Snacks Are Not Snakes But Kids Are Caprines

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 midmorning - the breakfast rush is over - finally! In the lull after that whirlwind of activity a somewhat breathless and mussed Raelii is clearing tables under the watchful eye of the kitchen/chow hall supervisor. She's stacked plates and cutlery on a huge tray and just now stooping to shift it to one shoulder. There are some tables already cleaned and wiped. But not many. One table over near the firepit has a harper class going with some of the older kids. The ones still at the age for crayons and fingerpaint but too old for the nursery. The serving table has nothing but klah, iced juices and rolls for those too hungry to wait for lunch and those with floor sweeping and mopping, chair mending and dusting chores are beginning to get going. It's the picture of serenity!

Unfortunately for Ezrayl she hasn't been assigned the nice older kids. Nope, she's been stuck with three children, two boys and a girl, all 3 turns old and making a complete mess. The two boys have latched onto her legs and the little girls is one her back and there is paint all over the lot of them. "Damn brats, get off or you're not getting a snack!" These words are the might roar that come from the red-haired lasses mouth, but the children don't seem to mind. In fact, there's a burst of laughter instead. "To the kitchen! Kitchen, Ez!" This is the excited cry from one of the boys who starts tugging at her clothes, and of course the others decide to follow suit. "I should chop all of you up and dump you in tonight's dinner." Clearly this is not any way to be speaking to children, but that isn't stopping the guard turned candidate from doing it anyways.

Dust! There's always plenty of it, which is why Keldan doesn't seem to be looking../too/ dedicated to his work when he ventures into the cavern. Oh sure, there's a brush given here and there, and he even stands on his toes at one point to try and get at a higher-up nook. But for the most part, the teenager is gravitating toward those tables containing refreshment and rolls. His fingers wiggle a bit when he reaches for one of those bits of bread when there is, in fact..some surly candidate laden with children growling and lumbering about. He pauses…and stares a bit, and points his duster at the lot of them. "That is a /mighty/ fine steed you all have there."

With the breakfast part of the day over, Chrystyne heads to the barracks to discover her chore. "Gardening." she murmurs as she steps back into the living caverns and pauses in the entranceway to see which candidates are still lingering in here.

It's another day free of duties for Aglaia - which really just means she's busy with other work entirely. Today, she's claimed a table off to one side that is, she hopes, out of the way from all the child-induced chaos. She should know better than to hope - but, for the moment, things -seem- peaceful enough. In either case, things are safe enough at the moment and she's elbow-deep in a stack of ledgers, while a brilliant, peacock blue firelizard sits on her head. The creature is certainly not hers and that might beg the question of just what it's doing there. She seems to pay it no heed at all while she jots, her features all scrunched up with the effort of concentrating not only on the work but on the pricking of tiny claws at her scalp. At least the latter is easier to block out than the howls and shrieks of some of the children and their Candidate-turned-herder!

Kyra has no obvious chore she's dealing with when she steps on into the living cavern, dressed in her usual functional-style clothes with her short curls pushed back off her forehead by a simple brown band that seems to stick in them via combed teeth. She sees her brother first and, with a slight grin, gives him a wave as she makes her way over towards the refreshment table. All she wants is a big mug of klah, so that's what she gets, sipping from it with her free hand shoved in her hip pocket, hazel eyes following Ezrayl's progress with no small hint of mirth. Keldan's joke earns a slight grin followed by a laughing warning in his direction, "You're in trouble once she gets free of them, you realize." She's not heading over to help, though, no way.

Raelii, meanwhile, has straightened up with that tray balanced inexpertly on her shoulder and begun wobbling her way towards the kitchen door. She hears the words 'to the kitchen' as well as Keldan's comment and her head turns to spy the clinging group of kids riding Ezrayl. Hazel eyes flash mirth back to Keldan with a giggle. She is not one to stand in the way of progress however! So she'll helpfully back into that swinging door and push it open with her butt that the cluster of humanity may enter. It's really too bad that the supervisor has turned her back now, isn't it?

There is one thing Kyra is right about, Keldan's in trouble once she's free. The grisly guard candidate turns a glare on the dusting one, but perhaps his misery is to come by another's hands. Suddenly, the little girl on Ezrayl's back is hopping off to first charge Keldan and then leap at him. "The monster! DIE FIEND!" So maybe the guard has been teaching them war cries. Maybe. The boys clinging to her legs let out tiny whoops as well, though Ezrayl continues her steady progress towards the kitchens. She's about to go inside when Raelii opens the door, but then thinks better of it. "Before I bring another disaster into the kitchen," last night was terrible, "I was thinking maybe I shouldn't. Think you'd mind grabbing some snacks for the ki?AGH! Stop yanking at my clothes you little dolts!" Because now the boys are trying to make Ezrayl charge the 'monster' too. This probably isn't helping Aglaia's desire to concentrate.

"Oh, I know." Keldan tilts his head a bit, giving a slow look toward Kyra when she appears with her /words/. "But it's worth it." He does finally grab one of the rolls though, biting into it with a slight grin leveled on Raelii. Apparently, chore time /can/ be fun time, so long as other people are being bombarded by small children. Of course, one of them happens to be heading right for him a moment later. "Whoa!" The teen lurches back slightly, then simply brandishes his duster with a slight wiggle of it at the little girl. "Oh no you don't! Yah!" Behold the fearsome feather weapon!

The ice blue eyes of Chrystyne peeks about with some interest as she takes in the children and Ezrayl. Regardless of her original intentions when stepping into the caverns she decides to try to aid her fellow candidate out. Since Keldan seems to be handling the charging girl, Chrys steps over toward Ezrayl and the one yanking at clothing.

All the commotion seems to draw the attention of the blue, which utters a shrill -shriek- right next to Aglaia's ear. "That's -it-. Enlil, go back to Dad. You aren't helping." The blue pecks at her ear in a weirdly avian-like gesture and she swats it away with a frustrated sigh. "-Go-." The wee thing obeys a moment later, vanishing *between* with a sharp trill and leaving her to fold the stack of ledgers up and tuck them under an arm. She rises and strides with slow, measured steps toward Ezrayl and the others, her expression a grim one. It doesn't really soften once she gets the gist of what's happening, either; if anything, all of it hardens her mien into something that's downright unreadable. At least until she's close enough to Ezrayl to reach down and tap the top of a child's head. She leans down to whisper, "You're 'IT'," and will just have to hope that the kidlets are at all familiar with the game she'd played as a child.

Kyra is continuing her important task of not at all helping people wrangle the kids, sipping her klah and watching them with interest, amused by Keldan's fight against the small girl. She'll offer a casual wave in Chrystyne's direction, of course, only to get distracted by Aglaia wading into the midsts. This is really a good time to be in the living caverns and she'd rather not miss the show by trying to get involved with it. Of course, she'd totally help otherwise. Certainly. Ahem. Taking a longer swallow from her mug, she waits to see if the child Aglaia spoke to - not sure what she said - will take whatever bait was handed down.

The commotion doesn't seem to faze Raelii one bit and over the ruckus she manages to get out an "Are you sure?" in Ezrayl's direction and a snicker at Keldan's 'swordsmanship' just as the kitchen supervisor arrives at the door with a heavy frown. "Corral your charges!" the woman snaps at Ezrayl. "Make like a goat," is Raelli's bright suggestion to Aglaia's tagged tot. Looking thunderous, the woman points Raelii to go on in and Ezrayl to find a table, the implication - amongst the few cleaned ones - then she follows Raelii into the kitchen where she'll no doubt assign the candidate to head for the bakery area and find something edible to return with. The tots won't be chopping off their toes, exploring the ovens or tumbling into stew vats to be served with dinner, not on her watch!

Keldan doesn't have to fight for long it seems! The little girl seems to lose interest when there's a booming lady snapping orders about, and off she goes to join the others. The teen just twirls the duster around in his hand a moment then, before leaning it against his shoulder. At least he's free to chew on his roll now. Still, there's a slight wince for all that snarling, heading over to lean a bit closer to Kyra. "How do you..make like a goat, exactly? Because if it involves running around ramming their heads into things, this is going to get..a lot more interesting." Another bite is taken, waving what's left of the bread bits at Chrystyne when she heads over toward the children as well.

Chrystyne ducks her head a bit as the kitchen supervisor announces her arrival with a few barked orders and a point into the kitchen. The kids surely have other ideas especially with one girl giving a squeal of challenge. "I'm NOT IT! SHE IS!" she being someone else. Not her. The clothing tugger gets swooped up by Chrystyne. "Gotcha!" A finger waggle of greeting is cast towards Kyra then Keldan before she spins the girl in her arms to drop down to the ground again with a deft tickling. "Listen to the lady there or she'll cook your toes in your sleep!" she warns in a stage whisper.

Interesting is one way to look at it. The child Aglaia tagged does, indeed, make like a caprine - which seems to involve bleating and bouncing in place. "Go tag one of the others. Make them a goat," Aglaia suggests, and steps out of the way to let the wee one do just that. Thus begins a game among some of the children, which mostly involves trying to headbutt one another and run away. This will surely not end badly, not at all. And then there's Aglaia, who watches the chaos she has wrought and, satisfied, offers a nod of thanks to Raelii before she departs for the kitchens. A sidelong look is soon angled toward the other Candidates, a lopsided smile pullig itself into being on her face. "And," she adds after Chrystyne speaks, "she'll make you -eat- your toes for breakfast." Not that she's going to stop the kidlet antics any time soon, no sir. She will, however, keep an eye on the lot, lest they get a little too crazy. Her ledgers? Not forgotten, but there's no way she's going to handle those any time soon.

"Like that, I guess," is Kyra's amiable enough response for her brother, reaching over to take a roll for herself so she can nibble the edges off and watch some of the kids headbutt eachother. She cups the hand holding the roll to the side of her mouth, fingers holding it away so she can be heard, and calls over, "Good on you, Aggy! Good job!" Congratulations on not being called your full name, also. The booming lady doesn't bother her for a fair amount of reasons, though she does close one eye against the volume before she snags another roll and steps away from the refreshment table, inviting herself over to where Aglaia was sitting beforehand, careful not to get anything crumbly or drippy anywhere near her ledgers, "I'd like to point out that cooking somebody's toes in their sleep is like to wake them up." That's something that'll probably catch on among the kids, they love stuff like that. Of course, Chrystyne is likely to suffer the backlash of her threat being countermanded, but hey, it's all in good fun, right? Bwaha.

Goats are notoriously hard to catch. Raelii could attest to this, just ask N'mon! At least the scary-mean lady is gone now and presently Raelii reappears with a tray. Are there any kids (ha) on the tables yet? She's been left to her own devices to choose what young children might like for a snack. Small custard tartlets (because those aren't messy at all, now are they?) Cookies, the golden, buttery-crumbly sort with a dollop of jelly baked in the center, wedges of watermelon (because the seeds are fun!) and cups of milk slide precariously about on that tray despite her careful attempt to keep it steady as she walks to one of the clean tables near where Keldan, Kyra and Aglaia are. She's serving, not supervising, and thus she waits while others corral the rambunctious little ones. Today's perk, free entertainment!

Keldan chuckles quietly for a moment, but promptly pokes his duster at Kyra. In the face. Because he can. "I'm totally not sticking around for the cracked skulls they'll end up with." He doesn't follow when she goes toward the tables though, instead he finishes off his roll and shakes his head. "Could always snip them off. They'd get at least one that way before you could wake up." He waves that duster a bit as he begins to move out though, trekking for the deeper reaches of the Weyr where there is very likely to be mounds of the vile dust he's battling for the day.

Chrystyne bales out of this by grabbing a roll herself and backing away quickly from the little humans before they can head butt her. Or demand answers of whether or not they would wake up when someone tries to cook their toes in their sleep. Roll in hand she moves to join Kyra and Keldan. "I'm not having more than one kid for sure." she remarks casually as she joins them

"They're just kids. It's easy to get them to play with one another," Aglaia replies to Kyra, if in a slightly sidelong fashion. The nickname, at least, seems to be worth a curious tilting of her smile, but it's difficult to interpret. She does glance at the stack of ledgers but, trusting the other Candidate, her attention eventually returns to the goat-ified children who have enlisted a few of the older kids to play along. "Keep away from the main serving tables, you kids." The direction is deadpanned and said with a straight face. And then Raelii's there with treats and, naturally, the would-be-goatlings are distracted. So what if a few of them -are- on the tables? At least they're (mostly) behaving. Meanwhile, Aglaia watches for a while, having lapsed into a bit of silence. A wary look is angled toward the kitchen, perhaps half-expecting the thunderous woman to manifest again, but it's a fleeting thing.

Kyra isn't supervising or serving and she polishes off her roll easily enough, washing it down with klah and smiling casually at Aglaia, "I guess I should say 'good one' to Raelii, then, for the goat thing. Either way, this is funny." The kids are distracted for the food and that's really probably better, though she looks over to Chrystyne after eyeballing them only to shrug, "Just don't have twelve and I'm sure you'll be fine." She waves flippantly a farewell to her brother, giving his back an amused look as he meanders on to his neverending quest for dust, then looks to the others again while biting into her second roll, "What's everybody gotta do today? I didn't really look. I can guess for Ezrayl and Raelii, of course."

Chrystyne bobs her head with some agreement to her expression as she spares another glance towards the children. "Suppose so." is all she says on that. "I've some gardening work today. A quiet chore. I also thought I'd take a peek at the eggs again from the gallery. See if I can tell if the eggs look harder yet."

To Chrystyne, "Yes because that'd be a herd," chirps Raellii in a agreement with Kyra from over where she's doling out those tartlets and cookies in a methodical fashion to each tot. And now she's much too busy to be entertained as she sets cups of milk down and the kids are reaching (grabbing) for things, cramming their faces full. And why is it they always have to set their cups at the edge of the table when they put them down? She's too busy squeaking and diving to set them out of harm's way, pulling sticky fingers from hair and wiping spills to be clever now. Hopefully the supervisor will stay busy for awhile because this table is going to need to be re-cleaned when all is said and done. At least dusting and sweeping and mopping and ledgering may now resume?

"It was a much better idea than me just telling them to try to tag each other, that's for sure," Aglaia intones with a glance to Kyra. "It wouldn't have been as much fun to watch that way." And probably a bit more disastrous. She glances briefly at Chrystyne and offers up helpfully, "That's what nannies are for, right?" Her grin tilts a bit more with wry amusement at something or another. She rolls a shoulder and finally treks back to the table her ledgers are at, only to sink into her chair with a sigh. "Rest day, supposedly. But my brother's botched the ledgers," -again-, "so, I have to fix them." She thumbs the stack, then glances to Chrystyne again with a thoughtful expression. "That sounds like a good idea. I just wish there was some way to make them harden -faster-."

"Why doesn't your father just chuck the ledgers over to the Harpers or something? Their law department could probably manage it. Don't know who else, but still," Kyra inquires curiously, wrinkling her nose at all the various ledgers. Being a candidate and having to work on your 'day off' just seems like a pain in the butt. She starts working on the last roll only to blink at Chrystyne and Aglaia, shrugging as she points out, "It's not like we'll be needed there until they're ready to go, so the only real reason to look at them is to pick favorites. I think, anyway. I'm glad enough to leave them alone until we get marched in front of them, really. More interested in what's inside, you know?" She widens her eyes, looking conspiratorial before grinning and finishing another bit of roll, "I've got stable duty today, so I'm fortifying myself." She wiggles the roll.

"I've not yet picked a favorite though, really." Chrystyne remarks as she folds herself into an empty chair. "I've not had the chance yet to touch 'em." she grins towards Aglaia's wishful thinking. "It might be easier to simply find other ways to make the time go faster while we wait for them to harden." a flash of an idea crosses her epxression briefly but whatever the thought was she keeps it in her head for now. "Stable duty? I've not gotten that yet. Doesn't sound too bad though."

The answer is simple: "He wants to keep it in the family, that's all. And it's all I've really ever done, it feels like." Aglaia lifts a shoulder in a lopsided shrug and hooks the first ledger open again to consider it. "It's comforting, in a way, knowing I still have -something- to go back to after this is all done." She sucks her teeth for a moment and falls silent, fingers occupied with the task of riffling through the pages. Eventually, "Sometimes, it's worth just… looking at them. It makes all of this a bit more real to see them out there, waiting." She flicks a look up to Kyra, one corner of her mouth quirking with amusement. "I see," says she, and then there's a look to Chrystyne. "I'm sure they'll have us out there again soon. There were two that the queen wasn't sharing - maybe she'll let them go for us to get acquainted with. It's- ah. It's an interesting experience, feeling them." She's not about to touch stable duty, nope.

Kyra laughs a little before she grins at Chrystyne and says, teasingly, "Depends on how much you like having to shovel runner poop, I guess." She reaches over to poke Chrys in the arm a couple times, then finishes off her roll and folds her legs up so she can drink the rest of her klah as well. She does nod a bit of agreement with Aglaia, however, admitting between sips, "I get what you mean. Looking at them can be calming, too, I think. They're pretty peaceful, after all, not at all like what it's going to be like when they crack open." Whether you Impress or not, Standing is always a hectic affair, so far as she's seen. People get hurt, dragons are all over the place, it's hot, not to mention whatever else might go wrong. Contemplatively, she just sips at her klah in silence for a minute or two, staring at nothing in particular and nodding another mild agreement with Aglaia's comment about being able to go out and touch them again. Eventually, she shakes her head and pushes her chair out with an abrupt squeak of wood on stone, grinning as she rises to her feet, "Time for me to go play maid to some runners. I'll see you guys later - Chrys, Aggy." She flashes her hand in something of a wave, then heads over to drop her mug off at a dish station so she can head off to actual work.

Chrystyne slashes a quick grin towards her friend with each poke upon the arm. "It is peaceful up there in the galleries. Especially since when they /do/ hatch it'll be hectic on the sands." she pops the rest of the roll into her mouth, chewing as she watches Kyra head off to play with runner muck. "I'll see you later Kyra." cue finger waggle to her departing form. Her own chores what but she doesn't seem motivated just yet to depart.

"I've heard too many stories about hatchings. I know it'll be chaos when the day comes," Aglaia murmurs, her expression momentarily unreadable. Eventually, she closes the ledger and pushes it aside for the time being. "Have a good day out there," is angled toward Kyra, along with a finger-wiggle of a wave. "And maybe you should get out to look at the eggs at some point. Just, you know, to see them before they're totally ruined." Her hands fold on the ledgers and she cuts a look to Chrystyne, "So. When are you due back to get gardening done? Because there -are- eggs to look at." Brows lift in inquiry, though she doesn't get up. Not yet.

Chrystyne grins. "It's still early I'd imagine if I didn't get to it until closer to lunch time no one would know." she says impishly. After a few minute she stands slowly and stretches. "After all, there /are/ eggs to be looking at." she agrees.

Aglaia picks up her stack of ledgers and tucks them under her arm before rising to her feet. "Well, in that case…" she trails off with a grin and starts on out, her pace measured and casual. She's in no real hurry to go look - but, then, it's not like they're going anywhere any time soon, either!

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