Party Planning
Who Rulayn, Doktah, Vossrik
What After chores, the Candidates discuss the upcoming party preparations, and other things.
When Spring-Summer, Turn 2711
Where Fort Weyr - Living Caverns

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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.


Being on duty in the Caverns is nothing new to Rulayn, as she's volunteered many times before to help the drudges later in the evening when Petite has caused unwarranted mischief. Tonight though, it's simply because her chores as a Candidate have put her in this position. It's easy enough work; tables are cleaned, the floors are swept free of leftover food and occasionally the girl brings in a fresh pitcher of klah to top up any thirsty visitors. In secret, she'd been hoping the work would give her a chance to keep an eye out for a few individuals: one a Bronzerider, the other a Harper.

Doktah is neither of those things. As usual, she is not the person Rulayn is interested in, yet she ends up being foisted upon her anyways. Such are the cruelties of fate. Doktah does not look to be in a great mood after finishing her day's chores. Her clothes are damp and she's practically shivering, a deep frown on her face. She spots Rulayn and, more importantly, the hot pitcher of klah she has. "Klah, please."

Rulayn has played the serving girl role as well today and so she's happy to greet Doktah with her usual smile. Hoisting up one of the pitchers, a large mug is filled to the brim with steaming klah and brought over to the Techcrafter. Upon seeing Doktah's state, however, Rulayn's smile falls just a little. "Hey, you're looking a bit damp.. Bad luck with your work?" She offers the mug. "Want me to fetch you a towel?"

"I do not understand how people handle this task in this sort of climate." Doktah says as she takes the mug in both hands, greedily slurping down the nice warm klah as quickly as she can get it into herself. "The water is nearly freezing. It is uncomfortably cold just to be properly attired for the task of dragon washing here, let alone actually be out in the lake water."

"It'll be summer soon. I was out picking fruit with some other folk a few days ago and it was warm enough to wear less." Rulayn shrugs, clearly not understanding Doktah's dislike for the Fortian climate. "Next you'll be saying the Sands are too hot." Raising a hand to pause any reply Doktah gives, the girl turns and heads over to one of the nearby food tables where a stack of small towels had been laid out. They were more suited for mopping up small spillages, but she takes one anyway and brings it back to the other woman. "Here. You can at least dry your face and hair.." She smiles.

"I bought one of those silly covering swimsuits that the holders wear, but it provided no warmth. I need to get one of those cold climate wetsuits the dolphincrafters use." Doktah grumbles between gulps, seemingly complaining more to herself than to Rulayn. She sets the mug down to accept the towel gratefully, quickly doing what she can to get dry. "Thank you." She murmurs, voice muffled by the towel in her face.

Whilst Doktah gets dry, Rulayn takes a moment to drop down into a seat beside the girl. Surely the Caverns can spare her a few minutes break! "So.." Rulayn waits until Doktah is finished with the towel, her face a beacon of excitement once it's visible to the woman. ".. Who was the rider you were helping today? Anyone interesting?"

"I didn't even catch his name." Doktah admits. "Some brownrider. Shoved the bucket and the brush at me, said 'have fun!' and then proceeded to read a book while I tried to get his lifemate clean. A lifemate who kept trying to knock me deeper into the water, of course. It was a thoroughly frustrating experience." Her klah has already disappeared. Doktah's mood may have slightly improved, but only slightly. "Did you see the letter I left everyone?" She asks.

Rulayn slumps slightly. Noone too interesting then, it seemed. "Your letter?" Rulayn blinks for a moment, before the recollection of the piece of paper left on her cot comes back to her. "Oh! Yes, I did. About the party, right?" Rulayn takes the empty mug and without asking, pops back to the table for a refill. She's back with Doktah in no time though, handing over a fresh mug of klah and even carrying one of her own. "I don't really know much about Inri. I'm not sure what to suggest for.. well.. anything, really."

Doktah eagerly accepts and sips the klah, though she's at least a little less desperate now. She's settled into a seat, attempting to relax and unwind. "I don't either." She admits. "Nor do I know much about Fort or parties in general. I was hoping you would have some ideas."

Rulayn shakes her head with a slight grimace to her lips. "I don't really know much about parties myself. Only if they're for a little kid." She takes a small sip of her own klah, lapsing into thought. Her blue eyes scan the Cavern for any familiar faces before returning to Doktah again. "But.. I imagine the Caverns is too busy for a place like a party. There's always the Gemstone, or Shenanigans." Rulayn gives another few moments to think over matters further, before a sudden bright idea fills the girl's mind. "We could ask Am'ry about that band he mentioned at the Gemstone! That would solve the entertainment problem, right?"

"I still haven't been to Gemstone." Doktah admits. "But I've heard good things. Shenanigans is good. Nice strong drinks. Not that we can enjoy them as candidates…" She sighs a little at that reminder, taking another swig of klah. "Band. Hmmm. Might be a good idea. Everyone likes music. Did he tell us a name?"

Vossrik is totally bouncing, whistling a little tune that has filtered down through human consciousness but remains nameless in this time and place (it's Lamborghini Mercy). A streak of dirt crosses his forehead and his hair is plastered to his head with a layer of sweat. The whistling stops, though, as the cavern's occupants are identified by his brain and he looks around like a man searching for a place to hide instead of a nice cup of klah or a plate of whatever may be knocking around.

Rulayn shakes her head with a frown. "No, we'd have to ask, unless anyone else knows about them. Know anyone who's been to the Gemstone lately?" The young woman takes another sip of klah and drums her fingers on the table, casting her thoughts to the other details they'd have to consider. If they could get a band, that solved atmosphere. A bar would solve the location problem too. With a soft hum her wandering gaze fixates itself upon Vossrik. Target acquired! "Hey!" Rulayn calls out to the young man, waving him over. "Did you see Doktah's letter? We could use a hand with some ideas!"

"Just Am'ry." Doktah replies to Rulayn. The two are seated together, with Doktah guzzling klah and still looking just a little damp after her day washing dragons. Her good humor is slowly returning. "We could always just go with Shenanigans', if everyone knows it better." Following Rulayn's gaze she looks to Vossrik, blinking at him. "Yes. Hello. We need help."

Slowly, so as not to incite the predatory instincts of the cougars, Vossrik approaches. "Um, letter? What letter?" he asks, wariness dripping from his question marks. "I s'pose I could help but I ain't too good with the writing stuff and that."

Someone must have either been up early, or simply disregarded the message! "Doktah here left a letter for all the candidates at the end of their bed. We've been tasked with organising a turnday party for one of the Junior Weyrwomen." Rulayn explains, her hands wrapped tightly around her own mug of klah. She doesn't quite pick up on Vossrik's behaviour, since he's always acted so odd around them. And besides, she's a candidate now. All that flirting has to be reigned in! "We think we have a place for a party to happen, and maybe a band for some atmosphere, but we need entertainment and decoration ideas."

Cougar? Doktah isn't that old! Not that she'd understand the implication. She's back to her usual neutral expression, leaning on the table with one hand and sipping klah with the other. "Yes. I am not certain why I was put in charge of this. I suspect it was meant mainly as a joke." She frowns a touch at that. "But I intend to do my best. Do you know much about parties, Vossrik?"

"Um, kinda?" Noticing no mating displays or bright, threatening colors, Vossrik stands down. Or, rather, sits down, hiking a leg over a chair back Riker-styles and straddling it until he's seated. No comments from the peanut gallery please. "I mean Rulayn got some good ideas there with the band and the decoration and stuff I guess? Like what kinda stuff do you like to do for fun, Doktah? What doesn't involve blinking lights, I mean. Like okay, maybe imagine this party is for you. What would you want there, like a buncha kegs of hooch or fancy tea? Are people gonna wanna be able to talk or dance more? And which Weyrwoman, anyway, is this for, 'cause I don't know how jacked up this event should be. Not that I know any of 'em too good."

And Dok is totally a cougar.

Is not!

Totally is.

Rulayn allows Doktah to answer which Weyrwoman, nodding to Vossrik as he takes a seat. "Well I thought decorations might be more your thing, Smithy-boy. Don't you know any clever tricks or ways to make small trinkets we could hang up? Maybe something that lights up?" Rulayn shrugs, knowing little of the crafter's abilities and capabilities. "We'd need more entertainment than just a band though. Dancing?" She looks around for a general response to her suggestion before continuing. "As for food and drink, I think we could probably find a candidate who can cook. Or maybe the kitchen staff will lend a hand if we ask the steward nicely?" She takes a moment to fondly remember the dessert served at the Clutching party.

"I like to read." Doktah replies to Vossrik, frowning. "Which, as I understand it, is considered antisocial behavior at your typical party. All the other things I like to do for recreation are either impossible, impractical, or unenjoyable under our present circumstances." Vague and possibly worrying. "… I suppose if we have music, dancing is a natural activity. I believe Sheanigans' is set up for it. As for cooking… I could likely manage if necessary. Cooking is just a matter of following a formula to produce a desired result, correct? I can do that." Uh-oh.

Rulayn gets a look as if her hair is on fire and Vossrik mouths 'Smithy-boy'. "Ahem. Any-waaaay," he drawls when finally words return to him. "I don't do no electric fancy stuff, and mostly I make big metal circles what go in smaller metal circles, as my mom used to say. Gears and stuff or like, y'know. Posts. The lighting and stuff is more Dok's thing, yeah?" He juts his chin towards the pondering Techie. "Like you can use a computer or something to make 'em blink or whatnot. The food should be easy 'nuff if it's for one of the Weyrwomen. They'll totally help out, but maybe we SHOULD do something, like, as a group for food. We got a couple Beasty types, like you an' Xhan'. If you got the meat, how much harder can it be? Like you read the instructions and put the meat on the fire and you got a steak?"

Rulayn takes a turn to give Vossrik an odd look. "I'm a Dragonhealer now." She first corrects him, with that slight proud edge to her voice. "And anyway, I looked after runners. We're not cooking those." She shakes her head and looks back to Doktah, given the suggestion that she might be more capable with the decorations. "Do you think you could make lights to decorate with? Maybe you could use coloured glass or something?" She shrugs, still taking shots in the dark when it comes to the more technological side of things. "I guess if we have dancing, maybe we could also have a Harper telling funny stories?" Rulayn suggests, downing the rest of her klah and looks back to Vossrik. For no particular reason, she stares at him. "You dance, Vossy?" Again, a new name!

"I should start writing some of these ideas down." Doktah says, pulling out a slightly soggy notebook so that she can get to it. "Let's see… party as Shenanigan's. Band. Dancing. Good food. Stories. No cooking runners. Yes, I think we're onto something here." She looks sideways to Vossrik. "Lighting is simple enough. I'm not sure just lights are enough for decoration, though. As far as food goes, well… you're not far off, right?"

Now 'Vossy' gets mouthed. "Uh, yeah, I can dance kinda? Like mostly all the formal stuff what you gotta do at handfastings, but I get talked into a toss dance now and again on account of, y'know." Vossrik pats one of his biceps with the opposite hand. Boom, welcome to the gun show. "And oh, hey, congratulations on the Dragonhealer thing! Sorry, I forgot about that." Absently, he brushes the back of his hand to his glistening forehead. "Colored glass oughta work for atmosphere. Harpers should be able to take care of the rest. Do you got an idea as to what, uh, who'd you say this was for again? Anyway, what she likes. Maybe we could poll some of her friends and stuff. Oooh, we gotta chip in for a group gift or somethin', maybe make a thing if that'd be cool."

Picking a name for Vossrik isn't easy, but Rulayn will eventually settle on something. While idly picturing the Smith dancing in formal attire is amusing, the idea of being taken into those muscular arms is appealing too. Alas! Candidacy is cruel, and such thoughts are purged with a small sigh. Straightening up, Rulayn looks around the Cavern for further ideas. "Well maybe we can find something in Papercraft as well? I've seen folk folding parchment into little dragon figures before." She suggests, reaching up to loosen her ponytail. As the long (and messy) blonde-brown hair falls about her shoulders, Rulayn combs her fingers through the knotted mess and winces briefly in pain. "A group gift is a good idea.. It's for the Weyrwoman though. She probably has a lot of stuff already. Maybe jewellery?"

"Well if it's jewelry ya want, talk to weyrwoman Thys," Vossrik replies with his heathen Americanized spellings. "She makes some. It's pretty cool! I was gonna give her some scrap metal to muck about with 'cause it's easier in tiny chunks. We couuuuld… like design? A thing? Oooh, yeah on the papercraft, too. Dok, you gettin' all this?" He peeks over assumptively and nods his approval at her scratchings. "Good deal. Do you think they'll let us drink, too, or is that still a no-go even if it's our own hootenanny we're throwing?"

"I know absolutely nothing about Weyrwoman Inri or her gift preferences." Doktah says with a frown. "The best idea would be to either find some sort of informant who can let us know what she'd actually like, or find something broadly inoffensive that anyone would like as a gift. Candy, maybe. No, wait. Could be allergic." More frowning and notes. "I was told we could each have one drink and one drink only at the party."
Rulayn scratches her chin. "I dunno. I can't see them letting us drink a lot even if we were allowed. Maybe one or two weak drinks?" She shrugs and glances to Doktah as the woman responds, as well to make sure that she is indeed noting down their comments and thoughts. "We could probably find lots of different things to give her. Jewellery, sweets, maybe something to drink?" Rulayn pauses for a moment, drumming her fingers along the wooden surface of the table. "At least that way we'll get something right."

Vossrik grins quickly. "Maybe we can pour our own!" he suggests, eyes glinting. "Kidding. But you can ask in the infirmary or somethin' about that allergy stuff if needed, but if you provide like a big ol' selection she can't be allergic to them all, y'know?" Both of his thumbs pop upwards. "Maybe we could have it in the hatching cavern so's Weyrwoman Nyalle can get some party in her?"

Doktah ponders additional questions as she looks at her notes thus far. "Should we have some sort of a theme? How formal do we want this to be? Gather dresses and such? Or just come as you are?" Rulayn's suggestions are noted with more nods. "Of course, it might be difficult to get high quality on a budget if we get so many different things…" She glances to Vossrik. "That is a thoughtful idea, but I worry so much noise and activity might disturb the gold on the sands."

"Yeah, the Queen might not like the noise.." Rulayn agrees, frowning slightly at the thought of a Gold becoming enraged. "One of the local watering holes is our best bet." Stretching her arms out, Rulayn yawns and slowly folds her arms, leaning her head down against them. "We have some ideas though. I think we can start to work from there and worry about finer details later.." Opting to change the topic now that more of their ideas had circulated, Rulayn looked back to Doktah with a slightly curious expression. "You said you've touched eggs before, right? What was it like?"

"Casual, prolly. It's spring and everything's all muddy so we might be able to move stuff outside some but regret it if everything's too ooky?" Vossrik suggests. "We should at LEAST bring Nyalle a plate or something. Wait,waitwait, you touched eggs?" His eyes get all wide, and his demeanor ever-so-slightly nervous. "Where? What was it like? Were they all gooshy? Were you afraid they'd crack or something?"

"Very strange." Doktah answers Rulayn, taking a moment to figure out how best to put the experience into words. "I suppose it's not that dissimilar to the mental connection you have with your firelizard. But it's… more intense. Sudden emotions. Thoughts. Ideas. Some are pleasant. Others are unsettling. Varies from egg to egg." She glances to Vossrik again. "And no, they were not 'gooshy'. They don't let candidates touch until the shells have hardened enough for it to be safe." She makes another little note. "Casual it is. Easier that way."

Rulayn has long forgotten about party details now, favouring the option to grill Doktah for more information. After all, it wouldn't be long until they were doing the same thing she had done before. "She was at Igen." Rulayn notes to Vossrik, jerking a thumb towards Doktah. "I guess the ones with the more pleasant feelings and ideas are better for you?" She asks noone in particular, scratching at the side of her head. She looks back to Vossrik again and tilts her head. "So.. Think you'll Impress at all? What colour?" She's already quizzed Doktah on this, so now it's Vossy Smithy-boy's turn!

Vossrik tips a hand back and forth, shifting slightly in his chair. "Me? Iiiidunno. There's stuff. But it'd be pretty cool, y'know? Like I keep wondering, like, I got a twin brother," Whose name we have forgotten until we ask Ha'ze again, "And I wonder maybe if he'll be able to hear mine? Stuff like that. Plus all that fire, and the FLYING! Ohhhh man, I got to go flying with someone the other day and it was like… like nothing else." His eyes get misty, almost, far-away, and his grin lopsided. "Oh hey, wait, the eggs FEEL? Whaaaaaat? You sure you ain't just feeling the queen or something? Or picking up on people around you, or your firelizards?"

"I'm not entirely sure about that, actually." Doktah replies to Rulayn. "At Igen there was one egg in particular that everyone agreed was very unpleasant. Frightening, even. Made one of the candidates pass out. But still, the dragon inside found a lifemate. Perhaps some are just like that." She shrugs. "I am quite certain it is not the gold or firelizards. I didn't have my firelizards when I touched the eggs, for one."

A twin brother? Double trouble or double the fun! Rulayn blinks at that remark and she tilts her head. "Your brother is a candidate?" Rulayn inquires with a raised brow, leaning back and glancing over at Doktah. "Really? That's.. Interesting. I wonder if there's any on the Sands like that now." Rulayn doesn't dwell on it but instead hunches back forwards on the table with a steady yawn. "Maybe they'll all be terrible. I've heard Fort has a history with bad things happening at their Hatchings. Weyrwoman Thys told me and Vossy-boy here that she found a dead body when she was a Candidate."

"Nahhhhh, he's off doin'… the things he does, y'know. It changes from Turn to Turn." Swerve! Question dodged! "What is with 'Vossy-boy'? You are the STRANGEST lady!" Once again, Rulayn is boggled at, only this time she wins a gesture of both of his hands spreading their fingers and pushing to indicate her. "SO weird. She's right, though, they found a body, and weirder still, Thys said it was wearin' one of the necklaces she made or somethin'. Wait, you guys were scared? Of an EGG?" A definite note of 'tch GIIIIRLS' colors his tone.

Couldn't it be double trouble /and/ double the fun? That seems like Rulayn and Doktah's style. Doktah looks a little alarmed by the latest turn in the discussion. "Dead bodies? Shards. Frigid weather, mysterious deaths… well, at least the people are nice." She shrugs her shoulders at Vossrik. "Some were more scared than others. The one who passed out ended up impressing bronze. So he was, in theory, a 'tough guy'." Another shrug. "I never really…" She glances to Rulayn, then catches herself. "… Er, nevermind."

Prepare for trouble?

Rulayn makes a not-so-subtle 'Pffft!' sound to Vossrik's complaint. She wasn't strange! "It's a nickname, Smithy. Not like it's gonna matter when you Impress and your name becomes something else." She waves her hands back at the man too, as if to demonstrated that his own hand-waving didn't bother her in the slightest. She looks back at Doktah again. "Was that Lucas? That Bronze hatchling was -gorgeous-."

"Yeah, but 'Vossy-boy'? C'mon. Besides, the heck're they gonna change my name to? V'rik? That sounds like the noise it makes when you rip your trousers or somethin'." He huffs slightly, brow creasing in thought. "S'rik? No, that's like when you cut yourself shaving…wait wait you never really what, Dok?"

"Indeed it was." Doktah replies to Rulayn. She looks just a little uncomfortable for some reason, squirming just a little as she looks to Vossrik again. "My apologies. Some of my memories of my time in Igen are less than pleasant." She takes a deep breath. "Fortunately, things here have been much calmer." She ponders for a moment. "I do not know what my name would change to. It is already fairly short."

Rulayn brushes off Doktah's comments regarding Igen and shrugs at Vossrik's suggestions. "V'ik?" She adds her own thought, then lays her head back down against her arms. By now the drudges had already finished their chores and it was likely that Rulayn's shift was over by this point, so she had little concern about running back to help in the kitchens. Instead, she remained where she was, dwelling on the thought of the eggs sitting on the sands. She's choosing to be silent for now.

"V'ik is easy enough." Doktah agrees. "Maybe I'll just keep my name as it is. I can't think of a good one. And all women don't shorten it, right? Or… I guess the dragons ultimately decide, don't they?" Vossrik's comments on Igen earn a shrug. "I liked the weather, at least."

"I can't think what my name would be shortened to. I like Rulayn." The young woman yawns, scratching idly at her cheek. Her gaze is now wandering to the various folk still passing through the Caverns at this time and her attention on the conversation is beginning to drift. ".. I liked Laynie too, though." And that's followed by a dreamy sigh. Why does the Assistant Weyrlingmaster have to be so dreamy? This is about the time when Roo would start envisioning some kind of fantasy where she and the gorgeous Am'ry would stroll along the beach at Ierne.. And maybe that's what she'll do, for her eyes have slipped shut and she appears as if she's nodding off.

"Yeah I s'pose they DO decide, though it'd be nice to stick around here. Uh, Rulayn? Yoo-hoo~" Vossrik reaches over and gently pokes the dozing woman's shoulder. Then, he tips his head and gives her a long look. "I think she's tired herself out. Prob'ly thinking about BOYS again or something. You guys, I swear. Though it's been a long day for all of us. I am SO gross. Had to go clean SO much stuff myself that I'm gonna be dusting out my pits for months."

"Laynie isn't really any shorter than Rulayn." Doktah observes with her firm grasp of the obvious. "Why not Roo? You seem to go by that sometimes." She realizes then that Rulayn may not be paying attention for obvious reasons. "… Perhaps we should return to the barracks." She says, getting to her feet. She's still wide awake. So much klah. "I am fortunate not to have that problem." Doktah says to Vossrik. "Let's get her to bed. Then you can do something about your grossness." So helpful.

In truth, running around like a Drudge was probably tiring more in a mental sense than any other, having to deal with visitors and riders and the likes. At least she didn't smell bad! She did, in fact, smell more of a mixture of klah and cooking spice. Delicious, right? And no, there's no reply given to Doktah nor Vossrik's prodding. The girl is off to sleep and happy to doze away even if dragged back to the Barracks by her ankle.


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