Fort Weyr - Lower Caverns
This volcanic bubble is smaller than the Living Cavern, but no less well crafted. The walls are smooth, with electric lights placed into niches that used to hold glowbaskets. Another hearth burns here, with a pot on always keeping water hot for making tea or cider. Worn but comfortable couches and chairs are arranged by the hearth around a few tables where game boards and a few packages of dragon poker cards are laying.

From this cavern you can get to many other places - the tunnels of Fort Weyr having been dug far back into the caldera where the Dragons make their home.


Evening has come to Fort Weyr, and with it dinner time. Cypris is all for eating, but not for the crowds of the Living Cavern so, having filled her plate with such staples as wherry meatrolls and tubers, she makes her way for the quieter Lower Caverns. Nodding pleasantly to those few scattered around the smaller cavern, she selects an empty table, pushing aside the abandoned game and setting her own plate down. Plopping gracelessly into the chair, she sighs, laying her head back for a moment before shaking it, picking up fork and knife.

For some time, Idralia has been studying a crisp manual, seated comfortably under one of the bright electric lights present here. Shortly after Cyrpis enters the room the TechCrafter sighs and sets the manual down before rising. A quick glance about the room shows only Cypris not busy in some form of conversation, so Idralia heads that way, politely pausing at the edge of the other woman's table and clearing her throat before speaking. "Ah, do you mind if I join you?" she asks.

Just lifting a fork full of tuber to her mouth, Cypris stares at Idralia like a deer in a dragon's sights, blinking rapidly. Lowering her fork, she clears her throat, then gestures with one hand towards an empty chair. "Be my guest," she replies in her soft, throaty voice. Eyes flicker briefly over the other woman, thoughtful, then she takes her bite, taking her time to chew and swallow before offering, "I'm Cypris."

"Thank you. I'm Idralia. Sorry to interrupt your dinner, but, well, you are right here," Idra replies, settling into the indicated chair. "I've seen you around a couple times," she continues, oblivious to any discomfort she may be causing Cypris. "You're a glasscrafter, right?" She looks right at Crypris, hazel eyes fixed on the other woman's face.

Discomfort is as discomfort does, and Cypris is tactful enough not to make it clear as she sets her fork down, folding her hands before her plate and offering the other crafter her undivided attention. "Don't worry about it. The less I eat, the less work I have to do to maintain my figure. I've probably seen you about, but I'm notoriously…" She trails off delicately, contemplating her words, "unobservent." Or something. "I am indeed a glasscrafter."

Idralia flashes a smile for Cypris' comment on food and plows on, saying, "Well, I'm glad I was right about that. I was wondering if you would have some time in the near future to take a look at some schematics with me?" Idra's eyes are bright with her enthusiasm as she continues, "I've a project in the works, and it is going to involve some rather unique lighting needs. However, I need to know more about the temperature tolerances of lightbulb-type glass before I can request bulbs for it."

"Lightbulb glass?" Intrigued now, Cypris leans forward, abandoning her lazy pose for one of interest. Shaking her head, she tucks a spill of dark hair over her shoulder. "Well, it depends on what you're looking for, but I can probably help you. Mind," she adds, with a slight grin, "I'm not so big on the technical side of my craft, but I imagine you can fill in the blanks. What kind of schematics?"

Guesturing to outline her idea, Idralia explains. "I'm wanting a strong light to fix to a headband or helmet. But it needs to be really, really bright." Really! "I have to have both hands free when I'm working, or I'm liable to get hurt trying to juggle a light, a tool, and whatever I'm fixing, so I can't afford to tote a hand-held light of any kind. I just have no idea how hot I can make a bulb safely, especially close to my head."

Pursing her lips, Cypris settles back in her chair. "Well, I guess I can look into it for you. What kind of, uhm…" She wrinkles her nose, searching visibly for the word, "filiment? Is that right? The part of the bulb that burns - what kind were you thinking of using? I know there's different kinds, at least. What kind of glass we'd use would be based on what you used."

Idralia smiles warmly at Cypris' words. "Thank you, I'd appreciate it if you would. I'm not sure what type of bulb is best in this situation. Halogen bulbs seem to be the easiest to manufacture, but they also put out a lot of heat. Tungsten arc lamps seem like a viable alternative because of how much brighter and cooler they are, but I don't know how difficult one would be to manufacture."

"I'll send back to the Hall," Cypris finally decides, tapping fingernails on the table as she nods her head decisively. "See if I can get one of the Journeymen who specialize in this kind of cross-crafting to give me a hint on what might be best. Shouldn't take more than a few days, if you can wait that long?" Dark green eyes study Idralia's face curiously.

Idralia nods without hesitation, offering, "I can get you the schematics I've drafted for what I'm thinking of for the mounting, and you can send that along, too. It'll give an idea of how much power I think I can link up to the bulb, so they can evaluate that aspect." Again Idra smiles warmly to the glasscrafter. "I'm not in a great hurry right now, and I'd really rather this be done as safely as possible, since the bulb will be so close to my face, so do let them know they can take all the time they need."

"I have a friend," and Cypris' sly smile shows exactly what she means, "who will have no trouble running this errand for me. Get me those schematics, and I'll send them on to the Hall, see what they can come up with. Have you considered power sources?" she adds, brow furrowing slightly. "I mean, how will you make the light… well… light?"

Idralia's smile turns amused at Cypris' words and a soft chuckle escapes her. "Well, I mught appreciate that. Ah, yes, actually. I was thinking of the type of battery pack the computercrafters use for their laptops. They don't weigh that much, and provide very steady power, which would last a very long time on a single charge. I'm hoping to speak with the local journeywoman, Jayashri, about that soon."

Reaching up to twist a lock of hair about her forefinger, Cypris gazes off into the distance, considering. "Alright. Make note of that, if it's not already in your schematics. It'll help the Journeyman back at the hall know what kind of light bulb might work best." Falling silent, she pushes at her plate, tapping one short, manicured nail against the edge. "Who knows. Depending on how this works out, you might find a market for this. I can think of a number of professions, mine included, that could benefit from a handless flashlight."

"The idea's noted, as well as the fact that I haven't confirmed it will be viable," Idralia replies. Cypris' mention of a market brings a look of startlement to her face, which quickly shifts to thoughtfulness. "Yes, I imagine there would be quite a few groups who would like such a thing, if it is reliable and long-lasting," she says slowly. "Well, I'll have to keep that in mind." Idra smiles to Cypris once again. "Thank you. Even if it comes to naught, I've at least had a chance to talk the idea out with someone who's actually interested in what I'm doing."

"I think you might be on to something. Let's just see what comes back from the Hall." Cypris grins lazily. "If it is viable, though, and you do manage to market this into a lucritive venture, I want in. And I want one," she adds, pursing her lips. "Not having to contort myself into poses that I prefer only to use in the bedroom in order to get good light when I'm working would be worth a lot to me."

Idralia snorts a laugh at Cypris' reply, a light blush pinking her cheeks. "If the first one works, I'll be glad to make you one. We can test them out together, and see if we can avoid hurting ourselves too badly. I predict singed hair, and probably skin, in our futures," she replies. "I can probably find a miner or two who would be willing to help with testing, too, if it's stable."

"Maybe we can find a kid or two to test them out on first," Cypris muses. "I'm rather attached to my hair, and my skin - I have enough burns as it is," and she raises one arm, showing the faint, patternless burn scars peppering her honey-hued skin. "Kids are resilient, and they like fire." And they're certainly more expendable to the glasscrafter. "Miner.. oh, I can definitely see how lucrative this can me. Definitely want a cut." But her smile is friendly rather than greedy as she winks at the techcrafter.

Idralia's fingers trace the grain of the tabletop as she notes the burns. "Hmm, I think those who tends the children might take issue with that - it seems they can get themselves in enough trouble without our help. But the miners might not mind. Or we could just keep a lot of numbweed handy, so they don't really notice?" A pause, then, in an amused tone, "At this rate, we'll need to draw up a contract before we even get those schematics off to your fellow glasscrafter!"

Sulking at having her idea of using children as guinea pigs turned down, Cypris tugs on that lock of hair wrapped around her finger, sniffing slightly. "Well, I'm not jamming anything on my head until it's tested, but I'll be more than happy to help convince anyone you need to help." With a teasing grin, she waggles her eyebrows at the other journeyman, then laughs outloud. "Shall we hunt down a harper?" she kids.

"And you think I am? I planned to test it on a dummy first, to see how warm the supports get," Idralia counters, without heat. "I tell you what, if you get a kid to volunteer, with the awareness that the setup might explode, and they're okay with that, you can have your child test subject," she says jokingly. "We can even write that into the contract. Think the harper would mind? Or is that taking unfair advantage of a child?"

"I think we'd both be villainized and possibly exiled if we used children for testing dangerous objects." Cypris sounds sincerely disappointed as she shrugs. "So I guess we stick to dummies and adult volunteers. Oh, maybe we could get some of those criminals they use in the deep mines. I bet they wouldn't mind a few more scars." Full lips curve in a smile as she shakes her head slowly.

Idralia shakes her head slightly, offering, "We'd probably be villanized just for considering it, if someone thought we were serious. But it's certianly an amusing idea, given what I've heard the children here tend to do in the way of pranks and other silliness." Idralia ywans suddenly, and shakes her head. "Well, we can at least move forward with those schematics, and take it from there. I'll send them over with my firelizard once I've made up a copy, how's that? I should be getting on toward bed shortly."

"Yeah, well, I guess kids are too young to make a logical decision about their own safety," Cypris muses, lips twitching in a faint smirk. "Ah well, endless supply of labor, but I guess we'll just have to make due. Get me those papers, I'll send them on. We'll go from there once I have the word from the Hall - but Idralia," the glasscrafter murmurs, "you have a winner of an idea. I'll do what I can to help you make it work." Tipping her head to the other journeyman, she offers a teasing salute, two fingers to her temple.

Idralia returns the salute, heading off to her quarters to make that copy and get some rest.

'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.