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.


Noon rolls by and then slides on past, leaving the last remnants of the lunch crowd polishing off their mid-day meals. There is a faint hum of conversation that lingers over the place, groups dotting the tables in small clusters. Drudges weave their way between tables, picking up dishes and silverware, while others follow behind and wipe down tables with damp cloths and sweep debris away from them with their brooms, directing the crumbs and dust toward a back corner to be scooped up and discarded. Outside the weather hammers away at the Weyr, the clink of rain, sleet and chunks of hail audible even with the doors closed. When some unlucky soul sneaks into the Caverns the sound of howling gusts that cut through clothing to the skin and bones beneath. It has forced most indoors and those who must be outside are downright miserable.

Silna picked a bad, bad time to play tourist. Even while bundled in as many layers of clothing as she could find, she is clearly not a person acclimated to the weather of Fort. Her tan is probably a bit of a giveaway. Shivering as she steps inside, she quickly finds a mug of warm klah for herself, eyes scanning for a warm place to sit. Ideally, near the fire.

The latest bearer of the Roc Wingleader knot is perhaps one of the fortunate ones, tucked away inside and sheltered from the violent storm ranging outside. However, she is not without the burden of dealing with the disaster that has become Roc Wing. Her portable computer is out on the table before her and piles of scrolls are set to the side. The tiny woman is scowling at one in particular, the expression not readily suited to her delicate features. Her hair has been pulled back and twisted into a curly bun, messily pinned into place. She's opted for a place near the hearth and as such has taken off her sweater and only wears her undertunic now, which is an off-white shade. Her cream soup sits beside her, now cold, but still idly stirred now and then, as if the brownrider might actually eat some of it. The klah gets far more attention, however, and is refilled frequently. "Shard it all, N'hon, how in Faranth's name could you let all this fardling stuff slide?" It's an audible grumble, but certainly not a shout. At present it seems to be directed at thin air as she is sitting by herself.

Silna doesn't know the people of Fort at all. She has no idea what the Wingleaders look like. Or anyone else of importance, for that matter. All she sees is a stressed-looking tired woman who happens to be near a nice warm fire. This spells potentially good company to Silna. Waddling over in her heavy jacket and layers upon layers of clothing, she tugs her scarf down from her face to give Yhri a little smile. "Hi there. Mind some company?" She asks, eyeing the nearest empty seat.

The scroll is set aside out of disgust and Yhri actually does try to eat some of her soup. Her face screws up into an expression of distaste as the cold cream hits her tongue and she swallows reluctantly, setting the spoon down and pushing it away with a dramatic sigh. As the newcomer trundles over and makes her request the brownrider glances up at Silna, eyebrow quirking. For a moment it looks like she might make an excuse but then she gestures toward the empty seat somewhat dismissively. "I can't promise I'm very good company right now," she admits. "But I would be remiss in my duties if I did not at least offer Fort's hospitality to a traveler. Sit. Would you like some klah?" Her pot is raised in askance and a clean mug snagged and filled before Silna can confirm or decline the offer. "I'm Yhri, Roc's latest hope for Wingleader," she offers in a tone that isn't quite jovial, but at least it isn't snarky either. "And you?"

Silna looks a little surprised, perhaps having second thoughts as she assesses just who she's chosen to sit by, and how stressed the woman seems to be. Yet, she needs warmth. The decision is practically made for her. "Thank you, Ynri. And… congratulations?" She seems uncertain whether that's the right sentiment at the moment. "I'm Silna, from Eastern. Pleased to meet you." She pulls off a mitten so that she can offer a hand for a shake. She then snags the klah, having a long drink. "Now, I may not know fancy titles, but I can recognize someone who's feeling a little stressed. Part of my job, you could say."

The Wingleader lets out a wry chuckle as she picks up her own mug to take a sip. "Thanks." It clinks as she sets it down, topping it off seeing as it was nearly empty. "What brings an Easterner like yourself to Fort Weyr in weather like this?" It seems an appropriate enough question, after all. Keys on her portable system are tapped, the touchpad used with a couple of quick swipes and Yhri closed the lid once the screen goes dark, the system dormant save for a small pulsing green light. "Surely you didn't come all the way in this weather just to offer your services as a mindhealer." Another sip of the cinnamony liquid and she gets up, moving to the nearby table to fetch something edible as her cream soup no longer fits that description. "Want anything?" she offers, half twisting about to look back at the lass.

Silna smirks, a little laugh escaping her. "No, not a mindhealer. I'm a barmaid. The jobs have more in common than you might expect." She says with a lopsided sort of grin. The klah having warmed her a little, she finally unravels the scarf around her face, setting it aside so that she can more easily sip klah. "Well, actually, I was just playing tourist today… and picked a very, very bad time for it. I was told Fort is lovely this time of year. Evidently, I heard wrong."

As'tre is one of those unfortunate ones. The tall Weyrling fights his way to the living caverns, all but falling into the doorway and then slamming it shut behind him. "Easy for you to say, you've got a thick hide." he grumbles to… most likely his dragon since he's alone. Then he blinks and shivers as he looks around, saluting to the wingleader and looking uncertainly at Silna. Who dat. "Er… Fort's greetings?" he moves towards the fire to defrost.
As'tre is the rider of Bronze Zeltenith.

"Ah." Yhri's response is somehow very descriptive despite its brevity. Perhaps it is the tone and inflection. Since the barmaid did not make a request for sustenance the Wingleader takes it as a silent refusal to her question and returns with some sort of roasted wherry and a side of crispy mixed greens. Ceramic clunks down on the wooden table and the chair scrapes slightly as the brownrider slides into it and pulls it forward. "Normally the weather isn't quite this bad. Colder, sure, but usually crisp and fresh. We're having an unusually bad season." From her tone it is clear that this is quite nearly the final straw for certain people. The incoming bronzeling gets a nod and a gestured hand toward an empty seat. "Silna, this is As'tre," she introduces the pair helpfully. "Come, As'tre, keep us company and thaw yourself out. I don't wish this weather on anyone." Not even certain negligent Roc wingriders.

"I see." Silna says with another little rueful smile at Yhri's description of the customary weather. She clings to her mug of klah. "In Eastern, 'cold' means you might have to actually put on pants. The standard here is somewhat different, I see." When the weyrling is introduced, she gives him a little smile and extends her un-mittened hand. "Nice to meet you, As'tre." She says, friendly despite the chill.

"Ah, likewise. As'tre, weyrling to bronze Zeltenith." he introduces more formally, nodding to her. "Oh you're from Eastern? Southern continent?" he looks pretty interested in that, going to pour himself some hot klah and joining them since he's beckoned over. "Ugh…. Zeltenith might not have to persuade me much to get me to leave Fort in the winter once we graduate…"

Yhri offers Silna a sympathetic grin. "I was born in Landing. Lived there my whole life until I was assigned to Fort as a 'technology liaison'," she quotes the words with a bit of an accent and a wry chuckle. "It takes some getting used to, but now I actually miss things like the snow when I'm away." Key phrase might be when I'm away. The Weyrling gets his share of the Wingleader's sympathy. "If nothing else perhaps I can talk to M'icha about having some time spent engaged in networking down in the South. I hear Eastern has a clutch just about ready to break shell. It's a good opportunity to form new bonds all around." She does seem to genuinely ponder this and takes a long draw on her klah before starting in on her second attempt at food. "Where are you from originally, As'tre?"

"So you feel my pain, then." Silna says, laughing softly at Yhri's words. "Seriously… what do you do when it gets like this? I mean, no beach, no jungle… where do tourists normally go when they visit Fort? It's lovely, of course, just so… cold." She shivers again, downing more klah and then eyeing As'tre. "Your lifemate isn't fond of the weather either, then?"

"Tillek. And no, it's not that…. it's more he doesn't want to stay in one place all the time. He wants to go everywhere. I've had a little trouble with that actually.. er nothing I can't handle though." As'tre eyeshifts.

"Indubitubly," Yhri takes a few good moments to actually put some food into her mouth and chew it. It's amazing! Eventually she swallows and answers Silna's questions though. "We actually have a beach not too far from here that's nice around late spring and summer," she explains. "The Weyr lake stays pretty cold, but during the height of summer it's always a good swim." More wherry is sliced into bite sized bits. "Cikitsakath doesn't really mind the weather. To him it's all one big adventure." A big, timey-whimey adventure! With a blue box! As'tre gets a long look. "I remember my Weyrlinghood." It was only ten turns ago, after all. "Cikitsakath wanted to go everywhere. All the time. At the same time." Talk about a master of timing it! "Keep firm, he'll outgrow some of it." Not all of it, just some. Maybe it will be enough?

"Why not let him indulge that impulse?" Silna asks with a touch of wickedness in her smile. "I mean, life's an adventure, if you do it right. There's so many places to see, people to meet… even if it /is/ cold here, I'm glad I came to see it!" She laughs a bit. "I'm a strong swimmer, but I'm not about to try skinny dipping in /this/ weather. That's hypothermia waiting to happen." She shakes her head and swigs more klah. "… How old are the weyrlings now? Are they betweening?"

"Who?" Yhri asks curiously of Silna. "Cikitsakath?" She's chomping at her food now, only answering the questions a bit tersely now. In all fairness it is way past lunchtime now and the brownrider is no doubt starving. "I think P'rius might have words with you should you try, also." Or any other healers for that matter. More wherry is shoveled into her mouth for masticating, the Wingleader now contemplating the questions about the Weyrlings. "They're betweening now," she concurs after swallowing. "Getting close to graduating if I know M'icha."

"Well, if they're betweening, why not go out exploring? Plenty of Pern to see!" Silna suggests with a chipper smile, now having shaken off the worst of the chill. "If either of you ever give Eastern a visit, you should come see me! I give great tours."

Yhri chuckles, taking another bite and chewing on it for a little while. "I'll certainly bear it in mind. Fort needs to expand its relations with other areas. A barter and trading system between them could prove beneficial to all in the long run." After all, every Weyr has its strengths and weaknesses. "And it really depends. M'icha is a bit strict when it comes to that, but perhaps if some graduated rider of rank took them…" She let's that hang tantalizingly in the air, an oblique offer should the bronzerider take her up at some point in the future.

"Ah, yes… we're almost ready to graduate, actually…. just a little while longer." As'tre snaps to attention, he was zoning out a little in the warmth of the chamber. "Uh, well… we're still required to come BACK. I went Between with the Weyrleader and, uh….. Zeltenith took me to Tillek instead of back to Fort on the return trip." he winces. "The Weyrleader wasn't happy." at all.

Silna beams a little brighter, gaze flicking between the pair of riders. "Well! You know, Eastern is hot and relaxing. Perfect place for a young dragon to explore, or a stressed out Wingleader to take a day to relax…" Of course, she has an ulterior motive in getting back out of the cold for the remainder of her rest day. But she won't say that out loud. She'll just beam like a picture of altruism.

Yhri sips on her klah to wash down the roasted wherry and starts spearing the greens with her fork. "I'll certainly… encourage M'icha to venture over to Eastern, but I certainly can't make any promises." She looks at As'tre apologetically, starting to gather up her papers and scrolls. "Did you have a rider back to Eastern?" the Wingleader inquires of their guest, stuffing the papers into a satchel for transport.

As'tre shrugs, shaking his head. "Oh uh…. probably not the best idea. Maybe if something needed to be brought there, I'd be allowed, but… Zeltenith and I need to learn to follow orders." more Zeltenith than him, but regardless.

Silna can't quite disguise the look of disappointment when her attempt to steal the pair away fails utterly. She looks a little sheepish when Yhri's question hits at the heart of her enthusiasm. "Well, yes, but… she's not available to take me back until tomorrow." There's a little bit of a sigh. "… Normally when I visit a new weyr, I camp out, but…" She frowns worriedly at the exit to the snowy outdoors.

Yhri tosses the bronzerider a sympathetic glance and then looks at Silna over her mug of klah. She swallows a sip and sets it down with a tap. "Actually the Ancients were very intelligent about the design of Fort Weyr. You can get to the guest quarters without venturing into the muck." All the papers are tucked away now, leaving the brownrider only her plate and the portable computer to worry about. "Not to mention the baths. I highly recommend a bath before you turn in. The hot springs are great."

"Not the Weyrling or candidate barracks though." As'tre remarks with a faint sigh. "Those, we gotta go through the Bowl. We're frozen by the time we get here." he shivers again, though he's comfortably warm now.

Silna looks extremely relieved to hear that the guest quarters will not require her to trek back out into the hold. "Whew!" She says with a wide grin. "That makes things much easier." As'tre gets a sympathetic smile, but then the mention of the baths has her eyes going wide. "Hot springs? Where?" She quickly downs klah. "… I need to soak in those for like, a day."

"They really should build an awning or something." Yhri frowns disapproval at her own memories of Weyrlinghood. "You're just asking for sick riders like that!" Her plate is clean now, free of the lunch special. She tucks her portable computer into the bag and slings it over her shoulder, picking up her sweater. "A hot bath actually sounds like a really lovely idea, Silna. Why don't I show you the way and we can both enjoy a sit." She offers the barmaid a warm smile and then heads that way, hopefully to be followed by the visitor into the bowels of the Weyr.

As'tre shifts in place. The hot springs thing does sound good, much better than what they usually get in the barracks. He hesitates, then decides to sit and eat some lunch. Maybe he can decide to go to the hot springs later, after they leave.

"It was nice meeting you!" Silna says chipperly to As'tre. But clearly, her enthusiasm for warmth wins out, and she bounds to her feet to follow Yhri to the springs. "Thank you very much." She says, gratitude obvious.

And so the barmaid went with the Wingleader to seek the warm waters of the baths, while the lone bronze Weyrling lingered, lost in his lunch…