Fort Weyr - Living Caverns
This cavern, having been created by bubbles in the volcanic flow of this extinct volcano, has a breathtaking ceiling — a vast dome that arches high above the heads of the weyrfolk that scurry around beneath it. A hollow echo can be heard from loud enough noises, and the chatterings of various firelizards are consequently multiplied into a chaotic babble. All in all, the living cavern is a loud place.
Tables are scattered around the room, apparently in no particular order. Over to one side near the kitchens, two medium sized serving tables are constantly spread with snacks, klah, and other goodies. The tables look worn, yet perfectly fitted to the atmosphere of the caverns. In the 'corners' of the cavern, smaller two and four place tables are set up for more private talks or just a less chaotic atmosphere in which to eat.

Mid-afternoon is when activity starts to pick up in the living caverns, as folks take a break from their daily doings to refuel. The lunch spread is currently being added to as candidates carry out more and more dishes alongside the kitchen staff, while hungry folk are already helping themselves and wandering off to find a spot to sit. Not everyone is diving straight in, though; Thys waits patiently to one side, hands clasped in front of her, watching and waiting until the last dish is set down before she steps forward to begin serving herself, in amongst everyone else.

Senira walks out from the kitchens in a line of other candidates who are helping the kitchen staff. Unlike her fellow candidates, Senira carries not platters of food but two large pitchers of an amber liquid. She stomp-plod-stomps over to the serving table and announces cheerily to the cavern: "And here, the most important part of any meal. The ale!"

Th'ero will join on the mid-afternoon rush for once. Normally the Weyrleader is too busy to snag a midday meal but as he's just finished with his morning meetings (first the the Weyrwoman, then the Ringleaders… it takes time!) he figured it couldn't hurt to come by the living caverns. Though he's a gentleman as well when it comes to waiting on serving himself. He'll even let Thys go before him (and a few others) before grabbing a plate. Only when the goldrider is finished does he politely clear his throat to gain her attention. "Afternoon, Thys." Senira's arrival with the ale is likely to bring a few chuckles and laughed cheers and even Th'ero is eying the pitchers. If any remains after the first wave of people pass… oh yes, he's sorely tempted. "Afternoon to you as well, Candidate Senira. I see you're adjusting well?"

At a table sits the hungriest firelizard there is in the cavern! At least, he's convinced he is. King sits next to the plate, munching on bacon strips that his human offers him, and steal one just for good measure. Oh, drink! A quick gulp, and a hickup escapes, the little firelizard scaring himself. In the usual way, King dissapears from his perch beside the plate, to the top of Beyrl's head, peering down suspiciously at the little bowl of drink. A blink from Beyrl, and an amused smirk to follow, as weight upon his head is felt, and tiny claws clinging to hair. A sausage raised, and curiosity gained from the winged lizard, King snaps up the offered treat at the speed of desperation. Immediate pacification is to follow as the happy chewing commences.

There's a bit of humming to be heard as R'yal makes his way into the caverns, though the sight of the rush has him rather abruptly silenced. A bit earlier in arriving than he thought? Perhaps. The greenrider sighs however and skirts his way around much of the throng, before finding his way somewhere toward the back. He's content enough to wait his turn, and though he takes his time in getting there he manages to come away with a plate of food in hand. Eventually. There is of course a moment when he notices both Thys and Th'ero, a smile flickering across his expression once he approaches their way. "Afternoon.." A quiet greeting, if even heard over the din of voices in the cavern.

"Weyrleader," Thys replies to Th'ero with a nod of her head and a smile. She's got her hands full with a plate in one and bread in the other, but the announcement of ale makes her huff in mild frustration at not being able to actually serve herself any. But, aha! That's a candidate, and one whose name is so handily offered. "Candidate Senira? Could you possibly pour me a glass of that? My hands are a little full…" The appearance of her clutchmate earns R'yal an affectionately bright smile. "Rav! How's Livanyth?" Beyrl, however, might soon find that there is competition for the role of hungriest 'lizard in Fort Weyr: a lump of a brown appears beside him, giving those bacon strips a very pointed, swirl-eyed look. Mine?

Senira smiles brightly at the weyrleader. "Good afternoon, Th'ero!" She places one of those pitchers on the table and grabs a cup. She fills in with ale and offers it first to Th'ero. "I'm doing well in candidacy, but it helps that some of my duties have not changed, as you can see." Once a bartender always a bartender! She continues to fill the role by pouring another cup of ale. This one she hands to Thys with a polite nod of the head.

"R'yal! It's good to see you." Th'ero does spy the greenrider there and while his greeting is welcoming, he keeps it low spoken. Hearing Thys' huff of frustration, the Weyrleader chuckles dryly. "We should probably choose a table now or we'll forever be balancing plate and glassware but never have hands free to eat." When Senira offers him the glass first, he almost waves the Canidate's offer away and point instead to the weyrwoman but there's no time. "Thank you," he tells her as he takes the offered ale and promptly joins Beyrl at his table before spotting the Candidate already there. "Glad you're well, Senira." Only after he settles and finally pays attention to his surroundings does he notice he's not alone! "Ah, Candidate Beyrl! Not on kitchen duty this afternoon?"

King spots the new lizard beside his plate. He's sure it's his plate. His human only shares, right? He scrambles down as fast as gravity can take him to the table, taking a shortcut down Beyrl's arm, and stands on the other side of the bacon, peering at the other. That makes two browns, and bacon. King leans in slowly, grabs a bacon by the end, and starts pulling it back. His. A glance toward candidate Senira is given as the greeting is heard. A white knot sports the usual location on his person. Wishing for the known company of the new title (for which he gave up 'Apprentice' for), he gives his own salutation. "Good evening and happy greeting, she of white knot and smile as bright as the summer sky." he calls out, accompanied by a slight wave of the hand to grab visual attention. Following this, he gives a respectful nod to Th'ero. "I am, earlier this day, and as well, later. A wonderful meeting with you this lovely day, Weyrleader." he tells the other with a friendly smile.

"Oh, she's fine. She's…herself." How else can one describe the somewhat aloof green? R'yal has his own hands full of plate and food and drink, and he does eyeball it somewhat longingly. Getting to the /eating/ part of a meal really is the best part. There's a bit of color that rises into his face though, before he nods his head, able to at least lift his cup for a sip of it while moving toward the table. " too, Weyrleader." Once his plate finds the table the greenrider sits down, a small blue head peeking from his shoulder at the bacon battle. Nope, he'll stay right up here, thanks. The greenrider does tilt his head a little though, brows lifting just a tad when the candidate seated there speaks. "So you..have had kitchen duty this morning..and later. But not now?"

It takes a bit of a juggling act, but Thys manages to get one hand free to take the ale glass, which she carries in Th'ero's wake to the table the Weyrleader chose. She settles in beside R'yal, just in time to overhead Beyrl speak… and she blinks. "Goodness. Did you swallow a Harper?" Upon spying the white knot, she winks over at Th'ero. "If this one Impresses, perhaps he ought to join us in Phoenix? I'm sure he'll talk circles around the Holders with sentences like that." Her ale glass is raised in cheers to all the guys on the table, before she sips from it. That tubby brown firelizard darts forwards to nab a piece of bacon, before retreating towards Thys's plate, where the stolen morsel disappears in seconds… causing him to choke for a moment as it sticks in his throat.

"Candidates get periods of rest during the day," Th'ero can't help but chuckle to R'yal's questioning even if not immediately directed to him. As for Thys' suggestion, the Weyrleader simply answers with the straightest face he can manage. "Only if he's assigned to you as your personal assistant, Thys." He's… joking, right? Of course — maybe. It could be a threat! "You seem to be adjusting to your new position as well, Beyrl. No hardships?" Oh, but the fun has just begun! Not just for the Candidates but for the Weyrleader too. In the next moment, something catches his attention and then with a muttered curse Th'ero is hastily eating a few bites off his plate before standing to his feet. "Excuse me," he says hastily and without another word he's striding out towards the bowls. Noteably… he takes the ale to go! It's going to be one of those days, isn't it? Hopefully it doesn't end in another explosion — figuratively or literally.

King is so shocked by the theft of his bacon, that he drops his own! But it lays there only for a miniature moment, until snagged back up, and swallowed almost as quickly. He peers at the other brown, that greedy brown lizard. All the food should be his! He starts to creep toward the other's plate, intent to find something to help himself to. One theft deserves another, right? To R'yal a nod is given, as well as a verbal confirmation of the state of Beyrl's inactivity. "An intermission of labor to fill one's belly." But gaze slides over to Thys, a smile, light at the corners, adjoins a clarification. "Harper I am, or Harper I was.." (on this point he's far less clear), "a Candidate I have become." A glance of elvated curiousness is given, Thys and Th'ero both receiving, and a query made. "Phoenix may be one I might ride, assuming completion of Impression?" An answer is about to be given, for Th'ero's brief question, when his brisk exit interrupts. He shall append the response at a later time.

R'yal makes a slight face at Th'ero, propping his chin up on a hand. "I know that bit, I was one not so long ago. It was just …worded a" The greenrider's head shakes just a bit then, his free fingers being used to brush a bit of hair away from his eyes again. "Well..there you have it, Thys. He not only ate a Harper, he is one." Or was. He does finally get to eating a little of his food though, while eyeing the table for interloping firelizard thieves at the same time.

Sadly King will find that Thys doesn't allow firelizards to pilfer food from her plate. She gently shoos the brown away, while scooping Shards - her own tubster - up to plop him down in her lap. The goldrider touches her fingers to her forehead in a salute of farewell to the Weyrleader, then… looks at Beyrl with a confused expression. "I'm awfully sorry, but… I'm not sure - I mean, it's a little hard to decipher your intention." But at least R'yal explains it to her! "Oh - right. Harper. But dear Faranth, I've never heard anyone talk that way before. It's like you're spouting some of that awful poetry they've got in Landing from the original settlers. Which came out a little more offensively than I intended - my apologies if I offended you." She offers the candidate a sheepish little grin, which she then half-hides behind her ale glass.

King quickly backs up when he's shooed. He peers up at Thys, then even more so at Shards, before glancing around with sudden worry. Is some other firelizard stealing his food? Seeing that his food is safe, and only being thinned out by his human, he zips back over to the plate, and proceeds to scarf down all the bacon he can get. At least, until Beyrl slows him down with a hand-block to keep him from gorging himself too fast. To R'yal is offered the following; "My intention was not to confuse, but to illuminate." he states with an expression of apology. Eyes move to the eludicating Thys, and smile follows. Until a mention of 'awful poetry' is given, which requires, from a Harper fair in talent, a furrowed brow and slight frown. For he who's family walks the path of the Harper, the insult hit not only he, but his parents as well. But that soon is forgotton, in the span of Thys completion of her statement. "Offense forgotton, never to have occured." he offers back, giving a little gentleman smile at the sheepish grin of the other. "One such as you makes the day warmer, brighter, more vibrant. How would I hold negative opinion to one such as she I see before me?" he inquires with soft tones. King peers up at him, and Beyrl blinks lightly at the lizard. "Why that expression, little brown?" he asks of King incredulously.

R'yal just shakes his head a bit after a time, smiling softly. "I'm sure it is..really." And then..the flattery begins, and the greenrider's face starts to redden slightly. There's a quick look at Thys, almost apologetic really as he picks up his plate and drink again. "I…well.. I think I should probably just get going. Livanyth still gets a bit..testy if I take too long It was good to meet you, and you, Thys. I should..well. Yes. Some other time." The flustered greenrider simply…rambles slightly, but he does make a quick exit, rushing away with his lunch.

Thys might look curiously after R'yal when the greenrider scuttles off, but it's nothing in comparison to the wide-eyed loo she gives Beyrl for his compliments. "I…" She has no words for a long moment, and her brow furrows gently as she looks down at the scraps left on her plate, pushing one around with a fork. "It might be best, candidate," she says finally, looking up and at the young man, "or rather, I suggest that you attend Harper lessons as part of your daily activities." Never mind that he's a Harper himself? "Time spent with Rayathess in particular, I think, would be highly beneficial. I'll arrange it, with Inri's permission. Expect to receive instructions from me by the end of the day." She nods and smiles, then gently shifts Shards from her lap so she can stand and pick up her now empty plate. "If you'll excuse me, I have work to return to. A pleasure meeting you, candidate, and good luck with your chores later today." Thys bows her head politely, then meanders off through the lunch crowd.

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