a teenager. "Because! It's all scientifical. Also I looked at vinters distillery plans at Landing and read about it. Considering it's just sugar and water, all I had to buy was the jugs and the tubing and the special yeast. So even if I only sell one bottle at normal price I'll make back everything I've spent. Anything on top of that is profit. If you help me out I'll cut you in at ten-percent." Zi'on, shrewd negotiator. Though Th'ero probably didn't want to get into the business of underground liquor. It's late at Western, and the two bronzers are standing in front of a home-made distilling apparatus, which involves a kettle, a bucket, metal tubing, big jugs full of yellowish liquid and empty bottles. "See right now this stuff isn't the alcohol we want. It hasn't reached the good temperature. So I'll pour this off once the temperature gets up to where I want it."

Th'ero has probably forgotten that important detail - that he is, in fact, older than Zi'on and should probably know better then to let the bronzerider go through with plans like this or get himself involved. There's a long searching look given to Zi'on when he once again explains the finer details about the plan. In the end, Th'ero can only sigh and shake his head. "You're crazy." He repeats, grimacing now and tries for another tactic. "Isn't this technically illegal?" Th'ero tries to point out, not cluing in to Zi'on's comment until a heartbeat later. "No. No /way/ am I getting involved." Th'ero holds his hands up in a warding gesture, even going so far as taking a step back. Nope, the weyrling is definitely showing signs of reluctance to joining an underground liquor rings. Must be the lingering guard in him. "Sounds complicated." Th'ero mutters, peering between the distilling apparatus to Zi'on.

This is the problem when Zi'on is left to his own devices. One would think Enka would keep the bronzer on a tight leash, but she -encourages- this type of thing most of the time. As for Th'ero getting himself involved though… that was all on him! "Illegal? I don't remember readin' any rules like that." He peers at Th'ero. "You would know better than I would. I know a lot of people brew their own beer. Why's this any different? Anyways, it ain't gonna be all the time. Just for a week or two." He laughs at Th'ero's reaction. "Well, suit yourself." The bronzer switches between bottles once things settle into the temperature he's looking for. "So how's things down in weyrlingland?"

"Because you're selling it and at a much higher price?" Th'ero points out, ticking off each on his fingers. He seems ready to tick off more, but he falters, frowning in thought. The wheels are turning and the weyrling is distracted for a moment. Maybe Zi'on's logic is getting to him? Afterall, what /does/ Th'ero know of home brewing or even alcohol to begin with? "Actually, I know nothing of home brewing practices." He grudgingly admits with his usual smirk, having to admit that he's really just grasping at straws here. There's another shake of his head and then the weyrling moves away a little to scrounge for food, despite the late hour of the night. There's a slight snort of amusement to the other bronzerider's question and Th'ero simply shrugs. "Going well enough, if you minus out being exhausted by the end of the day. Velokraeth is getting stronger too, though I'm beginning to doubt he'll ever be as big as some bronzes."

Iris meanders into the kitchens in search of food. It's been a long day and she kind of skipped dinner. And maybe some other meal(s) too. She fairly well famished at this point, and with the day's trainings, work and bath finally behind her, her stomach and Shadhavarth decided to remind her that, oh, yeah, food is necessary. On her food-mission, she doesn't notice the boys right away; she's busy flipping on an oven and beelining for the cooler room and digging around. Good fortune finds her discovering a tray of unbaked redfruit bubblies which she commandeers along with her sandwich plate. Coming back out of the cooler room, she heads back for the oven, set the tray down over it until it heats up, and leans against the counter to eat her sandwich and look around. Oh hey, there are /occupants/ in the kitchen. With…. some kind of bizarre experiement? She musters an incredulous expression. "What in Faranth's name are you doing to the kitchens?"

Zi'on blinks at Th'ero. "I'm not selling it at a -much- higher price. Besides, it's more of a pain for me to make than the vinters. They already got all the stuff and can make big batches. This is special home brewed straight from the uh… jugs of Zi'on. So I can charge a premium." Yep. That's how Zi'on is going to spin it, at least. "Mm, seems to be the way with weyrlinghood. Though I guess you don't have to chop meat anymore, right? Suldith is pretty small for a bronze, too. Easier for them to catch greens if they're small. Er… as a warning, I guess." There's a blink as someone else is rummaging through the kitchens. The bronzer crosses his arms across his chest and peers at Iris. "None of your business, old lady. Move along now… nothing to see here." Zi'on might look threatening, if one didn't know him. Instead he just looks… like he's up to no good.

Th'ero's own explorations of the various containers and cupboards nearby mask Iris' arrival at first and the weyrling remains oblivious to her arrival. That is, until he hears her leaving the cooler room. He blinks a little in surprise at first and then smirks at her. "Don't look at me, Iris. It's all his doing." And he juts a thumb back over his shoulder to gesture to Zi'on. "Seems like he's got the best foolproof plan to some easy marks." He adds in a sarcastically teasing tone. That's when he notices that Iris has food and he's now pointing towards her. "Where'd you get that?" he asks, trying not to look as hungry as he feels. Glancing back to Zi'on, Th'ero quirks a brow a little and suddenly the weyrling is laughing. "Jugs of Zi'on? That's a horrible name." he muses, wrinkling his nose slightly. "No, Velokraeth is hunting on his own now. Has been for a bit and I'm awfully glad for it. I was getting tired of having to prepare so much meat." Th'ero's expression falls then at Zi'on's warning and the weyrling ducts his head away, pretending to investigate another cupboard less someone sees the redness of his cheeks. He's /still/ touchy about that subject it seems. "Uh, thanks for that warning… I think." He mutters, before giving Zi'on a bit of an incredulous look. "Did you just call her an old lady?" he asks in a low tone meant to be only for the bronzerider to hear, though Th'ero is struggling not to laugh outloud.

That Old Lady stares back at Zi'on, disbelieving. Brown eyes narrow and Iris peers past Zi'on, focusing on the suspicious-looking home-made distillery. "Is that… what I think it is?" Her gaze flips to Th'ero as he confirms those suspicions and she snorts at the boys. "Well, too bad we're not graduated, I'd be tempted to insist on a taste." At Th'ero's question, she glances down at her plate. "Um. Cooler room? The parts are kind of all over the place though, do you want one?" She takes a bite just as the oven dings its readiness, and, still chewing she sets the plate down and puts the bubbly tray into the oven. Th'ero is peered at. "Or two? I think I might make a second myself, putting food in my belly just made me even more hungry."

Zi'on laughs. Th'ero, what a friend. As soon as Iris comes in he's already pointing the finger and letting Zi'on take the fall. Not that Zi'on doesn't deserve the fall, of course. "Yep. I do." The bronzer pours some more of the liquid into the kettle to keep the process going. He peers as Th'ero starts laughing at his sort of name. "I haven't really thought up a name. I was thinking something with 'wench' in the title. Like… uh… Jugs of the Wench." He laughs. "Nah. Wench… Sauce. Or something." There's a nod to Th'ero about the warning, then about calling Iris an old lady. "Yeah. Didn't you know? She's like over thirty now or something." At this rate, Iris will be seventy by the time she graduates. Zi'on isn't keeping his voice down. For some reason Iris likes to be known as old. He raises a brow at Iris. "What do you think it is? Heh. Sadly you'll miss out on the brew. Of course if you front the marks now I'll save you a bottle. I'll even give you a discount." Zi'on, forever the sales man. He tastes it an winces. "Whoo. That's strong. It'll have to go through again."

Having won over the urge to burst out laughing, Th'ero is finally able to glance back to Iris with a relatively neutral expression, though he does quirk a brow at her mentioning the desire to /taste/ Zi'on's attempt at home brewed alcohol. "Really?" he asks, not quite understanding why. But then he's distracted again by the prospect of food and he hesitates for a moment before shrugging his shoulders, closing the cupboards he had been idly investigating. "If you're already going to and don't mind making extra." Th'ero says, accepting the offer and remembering enough in courtesies to at least smile to Iris and even remembers to say a quick 'thanks!' But Zi'on distracts him again and the bronzerider's next choice of names does have the weyrling laughing. "Shells, again, terrible." He says when he's recovered enough to speak. "Though… saucy wench might have a ring to it?" Th'ero seems to consider it before tossing out that suggestion as well. "Ugh, no. Just as bad." At the mention of Iris' age, Th'ero does a quick glance over his shoulder to his fellow weyrling before slowly turning his attention back to the bronzerider. And with the straightest expression he can muster, he oh-so calmly asks. "And what's wrong with older women? Thirty isn't that bad of an age." And then he smirks a little when Zi'on pitches his sale to Iris, the weyrling rolling his eyes a little in disbelief.

Iris shrugs nonchalantly at Th'ero. "Oh you know, try anything once and all." It's the baker in her- something /might/ taste good, you never know! Zi'on earns a smirk. "Yep, I'm ancient, aren't I? I must have eternal life or something, what with these youthful good looks. Mustn't ruin them with your, ah, Saucy Wench brew." Sauvely turning down his offer, she gives her still-damp hair a coy toss and flutters her eyelashes at the two bronzers before snagging a plate and making an exit to the cooler room to fetch sandwiches. She's in there just a snap before she's back out, mission accomplished- the plate has three sandwiches on it, and she takes one off before handing the plate off to Th'ero and returning to lean against the counter by the oven. Her second sandwich is set on her own plate so she can finish the first one. Nomnomnom.

At first Zi'on thinks Th'ero is talking about getting an extra bottle of booze. But no, the bronzer wants food. Zi'on is too distracted to eat right now. He's dumping off what's left in the kettle and refilling it. Zi'on grins to Th'ero. "Saucy Wench. Maybe. It feels like a Saucy Wench is slapping you in the throat as it goes down, for sure." Zi'on grins and laughs. "Thirty might be where I draw the line. Enka's already twenty-four. I got nothin' against older gals. But I try not to go for ones that could be my mother." He nods to Iris. "You must. You look pretty good for an old lady. Anyways you couldn't handle my Wench brew. This stuff'll put hair on your chest."

Now there's a theory Th'ero has never considered, so he only gives Iris a skeptical look to her 'try anything once' remark. And that's why she's is the baker and he the guard. There's another set of chuckles from the weyrling when Iris plays along with the 'old age' comments. Wisely, he adds nothing more to it, probably finding enough amusement seeing the banter go back and forth between her and Zi'on. When she brings the sandwhich over, Th'ero grins and grasps the plate, setting on the counter and promptly taking a large bite of the sandwhich. Ahh, finally! Food! "Thanks again." Th'ero says around a mouthful of food. Thankfully, he's swallowed that mouthful of food by the time he overhears Zi'on, or they'd have a choking weyrling on their hands. "Lovely description. That'll sell it for sure." Th'ero sarcastically remarks, before giving a curious side-glance to the bronzerider. "She's twenty-four? Huh, she's close to my age." He points out, perhaps a little teasingly. Th'ero does nod his head in agreement though to the last comment on age. "Fair enough." Is all the weyrling says on that and then it's back to devouring his late night snack.

Iris rolls her eyes at Zi'on, expression as sweet as molasses. "That /must/ be why you're always trying to hide things from me or pull the wool over my eyes, Zi'on. I really am a motherly figure, aren't I? Why, I sure don't need hair on /my/ chest." She follows up with a bit of a forced giggle, then turns away from Zi'on and back to her sandwich. The first is finished quickly and was just starting the second when the bell dings on the oven. Fresh bubblies! Maybe they're not her own making but they do promise to be delicious. On goes the oven mitt and out comes the small tray of sizzling fruit pies. She holds it up to happily inhale the scent, then sets it down to cool. Oven flipped off, she returns to sandwich mode and grins at Th'ero. "He's off by a decade. I'm not /that/ old."

As the last of his sandwhich is finished off, Th'ero calmly watches the banter exchanged between Iris and Zi'on, though in the end it seems the bronzerider becomes absorbed in his project and leaves Th'ero on his own. When the bubblies are pulled from the oven, even he's giving them a thoughtful (and hungry) look. But he doesn't rush over or beg for one. Instead, he simply grins crookedly at Iris. "I know that, I was only playing along. It was a fun little joke though." He admits with a soft chuckle, which promptly turns into a bit of a yawn that he stifles with the back of his hand. "Shells, /now/ I get sleepy. I tried for hours and nothing. Come here, have one snack and I'm done." He grumbles, mostly to himself, but also loud enough for Iris to overhear. Placing the plate they used with another stack of dirty dishes, Th'ero wanders past where Iris has settled herself. "I'm going to head back. Zi'on seems to be absorbed in that project of his and I'm not about to mettle into it. I'll see you back at the barracks?" he asks, seeming to pause only to give proper farewells. But as he goes to give his fellow weyrling a parting wave, he suddenly leans around her and snags one of the hot bubblies, no doubt getting some singed fingers (but worth it!) and then he's out and gone through the bowl entrance.

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