Industry & Not So Much

Dragon Infirmary
This huge cavern of smooth stone arches upwards to a rounded ceiling, high enough for even the largest of Golds to fit comfortably. Along the walls of the cavern are many carved out and worn smooth couches for injured dragons to rest on, most with a cot alongside for the dragon's rider to sleep. Tables line the other walls, movable so they can be taken to the dragon instead of making the dragon come to it. Bolts of cloth, thread, needles and cabinet after cabinet of remedies and equipment take up the rest of the space. Two huge double doors lead out to the Center Bowl.


There's a dragonhealer doing a routine checkup on Kouzevelth, and so Inri is sitting nearby on a chair, lap full of some sort of paperwork. Paperwork she's not always doing the most fantastic job at paying attention to; there is, after all, dragon checkup-ing going on. And every time, Inri is nervous, because Kouzevelth hasn't risen in forever. But she was three the first time she rose, so maybe she's just on an incredibly slow cycle and therefore she's due soon? It's been about three turns since the last time … "Junior weyrwoman," the healer tells her, "it is all right for you to actually focus on those records." Inri laughs shyly, trying to put off the fact that she's a little too tuned in to the exam, and turns a page. Focus. Focus. Focus.

Afternoon chores for today find Hazelon in the dragon infirmary. He walks quietly in, carrying a bucket of water and another bag of cleaning supplies. Apparently, he didn't really expect there to be a dragon here, especially not a gold one, so he's instantly looking around for the crazy weyrwoman. When his eyes fall on Inri instead he almost breathes a sigh of relief. Weird things happen when Nyalle is around. Inri is just talkative. Talkative is fine, he doesn't have to talk back unless she asks a direct question. "Ma'am," he'll greet quietly as he moves to the spot on the floor where he had been told to begin scrubbing.

Nope, that's the other gold. The orange one. The one who seems somewhat pleased to see a candidate appear, as she lifts her head and cranes it sideways, away from the dragonhealer's reach, so she can watch Hazelon at his work. Turns out her affection for those standing extends beyond those for her own clutches. "Zel, stop," Inri commands first, attempting to pressure her dragon into cooperating with her head's location through sheer force of will before turning back to Hazelon and smiling. "Hey. Heard you were a white-knot now. How's it going?"

That's the weird thing about standing, and something which unnerves Hazelon about this whole business. He had always been more or less ignored before by those with wings, but there is less of that now. He shifts away from the gold, just a touch, and kneels down on the floor. He'll reply as he dunks a brush into the water and begins to scrub. "Aye. It… ain't much different than before." To be honest. "Less laundry."

Inri giggles, because she can't help it with a statement quite like that one. "Less laundry. That is … the first time I've ever heard that. But I guess Zhirayr had you in the laundries a lot, so if it's not the only thing you're doing …" She gives Kouzevelth another Look and the gold goes back to cooperating and not staring poor Hazelon down.

Hazelon doesn't notice when the gold looks away, he's focused on the task at hand. "Laundries weren't as quick to talk." And there wasn't anything sharp there, "so aye. Didn't think I'd be doin' this kinda work again to be honest ma'am." He thought he had moved PAST that. But… he presses that brush into the ground, apparently not minding the work that much.

"It shouldn't last too long, at least. I wasn't a fan either," Inri admits, but what rider wouldn't confess to candidacy being a drag? That is, of course, the point. Of that part of it, anyway. "Though my candidacy was the first where we did the trips to crafthalls and lessons and things instead of just chores all the time. When you get to do that it's actually really lovely. Things have gotten even more organized since our hatching, and it's really — I'm very proud of the program," for by now she's certainly had her hand in some of it. "It was a great idea. So I hope you get some out of it, enjoy it a little more than cleaning floors, yeah?" Who said Inri was talkative? Oh, right, everyone.

Hazelon blinks at the chatter from the goldrider, but he's totally listening. A faint frown crosses his face though, at the statement she makes about what is upcoming. "Trips to crafthalls?"

"Oh — yes," Inri looks a bit surprised, her expression sort of 'no one told you?' but she manages to stop herself from outright saying that. "Candidates here go on trips. Excursions, they're usually called. To various crafthalls, to Landing, things like that. To learn things, see Pern, find out what opportunities there are in life whether you Impress or not." She is totally also working on those records. See, she's advanced a whole two pages!

Hazelon is quiet as he scrubs, his industry a nice counter-part to her… not so much. That slight frown evens itself out again as he thinks about her words. "Seems like a lot of trouble." The question is implied- why would they do that?

Inri purses her lips for a moment, considering a good response. At least someone in here is being productive. Two people: Hazelon and the dragonhealer. "It can be," she says idly, turning another page and making a note toward the top, "But it's worth it. People really enjoy it. It's encouragement for some to stand when they otherwise wouldn't, too, which might seem like tricking people into being dragon fodder but — it always works out to everyone's satisfaction. Have to change with the times, and all."

Hazelon's eyes narrow as he looks up abruptly from his floor scrubbing. "Dragon fodder?" It's a question with many layers that the quiet teen doesn't enumerate.

"I hear people say that," Inri elaborates, a little. "It's derogatory, really, nobody's actually fodder. Our last injury was Lana, and she's perfectly fine now." Inri is perfectly upbeat about this, of course. After all, it was Lana's own dragon who mauled her, and it wasn't really on purpose! "Or more thoughtless than derogatory, I guess. Not a lot of people around who would blatantly disrespect a dragonrider."

Understanding crosses Hazelon's face and he nods, going back to scrubbing. No feeding of people to dragons, he had been almost totally sure they didn't do that. "What if that rider is doin' stuff what is just plain stupid?" Does Hazelon has a particular rider in mind? Maybe…

What a question. Inri certainly hopes it's theoretical, even if her niggling instinct says maybe it isn't. "One rider certainly doesn't speak for every rider — riders aren't, you know, perfect, the fact that riders should be respected doesn't say that much about their personal qualities. What makes a good rider doesn't always make a good person." She knows this, even if many choose to deny it. It's very true. But bad person and stupid person are different departments entirely. "What sort of stupid thing did you have in mind?" Still totally theoretical, right?

The particular rider Hazelon has in mind probably does speak for every rider. But he isn't about to give that away to the goldrider. Abigail had told him to stay out of trouble, so that is exactly what he is going to do. Thus there is silence as he ponders a way to explain his question, while also keeping it utterly open. A goodly portion of that floor gets scrubbed while he is silent. Finally, he slows to work on a particular stain as he replies. "Just somethin' what they think be right, but is proly gonna just be gettin' people hurt."

"That's their burden to bear," Inri says after a moment of silence that involves both actually scribbling at the records and thinking. Kouzevelth is just about free of her exam, now; the dragonhealer is going over her hide in some detail, though. "It's always like that!" Inri calls over her shoulder, in case he forgot or something — not the case. She really does oil the behemoth, it's just that she's always dry like that! And yet 'oil her more' will be the conclusion of this visit anyway. "Though there's nothing wrong with — telling someone you think their choices might be dangerous, provided it's phrased respectfully. Candidates are still humans."

Hazelon's gaze flicks upwards to the dragon when the woman calls out, then down to the floor again. A slight misplacement of a leg lands him with a soaked trouser pant. He'll just have to ignore it for the moment though as he ponders her words. "I ain't sure there be any respectful way to be sayin' it."

Inri bites her bottom lip for a moment, and pretends — credibly — to be completely wrapped up in the records before she says, without looking up, more softly, "You can tell me, if you're worried about some sort of reprimand. Just remember that I hold many of Fort's riders very close to my heart and am not likely to want to think or speak ill of them." Just in case.

She is really good at pretending. Hazelon doesn't even notice that her industry is anything other than what it should have been in the first place. He scrubs at the floor, deep in his own thoughts before he shakes his head once. "No ma'am. There ain't no need for that. It be just my thinkin'." His voice is quiet, and he's not totally sure about this himself.

"If you're sure." Inri of course hones in on exactly the thing giving Hazelon pause, not that she's got any way of knowing that. It's something she does a lot. Scribble scribble scribble. "I'm always available for any of the candidates, of course, and so is Nyalle — it's part of our job. So if you ever need anything. I'm. Well. I'm not literally here, I hope," a glance over her shoulder to see how close the exam is to done, "But I'm available."

"Thank you ma'am." Hazelon shifts his bucket closer as he moves on to a new section of floor altogether. Though his voice sounds respectful, there is also an undertone of that-will-never-happen that goes along with the words.

"Of course." Inri doesn't seem to mind; she draws herself up as Kouzevelth's exam seems to be done, and so she really should be taking her leave, but — "Anything else I can do for you or clear up, Hazelon?" See, she remembers HIS name. It's not the candidates she has issues with, just the dragons.

"No ma'am" Hazelon begins, and dunks his scrub brush into the bucket again. A moment of industry before, "Actualy… ma'am… if'n I was decidin this ain't for me… when would I need to be decidin' by?"

Inri appears to have to think about that as well, as she literally pauses and holds still to consider the answer. When she does conclude one, it's pretty simple and straightforward: "Well, until the eggs hatch, I suppose. I've never had anyone decide to leave before, I don't think. Not that I ever noticed, so if it did happen no fuss was made over it."

"It ain't never happened?" Hazelon sounds a bit doubtful, but then shrugs. "I just ain't sure. Be that normal?"

"Not since I've been riding here, though that's not all that long." Only about six turns or so; Inri's the oldest goldrider in age, but not in tenure. (That's actually Jajen.) "And — I think so, yes. A lot of people tend to either be ambivalent or incredibly enthusiastic; nobody agrees who really doesn't want to impress at all even a little, but uncertainty's not at all uncommon. Though I should warn you," she half-teases, she's smiling, "that if you do decide not to stand, you don't want to come watch, either."

Hazelon doesn't actually catch the teasing for what it is, and scrubs harder. "Thank'e for tellin' me ma'am. If'n I'm decidin' t' do that, I'll be avoidin' 'e sands."

It's a serious enough concern, even if Inri was half joking about bringing it up — he was definitely Searched for a reason, and it wasn't to keep him away from Rayathess. "Of course. No problem. Other than that — you're all right?"

Hazelon manages a small smile, and actually looks up from his work at the woman. "I'm fine ma'am. You might be lookin 'n on that Ravyal… he was lookin' a bit upset about that body what was found."

"I can imagine," Inri says slowly, as Kouzevelth steps up behind her and hangs her head over Hazelon again - this time it's Inri leaning backward to try to stop her, not that it's all that effective, "that most people would have been. I'm sure a mindhealer and. Or. One of the two. A mindhealer and-or-both the Weyrwoman will have words with the candidates that were present for that event. I'm glad I wasn't," slips out before she gets a chance to stop herself. Oops. Little bit too much disclosure.

Hazelon frowns at the gold dragon who is now right over his head. "Aye, mayhap that'd be good…" though there is a hint of doubt in his voice- probably because the one they assigned him after the first camp could never get him to talk and thus just assumed he was fine. A glance upwards at the gold dragon again, "Ma'am, 's… did I be doin' somethin' wrong?"

"What? No, why would you th— " It dawns on Inri that Kouzevelth is kind of scary, and she gives the dragon a look again. " — the opposite. She loves candidates. She's just enjoying your presence, inspecting you in her way to make sure she thinks you're the best possible opportunity for her friend and Senior's eggs. She's. Like that. Not that she can really tell, golds can't Search or anything. When it's her on the sands, she wants candidates out there touching the eggs all the time. She's weird." Because most golds tend to hate it.

Hazelon isn't scared of the dargon persay. But it is big. And he still is a bit dubious about what dragons might be thinking. Considering the first one he ever really interacted with was angry with him for stabbing his rider and all. Since Inri's answering questions, Hazelon is going to hazard once more, though he keeps his eyes on the gold. "Why the candidates be touchin' the eggs?"

Back off, Kouzevelth, Inri doesn't actually say but firmly implies mentally, and so Kouzevelth does. A little. She takes a few steps backward, anyway, but it's hard for her to get too far away. "Helps you get to know the dragons in advance, actually. They learn you a little and you learn them a little. Once the eggs are hard, their minds are aware enough that you can communicate a little through the shell. It's very … weird. It's the strangest experience, I don't really know how to explain it at all."

"That… be different." But there is a whole lot about the whole situation that os diffrent to Hazelon. His bush gets dunked in the water and he bends his back to the task at hand again now that the dragon isn't looming. "Thank'e for answerin' my questions. I'll not be botherin' you more M'am."

"You're not bothering me at all," Inri reassures, but she should get back to the records for real, which means going to the archives, which means — actually leaving. "I'll make myself go back to work now, though. Hope to talk to you again!" is her parting call, complete with one of her signature waves as she and Kouzevelth make their exit.


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