Sense of Purpose (and Fashion)
Who Rulayn, Thys
What Thys wants fabric, but Rulayn gets much more.
When Winter, Turn 2711
Where Living Caverns and Cavern of Pillows, Fort Weyr

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Fort Weyr - Cavern of Pillows
This enormous cavern stretches on into the darkness, its walls bare and grey, the domed ceiling disappearing in shadow. Save for the noise made by those who enter, it is utterly silent here, and even then the echoes that bounce off the cold stone are muffled by the floor. For the ground is covered in.. pillows. Dusty and old, pillows of every shape and size have been piled high, along with folded blankets, sheets, curtains, and other textiles. Rolls of fabric, their colors faded from age, have been stacked here and there, and the occasional bag or leather item is visible amongst the other things. There must be thousands of items in here, stored away for the weyr's use and then forgotten.


The hour is late at Fort Weyr and the majority of residents are heading to their respective beds, if not already there. The Living Cavern is mostly empty now, with a few drudges scattered here and there to clean up any mess made from the days events. Although not a drudge herself, Rulayn has offered to help with the chores before retiring. The stablegirl, dressed in loose fitting clothing that is casual enough to sleep in, wanders between the various tables, collecting any dishes or mugs that had not yet been picked up. She occasionally yawns, clearly tired and ready for bed. She'd begun to regret offering her help at this point - it seemed as if this job would last another few hours yet!

It's late, yes, but that doesn't mean there's not work to be done. Thys strides in from the outdoors, the bitter cold of :between: still clinging to her riding gear - which she's still wearing. She pushes her goggles up on top of her head and unbuttons her jacket before peeling off her gloves and slipping them into a pocket, all while walking across the caverns to stop beside the table-wandering, yawning Rulayn. "Evening." It's a quick but not unpolite hello, coupled with a head-nod and a tweak-lipped smile. It suggests there's business to come. "I'll need to borrow you briefly for a task. Can you excuse yourself from the kitchens and come join me, please? Now, if you would." She gives a little wave of her hand for Rulayn to go off and do as she's asked, while also indicating that she'll be waiting over near the way through to the inner caverns.

As this is an area for constant rider traffic, Thys' arrival is given little regard by Rulayn as she stacks her armful of plates onto another table where they were being collected for the kitchens. Wiping her grimy hands against her pants, she takes a moment to exhale and glance back at the Goldrider as she pauses. "Good evening, ma'am." Is the curt and polite reply, a bow of the head following. With the offer of another task away from the kitchens, Rulayn can't help but jump at the chance. "Of course, ma'am. Right away." Hurray! Perhaps a task that isn't going to involve hauling around more dirty dishes? The young woman is quick to excuse herself from her work and tails after Thys, silently hoping that this new job would be far less time-consuming. There's also the added benefit of a Goldrider to follow around. That alone was ripe with potential!

"I hope you don't mind creepy crawlies," Thys says when Rulayn joins her, before she starts leading the way through the maze of the inner caverns without another word. Her purposeful stride says she knows where she's going, and she isn't exactly dawdling along either as she continues at a brisk clip. Soon enough, after meandering down a few of the lesser-used corridors, the goldrider pulls a torch out of her pocket - a handy piece of tech in technophobic Fort! - and pushes open a door, giving it a solid shove to get it to move. Maybe it's not been opened in a while? Shining the torch's beam into the room highlights the fact that the contents is mostly soft, and Thys steps right in. "C'mon. There's glows inside we can use, once we find them." Welcome to the Cavern of Pillows, Rulayn!

Rulayn gives a swift shake of her head. "No ma'am. I work in the stables and I'm used to the bugs." She confirms, trailing behind Thys as she wanders and meanders through the tunnels of Fort. There was something familiar about this route, although the girl held her tongue until they both paused at one of the doors. Her gaze is cast over the torch with mild surprise - what is that strange device? Whatever it is, it seems to do the trick of lighting up the room once Thys manages to shove the door open. Poking her head in after the Goldrider, Rulayn blinks a few times before following the other woman inside. Now this was -really- familiar! But, why? "What do you need my help with exactly, ma'am?"

Thys is flashing the torch's beam around the inside of the room, looking for the glow baskets. "Aha! There." Picking her way across the pillow-strewn floor, she grabs as many as she can and holds them out for Rulayn to take. "Just light up as many as you want," she explains, before opening up several herself and letting the light fill the room to reveal it's full contents. "There's a bolt of fabric down here that I want, that I saw turns ago but I know it's still here." She switches off the torch and slips it into her flight jacket's pocket, then taps the tip of her nose thoughtfully. "Well. At least I hope it's still here. I've been invited for dinner and I need that fabric for a dress." Her dark eyes scan the room, and she points over to a stack of fabric bolts. "Over there. C'mon."

Taking a few of the glowbaskets in hand, Rulayn awkwardly manages to open them and holding one high and aloft so that more of the dim cavern was lit up. "Fabric, ma'am? Here?" The question is clearly spoken with a hint of surprise. Sure, there were pillows, blankets and other cloths around, but anything of value? "Wouldn't the Weavers be able to offer something.. Better?" She tries to word her next question carefully, not wishing to offend Thys in any way. Being entirely subtle isn't a strong point though, and Rulayn quickly tries to distract herself as they approach the pile of bolts. With squinting eyes she looks at the cloth, holding her glowbasket a bit closer to get a look at the various stacked items. "What colour are you looking for, ma'am?" Rulayn wrinkles her nose as the musty smell of older fabrics reached her nose. Some of this stuff had been here a while!

"Well, yes, of course, the Weavers have plenty of options," Thys replies, reaching out to the first bolt of fabric, examining it, and then rolling it to the side so she can look at the rest. "But I remember seeing this particular bolt when I was in here with, ah…" She stops, clears her throat and shakes her head a little, then continues, "well, it doesn't matter who I was with. Point is, I remember this bolt and it is exactly what I want my dress to be made of. It's… this coppery sort of colour. When you move the fabric, it becomes slightly two-tone, sort of… I don't know, I can't properly describe it. But you'll know it if you see it, for certain." And the next bolt she looks closely at isn't it, as it, too, is moved aside. "What were you doing cleaning up dinner if you're a stablehand?"

Rulayn doesn't seem in a hurry to help thumb through the fabrics. Lacking any sort of fashion sense herself, she simply waits for Thys to start picking through the bolts before glancing further down to see if any matched the description. "I was trying to get on the Headwoman's good side, ma'am. My new firelizard made a bit of a scene at breakfast, so I offered to help with chores as payback." Rulayn paused in her search, having located a piece of fabric in a dull orange colour. Gripping it, she gives it a firm tug and yanks it free of the pile, causing any on top of it to tumble all over the place. Oops! "Is this it, ma'am?" There's no regard to the mess she just made either, as she holds up the cloth to Thys for inspection.

Thys pauses to look at Rulayn when she mentions chores as amends for a firelizard mess. "Really? Did your firelizard poop in the porridge or something? Or are you really that interested in people's good opinions?" She seems amused that someone would go to such lengths to apologise… at least until the stablehand manages to knock over so many bolts of fabrics. "Oh, Faranth's egg, be careful. The last thing I need is to have you injured or something down here…" But she steps in close to look at the cloth, whipping out her torch to inspect it properly. "Hrm. No. I don't think so. Best put it aside though, just in case I realise later it is the one we're looking for." Away goes the torch again, and Thys continues her browsing. "I don't believe I know your name, do I?"

"I'm Rulayn, ma'am." The stablehand replies with a brief smile, folding up the fabric she held and laying it to one side of the former-pile, atop of some others stacked nearby. "And it wasn't the porridge, it was the klah." Easy mistake to make, right? Again Rulayn begins to rummage through the mess now scattered about, glowtorch held this way and that as she scours the contents of the room. "I'm not too fussed over opinions ma'am. I hear there's already some disapproval going around for my actions." Now what actions could those be?

"Well met, Rulayn. I'm Thys, gold Rhenesath's, though something tells me you knew that already… which I appreciate." Thys gives the teen a crooked half-grin, before going back to bolt-checking. "And I am so glad I drink tea. Though you've piqued my interest; what in Faranth's name could you have done to earn disapproval around the Weyr? Surely it wasn't that difficult for the kitchen to brew another vat of klah."

Rulayn nods. "Yes ma'am. I'd think most people recognise you. It's an honour to speak with you though." She cocks a brief grin and casts her gaze back down, resuming the rummaging. This one? No, it's green. This one? No, it's ripped and frayed. "I'm not mentioned by name, ma'am, but I think the Weyrleader knows it's me." What could she possible be referring to? "But I don't reckon it's rumour-worthy, whatever people might say." Clearly, Rulayn is being the Illusive Woman today. She plucks out another long bolt of yellow-ish fabric that seems to shimmer in the light, and holds it up once again. "Is this it?"

Thys stops what she's doing so that she can face Rulayn full on, giving her undivided attention. "I'm sorry, but what on Pern do you think you could have done that's bad enough to earn Th'ero's attention? You're not some blooded Holder girl who's run away from a wedding, are you? I don't think we could use a political incident right now, things are fragile enough as is!" She looks away from Rulayn to squint at the fabric, dismissing it with a hand. "The Weyrleader has more important things to worry about than the goings-on in the lower caverns. Trust me."

Obviously not. Rulayn places the fabric to one side and straightens up to face Thys instead. "It's nothing big, ma'am. It's just.. Family matters. I'm weyrbred and my prospects here are nothing special. I'm not even an Apprentice with the Beastcraft yet." Biting her bottom lip, the girl rocks back and forth on her heels, glancing nervously back to the pile of bolts which had yet to be checked. "It's just.. He's young and he's been so kind to me. I know he's probably taking advantage.." Face steadily growing red, the stablehand crouches down and buries her embarrassment in the next stack of cloth to be searched. From illusive to ambiguous!

"Oh dear Faranth, you're crushing on Kyze - K'vir, aren't you?" Thys delivers that line deadpan, before snorting a laugh. "Oh, girl, it's not Th'ero you need to worry about… it's Kimmila." She laughs again, shaking her head in amusement. "Don't fall for him just because he rides bronze. That doesn't improve anyone's prospects. And anyway, there's no such thing as no special prospects." The goldrider waves that notion away with a flick of her hand, like dispersing a bad smell. "Other than popping your cherry with a cute boy, what do you want out of your life? Do you want to join the Beastcraft? Travel Pern? Ride a dragon? What does your heart tell you?"

"I've never met his dragon." Rulayn replies just as deadpan with a confused expression. Was she supposed to have? As for Kimmila.. "Do you think I should meet his mother too?" Clearly ignorance is bliss in the case of the stablegirl and the bluerider. She can't be that bad, right? A shrug is given to Thys' following questions as the topic changes and she rubs a pink cheek. "I.. Don't know. I think more about the now than the future. I've already seen more of Pern than I thought I would in the past Turn too. I mean.. I've been interested in the Dragonhealer craft but I don't often get to help there. I just run errands anyway."

"If I were you, I'd put off meeting Kimmila, and Th'ero, if you haven't yet, as long as you can… though hopefully it's nothing serious between you two. Puppy love, and all that… right?" Since there's a job to still be done, Thys goes back to flipping through bolts of fabric. "Now, while I can't help you with crushes and their parents, I can possibly help you out with some direction, especially if it's Craft-related. Did you know my role is primarily to liaise with the Crafts? I know a lot of people who can get you into a lot of places, Rulayn… even into dragonhealing here, if you'd rather that over Beastcrafting. Just say the word."

Unfortunately for Thys, Rulayn has already met Th'ero. Luckily that encounter had been pretty normal and in no way had K'vir been a point of interest discussed. At least, not -entirely-. Rulayn merely nods and continues to work, going silent as she rummages through the fabrics again. Once more into the breach! Further bolts of various colours are tossed this way and that until the pile has been sorted through and Rulayn is hastily restacking it. The pile looks safe, but it's probably about to collapse again at any moment. "I do love the runners, but healing was interesting too." She responds, moving onto the next pile. She pauses before she begins and glances at Thys. "Though.. Don't I need to be a rider first?"

Thys is running out of fabrics to sort though, and the frustration of the futile search is beginning to show - only not in her voice, which she schools to its typical tones. "Do you have to be a rider to be a dragonhealer? No, not necessarily. I suppose that's like saying you have to have a runner to become a farrier… you have to have knowledge of dragons, their anatomy, how they think, the bond between dragon and rider, and the latter two are impossible to understand without experiencing them, but there's plenty of theory to study up on. And, besides, there'll always be riders working around you who'll understand, while you can be an expert in, oh, stitching up dragonhide or setting bones, things that don't require you to have a deeper understanding of dragon-thought. Does that make sense?"

Rulayn remains focused on the task at hand as Thys speaks, nodding briefly every so often to confirm that she's still listening. "I hear you ma'am. It makes sense and I see your point. But I could never be as skilled as one who shares that bond." Rulayn secures another folded bolt and tugs it carefully from the pile, this time proventing an avalanche of colours to tumble about. She straightens up and lays the cloth out in front of the Weyrwoman wordlessley, giving her the opportunity to look it over. "I was lucky to be asked to run errands for one of the dragonhealers and I relished the opportunity. I already studied some of the basics. But who would I talk to about joining it on a more permanent basis?"

"Rulayn, did I not just tell you that you could be a specialist in areas that do not require you to have a full understanding of the dragon-rider bond?" Thys pauses, resting one hand on her hip as she looks down at the teenager, brows knitted. "Do not sell yourself short. You were not lucky to be asked to run errands, you were pulled from your job to do someone a favour that you happened to enjoy. And, if I remember rightly, I also said to you a few minutes ago that I could arrange things for you." She lets out a deep breath, unseats her hand from her hip, and pushes another bolt of fabric aside. "I can get you into the dragonhealing ranks, if you want. However," Thys stops again, this time holding up one hand, index raised as a pause for Rulayn to heed, "I will not do it for someone who undersells their worth."

Rulayn lets her head hang slightly, clearly in fear of wronging the Goldrider. "Ma'am. I am grateful that you would offer to do this on my behalf but should I not be the one to do it? It seems only fair." The stablegirl reaches to rub her lower back, steadily growing sore from the frequent bending and leaning she's been doing. "I fear that I am almost over-selling my abilities, ma'am. I stress that my knowledge is already limited. I would not want to come across as a know-it-all." She pauses again and then finally relents with a slow nod. "I appreciate your willingness to help though. How could I repay you for such an act?"

Thys pulls a bolt of fabric from the stack, cradling it in her arms as she looks at Rulayn. "If you want to go and make the connections yourself, you're welcome to. I'm only offering you a foot on the ladder." She juggles with the fabric to try and get it into one hand, freeing the other to reach for the torch… but it's a failed attempt and she nearly drops the bolt. Once it's secure, she continues: "If everyone were born knowing everything, then our entire planet would be boring as shit. Of course you have limited knowledge; you're not trained. It takes turns to learn to become a dragonhealer. So you can either take my offer and start learning now, or you can keep on meandering through life and thinking you've limited prospects or whatever it was you said you had. Purpose defines character, Rulayn. I'm offering you a purpose. It's your choice whether to take it or not."

Rulayn eyes the wobbling piles of fabric as Thys pulls another bolt free, drumming her finges against one of the pieces in thought. "I'd like to accept your offer then, ma'am." She nods firmly, her mind set. Being a Dragonhealer made her far better prospects after all, right? "Thankyou." She adds afterwards, collecting one of the glowbaskets she'd left on the floor and raising it up again. She scans over the piles and the various pieces picked out and put to one side before returning her attention to the weyrwoman. "Did you find what you were looking for? I saw some yellows and oranges, but nothing very copper."

"Good choice." Thys nods her head in approval. "I'll make the arrangements in the morning, and either I or they will send word to you on when you're to begin." The goldrider attempts to juggle the cloth once more to pull the torch from her pocket, but fails so badly this time that the entire lot slips from her hands. At least that leaves one free for the torch! It's pulled from her pocket and Thys sweeps its beam over the fabric, grinning widely. "This is it! See how the colour changes when you move the fabric?" Once it's been demonstrated properly, Thys bundles the bolt up into her arms once more. "We're done in here now, I think - and just as well, too. You're probably going to bed, and I have a Weaver Hall to get to." A gentle jerk of her head towards the door suggests they should start leaving. "Could you please close the glows? My hands are full." With fabric. "Oh, and by the way, if you want to repay me you can by treating Rhenesath in the future."

Rulayn winces as the collected items slip from Thys' grip and she begins to reach for the fabric dropped when the Goldrider quickly plucks it back up again. "O-Of course! Thankyou ma'am. And yes, I will." The bubbling excitement of being offered a place in such a craft would probably have surfaced on Rulayn's face by now, but judging how late the hour was, her eagerness is rather subdued instead. After giving the cloth an appreciative look, Rulayn stacks the remaining bolts back in a neat pile and begins to close the glowbaskets one-by-one, until there is one left. Only when they're all returned to their proper spot does she finally close the last one, and allow Thys to lead them out. However, the moment they leave the room, there would be no doubt that those 'neat' piles would likely collapse again!


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