Who Kaetryn, Kezresan
What Kez is working out. Kaetryn brings cocoa. They talk.
When Winter - Month 2 of Turn 2718
Where Fort Weyr - Training Complex


Fort Weyr - Training Complex
The remnants of a historic collapse are apparent here, as the slope face of the bowl has a predominant downward curvature. It's likely long ago, that a cavern larger than any Fort currently has was where the training complex currently is. A probable cave in triggered a fissure on the bowl wall which lead to a great chunk of it dislodging, thus creating the rounded slope.

Yet, many centuries later, all that remains to give evidence is the pocket made into the bowl wall. It seems that the inhabitants of Fort Weyr have made best of the created space. Rock on the ground proper has long since cleared, but pebbles and loose shale are constantly underfoot. Still, the sprig of some green leafed vegetation isn't too out of the ordinary in these parts, as long as it doesn't get trampled by the comings and goings.

It's clear that this area has been designated for the training of young minds, whether human or dragon. Surrounded by rock on all side, it's like a personal weyr bowl for the youngsters to minimize distraction and danger. The candidate barracks have been built across from the Weyrling barracks, so that one group can educate the next. Finally, placed in the centre of the two entrances of the opposing barracks, near the rock face, is a statue with a memorial plaque.

It is winter. And yet, they assign candidates to do ridiculous things like wash dragons and run laps. In the snow! But despite the clear and present danger to his health (Pneumonia! Frost bite! Sprained EVERYTHING), Kezresan is out there. Running. Or at least, speed-walking (Cause sweating would be bad!). At least he's dressed appropriately, because despite having a very indoors-career, the guy knows how to do the outdoor thing. Bundled up, he's really nothing more than a pair of brown eyes peeking between hat and scarf, jacket and several layers adding a bulk to his form that is not at all flattering but at least insulating. A final circuit brings him back toward the barracks, but rather than head inside, it's to the stone wall of the bowl he goes, hands braced on his knees as he stretches, and breathes, and wonders what the hell he was thinking and why didn't he just do this indoors where it was warm!?

If Kezresan had been kidnapped from, oh, Ista, Kaetryn might well understand this obsession with not freezing. However, given that the healer predates her arrival at Fort Weyr, it's all the secretary can do not to laugh at his roly-poly appearance as she strides up. Oh - she's made concessions to the cold; a long coat, crocheted accessories to keep her head, throat, and hands warm - but that's about it. "You know," she remarks, voice only slightly muffled by the bright pink and lime green scarf as she eels out of the entrance where she had planted herself, watching the other Candidate's training with interest, "the more you move, the warmer you'll get. Here." She offers him, not a cup of klah, but instead of hot chocolate, steaming and topped with whipped cream.

Admittedly, it was colder when he started. And certainly a case could be made that there is a fierce wind that blows across the lake. And it never hurts to be prepared! Even so, those layers are slowly being shed, or at least Kez is making room for a bit of a draft because even speed-walking has worked up a bit of body heat. His scarf is yanked from his nose and mouth, tugged and fussed with until it hangs down loosely. He's stretching out those hamstrings, but still there's a tip of his head and a narrow-eyed squint that takes in the lurking Kaetryn with mild suspicion rather than curiosity. "There is a limit," he decides, still huffing and puffing just a bit despite the lack of actual running, "before it becomes dangerous. Sweating would be a bad idea." And gross, to boot. A shove upwards, a dart of his gaze from mug to secretary and back again, but he accepts the beverage. It is only a small pause before he remembers to offer a curt, "Thanks."

"Anything can be dangerous," Kaetryn points out as she lifts her own mug to her lips, sipping at the rich liquid and studying the healer-Candidate over the rim of the mug, her moss-green eyes thoughtful rather than judgemental. "In the wrong place, at the wrong time, simply breathing can be dangerous." She sips again, then lowers the mug, planing her back against the wall and gazing frankly at him. "Sometimes the greatest thrills in life come from doing something that has a more than equal chance of resulting in death, maiming, or dismemberment." Or, at least, infection or blood poisoning, for her. "Have you ever done anything for the thrill of it?"

"Mm," comes at the sip of the chocolate. "Very true," agrees Kezresan, dashing the cream from his lip with a quick brush of his gloved hand. A few steps and he's putting his back to the wall, and at least those copious layers are playing a part in keeping the chill of stone from seeping down to the skin. Consideration is given as she speaks, a steady gaze remaining despite the lift of his mug and a second sip at the steaming beverage. A twitch of eyebrows and, while he doesn't quite smile, there's a spark of amusement in those brown eyes of his. "I have done a lot of things for the thrill of it," he declares. "But there are some risks that are not worth taking."

Eyes alight at discovering that, perhaps, Kezresan isn't quite the boring pedant she thought, Kaetryn turns slightly, rolling her shoulder against the stone so she can continue her frank study of the other Candidate. "What kinds of things have you done? One of the trainers back home taught me some trick riding. Aunt didn't mind most of it, but she did put a stop to the acrobatics a-saddle," she adds, lips thinning slightly at the memory. "I liked exploring the old cave systems, too, with my sibs and cousins. It's fascinating what some people left behind when they abandoned them." Lifting her mug, she blows the steam from her face, then takes a long sip, eyes fluttering closed briefly. "Small change compared to what some people do for fun, but when I had opportunity, I did."

Ah, but will Kez enlighten her to his adventures? For a long while, he just stands and sips and uses the excuse of hot chocolate and her own speaking to remain mum on his own deeds. The mention of trick riding gets a flick of interest, a twitch of an eyebrow and a sharper look before he's casually blowing across the surface of his beverage. A moment of thought and he bites the fingers of his glove to remove it, quickly stuffing the article in his pocket. This, at least, allows him to swipe a bare finger across the whipped cream to clear it from the surface of the chocolate. When it is inevitably his turn to contribute, there's a moment of pause. A deep breath taken. A hesitation and deep consideration for whether or not he will contribute. In the end, he does offer, "Race through the woods in the dead of night. The feel of my runner beneath me as we chase the light of the moons. Soaring over whatever might be in our path…" A shrug, and he decides, "I was young," as if he isn't anymore. "I'm not much fond of deep tunnels. I prefer to see the sky."

Silent as Kezresan speaks, Kaetryn can't hide the faint unease in her expression. When she opens her mouth to respond, however, her voice is as mild as her words. "I've never raced at night. It sounds - exciting. I have done some night riding, however, and I will own that there is little to compare to the experience of riding across the plains with only the moons to guide you. Everything looks… new." Her lips curve in a slight, reminiscent smile as she sips at her hot chocolate. "Thrill-seeking and recklessness are not limited to youth," she murmurs, "although age does give a good excuse for being foolish. Still, even an old man like you," and her teeth flash at the Candidate in a teasing grin, "should admit that there's plenty yet to experience."

"It was freedom." Pure and simple, and spoken in a voice that is both wistful and resigned. But Kez shrugs it off, takes a longer swallow of the rapidly cooling chocolate, and lifts an eyebrow at the old man comment. "Thrill seeking and recklessness… There's a time and a place. I have responsibilities," he insists. "And why should risk taking be synonymous with experiencing life? If I would rather sit by the hearth and read a book… why is that considered less than worthy?" It is, at its core, a rhetorical question that Kezresan does not expect an answer for, and the glower suddenly darkening his expression gets turned towards a snowbank rather than Kaetryn. "I am not /boring/," he insists. "But even if I was… who cares?"

"Absolutely nothing wrong with a good book, or watching a play, or listening to the Harpers sing," Kaetryn replies instantly, perhaps just a bit too forcefully. "I've spent days at a time curled up with a fascinating book, ignorant of everything going on around me until I turn over that last page." Moss-green eyes focus on Kezresan's face, chin jutting mulishly. "But neither," she adds, "is there anything wrong with getting outside and doing something that you wouldn't ordinarily do - something to get your blood racing, your heart pounding." Lean shoulders rise and fall in a shrug as she drains the last of her hot chocolate. "I don't think you're boring." Well, maybe a little, but she's hardly going to say that to his face. "I just think that you're sometimes a bit too preoccupied with the danger of a thing and less with the fun of it. But that's you, and I'm the last person to quibble with who a person is." Doesn't seem to make her less inclined to invade his life and try to get to know him, at any rate. Then again, that's her.

"I never said there was," anything wrong with stepping out of the box and doing something to get the heart pounding and adrenaline flowing. But the defense is short lived, and Kezresan falls into silence rather than argument, rolling the mug between his hands — one gloved and one bare — as he stares pensively toward the snow laden weyrbowl. His preoccupation with danger? A twitch of a frown, but there is no attempt to debate; no contradiction coming from the healer-turned candidate. He accepts it, though whether he agrees with it is another matter entirely. "I should change," he decides in the end, pushing from the wall and tipping his mug up to drain the last of the hot chocolate in three hearty swallows. "Thanks for the drink," because he does appreciate it, even if his tone is flat. The crunch-crunch of snow beneath boots comes as he moves for the barracks without further ado, lips pressed tight and expression stoic.

A sigh, and Kaetryn stares into her mug before turning it over and letting the last few drops of chocolate stain the ground. "Way to go," she mutters, before clomping off in her heavy-soled boots, finding solace in the chill solitude.

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