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.

Lunchtime means a crowded caverns. The usual noise is augmented today by the sound of a squalling baby. Poor Pralius has a thick blanket spread on a table and it is atop that that Darius is currently flailing and screaming. The poor healer looks completely bereft, flailing a rainbow-hued stuffed dragon in one hand and a tiny noisemaker in the other, "Shhshhsh Darius, Momma just had to work. Shhhhh. Don't you like the dragon?"

Amidst the hustle of the lunch crowd and the squealing of the baby comes a high-pitched giggling. Bare-foot, dressed in a tiny lavender dress and bloomers and with one klah brown pigtail completely messed up comes Milana, delighting in darting in and out of the sea of legs. It must be some sort of game to her, as she giggles happily, poking alternately at people's shins as she drags her pear green stuffed dragon behind her. "Mila!" comes Ely's voice from the bustling crowd, her bright amber hair making her stand out quite clearly from the rest of the rather bland colorations around, "Don't do that. You'll get knockd over!" There's a sharpness to her voice, though it's also tinged slightly with a mother's worry. Clinging to her leg, tiny fists clutching at the material of her mother's pants, is Daniela - obviously the other twin is still more clingy and slower at walking, which is preventing Ely from catching up with her other wayward offspring.

Ely smiles as Ood flies over and lands on her shoulder.

Flavia is pretty much just set up in a corner of the caverns, having made off with a bit of grilled fish before most of it was gone. Likely she comes to this niche often because there's a few of her random pieces of woodcarvings in progress there, not that she pays them any mind. Mind you there's screaming now and mother voices echoing about the caverns and this has her glancing up with interest, eyes hitting first on Ely and sliding away as if this alone might draw the woman's attention. Instead she focuses on Pralius and the baby with him.

The usual hussle and bussle of the lunch crowd echoes through out the tunnel leading to the Living Caverns. Joan is a very bright and cheerful mood, much more so than his usual happy disposition, as he walks down the tunnel to the caverns. Hearing some new sounds to the chorus of noise he usually hears coming down this way, he silently thinks to himself, "Sounds like a couple of kids. Well this should be interesting," He says as he remembers his own childhood experiences. Walking through the entrance, he recognizes a few faces within the crowd. Most notably are the faces of Ely, Pralius, and Flavia; who he manages to see sitting at one of the more secluded corners of the Living Caverns.

Darius finally grasps at the little dragon and Pralius lets him take it, just glad the crying has stopped before he starts trying to find mila in the crowd, "Mila! Come to uncle Pow!" Flavia's appearance just makes him more flustered. "oh, Hi Flavia… Joan… just… gimme a… c'mere Mila!"

Ely stands on tiptoes for a moment, craning her neck to look for the bobbing and weaving figure of her daughter. "/Shells/," she mutters under her breath as she rocks back on her heels, looking thoroughly disgruntled. It would seem the girl had abandoned her shoes, too, as Ely has the tiny lavender sandals looped through two of her fingers. Heaving a sigh, she pushes her way forward with Daniela clutching to her pant leg and making her gait slow. Perhaps it's a good thing for Flavia that she's too upset about her daughter to notice her, or Joanethen for that matter, just yet. Giggling like mad, Milana hurries through the forest of legs, causing more than a few people to jump in surprise. Pitter-patter go her bare feet against the floor as she craftily avoids her mother. Instead, she makes a beeline for Pralius, "Pow! Pow! Pow!" On the last 'Pow!', she grapples onto his leg with a further laugh. Ely, relieved, manages to get there just in time, "Shells. Thanks, Pral. She decided she'd like to play a /game/ with me." There's atleast fondness in her voice, even if her daughter did run away from her.

Flavia hadn't noticed the small child going through the sea of legs, easy to miss such things after all. Huddling a bit lower in her chair she pop her head up for mere moments to waggle fingers at Pralius. After she finishes her fish though she straightens up, and pushes to her feet. "Pralius! Is that the little nephew of mine, at last?" apparently the baby is enough for her to possibly face the wrath of the Ely. Save that Ely beats her to Pralius and she nearly slinks away again, catching sight of Joanethen who only receives a slide nod before she pastes on a bright smile. "Look at all the kids, they're just so cute."

Joan can't help but grin even more as he listens to little Mila just giggling her head off. It's almost infectious how much the giggling seems to make everything a little brighter and happier within the Caverns. Walking up to the group, he gives a warm greetings to them all. "Good Afternoon there Ely and Pral and a Good afternoon to you as well Flavia. How are you all doing today?" He throws a sly yet friendly grin as he looks at the little tykes, "Besides the usual of course?" A *pop* like noise appears over Joan's head; as his lovely little brown, Clott, takes his usual place on Joan's shoulder. Clott's tail immediately wraps loosely around Joan's neck, his eyes whirling with the color of delight as he lets out a cheerful chirp.

Pralius nods to Flavia as he comes up with Mila in his arms, "The iron lungs are Darius, and this lovely little lady is Milana, one of my nieces on Wyn's side. errr… hi, Ely." He grins at her, "I think I caught a run-away." Darius' eyes lock on Clott and he reaches for the brown, mumbling nonsense noises. The stuffed dragon is all but forgotten in his quest for the real thing. No wonder Pralius' lizards have been absent lately.

Ely wiggles the sandals slightly in the air and crouches forward towards Milana, a few strands of her amber hair falling loose, "Mila, love, you have to put your sandals back on now. I don't want your feet getting any dirttier than they already are." Milana, clinging resolutely to Pralius' shirt, giggles and lets out a happy, "No! Egg-howe!" Grimacing, Ely straightens up and lets out her breath, pointedly ignoring her daughter's swearing, "Alright. We'll put them on when you want to get down, alright?" Daniela, wide brown eyes peering up at the surrounding people, tugs at her mother's leg and clings closer to her, "Mommy?" Crouching down, Ely scoops her other daughter up obligingly and gets her comfortable in her arms. She does finally notice Flavia and manages a smirk, "Do any more pool practice lately? Thankfully I think Milo's been too busy lately to think of a dare for us." Atleast she doesn't seem angry or anything. "Joanethen," she greets the other man with a further smirk, "You haven't started mining the rockslide have you?" Then it's all eyes on Darius and she eyes the baby, "How's the little guy doing?"

Flavia keeps her attention on the children, but when Ely finally addresses her and there is no vent of angry words she nearly sighs in relief. "Its a good thing, yes and as for practice… not really no. Your children are very beautiful." comes the compliment, as if to ease any bit of sting that the whole sinking the eight-ball might have had still. She gestures at the baby "My nephew, he's cute too I can't wait until he's big enough to crawl about." his parents no doubt can wait though. "Pralius, you're doing good?" perhaps referencing the last time they saw one another.

Joan chuckles a bit at Ely's remark; remembering how well that conversation went the last time the spoke. "No not yet, althought there looks like there's evidence of high quality ore in the surrounding mountains." He reaches in to his jacket pocket and shows quite a large number of marks in his hands, all from the Minercraft hall. "They rewarded me quite nicely for the information, and plan to make a few expeditions to the neighboring moutains. I even got a sweet deal in for Smithy, so that if they do find a rich ore vein in the mountains that they'd be willing to give us a discount on it." Turning to Flavia, "It's nice to see you again Flavia, although i didn't expect it to be so soon after we our first meeting," he says with a warm and inviting voice. Noticing the little fellow trying to climb his way up to Clott, Joan turns to Pralius "So this is little guy is yours huh? Should have known earlier, he definitely resembles his father."

Pralius smirks, bouncing Mila gently, "Now now, missy. Those shoes are important. They protect the ground from your mighty feet!" He gives her a gentle tickle before reaching out to lower Darius's hands, "Shh, he's not to play with." The baby looks fit to cry again before he's deftly distracted by a flouncing stuffed lizard, "I'm doing okay… just the tired of parenthood, you?" He glances over at Joan, one brow raising, "That's quite the haul just for finding an ore vein. What kind was it?"

Ely brushes a hand fondly through Daniela's auburn hair, ruffling it a bit. "Thanks," she glances at Flavia and actually grins, "They atleast seemed to get a good blend of me and Milo. Except Mila …. seems to have inherited my fondness for swearing." Milana, snug in Pralius' arms, giggles happily at the tickling and pokes her uncle in the neck, "No, Pow! No! Pow egg-howe!" Grimacing with al ook of long suffering, Ely lets out a barely restrained sigh and looks at Flavia a bit more closely, "Nephew? Are you … related somehow? He's my nephew, too, though more through my weyrmate." Reaching out, she sets Milana's lone sandals on teh table nearby so she has an extra hand to cradle Daniela to her. "That /is/ a lot," she remarks to Joanethen, frowning a little, "Hopefully they won't go tearing up the land around here too badly. Shells." Smirking at Pralius, though, she adds with a laugh, "Tired of parenthood already? Shards. I thought you were eager for it?"

Flavia offers a grin to Joanethen "I'm always around somewhere or another." she peers at the baby closer and reaches out to tickle foot if she can catch it. "Pralius and I share a sire you'd say, easier to think of him as a breeding stud sometimes." there's a mischievous light to her eyes as she lays that one out there. "Crazy times when you find random siblings coming out of the woodwork, still haven't managed to catch K'rius to give him an earful for that."

"Well from the samples that I took, they said that it appeared to be a high quality mineral but they couldn't give me a straight answer on what it actually was." Joan gives a quaint shrug, "I think they plan to have the samples shipped to Landing for further analysis, though most of them thought it might be a type of metal that was used on earth, 'titanium' is what i think they called it." Noticing a note of worry in Ely's voice, he turns to her "Don't worry, i already discussed that issue with them. They said their new mines are much more efficent and enviormentally friendly than they could have done using the old traditional methods." Joan stashes the handful of marks back into the pocket and notices how focused Clott is watching little Darius with quite a curious look on his little firelizard face.

Pralius chuckles, "Hey, now, Mila. No poking." He frowns comically at her, a distraction to attempt to put her sandals back on her feet. Then he nods to the question, "Sperm donor… I like it. I managed to tell him off during a ride up to my ledge later the same day. As usual he didn't have much to say for himself." His brows scrunch up together a bit at Joan's statement, "Ti-tain-ee-um? Never heard of it."

Ely widens her eyes in recognition at Flavia, breaking out into a sharp laugh, "Oh. You're one of /his/. Now I remember. Pral told me about you." Smirking a bit, she casts a sidelong glance at Pralius before looking back to Flavia, roll ing her eyes a bit, "K'rius. He's a man-whore, for sure. He tried to kis me once." The dangerous look in her eyes hints at what might've happened if he had actually succeeded. Though her gaze soon clears as Daniela wiggles a tad in her grasp, reaching up to touch at her mother's lips with a questioning, "Mommmy? Hungee." Then her original errand is obviously remembered and she breathes out a sigh, "I better go feed the little ones before they get too cranky." Settling Daniela down onto her feet, she reaches out to take Milana from Pralius whether she likes it or not. "Have fun and all," she remarks idly ot the group, giving Joanethen one last strange look at the name of the odd metal. Then she's off towards the food table with Daniela clinging to her leg and Milana cradled against her chest.

Flavia settles into a chair with the departure of Ely, even if the woman went easy on her she doesn't seem to have been able to sit in her presence just yet. "So you're a miner?" is asked of Joan as she tickles at Darius' feet some more, regardless of if they baby is distracted with something else.

"Neither have I, but it was said to be some pretty strong stuff." says Joan as he watches Ely and her brood depart from the caverns. "Well actually i'm a Smith; have been for about 3 turns now. But my parents were traders, so I learned quite a bit about trading from the two of them." Giving his jacket pocket, still bulging from the number of marks it contains, a little pat; he says with a sly look about him, "Thats partly why I was able to make such a great deal with the Miners." Hearing a low grumble next to his ear, Joan reaches into his pants pocket and pulls out a few meatrolls to feed his little brown runt. Clott quickly scarfes down the rolls and starts to croon in delight as Joan scratches his eyeridge.

Pralius waves a quick goodbye to Ely before his head snaps back at the sound of squealing Darius. Thankfully, he's squealing in laughter, tiny feet and fist flailing in the air. He doesn't realy turn to Joan so much as nod, not really understanding, but hey, they guy is happy, "I'm glad for you. That's a small fortune."

Flavia grins absently. "Stud service indeed." she rises finally and glances at the angle of the sun. "I need to get going I'm afraid, I've got some chores to finish up at the stables."

"Yeah i guess it is." Joan says almost absent mindedly. Suddenly some sort of realization comes across his face, as he says "Oh shoot, i forgot Master Metallo wanted me to report back to him today. Have a nice day Pralius." Joan sprints out of the cavern with an incredible speed as he races to the smithy.

Pralius blinks, suddenly abandoned by his unexpected companions, "Stay safe, both of you. Now, little man, who wants a dragon kissy?" He waggles the head of the stuffed dragon at the child, "Do you? Do yoouu?"

'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.